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Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I signed a tenancy agreement on March 6 and was due to move

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I signed a tenancy agreement on March 6 and was due to move in on the 4th April. The property is dreamed semi furnished as I had agreed to take 3 items of furniture. Mainly the property would be un furnished. When I turned up on the 4th the property was fully furnished, damp with a list of items that needed repair some of which would be dangerous to my two youn children. I have refused to move in so far and despite insisting that the furniture is removed the land lord has instructed them to be put in the cellar. I was of the assumption that I was rent the property as a whole. (Cellar is accessed internally). I overlapped the tenancy to give me time to move in however I have to move from my current property on Monday and I feel I have been completely misled. The inventory list all the items in the property that were in the property some of which I understand have been moved to the cellar. I am refusing to sign. A new TA has agreed to be issued as I was unable to move in on the 4th and will start Monday 14th. I have paide the a month in advance and 6 weeks deposit but as there is still furniture in the property I would prefer not to move in where do I stand ...The situation is as follows. I have just spoken to Alan from Allround maintenance. He has been to the property and he is writing up the quote for all the points this evening.
He can move the bed tomorrow if necessary. Is this still necessary?? Yes yes...

1. The maintenance issues are due to be fixed by Allround maintenance
· Utility Room – Utmost urgency to be addressed without delay – Damp and dusty - Needs to be addressed prior to moving in
· Bathroom – Leak on the ceiling and mould growing, Tiles not grouted. Sewage smell from toilet, Bath plug to be replaced, Light on the wall to be replaced
· Kitchen Tap – lever is broken hence the tap is dripping
· Toilet - Sewage smell from toilet
· Lounge – Curtain rail is off the wall and looks broken
· Cellar – No light switches working
· Garden – remove the rusty climbing frame
· Number of items under the house nest to the Cellar Door to be removed – rusty Barbeque, Workout bench etc.. – these items will be placed in the cellar.
· Replace Bath Plug
· Replace Bathroom Wall light
· Fix/replace curtain pole in the Lounge
· Address the sewage smell in both bathrooms

2. I understand the bed to be the only item to still need to be moved into the cellar; I have asked the maintenance company to move this into the basement. I do not have the exact time yet. But they are going to call me back with this. It will need to be done before 9am on Sunday

3. Freeholder issues: The freeholder has been contacted but I do not believe this items to prevent the move in. We hope to hear very shortly about these items which I am sure can be moved.
Landlady (Freeholder) - Items/Area that need attention –NB I have no contact with either the Freeholder and therefore remains the Landladies responsibility
Rusty climbing frame and car in the garden
Number of items under the house nest to the Cellar Door to be removed – rusty Barbeque, Workout bench etc..
Garden Fence

4. Compensation of £218 for removal costs: this will need to be discussed on Monday when you have successfully moved in.

5. New inventory: this will also need to be discussed on Monday when you have successfully moved in.

6. New tenancy agreement: I cannot see there being a problem with the tenancy starting on Monday.

Kind regards


Further to your email of 10th April, and my subsequent follow on email, in which I am still to receive a response, I would like to remind you of your/ the landlords obligations as per the Agreement.

1. Recital
The contents recital clearly states that this property is to be let semi furnished. I signed the Agreement on the understanding that the property would only be semi furnished. Which means that only certain white goods would be left in the property. As we are both aware, there are numerous items that have been left not only only in the cellar of the property, but also within the living areas. If we are not both aligned on what 'semi furnished' means then please advise and let's discuss this.

2. Clause 18.3
If you are not in agreement with the above, i.e., the meaning of 'semi furnished', then I assume and would also require confirmation, for my own insurance purposes, that you will be adhering to clause 18.3 and the landlord has in fact got insurance for the items that have been left in the property. If these items are not owned by the landlord, then please confirm if these items will be removed in line with the current clause 14.2 in which I would have assumed applied to the previous tenants. Again if my understanding is incorrect please advise.

3. Clause 25.1
As per recital 'contents' and mentioned above, I entered into the Agreement on the understanding that the property was to be semi furnished. I therefore signed the Agreement with the request of clause 25.1, that various items were to be removed from the property. It was my understanding that these items would be removed and the only items that would be left in the property would be those items that would be regarded as semi furnished items. I am extremely disappointed that not only have these items not been removed, but there are other items that have been left in the property that we're not visible at the time of both viewing and signing. Can you please advise on where you stand on this.

4. Clause 20.2
As you are aware, I have a legal right to terminate the Agreement in accordance with clause 20.2 if the property is not habitable. I clearly stated my requirements on numerous occasions to Foxtons in that I have 2 children, have furniture that I require a certain amount of space for, and my requirements for a certain number rooms . The Agreement was only entered into on the understanding that the property would be 'habitable' as per my requirements. Again, if you are not in agreement with my understanding then please advise.

In light of the above, and your email of 11th April 17:45 I believe I will be signing a new tenancy agreement on Monday 14th April (please send me a draft of the agreement by 11am 12april.). Also, I will be expecting a new inventory report as per you email dated ...... Therefore I will not be signing the current inventory report due to the discrepancies, I now require a response from Foxtons on how they wish to proceed on these items.

I require Foxtons to formally respond to all my points mentioned above in writing by 11am Saturday 12th April 2014.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this. You question contains a lot of information but it is not clear to me what answer you are seeking. can you clarify please?

Customer: Can I get out of the tenancy agreement and have the deposit and advanced rent returned.
Customer: The tenancy agreement is a two year agreement
Customer: The landlord is storing all the furniture in the cellar, I have not agreed to this. The cellar is internal and I would be paying rent for it ask. Therefore all the items should be removed out of the property entirely . Where do I stand. Sorry there is much info. Ultimately how do I break the agreement without loosing my money?
LondonlawyerJ :

OK thankyou for that. I have been busy this morning but will answer you this afternoon.

Customer: I have been to the property today, there are still items in the property (sofa draws, ...etc) I checked the cellas which is now full of all the items.. I have approached the estate agent as to when these items will be moved and for the 1st time been told that the cellar is not part of the rental and it will padlocked although it is noted as a key feature on the property description. In my mind they have completely mis sold this property and just need to get my fund back ... Please note I am due to more at 9am tomorrow so your urgent assistance is really appreciated.
LondonlawyerJ :

OK so you have signed the tenancy agreement, presumably without seeing the house and agreed to take it part furnished. It is a 2 year contract and a deposit has been paid.

There are various problems in the house the main one seems to be that there is too much furniture in the house. Your landlord intends to put that in the cellar which you contend is pat of the property you are a renting and not storage space for the use of the landlord. There are other disrepair issues including damp and a smell of sewage from the toilets. There is an agreement for these problems to be fixed.

You do not want to take up the tenancy now.

You have now been told by the agents that the cellar will be padlocked and is not part of the property let.

You need to look at the agreement and see how the property is described. If it is simply described by the address and perhaps a phrase like “dwelling house situated at…” and there is no clause excluding the cellar from the tenancy agreement then it seems to me that the cellar is yours for the duration of the tenancy.

You also need to look at the contract to see what the provision are regarding you ending the tenancy.

You can only treat the contract as null and void (ie rescind the contract) if there has been a fundamental breach of contract. Here the fundamental purpose of the contract was to provide you and your family with a home. The loss of a cellar and the other disputes do not seem to amount to a fundamental breach. This will be the case unless the use of the cellar was essential to you taking the property, or if the damp/sanitation problems render the home unfit or unhealthy, or some othee very major problem exists.

If you simply refuse to move in and refuse to pay further rent the landlord will take your month’s rent and keep the deposit. (incidentally is it with a deposit guarantee scheme?). However you will be liable to pay a sum in compensation for his losses. Ie lost rent until he relets the property at the same or a higher rent than agreed with you. He has a duty to reduce his losses ie to try to relet it quickly. If he brought a claim, you would be able to counterclaim against him regarding the problems you have referred to above. If the property being in the cellar does not defeat your purpose in renting the property and if you are confident that the repairs will be carried out then it may be that you should start renegotiating the rent on the basis that as you have been let less than promised and there should be a reduction in the rent by a figure you think appropriate (maybe 5% of the rent) or alternatively you could suggest a charge for storing his things in your cellar.

The position is that if you renege on the contract you will be in a weak position and will almost certainly lose what you have already paid, and run the risk of greater losses . You might be able to avoid the extra losses but you cannot be certain about this. Not moving into this property is therefore likely to be quite expensive.



Customer: I did see the property prior to signing the contract. I agreed to move in on the basis that the full property was available to as it was to the previous tenants. It was advertised as a key feature. The cellar is important storage for me and I wiuld not have viewed the property without it. Is this not a misrepresentation of possession. The goal post just seam to change everyday..
Customer: The only person who is loosing here is mean seam it does not matter what the condition of the property is I will lose having paid in good faith. When you subject to further losses what do you mean...
LondonlawyerJ :

If the use of the cellar is central to you then you have 2 choices you can refuse to move in and be in the situation I have set out above. You can argue for a return of all your money on the basis that the cellar was central to the agreement and that the landlord removing it is a fundamental breach. You may not find it very easy to get the money back and it would certainly take time. By further losses I mean the landlord claim you owe him rent for th period the place is empty or let at a lesser rent than you have agreed.

LondonlawyerJ :

If you need the cellar and decide to move in then you can write to the agent demanding they clear the cellar and make it clear that the cellar is part of what you are renting. I make suggestions about this above and you can negotiate. You could threaten to deliver all the furniture to the agent's office as part of your negotiations. You are in a bad situation and it is a question for you to work out which is the least bad option.

Customer: After revisiting the property all the areas that have been the main concerns still remain.. The internal utility area is damp with power to the appliance is an extention lead stuck on wall...there are at least 3 garden fence panels down. There is still furniture in the property and today during the visiting my two year got caught up in the curtains (which should not be there) and the curtain poll along with screws and raw plugs fell on top of his head ... Ceiling height is 10 - 12 ft thankfully more shock but could have been fatal.. Not sur if I mention I had two young children of 2 & 5. I really need advice on what to do next ... If I move into tomorrow would I lose all my rights and put my children at risk ?
LondonlawyerJ :

if you move in tomorrow you will have statutory rights to have str

LondonlawyerJ :

ucture and exterior in repair. This often includes damp. Otherwise things like the curtains and garden fence panels etc. what does the contract say about repairs and were any promises made to fix them. You will have rights to repair under the contract and implied terms under the Landlord and Tenant Act. You do not lose these rights when you move in and will have to enforce after you have moved in if you do move in. My answer is not that you should move in but that you should be aware of the risks if you do not take up the tenancy.

Customer: Thank you for all your advice. Today they had admitted mis representation and have agreed to release me from the contract and refund in full
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