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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have just rented a property through an agency and as soon

Resolved Question:

I have just rented a property through an agency and as soon as I moved in I have found traces of mice. The landlord is kindly ignoring the issue and left me in this difficult situation. What the law say about the habitability of a property? Has the agency the obligation to make sure a property is habitable before renting? What are the instrument I can use to make my rights to be respected? I am living this condition with a relative amount of stress and I was even harassed in the street by one of the agents who rented me the flat. The traps were hidden above the kitchen cupboards were obviously I could not get on a first visit and the rubbish and droppings are underneath the kitchen cupboards, I found them while cleaning after I have removed an unfixed panel. I am currently living in this condition. Please suggest practical steps.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.



Thanks for your question.


Obviously, renting a flat that is uninhabitable for human occupation is a fundamental breach of contract by the agent/landlord which entitles you to treat the contract as at an end. The difficulty is being able to produce evidence to back this up.


Contact the local authority's environmental department and ask them to make an emergency inspection, if they find it uninhabitable they will declare it as such and issue an enforcement notice against the landlord. Ask for a statement in writing and you can then terminate on the strength of this evidence.


At the same time write to the landlord stating the problem and that you believe it to be uninhabitable at present and request that she instructs a professional to deal with the problem no later than 7 days from the date of the letter failing which you will instruct and pay for one and then seek to claim the expense from them by an application to Court.


You can then reclaim the expense from


If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will e gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.


Kind regards,



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
this is definitely useful but you did not mention the agency's responsibility in this matter and all the stress it is causing to me, could you kindly be more specific in relation to this? I am only asking to complete your answer before accepting it and this is not a further question. if you or the website intend to charge me any extra for this please do not answer.
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.



The money you have been charged by JA is held by them until you click "accept", it is then released to me. If you are not satisfied with the answer you receive then you are at liberty to ask for a refund, if you do I will request that the moderators refund the money to your account.


The agents stand in the place of the landlord in this matter, though I would certainly copy both landlord and agent in all correspondence relating to this issue. It's plainly irresponsible and unethical to let a property in the state it's presently in, but you have rights to compel them to make it habitable (as explained above).


If the breach is proved then you can claim for financial loss resulting from the breach, the difficult with the stress you are suffering is that it's not easy to put a financial figure on it and therefore harder to claim and infinitely harder to prove.


You can complain to the Association of Residential Lettings Agents about their conduct if you so wish.


I hope this clarifies, if so please kindly click accept.

Kind regards.


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