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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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we are more than 8 months into a 12 month assured shorthold

Customer Question

we are more than 8 months into a 12 month assured shorthold tenancy.but we wish to surrender the tenancy early,because of mould and damp within the proprty that aggravates my chest problems
Submitted: 7 years ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.



Thanks for your question.


If the state of damp is very bad then you should contact the local authority environmental health department and ask them to send an officer round. If the state of the property is bad he will issue an enforcement notice against the Landlord to carry out works and this may prompt him in to making the repair. If he finds it unfit for human habitation then he will declare it as such and you will be able to terminate your agreement with the landlord on the basis of this breach. Make sure you get something in writing to that effect.


Were you to terminate on the basis of the damp (ie. that the property is unfit for human habitation) without anything in writing from an environmental health officer then you risk entering in to a dispute the landlord about whether this is a legitimate termination.


Concurrently with the above 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. 7, 10 or 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:


It's pretty cheap and very easy 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,


Thomas and 2 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
To continue with the issue of the tenancy.In January of this year we informed the Landlords Agent of the defects ( Damp/Mould ) in the property.I suffer with a chest problem which has been aggravated by the conditions.Having been to my GP and been treated for a chest infection,and showed him photos of the Damp/Mould,he gave me a letter to send to West Dorset Council recommending that I/we be rehoused into council accommodation because of my condition.We have in fact now been successful in being allocated a property.Having told the Landlords Agent verbally that we will be giving a months notice to surrender the tenancy,in writing of course.he said we would be liable to pay rent until the end of the tenancy (in 3 months )unless they can rent out to another tenant.
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.

Okay, try and get some written confirmation from the Council stating that you were rehoused because the property was unfit from human habitation. If you do then you can safely terminate the tenancy. Also ask if the matter was referred to their environmental health department, if it has ask for written statement as to unfitness for human habitation as well.


If you only have the letter from the GP then you can still terminate but may get in to an argument with the landlord/agent about whether this letter properly constitutes evidence of unfitness for human habitation.


In the meantime, send a copy of the GP's letter to the agent as evidence of unfitness for human habitation and see if they will accept it. State that if they do not you will press the environmental health department to visit the property and this may result in an enforcement notice being service on the landlord or declaration that the property is unfit for human habitation. Use this as leverage.


Good luck.