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propertylawyer
propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 285
Experience:  Property solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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I moved into a shared house (HMO) in May, the agent told me

Resolved Question:

I moved into a shared house (HMO) in May, the agent told me it will be long term although I signed an initial 4 month contract (a licence not AST). The agent failed to tell me he correct amount of people in the house and also that the house was on the market. We are now harassed by constant viewings taking place, they said the viewing will be taking place at 16:00 on viewing days and this has changed to 10:00 in the morning which means I don't get any sleep when working night shift. Can I have them cancel the contract and return my deposit and cover my costs of agency fee and removal van?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Från

Thanks for your question.

Do you have a copy of the agreement you signed which you can attach to a reply. If I know the terms of the agreement I can better advise.

Kind regards

Paul

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi PaulI am unable to add the PDF file for the tenancy agreement here.
Is there an email address I can send it to?RegardsFrancois
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Francois

Sadly it is against the rules of the site to give out email addresses etc.

Have you tried attaching the pdf using the paperclip icon?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi PaulI could not add the PDF.
I have taken pictures and added them.Hope you are able to view.RegardsFrancois
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Francois

Thanks for uploading photos of the agreement.

Clause 7A deals with visits/inspection. The landlord / agent can visit at anytime without notice but not in respect of your room when 24 hours notice must be given. Inspection must be at a reasonable time. Have you informed the landlord that particular times are inconvenient due to your working hours.? It would be unreasonable to expect entry if you are sleeping. What sort of notice does the landlord / agent give you?

With regard to termination, you can only give notice at the end of the 4 month minimum period. The notice period is 4 weeks and you serve notice by email. The notice to terminate is only valid when acknowledged by the landlord/agent.

A house in multiple occupation requires a licence from the council. It will regulate how many people are legally permitted to live in the property. If you have concerns as to the number of people residing at the property you can check this with the council. If you find out from the council how many people are legally permitted to live in the property you may be able to use this as a means of terminating the agreement, I.e that you have discovered that the landlord is in breach of its hmo licence and you want to move, deposit refunded, agent fee refunded and removal costs covered. If not, you shall report the overletting to the council. You will need to find out that the landlord is in breach of the hmo licence.

There is no guarantee that you can successfully negotiate a termination of the contract on this ground. Securing removal costs is remote and the landlord may not agree even if it agrees to terminate and refund the deposit and agency fee.

I do not think the regular visits by prospective buyers is sufficient to argue termination with refund of deposit and agent fee plus removal costs covered.

I hope this helps.

Do let me know if I can assist further.

Kind regards

Paul

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi PaulI was just concerned about the fact that the agent did not stipple the facts when I first came to view the room and it appears that there is no legislation in place to prevent this practice.
I have read the document and understand what it says like you explained.
I suppose in this regard I have no option than to put up till end of contract.
Hopefully someone will pursue this in order to get legislation in place. I will speak with my local councillor.
Thanks for your help.
Regards
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Francois

There are regulations regarding houses in multiple occupation. The house must be licenced and the landlord cannot breach the terms of that licence. Overletting, I.e allowing more people to live there than allowed would breach the licence. Hence being able to use the overletting argument to potentially move early plus potentially getrefunds and removal costs.

As to the contract, it is not covered by any legislation for secured tenancies, it is merely a licence to occupy, commonly used by landlords with houses in multiple occupation, gives flexibility without burden of legal framework, but that is not good news for a tenant.

I hope I have been helpful.

Please can I ask you to accept my answer. Thanks.

Good luck

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