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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10176
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Further to our conversation on Dec 30th, I wrote the

Customer Question

Further to our conversation on Dec 30th, I wrote the following to my letting agent:
My solicitor has informed me, after seeing the emails and photographs that
I should inform the landlord, that he has breached the tenancy contract by
doing major renovations to the property under the guise of 'Repairs', which
is blatant and obvious.See attached photos.The landlord is also in breach of the tenancy agreement,under the covenant
of 'quiet and peaceable enjoyment of the rented premises'
This covenant applies to my tenancy and has been breached by the carrying
out of MAJOR works to the building and the removal of
bathroom facilities.The breach of this covenant of quite and peaceable
enjoyment gives me the legal right to repudiate the letting agreement and
to bring it to an end. and I am repudiating the tenancy agreement on this
basis.As your email dated Nov 19th, it states, 'In order to compensate the
tenants for any disruption I would like to offer them a 50% rent reduction
during the time of the works.' Therefore only half my rent for Dec is due,
as the Builders have been in the property since Dec 2nd to present.I am also asking for my deposit back in full as soon as possible. If the
landlord refuses my claim, I fully intend to further instruct my
solicitor on this matter.
I attached lots of pictures of what the property was like when it was going on. I have attached a few here for you to see.
My letting agents reply was 'The landlord is still not in agreement to release you from the tenancy however if you choose to leave they will advertise the room and try to re-let it on your behalf to limit your loss.I paid 3 months deposit but have not paid Dec and Jan rent due to my dispute.I really want to leave this property, I do not trust the landlord or the letting agents.
Can I just leave and hand back my keys?
What is my best way forward?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.
1. You are better off just leave. You can sue for the return of your deposit if it is not held in an escrow account as is usual with tenancies. Because you paid no rent for December or January, there is only two months deposit owed to you. All the letting agents are doing is attempting to hold you to your contract. So now you either have to have the courage of your convictions and leave or else just put up with it.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.
2. You can complain the letting agent to the Property Scheme Ombudsman www.tpos.co.uk for not handing you back your deposit when it is due. This scheme allows you to make a complaint about a letting agent with-holding your deposit. Here the letting agent must return your deposit if you end the tenancy on lawful grounds.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.
3. The ending of all tenancies where the property become uninhabitable is always acrimonious. This landlord clearly wanted to just re-do the place and to continue to have rent paid during this period. So you either have to stand up for yourself and enforce your rights or else you put up and shut up!
Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.
4. The landlord has ridden roughshod over your rights here, so it is really up to you whether you are going to take it or leave the place. Any landlord who will leave a place without a toilet for his tenants and revamp the place while they are living in it, doesn't give a sod for his tenants.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.
5. So, it was always going to be a row when you stood up to him! This landlord has a neck like the proverbial jockey's b***! So you have to call his bluff and fight your corner or just accept things the way the landlord wants it.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have decided as a 19 year old, first year student, to grow a back bone and stand up for my rights. I will journey back to the property and pack up my things tomorrow and hand the keys back to the letting agent, asking for a receipt for returning the keys.
Would you kindly write me a response to the landlords response of not accepting my claim and not releasing me from the tenancy, with myself having such blatant photographic evidence, so that I can email them please, as legal terms seem to work better.Kind Regards
Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.
6. Write back "As agents for the landlord and the persons holding my deposit, I take your refusal to lawfully return my deposit as evidence of breach of your professional duties. In a situation like this, you are under an obligation to follow the law. Not to uphold the unlawful actions of a recalcitrant landlord who is carrying out unlawful works to tenanted premises in breach of the lease and the covenant to quiet and peaceable enjoyment. I will be reporting you to the Property Ombudsman Service (www.tpos.co.uk) as your actions in this situation are not worthy of a professional person. I now call upon you to return my deposit which you have unlawfully retained. I give you seven days within which to return my deposit. Otherwise I will take this matter further."
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have written the following email to them this morning:
I have posted my set of keys for the property of*****through your office door.To reiterate, I am NOT leaving the tenancy early. The landlord has ridden roughshod over my tenant rights and just expects me to accept things the way the landlord wants it. His statement, to not release me from the contract is erroneous in that he still has a chose. The legal facts are, the landlord has broken the contract & thankfully the law is behind me completely.As ‘The Property Management Agents’ for the landlord, in a situation like this, you are under an obligation to follow the law. Not to uphold the unlawful actions of a recalcitrant landlord who has carried out unlawful works to tenanted premises in breach of the lease and the covenant to quiet and peaceable enjoyment of the property.Please address and reply to each issue below:
My normal monthly rent payment is £563.33 per month, but as per the email, dated Dec 19th, it states, the landlord will give the tenants 50% discount while ‘repairs’ are carried out which was for the full month, this equates to £281.67 due, plus late payment charges.
Whilst I received a receipt for my 1st month’s rent and 3 months deposit, I have not received my Deposit Protection Certificate with the company ‘My Deposit’, which will show the DPC number of my rent deposit. I would like this emailed to me.
. I will be reporting your company to the Property Ombudsman Service as your actions in this situation are not worthy of a professional person/company. I now call upon you to return my deposit. I give you seven days within which to return my deposit less any agreed sums with myself, of December’s rent or late payment charges due, as in issue 2, above. Otherwise I will take this matter further and consider that you are unlawfully retaining my deposit and will also raise a dispute with ‘My Deposit’
Their reply is:
Thank you for your email.
I have discussed this with my manager and also passed the email onto the Landlord.
I am very sorry but we have done everything that we can to help but unfortunately we do not have the power to release you from the tenancy as we act for the Landlord.
What can I do when the agents and landlord refuse everything I ask?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.
7. Write to the Property Ombudsman, raise a dispute over the deposit and move elsewhere. You hardly expected them to just cave in, after the landlord has behaved this badly?? You essentially extricate yourself from the tenancy and move on whilst recouping your deposit. Raise a claim for compensation against the landlord.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 11 months ago.
8. The outcome you simply want is to recoup your deposit. Be aware, here, that the landlord will seek to keep your deposit on the basis you broke the tenancy agreement. So you have to argue the toss and use the photos which you have taken to show the lease was breached. Report the agents and make sure they feel the heat.

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