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UK-Justice
UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience:  Called to the Bar in 2007
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My 18 year old son has recently begun a university course in

Customer Question

My 18 year old son has recently begun a university course in leeds. He had initial problems with his halls of residence accommodation and sought alternative accommodation with Opal student accommodation provider. He was asked to complete an accommodation registrarion form for accommodation on 12/10/2012, however the room was not available until 01/11/2012 as it was occupied by another tenant. He was not told at the time that this would be considered to be signing a "tenancy contract". He signed the actual tenancy contract for the room on 01/11/2012, however decided that he did not want to move as his accommodation problems in the halls of residence had been rectified, and as such he recinded the contract for the room on 02/11/2012 in writing. He has now been informed that he is liable for the rent for the room at Opal until August 2013 even though he returned the key to the room on 02/11/2012 when he recinded the property. I have read the "Guidence on unfair terms in tenancy agreements" and feel that he has been subject to unfair terms. I have copies of the documents he has signed and at no point on the Accommodation registration form does it stipulate that this is a tenancy contract. I have copies of these documents which I can email if necessary, but would like your expert opinion as to where we stand with this agreement. I have today received a letter from Opal stating that if the balance of £800 is not paid within three days then he is also liable for administration charges. Any help you can give me would be gratefully appreciated.

Yours sincerely
Dawne Telford
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your question, I will do whatever I can to help you. Please remember to rate my answer SMILEY FACE OR ABOVE.

What does it say about cancellation/termination?

Does it say that they can levy admin charges?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The initial accommodation registration form states that all cancellations must be submitted in writing to their office. If you cancel within 7 working days of booking and before the 01/08/2012 you will receive a refund of any rent paid. If you cancel after 7 working days and before 01/08/2012 you will incur administration charge equal to the advance rent you have paid. If you fail to notify us of your cancellation in writing you will be liable for the full years rent. If you cancel after 01/08/2012 you are liable for the full years rent. I cannot see anything in the standard letting terms signed on 01/11/2012 that pertains to recinding the property early.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Have they put another tenant in?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am unaware if they have or not. I did ask them to contact me on a regular basis to let me know what reasonable steps that they have taken to re-let the room and they agreed to do this, however, we have not received any further contact from them until they sent the letter informing us that the rent was due on Monday 21st January 2012 (£800).

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Did they accept or reject when the contract was rescinded?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They accepted the letter which rescinded the property and took the keys back. We have not had possession of the key since 02/11/2012.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Then he would own rent for the days he had the key, that being 1st & 2nd November 2012.

That is all he is liable for.

As for the term that contracts must be cancelled by 1st August 2012, clearly this pre dates the contract so can not be enforced.

He should write and say that they accepted the keys back and that the contract was rescinded.

But he should pay for 2 days rent but that is all he is liable for.

They can not claim for the whole year because they can quite easily get another tenant and can therefore mitigate any possible loss.

He has only had it for 2 days, as such should not be bullied into paying anything more than that.

They can't enforce a condition that pre-dates the contract.

I hope this helps you.



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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks for your help. He has actually paid rent, which they have kept from 01/11/2012 until 21/01/2013, approimately £600. Is he entitled to a refund of this money.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Yes....................


I hope this helps.





Please remember to click *** OK SERVICE *** or above so that I am credited for my time. The question does not close and you can ask follow ups.

Important: If you feel the need to rate as one of the lower two scores, it counts as negative feedback so please reply to me via the REPLY with any further questions you may have. I will be happy to assist you further.
UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience: Called to the Bar in 2007
UK-Justice and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help?

UK-Justice
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have emailed (and sent a hard copy) a letter quoting your points to Opal. At first I did not get a response but after resending the letter by email they have responded stating that they will make their response by post. As yet we have not received a response but I would like to have the opportunity to feedback their response when I receive it. May I take this opportunity to thank you for all your help it has really put our minds at rest and I gave you a great big smilley face!!

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Great

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