How do I get out of infested property?

by Readers Question

9:01 AM, 31st December 2018
About 2 years ago

How do I get out of infested property?

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How do I get out of infested property?

It will be much appreciated if some of the intelligent minds on this could assist. Summary of facts;

My landlord obtained a residential mortgage which enabled him to purchase an apartment with a 250 year lease;

They handed over the property to a lettings agents and vacated it in a rush;

Bailiffs were chasing landlords girlfriend so she went to live with friends and landlord left for home being Switzerland;

We were told apartment was free of repair, new (built 2015), fully furnished, and free from pest;

We paid 18 months rent in advance including deposit etc;

Landlord’s girlfriend used apartment as her forwarding address for 6 months in order to evade bailiffs and we had several visits from them;

She continually harassed us for her mail, we requested she provide forwarding address, she in response didn’t advocate any repairs;

We inherited moths and carpet moths which damaged our belongings – refused to do anything about them until 21 months into the tenancy;

We had 12 month agreed break clause (I have proof) but had an ambiguous clause in the tenancy and failed to include it’s particulars;

We wanted to vacate, but lettings agent refused to refund the extra monies and threatened us with another ambiguous clause of penalising us a further 17%, keeping the deposit, and charging us for all the marketing cost;

My wife suffers from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder and living here just ruined her mental and physical health;

Lettings agents and landlord failed to inform us of all the issues with the apartment and that the development was still undergoing continual remedial work. Failed to issue prescribed information to all parties concerned as my employer paid rent plus deposit. Deposit was protected and prescribed information was only sent out to my wife which failed to include 3rd party.

Misleading, misinformation, and misrepresentation just rolled off their tongues.

Any assistance would be great appreciated.

Jay



Comments

Charlotte Walker

11:08 AM, 31st December 2018
About 2 years ago

Jay, living there has not presented you with insurmountable problems. Carpet moths and irritating bailiffs letters have not destroyed your partner's mental health, her response to them has. If you had treated the carpet moths with a few cans of spray they would have gone, sitting back and waiting has made the problem worse and it sounds like you are fishing for leverage against your landlord. They are absolutely not responsible for repairs outside of the flat as anyone who has ever bought a new build will know that they are rarely repair-free environments. This will only cause you more stress as will being adversarial. See out the term, move on.

David Price

12:40 PM, 31st December 2018
About 2 years ago

What were you doing paying 18 months in advance? 17 months should have been treated as a deposit and protected, if not then you have a very substantial claim against your landlord. That said I agree with Charlotte, do not sit back and accept, take proactive action, behave as Lord Denning said in a tenant like manner.

Puzzler

15:51 PM, 31st December 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Charlotte Walker at 31/12/2018 - 11:08
Interesting - this box has said I am replying to a comment by Puzzler which is myself at 11:08 which I am not, I am replying to Charlotte. Clearly a bug in the program (no pun intended).

Carpet moths are not that easily removed - a few cans of spray? I wish. Usually everything they like to eat in which they may be lurking has to be destroyed and the room fumigated.

Puzzler

15:51 PM, 31st December 2018
About 2 years ago

Seems once posted it has the correct recipient...

Annie Landlord

16:16 PM, 31st December 2018
About 2 years ago

I'm afraid very little of this rings true

Kate Mellor

20:22 PM, 31st December 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 31/12/2018 - 12:40
Hi David, it’s unlikely a court would consider this rent in advance constituted a deposit in disguise. Particularly as a separate deposit was taken and protected. Unless there is something more recent than the court of appeal’s decision on Johnson v Old. Much would depend on the AST wording.

Kate Mellor

21:08 PM, 31st December 2018
About 2 years ago

Hi Jay, you don’t say how long the term of your tenancy agreement is, only that you’ve paid 18 months rent in advance and that you had a 12 month break clause that you feel was confusingly worded. It sounds as though you’ve been in the property at least 21 months as you mention that it’s taken 21 months for the moth problem to be dealt with. I would imagine therefore that you’ve either passed the end of the contractual term, or are approaching it in the near future.

I would strongly suggest that you make an appointment at your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and bring your AST with you. Ask them to explain to you exactly what you need to do in order to successfully give your landlord/letting agent ‘notice to quit’ in the correct way, then do so (assuming your desire is to leave this property as your post implies).

In future if there is anything you do not understand in your AST (especially around the requirements to enact a break clause) you should seek advice at an early enough time from your nearest CAB to ensure you are able to give the required notice period.

As far as any of the issues you mentioned that you may have against your landlord or agent there isnt any quick fix. Any money you wanted to try to claim would require you to make a claim in court which would at the very least require you to pay the court application fees to begin with. If you think these are worth pursuing then you should take legal advice.


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