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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71051
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi, I am in the process of renting out a property in London. The

Customer Question

I am in the process of renting out a property in London.

The property is a 6 bed house on the market for £1,600 PCM. We immediately put down a holding deposit, and were told that builders would be coming in to redecorate the property. The property comprises of 6 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms. However, we have now gone back to the property today after 1 month to have a look before we pay the rest of the deposit - to find that the property is still not in good condition and they have removed a partition transitioning the property into a 5 bedroom house. The estate agents had no idea the landlord would be doing this - there excuse is now, you can use one of the reception rooms downstairs as a bedroom.

Our argument is, is that the property was advertised as a 3 reception room 6 bedroom house not a 5 bed.

Who is in the wrong here? And what should happen?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thank your for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

Have they made any offers such a reduction in rent?

What is their proposal to compensate you for this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No they haven't, nor have they offered any compensation.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Do you know if they will put the partition back up? A stud partition wall should not take that much energy or time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We do not think so, we will need to discuss this with them.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thank you.

You are entitled to demand that the property is in the condition that it was when you viewed it. This was advertised as a six bedroom house with three reception rooms and its all very well for them to suggest that you can use one of the reception rooms as a bedroom but then you wouldn't have three reception rooms as they will well know.

It is very unlikely that they will not be aware of the fact that they have responsibility to offer you something.

What should happen is that they should put the partitioning back up or release you. I wouldn't suggest moving in until they have done that.

If they refuse to do that then, ultimately, you cannot force them to do so. What you can do is argue there should be a reduction in rent or that you should be released from the contract.

I don't know whether you want to be released from the contract? Obviously moving is stressful enough without being unable to move because of a situation like this.

If you are keen to move in then you could ask for a reduction to reflect the loss of one of the reception rooms. Reductions are always worked out by the court on the basis of the importance of the room. Something like a bathroom is essential whereas a dining room is not so much. I would ask for a reduction of 20%. You might not get that but its always better to start high and negotiate downwards.

If you need to move in though then you are left with the option of moving in, replacing the partitioning and suing for the cost. Thats not an ideal solution but it depends on your circumstances.

Hope this helps.