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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
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The issue is with a tenancy agreement, where the property is

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Good Afternoon,
The issue is with a tenancy agreement, where the property is in disrepair (viewed property on the 29th August 2022) and the necessary work prior to the tenancy agreement being signed has not been honoured.
It was agreed verbally on the 29th August 2022 that the following conditions would be met prior to the agreement being signed: The property would be repaired (including but not limited to; Repairing doors, windows, locks, mould treatment, damp treatment, painted and cleaned and otherwise brought up to standard, including the contents that were within)
I was required to place a holding deposit due to the alleged high interest in the property from other potential tenants. I paid the deposit.
I was assured the aforementioned conditions would be completed ready for me to move in on the week commencing the 1st August 2022.
I was contacted on the 1st August 2022 and advised that the necessary repairs and damp and mould issues were completed, but the letting agent was waiting for the paint to dry which would be completed by the 3rd August 2022.
I was advised that the property was ready to let on the 4th August 2022, with all oral contractual requirements of the work prior to signing, being completed.
I agreed to attend the office to supply the required up front payment (6 months rent up front).
I was once again reassured in good faith that the work had been completed as agreed, and that the keys would not be released until the full payment had been made. I was advised to review the inventory which was of poor quality, but I could see that the property looked brighter with new paint.
I paid the necessary funds and collected the keys, signing the initial inventory document and was given forms for me to make amendments to the inventory.
I did not have a chance to fully view the property before this until Friday the 5th August 2022 where I can confirm that very little of the agreed work had been completed. The letting agent (even though is stated as open) is often closed during their own stated business hours, so I could not speak to them on Saturday (06/08/2022), despite calling and visiting the business.
The property still has damp, mould, is unclean and unfit to inhabit as well as some of the repairs not being completed, such as damp treatment, making the property classification: In Disrepair. This is against the acknowledged and agreed contractual pre-requisites of me taking the tenancy on.
Due to the timescales involved and speed of the sale I have only been able to address this now post agreement after determining that the landlord has not committed to the agreed work which on good faith was assured was already completed.
While I left satisfied (in good faith), that the agreed verbal contractual actions taken to bring the property up to the standard in which it was sold to me, having since gone into the property I can conclude that the agreed work has not been performed, or to the standard in which we did agree upon.
I would like to unwind this contract, as the obligations agreed by Letting agent have not been adhered to and the property is still not in a state of habitation, including mould, damp, rot, fixtures posing a threat to safety and key parts of the property not being accessible including potential emergency exits (backdoor).
I have been mis-sold, there have been omissions and misleading practices as per the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (Sec 5 & Sec 7) as well as the verbal contract not being upheld as the only work that has been completed is the painting (Including masking the mould and damp issues.
Ultimately I want to Unwind the contract, having my funds returned. It has only been 2 days since I signed the contract but I have had to find a different place to stay as the property in question is in such a state of disrepair.
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: England
JA: What steps have been 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
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I have supplied post agreement pictures to validate and evidence that the work has not been completed as agreed

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)

Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.

Sorry to her of the issue.

If the agency or the landlord misled you, you can ask them to unwind it - under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, as you have already mentioned.

This will require the landlord's consent - if they agree, the tenancy should be unwound and if you are within 30 days of living there, you should be given a full refund.

If you have been there for more than a month but less than 90 days, you can expect a partial refund taking in to account the benefit you have from living in the landlord's property. The issue will be if the landlord refuses to unwind the tenancy - if that happens then you are stuck though you can apply to the local County Court for an order which will take several months so this is not ideal. It is much better to try to reason with the landlord and the agency if possible.

Examples of being misled would be if the agency did not advertise the property properly - anything which may cause you to sign up based on a false statement they made to you at the time. The other reason to unwind a tenancy would be if they pressured you in to signing - coercion or harassment and an example being, being asked to pay a deposit without having seen the property or the tenancy agreement itself.

So it does come down to whether you were misled or not (or whether it's simply you do not like the property in which case you have no rights - the landlord has to be in breach of contract in some way). If they mislead you, this is a prohibited practice and gives you the right to unwind a tenancy. If the property is in disrepair, you should give them the chance to fix the issues and failing that, ask the council to do it and they pursue the landlord for you.

If you left now, you would be pursued for the rent (for the full tenancy term) and you would lose the deposit - so my view is you speak to the agency and landlord, try to reason with them. You could use a law firm for this - they may have more success if the agency is being obstructive or if they try to disregard your rights here.

I can set out details of suitable law firms if that helps - in the meantime please see the following link for unwinding a tenancy which gives useful information :

https://www.nhas.org.uk/assets/docs/Right_to_unwind_-_Housing_Matters_August_2016.pdf

If you have to apply to the court to unwind the tenancy, you may want to use a no win no fee lawyer - there is nothing to pay up front and you are also protected from legal costs if you lose.

Here are a few choices for you if you would like to use a lawyer (if you ask for the housing team):

1. Brown Turner Ross, tel: 01704 542002 (housing department)

2. Stephensons Solicitors, tel: 0161(###) ###-####/p>

3. Duncan Lewis, tel: 0333(###) ###-####/p>


I hope this helps

It was a pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answers the question.

If you have any follow up questions or if you would like me to clarify anything I have said, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

Many thanks,

Jim

Just a final note that if you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question starting off with @JimLawyer.

I look forward to helping you again soon.

Thanks again,

Jim



Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Before I talk to the landlord regarding the Unwind, should I (having not mentioned anything to him yet, due to being closed, the relationship is still in good stead I believe) get them to sign off on the amended inventory confirming the damages and failures to the property - Or would this damage me later down the line I.E: Battle of the Forms?

I don't see that would do any harm to be honest. If you're planning to ask them to unwind, you may just focus on that instead though

JimLawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Im sorry to bother you further, I wanted to add, that I have already paid the full 6 months rent upfront - My additional question is, can I force or Invoke the unwind, without his permission?e.g: The tenant may ‘unwind’ (terminate and be released from any obligations under) the tenancy agreement by informing the Landlord of their intention to reject the contract within 90 days of the tenancy’s start date. It is advisable that a tenant seeking to unwind the tenancy agreement put such a request in writing. If the tenant informs the Landlord that they intend to unwind the tenancy agreement within one month of the tenancy’s commencement, the tenant is entitled to a full refund of the money they have paid out under the tenancy agreement (including the deposit and rent).
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I only signed the contract 2 days ago to clarify, Thank you James - You have been increadibly helpful
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Jim - Sorry!

Thanks and no, you either need their permission or you need a court order to unwind. As it's a contract.

You should make your arguments to the landlord, telling them if they refuse to unwind then you will instruct a lawyer to apply to the court and seek your costs plus compensation (and the 6 months rent back with interest).

It's OK, Jim or James is fine!

You could also tell them you will involve the council's housing department too for the disrepair issues

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I really appreciate it!

My pleasure, also it's best to make the request to unwind now and not later

Obviously if you have to issue a claim, and you get the order from the court, interest is 8% per day on the sum owed to you.

So if it took months it could really add up. E.g. a claim for 10K would be 2.20 per day from the date you paid to the date the court makes the order...

A single letter from a law firm may also put more pressure on the landlord - also if they offer you no win no fee terms you don't pay up front either.

And that may be a better idea at this stage to put maximum pressure on them to agree to the unwinding of the tenancy

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I dont suppose you would be willing to take the case as No win No Fee? You seem incredibly knowledgable! If not I have made a note of the other solicitors available that you provided.Once again James, all of this additional information does put my mind at ease somewhat.The only other thing I can think to ask to clarify, is: If I advise of the issues and request the Unwind, how should I collate my proof, as an example (Im not sure if you viewed the pictures on file) - This is why I thought it may be best to have him commit to signing off on the amended Inventory, so I can get his signiiture, as proof he acknowledges these issues do exist.

Hi there, sorry I can't as we don't act for people with Just Answer being an Internet forum and not a law firm.

The remit is online Q&A for information purposes but any of the firms I mentioned are fine to use.

As for proof, it's photographic evidence really and any email correspondence / letters. Yes you could ask them to sign off on that though they may be reluctant to though I think you said you were on relatively good terms with them so you could ask them, certainly.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Not a problem James!Another question that just came to mind is: Should I give back the keys to the property to enforce my decision for the Unwind? or should I keep them until we have an agreement in place to Unwind? as this could be contrued as forfeit?Second question would be: Does my claim to unwind stay present until it reaches the court? e.g. If I claim I wish to unwind, He refuses, I get a solicitor to take my case on - It may be outside the 30 day limit to unwind - Or is it only essential that I have requested this - And this is what the courts will decide on: so as long as I request it within 30 days, thats all that matters.example:
Contract date: 04/08/2022
Unwind Requested: 08/08/2022
Solicitor requested: 11/08/2022
Court contacted: 18/08/2022I guess my true question is, im somewhat fearful of the timescale that I can get the courts to acknowledge my complaint - Or will they honor my request from the date I submit it to the landlord?

Hi, I would keep the keys for now as you have use of the property until they agree to unwind. You've paid after all.

No, if you make the request to unwind within 90 days then you are fine - it may take a while if you have to use the court but the date of your request is key.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Honestly James - I am So So So greatful for everything you have done for me today, you have given me fantastic clarity, quick responses and lifted a somewhat massive weight off of my shoulders in terms of worry
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
My pleasure, thanks