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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71146
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My daughter was gong to rent a room in a London flat via a

Customer Question

My daughter was gong to rent a room in a London flat via a letting agency and paid the following upfront with them
1.Holding deposit £600
2.Advance first months rent £600 from 21./12
3.Letting agency fees £249
Holding deposit agreement signed by my daughter which makes it clear that this would be non refundable if she was to withdraw the application however no contract was signed
on arrival at the flat on the 4th Jan it was clear that the flat was not good for purpose there was a gas leak they were trying to fix since the boiler had been a botch job fit and the auto washing machine was still not plumed in plus no locks on either toilet or bathroom door
Consequently I moved her out to a hotel immediately due to the health and safety issue and she did not occupy nor will she since I have now lost all confidence in the parties
I would like to understand please what rights SHE/I have in recovering any of the £1449 that she has paid so far and what is my best /most appropriate course of action
Andrew Perkins
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is this an assured shorthold tenancy agreement please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This was not signed but the plan was to execute a lodger agreement for a room I a furnished house


Can you please let me know how long it is likely to be before I receive an answer to my original question

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Do they accept there was a gas leak?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes anecdotally they accept that it was a botched job by a mate of the owner and have had to try now to put their people in to fix the problem

Apparently they also connected the outlet pipe from the washing machine back into the boiler which they are also having to fix

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Did they give you any idea how long it would take to fix?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No,however, in the circumstances I would not leave my daughter in a flat with a gas leak and no heating or hot water or indeed cooking facility since it is a gas hob .I assume that they may now have it fixed however is that relevant since the contract is not signed and the flat was not fit for purpose

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
No, but there are two potential issues.

Of course, she was free to refuse to move in. No court would expect that given the gas leak. What she may struggle to do is escape the contract immediately.

Normally what would happen with disrepair issues is that a tenant gives the landlord a certain period of time to resolve them and then moves in. With a gas leak, given the danger, the period of time would be very short.

If, for example, this was something they resolved within a few hours then leaving the contract entirely might be unlawful.

In any event though, if this is a lodger agreement then its very simple to escape. You just have to give notice of 28 days normally. Even if she has failed to do that properly her liability would only amount to 28 days and she has paid far more than that so does have a claim for something.

Also, quite frankly, given that they have a gas leak they are probably not going to want to go to court and litigate over this.

There is no doubt she is entitled to something and probably would recover everything.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.