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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I signed a tenancy agreement electronically whilst I was in

Resolved Question:

I signed a tenancy agreement electronically whilst I was in Florida to rent a flat in Egham. A few days later I was sent a report about the condition of the flat which was very poor. It was too late to cancel my arrival in Egham,or to cancel the agreement and hoped that the reported conditions were not so bad.
However, upon arrival my carer, who came into the flat before my return, met me at the airport and told me that when she arrived at the flat it smelled mouldy and very damp.
Since then we have had a leak in the second bedroom which took a week to find, the ceiling was broken open and the damaged tube was found to have rotted away and was changed. But in the meantime my carer's bed was damaged by the water and I now have to buy it from the furniture rental people. The hole in the ceiling has not yet been repaired and the flat continues to be damp and insalubrious. The wardrobe is so damp that my clothing is too wet to wear. The estate agent suggested that I put my clothes in the tumble dryer to dry them out. I don't agree that this is an adequate solution.
The landlady will not release me from the agreement until another tenant replaces me. But I don't see anyone taking this property in its present condition.
I would never have signed the tenancy agreement had I received the report on the flat first. I now want to be released from this agreement and find another place to live.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know whether the property had been inspected before you moved in?


Yes, the property was inspected before I moved in and the report was sent to me in Florida after signing the Tenancy Agreement. Having read the report on the poor quality of the flat, I would not have signed the agreement. It was too late to cancel the sale of my condo in Florida and my airline booking. Also, the removal company had already taken my furniture to be shipped to England. I was therefore stuck with this flat and when I arrived I was dismayed with the damp and insalubrious nature of the flat. I had a serious back operation in Florida and I am obliged to have a live in carer at the moment. She arrived at the flat a few days prior to my own arrival and found the flat smelling very mouldy and put the heating on high and opened all the windows to get rid of the smell. She was, to put it mildly, very concerned about my well-being in this flat.

Alex Watts : So did you have the report before you signed?
Alex Watts : or after?

A week AFTER

Alex Watts : Ok. Why did you sign before inspection report?
Alex Watts : After you signed did you try and cancel but before you moved in?

I signed because I wasn't aware that I would receive an inspection report. And as i said, after signing it was too late to to do anything about it because I had already booked my flight and had my furniture removed for shipping to England.


After I arrived I got the bad news from my carer about the condition of the flat but I was already at Heathrow and the dice had been thrown.

Alex Watts : Ok, but if the carer was in the UK, why didn't they inspect before you signed?
Alex Watts : Were their any statements made about the condition before you signed which turned out to be wrong?

A few days after moving in there was a leak in the ceiling of my carer's bedroom and it took a week for the plumber to arrive and found that the leak came from a rotted pipe linking the flat above mine. He changed the pipe and stopped the leak but the hole in the ceiling is still not fixed. The damp in my wardrobe is so intense that I have to leave the door open to prevent my clothes from rotting. The estate agent suggested that i use the tumble dryer to dry out the clothing I want to wear each day as she sees no solution to fixing the damp in this wardrobe. The wallpaper on the wall surrounding the fireplace is peeling off and I was told that I had to fix it at my expense.


The carer could not inspect prior to my arrival as she arrivde at the flat two days before me to make the beds and do some food shopping. She was not made aware of the inspection until I told her about the document I received in Florida. She was also not in England at the time but arrived 2days before me.

Alex Watts : Did they make any false statements about the condition of the property?

No, they made no statements either way except to be very anxious that I sign the agreement without prior viewing of the flat.

Alex Watts : Ok when did you move in?

My carer moved in on Monday the 3rd of November and I arrived on Friday 7 November on British Airways morning flight.

Alex Watts : Ok. So it has been almost a month, why has it taken so long for you to do anything?

I have been waiting for an answer from the landlady regarding the cancellation of my tenancy agreement. I have also been looking for another place to let and busy with all the comings and goings of the plumbers. My carer's bed is damaged from the water leak and since I have temporarirly rented furniture from a rental company, I now have to buy the damaged bed in my carer's room.

Alex Watts : Ok. You could end the contract now and move out if you can show that this a major breach of contract in that it destroys the very trust and route of the contract. However in order to do that you need to act quickly as the longer you leave it for a fundamental breach of contract the harder it is. They may argue by leaving it so long you have accepted the breach.
Alex Watts : So you should move out now and not leave it, otherwise it would be hard to claim a major breach.
Alex Watts : What you could also do is sue for loss and damage that is for any moving costs, increase rent for a similar property etc.
Alex Watts : Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?

My landlady ruled only last Thursday.

Alex Watts : Ok. But you need to act quicky
Alex Watts : The longer you leave it the harder it is to claim

Yes, you can let me know what I should write to act quickly. I'm not sure what to say. The landlady said she would accept cancellation only if other tenants were found to replace me.

Alex Watts : You say it is a fundemental breach of contract and the reasons why.
Alex Watts : She can not refuse to let you leave.
Alex Watts : If it destroys the very heart of the contract it is a fundemental breach.
Alex Watts : You can Therefore leave and sue for your losses.
Alex Watts : Does that help?

Yes, thank you. But does this mean I have to leave immediately or can I stay another week whilst I view another property?

Alex Watts : Well sooner rather than later, the longer you leave it the harder it is to claim a fundamental breach

OK, can you repeat what you wrote above as I cannot go up to take down what you wrote. I want to write the letter today and send it to the Estate agent with return receipt and I'll go to view the property I expect to move to tomorrow. Is this alright in your estimation?

Alex Watts : Ok, once you rate the format changes to a single screen so you can take everything down.
Alex Watts : tomorow is fine.
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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