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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10487
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I rented a property from agency. Before I sign contract I've

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Hello
I rented a property from agency. Before I sign contract I've asked agent if there is a problem with dump in this property as I was expecting my new baby girl and I cannot afford to stay in house with damp. The lady said there is no damp in here. I viewed this property with my sister as my husband was away. Before I sign the contract I asked again if there is a damp- lady said no damp so I sign the contract. We moved in on october. After a month when we moved in- our bedroom's walls and my new furniture were covered in damp. What is the worst my new materace is eaten by damp. As i was complaining they made some works- they drilled the hole in the bedroom wall and covered it by plastic vent. Bedroom was freezing- from December I had to sleep in our living room as I was pregnant and it was impossible to sleep there even with heating and radiator blowing. My husbsnd sleept separate in the bedroom but from january even he left as It was too cold.
I spoke with agency- all they offered was for me to pay £400 to release me from contract and pay for my rent until they won't find new tenants! From time we moved in I am constantly argue with my husband about the house and damp as I've rented this place while he was away.
It is disgusting the way agency is treating us. They have lied to me about damp when I sign the contract why do I have to pay them money to end this contract?! Will they pay for my damaged property ? I have all receipts for my furniture and materace and all emails with pictures I sent to agency.
If I will take then to court what would be the cost? Will it will be worth my time and money ? How much I could get back from them for damage they did to us, our staff and for stress we have to go through? Same time I want them to pay for the company I will need to rent to help me move again as from february I am with baby. Do I have any chances to win?
Please let me know
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I had my sister with me while we were viewing house she can be my witness.

Hello do you have the agencies assurance that there is no damp in writing?

what is the heating you have in the flat?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
It is central heating. I don't have in writing but I have asked agent. This was my one condition to rent this place. On number of occasions she said house is free of damp.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
It is central heating. I don't have in writing but I have asked agent. This was my one condition to rent this place. On number of occasions she said house is free of damp. As the agent represent move for lower company I understood that they would not lie about house condition and as they are expirienced- if they not sure it is their job to check before they will give answer.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
It is central heating. I don't have in writing but I have asked agent. This was my one condition to rent this place. On number of occasions she said house is free of damp. I even pointed put stains on the wall and by the skirting but she said it is because house hasn't been refreshed for a while. As the agent represent move for lower company I understood that they would not lie about house condition and as they are expirienced and shpuld be trustworthy - they will check before they will give answer. She is representing company and she lied.

Bearing in mind that the agent has offered to allow you it seems to live rent free for a period and offered you £400 to leave, what exactly are you looking to happen?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
They said I have to pay £400 and they make me to pay for rent until they won't find someone- if they won't find none until October when my contract is finished that's my bad luck. I am paying for two bedroom and I cannot use one because of damp. I paid £640 for new materace and £700 for wardrobe and now it is eaten by damp. I want them to pay me back for it plus refund me part of the money for last 5 months I wasn't able to use my bedroom.

Thank you for clarifying.

2 ways of dealing with this.

You can report the matter to the Environmental Health Department of the local authority telling them that the property is not fit to live in through damp and it’s a health hazard particularly in view of your pregnancy. The local authority Environmental Health Department will come and look at the property and decided that’s the case and do have the power to make the landlords fix it and actually stop letting the property.

Alternatively, can take the landlord to court for breach of section 11 of the Housing Act 1985, failure to repair. The complaint to the local authority is free but if you are bringing court action, you would need to pay the legal costs BUT because this is housing disrepair issue you may be eligible for legal aid.

If you would rather just leave the property, told the agent that you have been advised to refer the matter to the Environmental Health Department at the local authority and also to see a solicitor with a view to bringing a claim for disrepair and for compensation. You may find that once you say that, the landlord agent becomes more agreeable to negotiate.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.

FES.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
What would be the court fee? Would it be worth?

The court fee is about £300 plus a hearing fee of about the same although as I said, you may be eligible for legal aid which would pay that.

To be honest, I would start with the Environmental Health Department at the local authority because that’s free and the last thing that the landlord wants is the Local authority breathing down his neck.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Perfect. Thank you very much for your help.