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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 49821
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My son was due to move into new student accommodation in September.

Customer Question

my son was due to move into new student accommodation in September. The letting agent kept sending e-mails quoting delays due to builders but finally informed him he could move in yesterday. When we arrived builders were still in, lift not fitted, no water etc. Who is responsible for our complaints, the letting agent we are contracted through or the builder?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What are you hoping to achieve in the circumstances?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Some recompense. His university course has been disrupted due to accommodation not being ready, he has driven the 220 mil round trip twice with personnel belongings but had to return home. The stress is showing on his studies as well as his part time employment due to his situation of still not having the accomodation which was due to inhabit in September. The letting agent who contracted the apartment to him say it's the builders fault the build is delayed and we must contact them but clearly the letting agent was not monitoring the speed of the build despite e-mailing us to say it was ready
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Your rights will be against the letting agent as they are the ones who you have a contractual relationship with. They have offered you the accommodation and they would be responsible for the state it is offered in and any issues arising out of it. The issues you face may be due to the builders not having performed their work as required but that does not give you the right to claim against them. You could have had you been injured by their negligence but not just if you have been inconvenienced and have not received what you paid for. So your legal rights are against the letting agent and in turn they could claim against the builders as they would have their own contractual relationship with them. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you, such as the steps you need to take to try and get some compensation, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Please continue with detailed advice.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
The advice is in relation to taking matters to the small claims court, should the need arise. I will outline the steps for you. In the meantime please remember to leave your rating for the service so far thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have rated your for your initial comments. I await your advice before considering improving the grading.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
You could treat the compensation as money owed to you by the letting agent because it is something they ‘owe’ you for not providing you with what was initially agreed, Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far. Hope this explains things a bit more.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I think the problem is that apart from one months rent and a deposit, which the letting agent has greed to repay if we want to cancel the agreement, no other money has crossed hands. I am concerned about the additional costs brought about for my son such as petrol for moving in twice but each time returning home along with something for the aggravation and stress this situation is causing over his studies and anticipated further costs as he is travelling by train from York to Liverpool if he needs to see his tutor whilst staying and home and obviously nightly hotel costs.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
You will not really get compensation for stress or inconvenience as the law only deals with actual losses suffered. Also he has a duty to mitigate his losses as soon as possible, so he does have to start looking for a new place straight away. He cannot commute or stay in hotels and expect to recover these costs unless he can show he is making serious attempts to find alternative accommodation but is just unable to do so at present
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
My full response should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating, selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you