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John
John, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2138
Experience:  10 years legal experience
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I've begun to rent a house and there's been a couple of

Customer Question

Hi, I've begun to rent a house and there's been a couple of issues. Firstly, my room wasn't actually ready for the date my tenancy begins, and I've had to stay in another room for a week before the one I'm paying for is ready. Secondly, one of the reasons I moved to this house is because I was told several times that the ages of the other tenants were 21-30, when it has turned out that I'm actually the only one under 30. I wanted to live in a house with people that were a similar age to me (22). Finally, the locks were changed today and I wasn't informed, I had to get a housemate to let me in. Is there anything I can do to cancel the tenancy (It's a 6 month contract with no break clause) because I have been misled? Or perhaps negotiate a shorter lease? Thanks.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Southampton, UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No that should be enough thank you
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  John replied 16 days ago.

Hello, how are you? Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. Please note there may be delays in responding as I am away helping other customers but I will get back to you as soon as I can.  I may also need to ask you some clarifying questions to determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi John, thanks for your quick response
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi John, thanks for your quick response.
Expert:  John replied 16 days ago.

Thanks for your message, and sorry to hear about these issues.

Normally, when a tenancy is signed then you cannot cancel it without the agreement of the landlord. However, you may be able to “unwind the contract”. The law is found in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Trading practices, such as misleading actions/omissions that are deemed 'unfair' are prohibited under consumer protection law.

Misleading actions can be things such as the nature, or fitness for habitation of the property, providing an incorrect inventory of the property or omitting material information from the description of a property so that a prospective tenant is more likely to sign a tenancy agreement.

Breaches of consumer protection law may constitute a criminal offence, or may give rise to enforcement action so as a result you may be able to unwind the contract – which means cancelling the agreement or take court action.

If you rented it through an agency I would suggest reporting the matter to the redress scheme. Every agency should belong to one of two redress schemes. They are The Property Ombudsman https://www.tpos.co.uk/ and The Property Redress Scheme https://www.theprs.co.uk/ To find out which one they belong, please ask them, or check on their website.

If not, then you should speak to the landlord directly and tell him you wish to unwind the contract.

Expert:  John replied 16 days ago.

I hope this helps. Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please let me know if you need me to clarify anything or if you have any additional questions. I am happy to help.

Expert:  John replied 16 days ago.

Hello, just following up on this to ensure you're satisfied with what you need to do. Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything or if you have any additional questions. I am happy to help. All the best, John

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi, thanks for the information, it's very helpful.When you talk about misleading actions, would the age of the tenants count? It seems to me like it's not on the list you gave, and I wondered if it would count as misleading since it's not about the property itself. However, if I had the correct information, I wouldn't have signed the agreement.
Expert:  John replied 16 days ago.

It is open for interpretation. If you specifically asked for tenants that were of similair age and this was promised but it turned out not to be the case then this will be misleading. But if it is simply you just expected it and it was not promosied to you, then the age of the tenants would not be a factor I'm afraid.

A misleading action is very fact specific

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
The wording of the interaction between myself and the estate agents was:me: Your colleague said he thought they (the tenants) were all between 21 and 30, is that correct?estate agents: yes all the tenants are within that age range :)I didn't specifically say that I wouldn't get the house if they weren't in that age range, but I wasn't expecting her to lie/be mistaken. I feel like it's implied in the question, right? Eg. like if I asked if there was a mattress and turned out there wasn't.
Expert:  John replied 16 days ago.

Yes it is implied but it is not an explicit express to have tenants of that age group which would bar you to taking up the vacancy. But again it is open for interpretation.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Okay thank you. What do you recommend I do next? If possible I would like to leave after this month that I have paid for.
Expert:  John replied 16 days ago.

You will need to speak with the landlord and/or agency and follow the advice in my first post. It is not just about the tenant's age group but your room was not ready for the date the tenancy commenced, you had to stay in another room. The locks were changed, there are a plethora of issues that need to be addressed so you could try and use this line to supplement the age group issue.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Okay thank you. I've visited the prs website and it seems to say that I need to first complain to the estate agent and attempt to resolve it through them, before complaining through the prs. Is that correct or am I misunderstanding?
Thanks
Expert:  John replied 16 days ago.

No you are correct. Complaints in the first instance needs to be addressed directly to the agency and if they cannot resolve it or will not resolve it then you escalate it to the redress scheme.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Okay thank you.
Expert:  John replied 16 days ago.

I am glad I was able to help. Have a great day.