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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I've just commenced a tenency with the local housing

Resolved Question:

I've just commenced a tenency with the local housing authority....yorkshire housing. Before we've moved in it has transpired that there was some remedial work carried out prior to our being offered the tenancy on some asbestos content floor tiles...the work has been unsuccessful and now the council intend to hire an asbestos company to remove all the ground floor tiles in the property. We dont want to move into a property that has had an asbestos issue given that we have young children so have given notice to end the tenancy. Are we liable for all remaining rent due under the tenancy agreement given that the asbestos issue was not disclosed to us prior to starting the tenancy and that we have not been able to occupy the property as a result of it?

There has also been a gas leak at the property following a visit from the landlords gas engineer to uncap the gas. Northern Gas were called out as an emergency and recapped the gas and have raised a complaint with the HSE under RIDDOR. The danger category was the highest level ' immediate danger '

Does this support a landlord negligence claim?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know what the minimum term was please?

Hi Alex

Alex Watts : Hi

The tenancy was/is a 12 month shorthold reverting to an assured tenancy at the end of that period

Alex Watts : so the tenancy has not started yet?

Yes we signed up for the property on the 3rd September

Alex Watts : ok and you have not moved in?


Alex Watts : ok then you can break it.
Alex Watts : The contract has not started and it should have and therefor you can leave without fear of owing rent etc.
Alex Watts : In fact if you had paid any fees you would have been entitled to a 100% refund.
Alex Watts : The tenancy has not started as it should have, the property is defective and therefore you can end.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

We,ve given notice as explained but we're being pursued for the rent owed during the last 3 weeks and the next months notice period

Alex Watts : You can defend this - the property isn't habiable. Therefore they are in breach. Indeed you could sue them for breach of contract

How would you proceed?


Was the landlord legally obliged to disclose the asbestos issue to us before proceeding with the setting up of a new tenancy?

Alex Watts : They should have as it was material.

What about the gas safety issue?

Alex Watts : Exactly the same there too
Alex Watts : you has asbestos and gas. But anyway you are not liable
Alex Watts : They are in beach
Alex Watts : does that help?

So the fact that we signed a contract is irrelevant?.........Is it a clear cut case should it reach court?

Alex Watts : yes
Alex Watts : no it won't reach court

Can i quote your advice in correspondance with the landlord? ( local authority )

Alex Watts : yes of course
Alex Watts : Happy for you to do that

Which legal firm do you represent?

Alex Watts : I am a local authority lawyer!
Alex Watts : i can't act for you though
Alex Watts : can I clarify anything for you?

Do you practice law in the uk?

Alex Watts : Yes Midlands

Thanks for your help

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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