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MarcInLaw
MarcInLaw,
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 300
Experience:  Expert
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I was supposed to move into a rented property yesterday.

Customer Question

Hi, I was supposed to move into a rented property yesterday. There were some special conditions written in the tenancy agreement which the landlord had to meet in advance of the start date he failed to meet 3 out of the 4 conditions. Am I right in thinking that this is a breach if terms and therefore voids the contract
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I have informed the managing agency of the issues, sent an email outlining them all and how they directly relate to the terms, and provided picture and video evidence
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: its in Brentford, London
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: its in Brentford, London
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  MarcInLaw replied 12 days ago.

Hello, this isCustomerand welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today and I will be happy to advise you to the extent possible on this platform. I am sorry to hear about your tenancy,

The answer is as long as the tenancy was clear in specifying that the 4 conditions must be met by your landlord and not meeting them would result in the tenancy being void then yes.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Hello, thank you so much for your prompt response. Currently the agency are saying to me that despite the conditions not being met as per the agreement (in advance of the start date) I am still legally bound by the tenancy and cannot simply walk away
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I assume this is a try on their part to keep me as a customer, but as the tenancy is void will they be obliged to return my deposit and 1 month rent in advance which I have paid prior to the start of the tenancy
Expert:  MarcInLaw replied 12 days ago.

I understand. If your understanding was different i.e. unless the 4 conditions are met you will not be moving in and therefore not liable for the property. If that's what you want to do you may respond to them stating what your understanding is (tenancy is void unless all conditions are met by the landlord) and you may want to require you deposit and advance rent to be refunded (or all conditions to be satisfied).

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I have requested for all my funds to be returned as the conditions were not met and the tenancy is void. They mentioned to me that they have a 24 hour period to rectify, however they have not rectified in 24 hours. So my understanding is that either way the tenancy is void and I am to be returned my deposit and rent. Just to clarify I did not move into the property. I walked in, saw the state it was in and straight away reported it and said I will not be moving in
Expert:  MarcInLaw replied 12 days ago.

Ok, thank you. Yes, it is clear to me that, as long as they recognise that the 4 conditions (conditions precedent) weren't met (it seems that did as per the above), and failed to rectify the situation, you can request all your money back. Just send them an official letter / email stating all which has happened to date and confirm that the agreement is void and request your money back within 7 days. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any related questions. i am happy to help.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you so much for your help. One more question just for my own peace of mind. If they were push this to go through a court I assume it would be a pretty clear cut case in my favour? I am considering lawyer fees vs not getting my deposit back
Expert:  MarcInLaw replied 12 days ago.

It shouldn't be too problematic, provided the tenancy made it clear that they have to meet the conditions.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Sounds good to me. Am I able to show you the exact wording so you can check this for me?
Expert:  MarcInLaw replied 12 days ago.

Sure, yes, you can.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I tried attaching the picture of the special conditions page to my previous message. Are you able to access it?
Expert:  MarcInLaw replied 12 days ago.

I can see them. Then have a look at what are the termination rights as well i.e. what happens when the special conditions are not met.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
There isnt a specific section on termination right written in the agreement
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
This is the whole agreement. I’m not sure whether there is any section you can point out that would cover this
Expert:  MarcInLaw replied 12 days ago.

There is nothing which expressly gives you a termination right when the special conditions are not complied with. However, you have the right to deem this agreement terminated/void, as it was your understanding that the special conditions were the conditions precedent to you entering into this agreement. Therefore, please consider doing as suggested. I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you. I have followed your advice
Expert:  MarcInLaw replied 12 days ago.

Please. I am glad my answer could help. Many thanks for using our services.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hello again. The agency have come back to me today, saying that they have remedied the situation and all issues I raised and I can move in from today. I have just inspected the property and seen that all issues have still not been resolved. I have informed them of the same, sent a video in as evidence and let them know that they breached the precedent terms, and failed to rectify on two separate occasions. I have request my funds be returned in full in 7 days. Would you recommend and other course of action for me?
Expert:  MarcInLaw replied 8 days ago.

I think you did the right thing. You attached relevant evidence and required your funds to be refunded. I guess we have to wait for their response.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi again, their response was that the tenancy agreement is “slightly breached” but still legally standing. What should my next steps be
Expert:  MarcInLaw replied 7 days ago.

That's good as they have admitted this. You may restate your position - you deem the agreement void and unless they refund you the funds you will take action in small claims court. The difficulty you have is if they reject it and remedy the situation i.e. comply with the conditions to your satisfaction.