If you primary concern is to terminate the contract then you can only do so if the landlord has committed a repudiatory breach of contract. This means a breach which is so serious that it does to the root of the contract and denies you all, or substantially all, of the benefit of it - it effectively means that the landlord has not provided you with accommodation fit for human habitation.
Minor repairs do not fall in to this category, but issues of damp can do. You should contact the enviro health dept. of the local authority and ask them to make an inspection. If they make a declaration that the property is unfit for human habitation then you should ask for this in writing from them. You could then terminate on the strength of this breach.
If the enviro officer does not find the property unfit then you have a right to ask that the disrepair (including cleaning) is remedied.
You should formally write to the the landlord specifying the disrepair, making a list of the reasonable repair required and ask that he make those repairs within a reasonable time (eg. 14 days). State that if the landlord does not make the repair within that time you will pay to have the repairs made and will seek to claim the expense from him and are prepared to make an application to court if necessary.If the landlord does not make the repair you can pay to have it done and then write formally to him requesting the payment of the cost, again within a reasonable time). If he does not pay you can issue a claim for the money yourself through Her Majesty Courts Service's online service: http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/
Its pretty cheap and straightforward to use
If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my efforts. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.Kind regards,Tom
Thank you for your very kind accept.
If it was expressly agreed (either orally or in writing) that the property would be professionally cleaned then you would could claim damages on the basis of this breach of contract - the costs of not being able to move in if not being able to move in was your only reasonable option - but if it was not expressly agreed then you would not be able to claim damages because there is no implied term that the property shall be professionally cleaned, just a term that the the property should be in good repair and tenantable condition.
This would not mean that you would be able to re-adjust the term of the lease to reflect the later moving in date though.
If you wish to terminate the tenancy then go the EHO route first.
You can then enforce your rights to repair in the way above mentioned.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).