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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 31740
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Advice regarding a short hold tenancy agreement, Bridlington

Customer Question

Advice regarding a short hold tenancy agreement
JA: What are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Bridlington UK
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes I signed an agreement 10 days ago but decided not to move into flat due to living room floor subsiding.My agreement is not signed by myself.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I wish to know if their is any way of ending the 6 months term.
Submitted: 17 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 17 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

Expert:  Joshua replied 17 days ago.

I'm sorry to read of the above.

  1. May I clarify whether you did or did not sign the tenancy agreement please? In one section you say that you did sign in agreements but then in another sentence you say that the agreement "is not signed by myself". 
  2. Are you able to provide a little more information as regards ***** ***** that the living room floor is subsiding?
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I signed one agreement in estate agents office but not my copy.When my son viewed the living room floor he noticed it was sinking.My wife and I ,both in our eighties,did not notice it before signing the agreement.
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Would rather type.
Expert:  Joshua replied 17 days ago.

thank you. Does this mean that the property is likely to be unsafe for human occupancy do you think or is the flooring issue subtle and not likely to be an issue for the average occupant?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
It could be dangerous to us as we are elderly and both suffer with arthritis.
Expert:  Joshua replied 17 days ago.

Thank you. The consumer protection from unfair trading regulations provide that if you can show that the property is in a significantly different specification or condition to that which it was advertised as being in, or if the landlord withheld material information which should have been disclosed to enable you to make a proper decision in relation to whether to rent the property, then among other things, you can exercise a right under the above regulations to unwind the contract and demand a full refund of all rent paid. This right exists for the period of the first three months following the start of the contract.

There is a useful summary of the regulations here:

https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/good-practice/consumer-protection-from-unfair-trading

Of course, the agent may respond to  the above that you had the opportunity of viewing the property and nothing was withheld and had the opportunity therefore to see the floor yourselves  and determine whether it was appropriate for your needs. The persuasiveness of such an argument rather depends upon how obvious the flooring condition is to an average inspection.

Expert:  Joshua replied 17 days ago.

In addition to or as an alternative to the above, section 11 landlord and tenant act implies a term into the tenancy agreement that the landlord is responsible for maintaining the structure of the property which would include the floor and as such, from what you describe if the condition of the flooring is due to a lack of maintenance, the landlord is likely to be in breach of contract for failing to properly maintain the flooring so as to allow it to partially collapse. As a consequence of breach of contract, depending upon the condition and extent, the may be a right to seek to repudiate the contract on grounds of breach of contract

Expert:  Joshua replied 17 days ago.

finally, you may consider making a complaint to the local authority under the housing act HHSRS regulations which are a set of regulations which require the property to meet a relatively extensive list of standards including the need for level flooring to reduce the risk of falls. Whether or not the condition of the property would satisfy the regulations depends upon the fact and degree of the flooring issue.

Expert:  Joshua replied 17 days ago.

whilst you can seek to exercise the above rights, in the assumption these may be resisted by the agent on the grounds that you have signed the tenancy agreement already and that they reject  that the landlord is in breach of contract on the above grounds, you may wish to consider asking the agent to remarket the property to try to find a replacement tenant which they may be able to do quickly and take over the rent from that point.

In the meantime, you can consider some or all of the above options as a means to seek to reduce or avoid liability for rent in the interim period that ultimately, if you cannot agree between you, then it would be necessary to issue proceedings in court in order to obtain a court order as regards ***** ***** or not of the tenancy in the above circumstances.

If you sought a court order to unwind the tenancy agreement and claim damages, and the landlord is unwilling to agree on some or any of these points, you would need to issue proceedings using form N1 and send in triplicate to the courts Salford Business Centre:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n1-claim-form-cpr-part-7

Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

I hope the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me.

Expert:  Joshua replied 16 days ago.

I trust the above was of assistance and that you do not have any follow up questions for now. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Expert:  Joshua replied 15 days ago.

I hope I was able to answer your question. If you would like to ask me another question in the future, you can add me as a favourite Expert. You'll have the option to do that on your "My Questions" page if you choose to rate our interaction or you can request me by name if you wish. Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.