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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I rent a property with a 1 year agreement 3 month in and

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I rent a property with a 1 year agreement 3 month in and paid 6 months up front. 5 weeks ago discovered a water leak from upstairs bathroom coming through ceiling downstairs. My wife had been suffering from mould allergy symptoms for a while before this discovery. Landlords made an insurance claim for the building works and before the work started I did a mould test which proved positive for Aspergillus and Penecillium. I informed the agents and the contractors that we needed a mould expert to come in and oversee the work but this was not done and a floor ad ceiling were partially replaced with minimal polythene covering. We were in the house while this was done as I wanted to oversee the work as much as I could. Symptoms were getting worse. We went away on holiday for a week and symptoms got better but we have been back for two weeks and symptoms are much worse. I suggested to agent that landlord should cancel our agreement or get everything done properly but they would not cancel. I then sent 15+ photos of areas of mould concern and I got a response to say that they would send a decorator around. I responded by telling them that this was illegal and they have responded by saying they will get it sorted. It has now been 1 month since I pointed out the mould problem an I am still waiting for something to be done meanwhile our health is getting worse. I have cash to move to another house but I don't want to be liable for the whole remaining lease or the upkeep of the house - water,council tax etc. Any thoughts appreciated. Simon Bates, Wales
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

Are you asking if you can leave ?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I went to see another property today. I don't have the faith that they will pay to get the work done and we will have to get out if they do anyway. My wife's health is paramount
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

Yes, I understand.

To be wholly honest, if this is an AST then it is quite unlikely you could escape consequence free on that basis. You could try to argue there were health considerations but probably they would fail.

The only health consideration that allows release is where there is literally an immediate risk to your health.

But it is simple enough to get this resolved. Just make a report to Environmental Health. It doesn't matter whether this is private renting or not. They will be interested in this. They will just issue an improvement notice.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
ThanksIf we left and they then did the work to an acceptable standard and the repairs were done as they should but we then refused to come back could we ask them to put the house on the market to rent again and pay until they had rented it out again?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I suppose we could try to get that agreement before leaving?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

If you leave unlawfully then they will be under a duty to mitigate their loss by seeking a new tenant.

But you will be liable for rent in the meantime.

Although you would have a claim for disrepair given the condition of the property.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Well we have had at least a month of exposure to the mould and so I think we are going to have to go and make them aware that they have to mitigate their loss and get another tenant in. At least they would have an empt house to do the remedial work.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

Yes, and they may well not have the pure audacity to sue you in the circumstances.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks for your help. I will get back to you if I require any more help. Where are you in U.K. by the way.Simon
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

London.

All the best.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69537
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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