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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Recently rented a property, contract starting on the 3rd

Customer Question

Hi there,
Recently rented a property , contract starting on the 3rd August, and have subsequently found issues of rodent droppings, foul smells in the kitchen, main blocked drain, washing machine that smells awful and backwashing grime into the wash, damp and blackk mould behind kitchen cabinets.
Property was sold as well presented , great family home' , which in its current condition is not.
Do i have gronds to make an application to unwind contract under the consumer rights act, and claim any compensation.?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

You would need to prove that the infestation predated your occupation. In this case it seems likely.

If you simply decide that you’re going to move out because of this, you need to give the landlord ample warning to put it right. The landlord is then going to try to sue you for the balance of the contract.

What you might want to do is contact the Environmental Health Department at the local authority because if they say that the property is uninhabitable, that solves the problem for you.

Because this is a housing issue and regarding unsanitary conditions, depending on your income, you may be eligible for legal aid so it was the worthwhile seeing a solicitor that deals with housing disrepair on a legally aided basis.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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I can still clarify things for you.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do i need to give time for the property owner whom the agent is acting on behalf of to put it right or can i simply not put in an application to unwind the contract under the consumer rights act amended regualtions 2014, based on the contract for property being missold /misrepresented as in link below. were omissions to the state of the property and openly advertised as 'well presented family home' which it is not.
On several occassions the Agent also breached/undermined my confidence in them, having claimed to have made interim visits before i rented the property to assess its state, however failed to point out it had a blocked drain, foul smell, rodent droppings, damp and mould, faulty appliances. They also made harassing demands for the signing of a new contract because they misrepresented the contract the landlord wanted them to give me.Best
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

If you feel that it is not fit for living in now, speak to the property owner or the agent today and unless they agreed to look at this within the next day or so, then refer the matter to the Environmental Health Department at the local authority.

You can always use the statutory provisions to defend terminating the contract and it would be for the judge to decide whether the contract was sufficiently breached to allow you to simply walk away.

The general rule remember with property is that caveat emptor applies although there are certain regulations with regard to misrepresentation and things like “good condition” is relative and in the eyes of whoever is looking at it.

Based upon what you said, rather than have the environmental health Department on his back, the landlord would be better allowing you to walk away from this.

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