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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
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Experience:  Solicitor
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I am a tenant in London and have a question with regards to

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Hello, I am a tenant in London and have a question with regards ***** ***** assured shorthold tenancy agreement. When my tenancy began in September 2016, I signed a yearly contract with the estate agency and paid the entire rent in advance (due to the fact that I was a student with no UK guarantor).
Shortly after I moved into the property, I noticed that a group of vagrants frequently visit the premises of the building and sit at the front steps of the main door (the entrance has a recess that is open, and therefore anyone can access the steps). As such, their presence would often block entrance to/exit from the main door, and although this was initially an inconvenience, I soon realised that these individuals use and sell drugs in that spot too.
After notifying both my estate agency (who acts as my landlord's representative) and the managing agency responsible for the building's communal spaces, I was told to call the police every time I see them. Ever since, I have been calling the police almost every day to report anti-social behaviour, but the officers rarely show up and, in any case, this does not offer any long-term solutions. The vagrants return to the property every day, and I feel very intimidated and unsafe in my own home. They are excessively loud and, whenever they leave the entrance, it is always in a dire condition. But most of all, I am uneasy about their violent outbreaks, and any potential confrontations in the future.
After contacting my agency about the possibility of installing a new door that would close off the re-cess (which is the only permanent solution I could think of), I received a negative response which has left me feeling rather helpless. Hence, I was wondering if there is any way I can terminate my contract and receive my money back on the grounds of this problem. The contract I signed was only 9 pages long, but does not mention anything about the tenant's right to terminate the tenancy.
Thank you in advance for your time and help,
Catherine

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

What is it you want to achieve?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I want to terminate the tenancy and receive my money back. Do you think that would be at all possible? There is no break clause on the contract, and I have prepaid everything, but I was wondering if, by claiming that the building has become unsafe and potentially dangerous due to their presence, I can end the tenancy and be refunded.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n1-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much. The claim is bigger than £10,000 so I believe I will need legal representation. I just wanted to check with you that it is possible to try and break the contract because of this problem. How likely do you think it will be for me to succeed? And what range of cost should I expect?

I think you have an arguable claim. I think it would be £100k at the most.

Does that clarify?

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