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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 69992
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have just taken an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for an apartment.

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I have just taken an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for an apartment. Having stayed there 2 nights I find that the windows are not fit for purpose. They are old and warped with inadequate double glazing. The large opening pane is warped and so won't shut properly. Other apartments in the block are upgrading to uPVC to replace the old windows. The problem is noise and no doubt heat insulation come winter. The apartment overlooks a busy road and Hospital. Commercial traffic to the Hospital is 24 hours a day with reversing horns etc and it is impossible to sleep. This only becomes apparent when you sleep over. I will ask the landlord to upgrade but if the landlord refuses, or agrees but with a delay, what are my options?

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

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What exactly would you like to know?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What are my rights? Can I insist on the repairs to the property; or can I give notice to quit rather than going the full term? Can I withhold rent?

I'm really sorry but I cannot give you any good news.

If the property was in that condition when you took it then you don't have grounds to give notice. Its really hard to escape ASTs. Disrepair its very rarely a ground unless its literally something like a gas leak which places life in immediate danger.

Thats not to say there isn't a disrepair point if the windows don't shut. There's no obligation to provide double glazing or otherwise be energy efficient but you might reasonably expect windows to open and shut. However, you cannot withhold rent on this basis. The landlord is entitled to a reasonable time to put this right and he doesn't have to replace the windows with double glazing I'm afraid. If he refuses to upgrade then he is free to do that.

I'm very sorry but I have to give you truthful information.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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