16:46 PM, 23rd December 2014, About 7 years ago 16
My partner and I moved into our first rented home together on 28 February 2014. We paid what we thought were extortionate referencing fees of £300 (EACH!) on top of the deposit and rent. At the time we mentioned that this was a high price, especially considering that my partner had rented from this letting agent before.
They made it very clear that the landlord wanted long term tenants – a few years at least – and that’s exactly what we wanted too. We only agreed to the extortionate fees because we didn’t plan moving out for a good 5 years or so.
We signed a 12 months minimum contract.
6 months into our tenancy the landlord has now decided she is selling the house. We’re not pleased of course, but there’s not much we can do about it. Being a Law graduate myself I have some knowledge of my rights (not going to claim to be an expert) so I know at least that they have to let us stay until the end of our contract (28 Feb 2015) at a bare minimum.
My first questions is…
Do we have any way of claiming any of the fees back? I’m fully expecting the answer to be “no” as we don’t have any written proof of anything. but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
My second questions is:
We moved in halfway through the previous tenants contract and were told in no uncertain terms by the letting agents that “We think the last tenants (a couple) have broken up …. it’s all very sad but the landlord says they can leave early if they find new tenants”
Enter us – new tenants.
A couple weeks after we moved in the previous male tenant came round to see if we had any post for them and to ask how we were finding the flat. He explained that they hadn’t split up at all but the actual reason they had moved out was because the lady that lives opposite (its a block of flats with 2 flats per floor so by “opposite” I mean 2 metres away!) had knocked on the door one day completely unsolicited, while his wife and 2 year old daughter were the only people in the house. His wife had answered the door and the neighbour had immediately attacked her. He said he had told the letting agents about this and so it transpires this was why they wanted, quite rightly, to leave the contract early.
Since living in this flat we have visits from the Police on a regular basis (at least once a month) to do with our opposite neighbour who, as it turns out, is a mentally unstable drug addict whose daughter is looked after by the authorities.
My question is….. Did the landlords break any law in lying blatently to us and should we have been made aware of her before we moved in? If so, what can we do?
My third questions needs some more explination….
The letting agency have been absolutely appalling with showing prospective buyers around the house. They constantly make arrangements with less than 24 hours notice and often just by leaving a message on my phone and then turning up before I even had a chance to reply. They also do the opposite, e.g. one time they said they’d be do a viewing “between 1pm and 3:30pm” but they didn’t turn up at all and never phoned to say they wouldn’t be coming. This has been incredibly annoying but we’ve coped untill last week when I was at work during the day and my partner was asleep (he’d been working the night shift at work).
Without any notice, or even trying to contact us, the landlords let themselves and their prospective buyers into our flat, showed them around and then, of course, walked into our bedroom and woke my partner up. As you can expect, I’m absolutely furious about this. They always just let themselves in with their key, even when I was recovering from an appendectomy, which we had notified them about and they’d said they’d do not viewings while I was recovering.
What can be done about this awful breaking of their side of the contract?
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