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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25440
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My daughter, 4 month old baby and her partner are currently

Resolved Question:

My daughter, 4 month old baby and her partner are currently in rented accommodation in Sunbury on Thames. Their contract expires on their current home on Friday 28th Feb. They are due to move into another rented property on this date. On the date they start the new contract they must pay £3000+ to cover deposit, 1st month rental, fees etc. Although there is only 1 wage earner at the moment, they have managed to scrape this figure together but it leaves them with no additional money for anything other than the absolute basics.

They have today been informed that the maintenance work that is being done on the new property, to ensure the property conforms to health and safety, will not be completed in time for them to move in. They have been told it may not be ready for another week.

They have been told that they can stay in their current property for this shortfall week but they must pay the rent on it which is about £270.00. Unfortunately holidays have also been booked by my daughter's partner to help with the packing and the move which at the moment he is unsure he can change.

Needless to say they are beside themselves, as they cannot find any more money for this extra week accommodation.

Have you any advice on this matter.

Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

can I ask whether the contract for the new property has yet been signed by both your daughter and the landlord please?

Customer:

I am not sure, this is all being done through an estate agent

Customer:

Hallo, are you still there ?

Joshua :

Sorry yes I am. I will be with you in a few moments with your permission?

Customer:

My daughter has just told me that they have signed the "online contract"

Customer:

She is about to go into the dentist's surgery for a wisdom tooth extraction.

Joshua :

Oh dear. Poor her. Thanks. Has the landlord signed it to your knowledge?

Customer:

This we don't know as I presume in these cases the estate agent is the go between.

Joshua :

Quite however your daughter should receive a copy of the agreement signed by the landlord once signed. I presume from what you say she has not yet done so?

Customer:

I too can only presume the same

Joshua :

Thank you. The position is obviously practically unfortunate however if the new property they are to move to is to be delayed, whether or not a new contract has been signed by the landlord for the same, they cannot be required to pay rent or for that matter deposit until such time as they are afforded access to the property and accordingly, they will not have to pay rent on the property until they moving which would hopefully allow them sufficient monies to cover the additional rent for their existing property.

Joshua :

does that resolve the financial dilemma from your daughter's point of view?

Joshua :

Does the above assist with the position your daughter finds herself in or are there other issues we need to consider?

Customer:

No it changes nothing. Let me try to clarify. The rent for the property they are currently in is paid up to and including the date they were due to move i.e. Friday 28th February. They are due to get the keys to the new property also on the 28th February which is the date they hand over the £3,000, which includes the 1st month's rental. As the move date has been delayed they now have to find an additional £270 for the week they were due to be in the new property. The transition was all due to take place on the same day, which meant there would be no further costs.

Customer:

It is due to no fault of theirs that the work has not been completed in time yet it would appear that due to this fact they now are being penalised financially. They are not in a position to finance this delay.

Joshua :

Thanks - so to be clear there is effectively a cashflow issue in that during the week in question they will not have any further income coming in in time to pay a further £270 a week later. Is that essentially the issue in question? Is the rent for the new property more or less than the existing one?

Customer:

It is about the same but definitely not less.

Joshua :

Thanks. Is my above summary re cashflow an accurate summary of the specific issue?

Customer:

Cashflow is definitely the issue. As I said, they struggled to get the 3,000 together but managed it. Surely there is some legal lever. Can they not claim from whosoever has delayed the move (I am not even sure they were informed about health and safety works needing to be performed).

Joshua :

Thanks. There is a relatively straightforward answer if the agent is sensible (unfortunately that is often not the case). From what you say there is no financial loss here (providing they have not spent money booking removals and so on the day they were expecting to move). all this is happening is that they are being required to pay rent for an extra week in their existing property and of course they will not need to pay rent until a week later in the new property. None of this would be an issue particularly other than for the purposes of cash flow.

Joshua :

The solution is for the agent to simply pro rata the first months rent for the new property to take account for their one-week delay in moving in so that the first payment is due to the agent is £3000 less the equivalent of one weeks rent.

Joshua :

if the contract has already been signed, it will already provide for the start date of the tenancy and the monthly rental and accordingly, if they are to be one week late in moving in, it will be required in any event to pro rata the first month's payment.

Joshua :

on the basis that the rental is approximately similar for both properties, the first months rent should be reduced by near enough the same amount as the additional payment they have to find for their existing property

Customer:

OK that seems a fair response. However, if the estate agent is not sensible, do they have any recourse?

Joshua :

the only risk is if the agent is silly about the matter and advises your daughter that the contract for the new property will need to be changed to take account of the new start date and still insist on the full £3000 payment with a different start date for the tenancy. If the contract has already been signed by the landlord, this is not an option available to the agent. If it is not been signed by the landlord, it is, and if the agent were to suggest this was required, it would be a case of discussing the issue of cash flow with the agent and persuade them of the need to pro rata the first months payment as above

Joshua :

one would be agent would be sensible as it doesn't really make any significant difference to the landlord and particularly his situation has arisen through no fault of your daughter. if you find the agent is difficult then your daughter could consider advising that she will be unable to move out of the existing property until the position is which would force them to consider lengthy eviction proceedings which could cause them difficulty. Optimistically, one would hope this would not be likely scenario as to my mind there is not really any significant issue here other than that which the agent May choose to create. If your daughter finds she has any particular issues with the agent, in the first instance, she may consider asking to speak to the branch or area manager, and calmly explain the position

Joshua :

If the agents are difficult please come back to me and we can go into this in more detail. There is no additional cost to this.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

OK Joshua, thank you for your comments and assistance. You have made it sound as if there may be a small light at the end of this tunnel. Should we need further advice, you say I can come back to you. How do I do that ?

Joshua :

You can return to this thread at any time - you can do so either from your account or via any link you hve received by email. Would you like me to ask customer services to send you a link if you haven't already got one?

Customer:

Yes please, that would be good. Hopefully I won't need to use it. Once again, thank you for your help.

Customer:

Regards Fran

Joshua :

A pleasure. Certainly - I will do. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me.

Customer:

Of course

Joshua :

Many thanks - there appears to be a glitch with the rating system. Please don't trouble yourself. I will ask cutomer services to fix it. Thank you for trying.

Joshua :

Many thanks

Customer:

OK you can tell them my rating is "excellent"

Joshua :

That's very kind. I hope your daughter sorts i with minimal fuss but do come back if not.

Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you