Thanks for your question. I will try to help you.
This is a difficult position to be in. 1. You relied on the agent's representations that you could run the clinic from the property. 2. You have entered into an AST for residential use only.
In contract any misrepresentation can be taken into account however if any verbal 'negotiations' are superceded by a written agreement then it us generally the terms if the written agreement which become binding on the parties.
There are several issues here which the agent should have looked into before stating that you could run a clinic from a residential property :
1. It is a flat and generally business use us prohibited 8n residential leases
2. A clinic falls into use class d1 and that means you need planning permission from the council to operate from the premises. An application takes 8 weeks, at least, but there us no guarantee that you would get planning.
3. Business use is generally prohibited in standard ASTs
4. The use/change of use may require the mortgagee's consent.
Legally you cannot use the flat without planning consent, freeholder's and potentially mortgagee's consent.
The agent, knowing your intended use, should not have granted the AST. Whilst I would not expect a residential letting agent to know about commercial lettings etc I would have thought the agent would have looked into this as it is not a standard letting.
Have you got a written statement that your rent will be refunded? Worst case scenario is that the landlord can hold you to the letting and there is nothing in the AST about your mixed use and possibility of terminating early if you are unable to use part as a clinic.
Hopefully the landlord will be reasonable and release you with a refund.
I would say your potential claim for works carried out by you to the premises is weak.
Any questions or queries?
My response did not reach you.
It is difficult. You will have to establish that the agent's representation should be taken as a contractual provision but that will be difficult if all communication on the issue was verbal.
What has happened in the interim? Have you ceased trading? Any communication from the landlord / agent?
As mentioned above business use in residential premises is generally prohibited in leases and ASTs. Even if you have been allowed before does not mean that it was 'technically' legally permitted.
I have answered. You will struggle to rely on a verbal statement if the agent ever denies making it. The 'agreement' on your use and occupation is not specified in the tenancy.
Has there been any further development.