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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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On Jan 30th I signed up for a new tenancy on a 2bed furnished

Customer Question

On Jan 30th I signed up for a new tenancy on a 2bed 'furnished' flat with my partner who was 16wks pregnant at the time. Before signing we made it clear to the letting agents we were expecting a baby and very concerned about the cleaning of the flat prior to tenancy. We received an email confirming this would be done to a professional standard. When we signed the inventory was not yet ready so we had to take them at their word. Unfortunately the flat was dirty. In some places filthy! And as they had used an industrial type de-odoriser to eliminate previous cooking smells, the chemicals were still present on moving in leading to headaches for my partner on the 1st night. (She went to stay at her mum's) I ended up cleaning the bathroom and kitchen again. They were supposed to complete the carpets however their 'cleanears' were reluctant to return for no money so we have given up with them and agreed to do this ourselves. This still awaits. Since moving in there have been a number of other issues which I believe to be in breach of the landlord/agent obligations & duties. 1.Water has leaked in through kitchen & bathroom - still waiting for work to be done. 2. Water was seen to be emerging from behind the electricity meter inside a kitchen cupboard - this was reported but no action yet taken. 3. We also raised a number of other electrical issues - a report has been carried out which we understand does require some remedial work although no details have been given to us yet. 4. A number of items listed in the inventory were not confirmed as compliant to Fire Regs(damaged stools & some cushions) - these have been removed. 5. Battery operated smoke alarm still has not been confirmed or tested as working 6. All curtains (listed in the inventory) were found to be dirty and in poor condition - when this was raised we were told they had been left like this as they believed us to be providing our own so rather than correct this they have simply told us to dispose of them! 7. The latest issue is now the heating - this is a communal heating system with old fashioned radiators. We were told at the time of the viewing that valves on the radiators would allow individual control. These were not present. We reported this within the first week of being there & then again with the recent cold weather as we have recorded the temp inside the flat to be between 11-13 degrees with no way to adjust this. For this privilege we are paying a fixed amount of £75/month.(covering heating & hot water) Due to all of the above my partner has been staying at her mum's almost the whole time as the flat is simply too uncomfortable. We are getting to the point where we have had enough of the battle and are considering ending the Tenancy. However we need to wait until March 8th/9th to move out. The next month's rent is due this Thursday (28th Feb). Are we in a position to give notice to the agents we wish to terminate early? What/ How should this notice be given? Can we stipulate when we want to move? Can we withold the next months rent by cancelling the Standing Order? Can we demand back full deposit? Can we demand back any of first months rent? Would we still be liable for end of tenancy charges such as Checkout Report? Can we demand any other costs for inconvenience caused? I am sending this message from work so would be grateful for any reply to also be copied [email protected] Many thanks in advance. Carlo.
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 type of tenancy do you have ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement for 12 months, with a break clause from 6months

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
What is it you want to achieve? To move out?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


if the agents/ landlord cannot resolve the outstanding issues, particularly the heating issue, we need to understand if we can move out and how we go about it without losing all our money?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
What I can say is that it is a legal requirement of the landord and tenant act to provide hot water and heating.

If either of these are not provided then you could view it is a fundemental breach if contract.

This is where a breach is so serious it goes to the very heart of the contract.

But if you are going to claim this and end the contract you need to act quick. This is because the longer you leave it, the more it would be deemed you accept the breach.

Therefore you can give norice, leave early, claim fundemental breach.

You could in theory sue the landlord for stress and inconvenience caused.

You would of course be entitled to a full refund of your deposit.

The landlord is in breach if the act. You should also notify the council who can investigate and prosecute the landlord.

I am sorry for your situation and realise that this is stressful but hope this helps.




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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


...but is there a minimum level of heating that must be provided to make the place habitable? especially as we are paying for this service as part of the rent, not through a chosen energy provider? As stated there is some heat through the communal system but, if this is at a very low level and with no facility to control it, would that then constitute a breach?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
It's got to be minimum 17c or so and water to at least 50c

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.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Ok, thanks... but some parts of the original query I am still not certain on. You have confirmed we are entitled to a refund of the deposit however what about the rent paid already for the first month, and now imminent for the second? Although I have lived there since Jan30th, the issue about the lack of heating control was raised after just a few days but has still not been resolved - we have never therefore accepted this. Are we entitled to withold the second months payment until this is settled or would that put us in breach? and can we then claim anything back from all rent paid? The other issue was about the date for leaving if we give notice - are we free to set this or will we need to vacate immediately? We do not really wish to pursue this in the courts or with the council but are keen to ensure that we get back all we are entitled to...

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
You can't withhold rent - this is a breach of tenancy.

You would be in breach and if you go to court you want to be seen as exceptional tenants.

Notice if you find a fundemental breach you set notice and leave - no negotiation.

Does that clarify?



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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
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you...but just to check I understand the last statement correctly, could we give notice tomorrow and say we will be leaving on 9th March?

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

But you are better off giving notice and leaving the next day.



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.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry, I was unable to get back to you yesterday. Thank you for the replies to date however you still have not answered where we stand with regard to any rent paid in advance if we decide to terminate the tenancy early?


Are we entitled to all rent covering the period after our moving out date?


Are we also entitled to claim anything back for the rent paid up to this date without resorting to legal channels due to breach of contract?


Are we entitled to claim anything for additional expenses incurred such as more moving costs etc..?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
The serious breach I have mentioned means you could claim it back.

If you claim such a breach then you would be entitled to refund from the date you moved out.

You would need to sue to claim anything back for breach of contract.

Again you can try and claim expenses but if the Landlord refuses you would need to go to Court - so it is a matter for you..............




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.
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

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