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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Ive recently moved to a new property. A two bedroom flat,

Customer Question

I've recently moved to a new property. A two bedroom flat, partly furnished.
Referencing took long and despite or average or earnings are good, we were asked for a guarantor on the 21st of May.. Told the agency that I was looking forward to move by the 23rd of May when I did the viewving, but because of the unexpected situation with the guarantor, I asked my current letting agency to stay a bit longer into the property. Magically the Agency rung on the 23rd saying that the guarantor reference passed and that they had everything ready so I just needed to come down to the office, sign and pay for deposit and rent. I never did and waited after the bank holiday to come down to the office. The contract was already prepared by them wih date of the 23rd of May, saying that I would have to pay my rent now on the 23rd of every month. I explained that normally I would get paid on the 27th of the month and that I already paid my current landlor to stay longer on the property were im living so, that's why I decided to start the rent and pay for it on the 27. She said that the contract was already made and that it was agreed that the part would start the contract from the 23rd, so then she gave me the option to pay the difference from the 23rd to 27th, having to spend another additional 4 days (£ 109 extra) apart from the 830 for deposit, 725 for the month of rent, 75 for checkout when no iventory was given since the landlord has not provided it yet. Paid all of this and they would still not give me the keys, until having the signature of my partner so asked her to come down, sign and looking at the contract, it says that the last day of tenancy would be the 22nd of may (because of what explained previously) so the lady told me not to worry about that and that I would cancel my standing order on the previous month and pay less on the final month. I don't know how that works when everything is on a contract.

Only one set of keys was provided, lady apologised for this, telling me that the would get a spare one for my partner. The keys given would not let me open the front communal doors of the flat, so complained about this and the same person told me on the telephone "if you would have come when you had your appointment on the 23rd, nothing of this would have happened, since im not the person in charge of the administration", I said that was not an excuse and that they should have someone to deal with this in the absence of this person. So I went back to the agency and borrowed the spare keys from the agency containing 3 keys, instead of 2 as the one I had on my hands.

I managed to open the doors with the new set provided and as soon as I walked in into the property, I saw terrible standard of cleaning done into the property. Nothing was dusted, the painting on both bedrooms is poor with patches of magnolia and white colour, the floooring is terrible and lacks of a good cleaning, the oven does not have the handle bar in order to open it !!!! This situation is really stressful as im running with a lot of things at the same time and I will be on holidays from next saturday. I just need to get proper advice!!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I want to know if they can actually ask for more money when a contract was not signed between both parts in order to change the dates from the 23 to the 27, and also how should I act against the lack of maintance of a property that I've just moved in.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This is a well recognized letting agency well known in the UK. We are speaking bout Martin and Co Sales and Lettings.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Does the contract that you signed refer to a start date of the 23rd May?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I've just signed it today because of the pressure and I dated it with date of today the 27th

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, so does the date refer to the 23rd?

Whatever the dates of signing, does the contract run from the 23rd to 22nd?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

From the 23rd towards to the 22nd of May 2015.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

In that case, the rent date does indeed run from the 23rd to the 22nd. They are entitled to claim rent from that time.

Since the keys were not available for you until today though you could claim a reduction in rent to reflect those few days when the property was not available to you. Whatever their excuses for that, the fact remains that your property was not available to you.

In relation to the disrepair that you mention, I have to be honest, some of the points you make are good and some are non issues. A lack of dusting is not likely to be considered a good point sufficient to demand a reduction in rent and neither is the oven handle bar unless, of course, it cannot otherwise be opened.

If you are saying that the flooring is stained then that is evidence of disrepair and you could claim the cost of a professional clean if they will not do it themselves.

The paintwork might be a good point or might not. It depends how bad it is. If its just unsightly then that not the best disrepair point as its really just asthetics. If it is showing patches of mould then that is a very good disrepair point.

Overall though, you do have a claim against them.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Jo,


 


Just clarify again the point of when the rent should start from the 23rd, why they asked to pay the difference from the 23rd to the 27th of May and why the contract states that I would need to leave by the 22nd. What if they don't do a reduction of the rent in the last month of the tenancy?

The overrall cleaning of the property is poor. When I say this is because they didnt even swap the floor and the patches on the wall are more than clear. Belongings of the Landlord, such as paint pots an internet modem and some other stuff were left at the property.


 


The oven, you cannot open it, or is hard to do so when is closed. I don't want to imagine whenever it gets warm and is closed.


 


I got access because I borrowed the keys from them and they promised to get me a copy tomorrow, first thing in the morning.


 


Do you think I could still claim a reduction on the rent by all of what i've said and if so... how would I do this if I've already paid them from the 23rd to the 27th and this month in advance until the 27th of june?


 


Regards

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
1 I'm not sure what you mean?

2 I don't think disrepair is your best point but I certainly think you could claim for the days you couldn't access the property. They don't really have a defence to that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

 


I don't understand. If they have already taken the 109 pounds from me to change the payment date from the 23rd to the 27th of May, but not the contract, affecting me at the end of the tenancy, since I would have to leave earlier (22nd)...


 


Why would I claim for the days where I had no access to the property? They could just be under the same argument that they were waiting for me on the 23rd to sign the contract and I did not show up?

Besides, I got the keys today and access to the property

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, they could but you said above that they were withholding the keys.

If its just that the property was available to you and you didn't use it then you don't have a claim but thats not what you said above.

If they withheld the keys so you couldn't get in then you do have a claim
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

 


I've recorded a couple of videos today, one of them shows thousands of hundreds of what it seems to be small black eggs around the boiler, located by the toilet. Im concerned now about what kind of property im getting into


 


I've also been clarified about the oven. The handle bar is broken, and yes, i cannot open it without it. The only way would be by putting the fingers from one side of the oven pulling the door to the front.


 


I've attached a picture of both things. Please let me know how should I proceed with both as the first one seems to be serious and related to health and safety.


 


 


 


Regards


 


 


 


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Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
What would you like to know about this?

I'm happy to continue with this but please leave feedback for my answer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Feel like the person in the other side is not helping. She is just providing tips of what she would do on her case. I have not seen for the first time any mentioning about lawe or how to proceed against misleading contracts done by the letting agency. Furthermore, the expert just keeps asking how she can help with the query when is more than clear that im facing a terrible situation as new tenant for the property im moving in.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Same person took again my question.

Feel like the person in the other side is not helping. She is just providing tips of what she would do on her case. I have not seen for the first time any mentioning about lawe or how to proceed against misleading contracts done by the letting agency. Furthermore, the expert just keeps asking how she can help with the query when is more than clear that im facing a terrible situation as new tenant for the property im moving in.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
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, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.

I see you have relisted this - do you still we'd help?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Alex for that.


 


I would need help indeed. Thank you for looking after.


 

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
In short two things

1) they are charging £109 to change the tenancy date

2) state of property

Have I understood? Please note it may be the morning when I can reply.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes 109 but not in the contract I signed. In the contract I signed yesterday, it shows that I would have to leave the property by the 22nd of May 2015. However the lady said that if I cancel the standing order the last month, I would not have to pay that and I would pay less. What does guarantee me that if is not in a piece of paper?


 


Yes again. The state of the property is awful. We are meant to start moving by Friday the 29th. I've already got the keys since yesterday. Anything I could do to demand anything from them or compensation?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I appreciate your time and dedication Alex.


Do not worry if you cannot answer in the timeline.


 


I rather get a well dedicated answer rather than anything else.


 


Kind Regards

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Has the landlady confirmed in writing the position as to the last month please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I had the inventory done yesterday if that is what you are asking me for

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I mean has the Landlady confirmed in writing that she would say you do not need to pay the last month please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No. Is not in writing. What the agency says is that there would be a reduction on the rent in the last month. I asked them to put that in writing

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Get it in writing from the agents/Landlord then that will not be an issue. I don't think you need to worry once you have that.

As for the state of the property then this is more cause for concern. If there are things not working then you should get quotes for putting them right and ask the Landlord to pay. If the Landlord refuses then you can issue a small claim.

If it is the condition generally and you have had to clean etc, you can claim £18 per hour as permitted by the Court.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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