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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hello, Im currently renting a house in London and after

Customer Question

Hello,
I'm currently renting a house in London and after a visit from the council I've found out the my house violates the fire safety rules.
My landlord has told me I would have to leave at the end of the contract but my question is, does the security violation give me grounds to break the contract earlier without being penalized?

Thanks in advance.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : How long is remaining and what is wrong with the property please?
JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

Hello,

JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

My contract is for 2 years and breakable after 18 months.

JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

breakable with a 2 months notice.
It's going to be 18 months, the 15th of this month, which would mean I can leave the house on the 15th of march.

Can I leave in the February without loosing the deposit and

JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

the extra month rent?

JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

regarding the problem, the bedroom has no easy exit in case of fire.
I need to go through the kitchen to get in and out and apparently, the kitchen is a high risk place.
The landlord will have to do some construction work, but she has chosen to wait until the contract finished (in July).
Wouldn't this make the bedroom a security risk until then ?

JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

Thank you

Alex Watts : Is it a HMo o
Alex Watts : or do you just occupy it?
JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- : Not hmo.
JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- : I rent the whole house
Alex Watts : I do not hit u
Alex Watts : quite understand the fire risk.
Alex Watts : Are you saying the council expect a fire escape from the first floor down?
JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- : Either that or any other path to the outside that does not mean going through the kitchen
Alex Watts : Have the council served an enforcement or prohibition notice?
Alex Watts : please more I am on the train so may be a delay in my reply.
JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

I'm sorry for the delay but I didn't get an email alert for the last message.
I don't know. We found out about this through a council architect that came to inspect the house. I'm not aware about any communications after that day.

JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

communications between the landlord and the council

Alex Watts : Just so that I understand, it's a regular house? How do you know it is a fire risk please?
JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

it is a regular house. I found out from the architect that inspected the house. the landlord was present.
from that visit the architect said that the house would need some construction work to meet the criteria (and he gave a few options).
The landlord said he would get back to us with a decision. That decision was to wait till the end of the contract.

JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

therefor my question. Does this give us grounds to claim the break clause ahead of time without penalties?

JACUSTOMER-stjf284a- :

Thanks again and I'm sorry if I'm not being very clear

Alex Watts :

Its bad news.

Alex Watts :

Unless the Council have said the property is not fit to be occupied then you can not break the contract.

Alex Watts :

If they had served an improvement notice or enforcement notice you may have had grounds.

Alex Watts :

But if they have done none of this and do not say that tenants should not be living there then sadly you can not end it.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?