Ending Tenancy Agreement early due to problems with property

by Readers Question

3 years ago

Ending Tenancy Agreement early due to problems with property

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Ending Tenancy Agreement early due to problems with property

I am currently renting a 2 bed property in Chiswick, West London. Ending Tenancy Agreement early due to problems with property

We were forced to move quickly as the other property we were due to move into fell through (owner decided to sell) and I was in hospital at the time with problems during my pregnancy… so had little say in the move.

We signed a one year contract with a 10m break clause.

Since we moved in there have been a number of problems, we have been resident for just four months.

  1. Electrics deemed unfit so full circuit board replacement and rewiring needed throughout the whole house.
  2. Gate to garden broken and therefore allowing access to the back of the property
  3. Main water tank in loft burst due to inappropriate (cheap) materials being used causing flooding throughout my newborn baby’s bedroom, resulting in damp/mould. This was repaired by landlord but ceiling has started to get damp again and new paintwork worn within a month. Stains left on floor from humidifier.
  4. Holes identified in roof when fixing water tank requiring 7-10 days of full roof repair works. Mid summer with a newborn baby in the house = not ideal.

I desperately want to move to move out but we are deemed liable for rent until new tenants are found and the company are going to hold off getting new tenants until roof work done which leaves us paying full rent and also cancellation fees of 10% plus VAT of each month left in contract.

Given the above problems do we have a case for getting out of the contract without significant charges or rent liability or because the landlord is fixing all the problems – albeit after causing major disruption for us as tenants and posing health risk to my premature baby?

Also we were never given tenancy deposit scheme details as are outlined as mandatory in the contract.

Many Thanks for your time

Tamsin Lewis



Comments

Mark Alexander

3 years ago

Hi Tamsin

It does sound like your landlord/agent is being somewhat disingenuous by holding you to your contract given your explanation of the issues.

If these matters are reported to your local Council I suspect they will deem your property uninhabitable, thus frustrating your landlords contract. You landlord will then have a choice as to whether to let you out of your contract early or to pay for equivalent alternative accommodation whilst the works are being done. You would still need to pay the rent though.

I doubt your landlord will want that hassle and I suspect he/she will realise that allowing an early termination penalty free is the better option.
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Luke P

3 years ago

Merely reporting them won't guarantee much. If he's getting on with them then I suspect the LA will be okay with that. As Mark says, he could offer you an alternative (which you might not like) and still have to pay the rent.

Whilst I sympathise, it's unlikely you'll be able to just walk away from the contract because you're miffed. Even if that extends as far as 'very miffed'.

Luke P

3 years ago

This is the difference with renting as opposed to owning. Whilst you have certain rights, you have very little certainty. If there are holes in the roof and he's fixing them, even with a newborn (an I appreciate it's not at all ideal), then he's doing what he's meant to. Unfortunately you don't get to dictate to that degree when you are tenant rather than the owner.

Florance Kennedy

3 years ago

It sounds like they may not have protected your deposit, in which case you could point out that they might be fined three times the deposit if you report them... Ask them to provide proof that the deposit has been protected and take it from there.

Mark Alexander

3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Luke P" at "29/06/2015 - 12:56":

Luke

As you are such an active member and #2 in the most helpful list of members in the last 30 days I think it would be good if you were to add a picture to your member profile.
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Paul Franklin

3 years ago

Is your deposit not protected? Or have you simply not been given the information about where it's protected (the prescribed information). Check the websites of the 3 schemes if you're unsure, Mydeposits, The Deposit Protection Service and the Tenancy Deposti Scheme. If it's unprotected, you may have some bargaining power. You may have some still if you simply haven't been given the PI but less so. Beyond that I can't see that there's too much you can do.

I agree with Luke that although there have been issues, the landlord is looking to carry out the necessarry works. Yes there's disruption but that would appear to be largely unavoidable. As such I don't think the LA would be too iterested either unless the property is particularly hazardous in it's current state or whilst the works are going on? A decent/sympathetic landlord may offer some form of rent reduction but as far as I'm aware he's not obliged to unless parts of the property are unusable/uninhabitable.


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