Tenants say they should have been told house was in a bad area

by Readers Question

11:16 AM, 11th May 2015
About 3 years ago

Tenants say they should have been told house was in a bad area

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Tenants say they should have been told house was in a bad area

New tenants asked to be released from an agreement after 1 month because of anti-social problems, via the letting agents I agreed.

They accepted in an email that they had to pay rent until a new tenant was found and also pay their setting up fee. However, they refused to pay citing that the agent lied to them when they asked if it was a good area. Neither I nor the agent had heard of problems. I have later found out that the police had recorded some incidents, so by saying that area was fine the agency was not lying.

They also accuse the agency of failing to look for other tenants when the next tenant initially failed to find a suitable guarantor. While the latter may be true, it is me they owe the money to. Tenants say they should have been told house was in a bad area

Would I win if I took the to court?

Thanks

Tricia



Comments

Mark Alexander

11:18 AM, 11th May 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Tricia

When you purchased the properety, did the estate agents tell you it was in a bad area?

If not, then I think you ought to win your case against your tenants. I have come to that conclusion on the basis that I think you would lose a case if you were to try to sue the agent who sold you the property on similar grounds.

That said, I am not a lawyer.

Good luck!
.

Dr Rosalind Beck

12:48 PM, 11th May 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Tricia.
Maybe one of the lawyers who comment here can clarify if there is such a thing as 'a bad area' in legal terms. I very much doubt it. It's completely subjective. Tenants come up with weird nonsense all the time and you have to cut through the cr*p. I think it's completely reasonable to request they find tenants to substitute them and I bet they don't tell the prospective tenants it's a bad area. So they can get sued too!
All the best with it.

Mandy Thomson

13:35 PM, 11th May 2015
About 3 years ago

As Ros says, this sounds like another get out of paying rent clause put up by bad (or just irresponsible) tenants. ( IMHO, "I'm really sorry, I can't pay the rent just now because [insert GOOD reason]" would be much more preferable...)

There is such a thing as due diligence. A few years ago, I bought a property to let out, then rented another flat in a different area soon after that. It didn't even occur to me to ask the estate agent or letting agent if the areas were good or bad, and even if I had, I would have taken it as simply someone's opinion and nothing more.

Having said that, it's my understanding that under he Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs) that property agents have been subject to since 2013, they do have to disclose material facts about negative factors affecting a property including neighbours with ASBOs, serious crime in the property or the immediate area, half way houses etc. However, anything other than concrete facts and data about crime and ASB would be very difficult to prove.

wayne carson

14:31 PM, 11th May 2015
About 3 years ago

It is relatively easy to find out what an area is like crime wise. There is even an app you can get. You won't get nitty gritty details but a brief over view of the types of crime.
if the letting agent was aware of issues relating to the property the. Under the code of practice laid down by the property ombudsman and stated in the the consumer protection and unfair trading regulations they should make any tenant aware.
I feel the relevant question here is how far does that liability/duty extend. Direct Neighbours yes, neighbourhood less so.

Mark Alexander

14:43 PM, 11th May 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "wayne carson" at "11/05/2015 - 14:31":

Crime statistics based on postcode are one of the many facilities freely available for due diligence purposes via the Property118 Research Tool - see >>> http://www.property118.com/property-reseach-tool/

There is no charge to landlords, tenants or agents using this data because it is all publicly available. Buyers of any product or service MUST take responsibility for doing their own due diligence, especially when deciding upon whether to buy or rent somewhere to live. Somebody could ask 1,000 people what the local public transport, schools, pubs etc and like and they will probably get a variety of opinions. Quality of an area is subjective, as somebody else has already stated.
.

Yvette Newbury

15:32 PM, 11th May 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "11/05/2015 - 14:43":

Mark Alexander beat me to it. There is a choice available to all of us whatever it we are doing, purchasing a new house, renting a house etc in particular for which we should all do our own due diligence on to decide on whether we want to proceed. We are all free to use the internet, speak to whomever we choose to make those decisions. I dislike this lack of responsibility in the world whereby someone else is blamed for the decisions we have chosen to make. It just sounds like an excuse to me as they have changed their minds!


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