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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi, I have just moved into a rental property. I saw the flat

Customer Question

I have just moved into a rental property. I saw the flat in daylight and hadn't realised until the day I moved in that there are no ceiling or wall lights in the living room and bedroom but there are light switches. I asked for the flat to be unfurnished and instead they have left me 2 lamps which do not light these rooms adequately. The lamps were not there when I viewed the flat so obviously I was misled and they should have informed me at least that there were no lights in these 2 rooms. How can I get out of this tenancy agreement as clearly I wasn't informed that there was no lighting in the living room and bedroom.

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.

Is this an assured shorthold tenancy agreement? If so, its bad news I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes it is. are they allowed to rent a flat with no lighting?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
They are Im afraid. They only have to provide what was there when you took the property. They do not need to provide lighting at all but if lighting exists it must be safe

I am sorry but its bad news although the liability may not be as bad as you think.

I know this isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, and it’s certainly not what I want to tell you. However, I wish to be completely honest with you, so I feel obligated to not give you false hope.

Unfortunately ASTs are very hard to escape. You pretty much have to show that the property is gutted by fire damage or flooding and so you cannot live in it. Another acceptable reason would be that a person's life is in immediate danger like a gas leak.

I'm afraid that things like change of circumstances of the tenant or the fact that the premises is not salubrious is not sufficient or even lacks adequate lighting.

You could try to negotiate with the landlord. Sometimes they will agree to allow tenants to leave as its in their interests too on occasions.

If that is not possible here then I'm afraid you will be acting unlawfully if you leave early. However the landlord is under a duty to mitigate his loss by seeking a replacement tenant and he will not get forever to achieve that. Realistically, if a landlord is really trying, most properties can be let to another tenant comfortably within a month. You will only be liable up until the time that the landlord is able to replace you which will be nothing like the remaining months due under the contract.

Of course, there is a risk that the landlord will not be able to find a replacement. If so, the Court will ask him to prove that he has looked for a replacement. If he is able to do so to the Court's satisfaction then you would be liable for that period but that is very unlikely.

Alternatively you can stay and purchase portable lamps. That isn't ideal but its safe.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information