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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7626
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I have a private rental agreement of 12 months signed on 27.11.13

Resolved Question:

I have a private rental agreement of 12 months signed on 27.11.13 with a 6 month break clause and may give notice at any time after the 4th month. I am not happy because this flat was marketed as an unfurnished flat and when I came to view the flat which is on the 1st floor I thought the communal stairway was a bit narrow and I asked the Estate Agent whether there had been any problems with access for tenants and getting furniture into the flat and I was told no.

After moving in I have been unable to get even the smallest 2 seater sofa up the staircase to the flat and have had site measures done by XXXXX XXXXX and Heals who both said there is restricted access. The Landlord isn't interested and says it's my responsibility to check the size of furniture after viewing the flat - but it isn't the flat itself which is a problem but the access to it. I feel that on the basis these flats are marketed as unfurnished flats and I am paying £600 per week it is not unreasonable to expect to be able to get the tiniest of sofas in. Is there anything I can do to get out of here earlier or do i just have to put up with it until I can give notice?

There are other issues here such as my neighbour who screams and shouts all day long which is very disturbing and I would regard as a nuisance and have been told that the Landlord (corporate Landlord bye the way) wishes to evict her but nothing happens and also terrible condensation problem as no proper ventilation and I can't get the meter changed in the flat to a more economical one because when the engineer from EDF attended at the flat to change the meter he went down into the basement in order to switch off the electricity for my flat but he was unable to pull the fuse for this flat because when he got to the rifle board he discovered that the phase barrier is missing and none of the fuses are marked up except for two of the flats. There is some wording written on the door but EDF cannot accept that for safety reasons. I think the problem is that if he pulled the wrong fuse and the electricity went off in the wrong flat and caused damage to one of the tenant’s electrical appliances or the Landlord’s for that matter then there is the liability issue as well. There need to be phase barriers for all the flats with all the fuses marked up. He said that the existing rifle board is very old. I have asked the Landlord to deal with this.

Not very happy.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Has the landlord done anything about the EDF issue?

What have the other occupiers said about this? Presumably they would like meters too..

Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks for the reply, but the primary issue I need answering is in relation to this restricted access to the flat for furniture bearing in mind the flat is marketed as unfurnished. I really feel that this flat should have been marketed as having restricted access. The Landlord denies any problems but is hardly likely to admit to a problem...


 


The other points are ancillary but useful to know.


 


 

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Drafting your answer now. 5 mins please.

Kind regards,


Tom
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

The basic position is that provided the landlord complies with their statutory and common law duties in relation to the tenancy (eg. habitable property, working installations, safety etc) then they are not bound to volunteer information about the property but must answer honestly to any questions you ask prior to the tenancy. If they do not answer honestly then it could be contractual misrepresentation.

I’m afraid that the landlord is – in my view - correct in saying that it is not there duty to ensure that you as tenant are able to get your furniture up to the flat in order to furnish it yourself. Basically, it is for you to decide whether or not the property is suitable for you and your intended purpose prior to contracting with the landlord. So, it was for you to decide whether or not you could get the type of furniture in to the flat and then either sign the contract or withdraw. The landlord will say (rightly unfortunately) that if you had any doubts then you should not have contracted .

I note that you asked the agent about whether there were any problems with previous tenants getting access to the property. They may have said not, but doubtless they would argue that this is a true reflection of their experience, They will probably claim that the previous tenants did not have any problems moving their furniture, it may of course be that they only had small furniture of course, which would make the statement true but not of much help to you.

Basically, if you attempted to terminate on the basis of misrepresentation I would advise the landlords’ to dispute and sue you for a judgement on the rent on the basis that the there was no misrepresentation.

However, it may be that if you write to them now (without giving up occupation) and make some noise about misrep then you may cause some waves and butter them up by claiming that you will sue for misrep but then offer them a surrender of tenancy. A surrender of tenancy is a written agreement in which you and the landlord both agree that the tenancy should come to an end. They may say no, or propose to charge a fee (which is quite normal) and then you can negotiate from there.

The nuisance of the noise from a neighbour is also iunsufficient grounds to terminate unfortunately, since the landlord is not responsible for the noise other persons make.

The meter issue is frankly one which is best dealt with by pooling resources with the other occupiers.

I am sorry.
My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kindly rate my answer if you are satisfied with the information I have provided.

Kind regards,


Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear XXXXX


 


Many thanks for your comprehensive response to my questions. Please don't be sorry - it's good for me to have clarification and at least I know where I stand. I shall look into the surrender of tenancy point though as I can only ask...


 


I will rate your service as excellent.


 


Kind regards


Celia


 

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Celia, I would be grateful if you would kindly rate my answer once you are done.

Tom
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