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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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We entered into a 24 months tenancy agreement on the 18 October

Resolved Question:

We entered into a 24 months tenancy agreement on the 18 October 2012 in London, UK with a significant monthly rent. A few months into the agreement we have come to the realisation that there are several issues with the house; ie lower ground dining area has serious infiltration problems and the wooden floor has risen and surrounding walls have severe paint damage as it is stained and peeling off. One stucco element from the balcony has just come off in addition to these issues the heating system is inadequate for the house thereby not appropriately heating the top floors. Last but not least, the ensuit bathroom of the master bedroom produces an offensive smell coming out of the bathtub and shower despite the fact it is cleaned everyday. We have also noticed water infiltration on the ceiling of the ground floor. Taking into consideration all of these issues and the significant amount of rent we are paying, we would like to understand if we have any legal right to withdraw from the tenancy agreement immediately. Please note that we have been advised by the property management contractor that the infiltration problem on the lower ground floor/ dining room area is severe as it is rising damp that will require extensive work including the replacement of the floor. Please advise. Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. I will try to help with this.

Is this an AST?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry but what is an AST?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
An assured shorthold tenancy agreement?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This is a non-assured shorthold tenancy agreement.

Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I am a moderator for this topic. It seems the Professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new Professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.


I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!

Wendy

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello, Please continue to look for someone that can assist me.


 


Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello,


 


Is there anyone that can answer my original question? Please advise.


 


THank you

Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your patience. We will continue the search for a Professional for you.

Regards,

Wendy
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Have you addressed your disrepair concerns to the landlord and, if so, what did they say?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Tom,


 


We did address it with the landlord and they are trying to address these. However we no longer wish to live here as it is clear that this house was simply poorly restructured and as a result issues like these will continue to surface.


 


Please advise if there is any legal way out of this agreement.


 


THank you

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

I'm afriad you will be bound by the full term of the tenancy agreement unless there is a break clause in it entitling you terminate at a certain point during the term or the property is unfit for human habitation (which would also entitle you to terminate as it would be what is called a repudiatory breach of contract). In order to terminate unilaterally you would have to have clear evidence that the property is not fit for human habitation.

If you are certain that you have sufficient documentary evidence showing that the property is completely uninhabitable then you may consider terminating straight away. However, it is quite a high evidential threshold to reach so you have to be careful.  
If you think that the state of the property fall short of uninhabitability then you should focus on enforcing repaid. You need to contact the local authority and ask to be put through to their environmental department. You should explain what has happened and that you consider it could be dangerous. They should make an inspection. If it is unsafe or preventative works are required then they will make a declaration to this effect and send it to the landlord. You should keep a copy. If the landlord does not carry out the works after this then it’s potentially something for which he could be prosecuted.

In addition, you should formally write to the landlord (copying in the agent) 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/

Write to them first asking for the money and stating that you will issue a claim if it is not received.

Its pretty cheap and straightforward to use.

Open a file, send letters by registered post, keep copies of everything for use in any claim you may choose to issue at a later date.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6461
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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