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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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We entered into a 24 months tenancy agreement on the 18 October

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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

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

Is this an AST?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry but what is an AST?

An assured shorthold tenancy agreement?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This is a non-assured shorthold tenancy agreement.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

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


Thank you

Customer: replied 4 years ago.



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


THank you

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

Customer: replied 4 years 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


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:

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.

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Kind regards,

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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