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View Full Version : Water break in - quit tenancy immediately?



Parkbank
19-01-2009, 06:24 AM
Hello everyone,

I moved in a shared flat at January 8th and signed the contract to this date. The contract says, that I can quit and move out within two weeks after announcement.

Now it started raining this night for the second time since I'm in London and there is Water running down the wall and dropping from the ceiling onto my bed. Second to this, I now saw that there is slightly mildew at the fire alarm box which, as I think, wasn't there when I moved in (at the moment, one sees black dots of the mildew only).

My response is, that I'd like to move out immediately. First, the agent of the Landlord with whom I signed the contract didn't tell me anything about mould fungus in the room, second there's water running in, which I think he should have known before, too. (It's only the second day raining since I'm here, and it isn't even hard rain..and it's not raining continuously.), third I'm an asthmatic, so I sooner or later will have serious problems with even slight mildew in the room I sleep in - as the bed is getting wet off the water, it might only get worse.

Now, as I'm German, I do not know anything about British tenancy (or tenant & landlord) law, therefore I'd be grateful if someone of you could give me an advice, if I am allowed to move out immediately and may even demand to get back the rental I paid in advance.

What would you recommend me to do?

I thought about telling my landlords agent today, that I'd like to quit immediately and search something new because of the three points I gave you.

Thank you for reading this and trying to help,
Frederik

PS: It should be mentioned, that I'm only in Britain for a short term, taking courses at the lent term only I will leave on March 21th.

PPS: If the agent tells me, he (or the landlord) has some other comparable accommodation, do I have to agree or may I search a knew one myself?

jeffrey
19-01-2009, 10:39 AM
A very clear post; you're far more fluent than many British LZ posters, if I may say!
Your landlord is obliged to maintain your property in good repair. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 [section 11] says so.
You should therefore complain at once to L's Agent, orally and in writing. You may be entitled to compensation for L's failure to maintain.

Parkbank
21-01-2009, 22:58 PM
I just wanted to thank you for your fast and informative answer. I just wanted something I could argue with if it would be necessary and you gave me exactly this. Tomorrow the roof will be looked upon and probably repaired.

Thanks for the credits too!:)

Frederik

Parkbank
30-01-2009, 14:45 PM
Hmm, I cannot change the post, but I recognized the pm - it has to be "thanks for the compliments", not credits. Thanks for telling me.

Now I do have another question regarding this same topic. The roof isn't fix since I posted first (nearly 2 weeks now), even though there was a roofer for three or four times. Today an other roofer was there and the agent of the landlord, with whom I signed contract, took a look at the roof, too. Now he says it is totally screwed up and there is only limited chance, that these minor repairs will stop the rain from getting into the building. So finally, I'm thinking about leaving this room and go searching for another one, which the agent said is no problem (so i can quit immediately now).

But, he won't give me any compensation for the time I lived in the room with the lack. As he says its only a minor impact having only one hole where the water finally drops, so I only have to push my bed away from the wall and put a bucket under it. But that way I cannot open the cupboard - he suggests I could move the bed in the morning putting the bucket onto it and move it back in the evening - quit ridiculous I think. If I'd decide to stay with that problem, I wouldn't get compensated/ get a discount either.

Isn't he obliged to give me compensation? I mean, that he cannot fix the roof should not be my problem and if I had known this before, I never moved in.. btw., I pay 139PW for a small room at the edge of zone two, so it is not cheap anyway.

Thank you for helping,

Frederik

mind the gap
31-01-2009, 00:31 AM
Hi Parkbank,

You have my sympathies - this sounds mediaeval. However, you are lucky to have the option of getting out without penalty. Most tenancy agreements in the UK commit you to staying at least six months in the same property and you would not be allowed to leave just because the roof leaked. You would have to spend weeks and months getting the Environmental Health Officer to make your LL carry out his obligations to keep the property in good repair.

Get out now, while the going is good! I assume you have already given your 14 days notice? If not, do it today.

You could try to sue your LL for compensation for the three weeks you have been dripped on, but to be quite honest I think you would be wasting your time.

Concentrate on finding somewher nicer - there is an oversupply of rental property on the market at present - and chalk it up to experience. Good luck!

Parkbank
31-01-2009, 11:48 AM
I Have given the two weeks notice, but I prompted to get the opportunity to quit immediately and it seems he agreed (On Friday he told me hisself I could quit immediately, than he kind of took it back but after I started complaining because of the roof, he agreed again - so he did so only on the phone...).

The thing is, the roof needs complete repair he told me Yesterday. This means, there is no chance of the roof beeing repaired for the time living here.

But as I read year post, I will keep it low and hope he won't stress it, just give me the deposit back and hold his word. I think I even won't ask for the rent I already paid (1 week in advance)..

btw.: I'm an asthmatic and told him so and complained about mildew in the room before...If there's Water coming in it will only grew worse (who knows what's behind the ceiling) I think he took that serious, at least.

Thanks a lot for your opinion!

mind the gap
31-01-2009, 11:55 AM
I Have given the two weeks notice, but I prompted to get the opportunity to quit immediately and it seems he agreed (On Friday he told me hisself I could quit immediately, than he kind of took it back but after I started complaining because of the roof, he agreed again - so he did so only on the phone...).

The thing is, the roof needs complete repair he told me Yesterday. This means, there is no chance of the roof beeing repaired for the time living here.

But as I read year post, I will keep it low and hope he won't stress it, just give me the deposit back and hold his word. I think I even won't ask for the rent I already paid (1 week in advance)..

btw.: I'm an asthmatic and told him so and complained about mildew in the room before...If there's Water coming in it will only grew worse (who knows what's behind the ceiling) I think he took that serious, at least.

Thanks a lot for your opinion!

He sounds a real charmer! You are well rid of him and his scabby roof.

Just out of interest, what kind of tenancy agreement did you sign for this property? I'm just thinking ahead in case he tries to hang on to your deposit -let's hope not, but it's best to be prepared. If it (deposit) is in a protection scheme, you may both need to confirm to the scheme that the tenancy has terminated (otherwise they won't release the deposit). If it is not in a scheme, your LL may try to hang on to it and you'll need to put pressure on him to get it back.

I hope not, but it is a possibility. Frederik, come back to us if you need any more help with it.

Parkbank
31-01-2009, 12:42 PM
The deposit is not in such a scheme...

It's a short let contract, which allows me anyway to quit with two weeks announcement. So the worst happening will be, that I won't get back the deposit (which is two weeks rent). But I hope there will be no problems regarding this...