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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 5463
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I currently have a dispute with my landlord. my husband i

Customer Question

hello, i currently have a dispute with my landlord. my husband i rented the property. on arrival into the uk we picked up our house keys from the agent. we got to the property and immediately noticed there was a moth infestation in there, also some mold issues which gave the property a stench. we obviously couldn't stay at the property with our kids and had to immediately get a hotel till we found suitable accommodation. we notified the landlord, agents and all parties involved that the accommodation wasn't fit for us and our kids to stay in. we never stayed at the property even for a night as we even had to fumigate. the inventory check which was carried out shows the evidence of moth and mold but nothing was done about it. we found another accomodation to live at but now the landlord wants us to keep paying for the place till they can secure a new tenant. is this right? even as the property was not up to standard and they were all aware of this before handing over the keys?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: no we havent
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: that is what we are in the process of doing
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: nothing else
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 7 days ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

By law, landlords must ensure your health and safety in the property. Mould is a health risk and if they do not fix it, they are in breach of contract. They are also in breach of the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

If they fail to fix the mould they also face prosecution by the local council and can be fined. I would therefore threaten to report them to the local council. That may deter the landlord from pursuing you for the rent (in an uninhabitable property).

If the landlord decides to sue, you should defend the claim on the basis it was they who were in breach of contract. You can also counter claim for your losses as a result of having move out and if they owe you any rent since day 1 and the deposit too. It is easy to defend a claim - the court will send you a claim form which sets out details of the landlord's case and a response pack - you must fill out the response pack to indicate your intention to defend the claim and return it to the court as soon as possible.

In the meantime you might want to tell the agent and landlord you have evidence of the mould and that you consider the landlord to be in breach of contract - and that if they sue then you will robustly defend the claim. I would not recommend you pay them anything. If you have financial losses, send the landlord a letter to set them out and demand payment within 14 days - if you do not hear back then start a claim at http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 4 days ago.

I hope I have answered the question to your satisfaction. If so could you please rate the answer (5 stars on your screen). It won’t cost extra to give the rating and I will be credited for helping you. You can come back here for any follow up questions.

Many thanks,

Jim