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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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My son would like to get out of a tenancy agreement as the

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My son would like to get out of a tenancy agreement as the landlord does not maintain the property, there are no working smoke detectors on any of the three floors, there does not appear to be a gas safety certificate which is required by law. They had to break down a door as a student was stuck inside and the door latch broke, the landlord refused to attend.
there is also a build up of rubbish and vermin/rats are tearing it apart and spreading it about. the drains smell and this enters the property making the kitchen smell like a sewer.
my son paid the rent up front in cash and if possible would like this returned. Can you help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
He will not be able to get out of the contract that easily unless he can show that there has been a total failure by the landlord to meet his side of he agreement. With what you have told me he is some way short of this.
However if the landlord is as bad as you suggest he in a position to make a fuss which may enable him to negotiate a release.
How long is the tenancy for? How many month's rent has your son paid? Has he complained to the landlord? Can you also tell me whose rubbish is building up and the drains you refer to are they within the property?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As far as I can see there is no gas safety certificate which is against the law for rented property. he has paid 13 weeks rent up front and the tenancy is for 52 weeks. the drains are outside but in an area that is closed off, ie it has a roof and doors which prevent flow of air. I visited yesterday and the smell in the kitchen was almost unbearable. Complaints have been made but the landlord appears to ignore them. when a student was locked in his room due to a latch not working and started to panic the landlord refused to attend and the other students had to break the door down to release him surely this compromises the agreement as set out in the tenancy agreement act for houses of multiple occupancy
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
I don't think your son will be able to treat the contract as null and void on this basis.
He should put his complaints in writing and demand sight of he gas afety certificate. If the landlord fails to produce one he can contact either the HSE http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqtenant.htm#faq4 if the house is let on one joint tenancy or the local authority if it is an HMO. They will deal with the enforcement of this breach.
He should demand that the drains are fixed and give a time for it to be done (perhaps 14 days).
Blocked drains. a lack of a gas safety certificate and a defective latch in someone eles's room is not enough to argue there has been a fundamental breach of contract by the landlord.
In terms of getting out of the tenancy, his best bet is to make complaints, demand action and make himself a pain to the landlord so that the landlord wants to see the back of him.
If this is one joint tenancy by a group the way out would be to agree it with the other tenants.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Lack of gas safety record breaks the law and would therefore constitute a breach of contract surely this is enough to terminate the contract?
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
No it is not.
LondonlawyerJ and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thanks

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