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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Hi. Im living in a house in central Brighton that now has

Resolved Question:

Hi.
Im living in a house in central Brighton that now has a rat problem. There has been a funny smell in a certain part of the house ever since i have moved in 7 months ago but the smell just recently got much stronger.
I recently heard lots of scratching and movement under the floor boards and then thought maybe i had mice or rats. Told the agent and they put me in touch with a pest control guy, who couldnt visit the property immediately, so i found someone else and paid for them myself.
The person i employed thinks i have a family of rats due to a broken drain and considers the situation to pose a significant health hazard. Posion has been laid but this could take 2 weeks to work. After that the rats could just be left for dead somewhere under the floor boards (i.e. still a health risk)...
The situation i am in is that i have just signed a new 6 month contract with a 1600 deposit. What legal grounds do i have to walk away from the contract and get my deposit back? The person i employed said, "if this was a restaraunt it would be closed down".
Im currently sleeping elsewhere. I work in the city of London and sometimes work from home - which i cannot now do.
Craig
07545 827 467
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Sorry to hear about this.

Your landlord is responsible for ensuring that your house is free from health hazards and it seems that the problem has been there even before you moved in, so it cannot be said that you caused the problem.

You may report the matter to the environmental health section of your local authority as they have the power to force your landlord to take action to clear the menace of the rat infestation.

As the infestation was there before you moved in, your landlord should really not have let it out to you until they had got rid of the problem and you could argue that this was a breach of contract by them as you have the right to peaceful occupation of the property which is not possible due to the infestation.

As such, you should write a letter to the landlord pointing this out, saying that you are terminating the tenancy And asking for the refund of your deposit. If the environmental health section says the property is unfit for habitation, that would make your case stronger.

If you move out and your landlord refuses to return your deposit, you may sue them for the money at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Hope this helps

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