Hi my son is renting a room in Clapham in a large flat with 2 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms. He is not related to the 3 other tenants and they are not related to each other. The landlord does not go through an agency and took a £900 deposit off my son in June last year but has only protected it since 15th January 2015 prompted no doubt by my son's complaint regarding a damp wall in his bedroom and shared bathroom. Mould is growing in both rooms. The landlord was informed in the autumn but did nothing despite repeated requests. My advice was to contact the local environmental health at Lambeth. An inspector came out on the 10th of December and spoke to the landlord at the flat and on the telephone. The landlord went to the property and removed part of the bathroom ceiling and has left it like that so every time it rains water leaks in. The situation is a hazard to my sons health who has been unwell on 3 occasions since moving in. Understandably he wants to move out asap but does not wish to lose his deposit and pay another months rent which is due on Friday 27th February. He has photos of the damp and mould. The HSHRS also cited lack of escape routes in case of fire. As i understand it Lambeth have a legal obligation to do something. They did not write to the landlord until the 15th Jan (when the deposit was protected) giving the landlord 10 days to submit proposals for the work. Since then nothing has been progressed. Please advise the best way forward so my son can move out quickly without losing too much money as he needs every penny to pay for safer accommodation.
i think there may also be a clause in his contract requiring him to find a replacement if he moves before his tenancy agreement expires, in June this year, but he doesn't want anyone else to be subjected to such a health hazard
he wants to move as soon as possible but has got 3 months to go on his tenancy. He has had enough and wants to move but doesn't want to lose his deposit nor pay next months rent as the place is making him ill. He just wants to move in the next few weeks
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 signed 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 claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
He would ask for his deposit back, this is the amount he wants to claim
But if he considers the breach to be significant then he can leave straight away - this is called a fundamental breach of contract. But that breach must be so serious it destroys the trust in the contract. If this is so then he can terminate straight away and move out. But the longer he leaves it before he moves out the harder it will be to claim this is a significant breach of contract.
But yes if the room is a health and safety risk he can move out straight away, demand his deposit back and if they refuse take the action to seek a refund above.
As for Lambeth there is nothing he can do about that - he can not force them to take action. The fact that the deposit was protected late does not mean anything at this point, as any breach of the deposit was rectified.
Can I clarify anything else for you?