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View Full Version : Fifteen defects in the property; can T terminate letting?



katief22
22-04-2009, 10:45 AM
HI,

Me and my partner moved into an new apartment building in January, advertised as "for the young professional" we thought we'd be very happy there. From day 1 there were problems, the letting agent hadn't booked our moving date in although I had a confirmation e-mail, and when we arrived hours late they were still installing the carpets. The place was a mess, they'd put bathroom lino in the kitchen, the blinds were awful, they'd hired a handyman to fit them and he'd run out of time and just left them all sorts of lengths not to mention the footprints on them.

Since then ALL of the communal doors have been broken, Ive complained many times and nothing has happened. I've had youths in the corridors smoking drugs, and one night had to call the police 4 times because someone was trying to enter our apartment whilst we were there.

There has been vomit outside the lift on ground floor for about 2.5 months now, doorframes are being pulled off leaving nails pointing outwards, the gates for the "secure" car park have never worked, there is rubbish everywhere, fences pulled down to the car park, the lift is constantly vandalised and just last night a can of beer poured onto a small electric box in the emergency compartment.

We've had a person living in an elecricity cupboard by the tenant entrance onto the car park. The doors have danger of death signs on them and since the person has gone the doors still arent secure.

I'm kept up every night by neighbours with loud music and screaming from the balcony. They also spit into the car park. I found out these are DSS tenants, and although I know there are upstanding reliable DSS tenants, these are making my home life a nightmare. I would not have signed the contract if i'd known.

Also the building is "maintained" by a management company which most landlords have filed legal action against now as a result of the conditions.

My letting agent agrees its unnacceptabe but refuse to give me my landlords details, instead agreeing to let the property whilst im still there. I wan't to leave now but can't.

Because of the 15 complaints i've sent and how much stress it's caused/causing me i wish to terminate the agreement, do I have any grounds to do this?

I really need help i'm scared of staying alone in my own home and need out ASAP.

Preston
22-04-2009, 22:48 PM
HI,

Me and my partner moved into an new apartment building in January, advertised as "for the young professional" we thought we'd be very happy there. From day 1 there were problems, the letting agent hadn't booked our moving date in although I had a confirmation e-mail, and when we arrived hours late they were still installing the carpets. The place was a mess, they'd put bathroom lino in the kitchen, the blinds were awful, they'd hired a handyman to fit them and he'd run out of time and just left them all sorts of lengths not to mention the footprints on them.

Since then ALL of the communal doors have been broken, Ive complained many times and nothing has happened. I've had youths in the corridors smoking drugs, and one night had to call the police 4 times because someone was trying to enter our apartment whilst we were there.

There has been vomit outside the lift on ground floor for about 2.5 months now, doorframes are being pulled off leaving nails pointing outwards, the gates for the "secure" car park have never worked, there is rubbish everywhere, fences pulled down to the car park, the lift is constantly vandalised and just last night a can of beer poured onto a small electric box in the emergency compartment.

We've had a person living in an elecricity cupboard by the tenant entrance onto the car park. The doors have danger of death signs on them and since the person has gone the doors still arent secure.

I'm kept up every night by neighbours with loud music and screaming from the balcony. They also spit into the car park. I found out these are DSS tenants, and although I know there are upstanding reliable DSS tenants, these are making my home life a nightmare. I would not have signed the contract if i'd known.

Also the building is "maintained" by a management company which most landlords have filed legal action against now as a result of the conditions.

My letting agent agrees its unnacceptabe but refuse to give me my landlords details, instead agreeing to let the property whilst im still there. I wan't to leave now but can't.

Because of the 15 complaints i've sent and how much stress it's caused/causing me i wish to terminate the agreement, do I have any grounds to do this?

I really need help i'm scared of staying alone in my own home and need out ASAP.

Hi

You are entitled to the landlord's details. Section 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 reads:

1 Disclosure of landlord’s identity(1)If the tenant of premises occupied as a dwelling makes a written request for the landlord’s name and address to—
(a)any person who demands, or the last person who received, rent payable under the tenancy, or
(b)any other person for the time being acting as agent for the landlord, in relation to the tenancy,
that person shall supply the tenant with a written statement of the landlord’s name and address within the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which he receives the request.
(2)A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with subsection (1) commits a summary offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.
(3)In this section and section 2—
(a)“tenant” includes a statutory tenant; and
(b)“landlord” means the immediate landlord.

Unfortunately though, unless the flat was unfit when it was first let to you, then you do not have the right to repudiate the contract. You can, though, insist that the landlord complies with their obligations and sue (or counterclaim against any action against you for arrears) if they do not.

Have you tried contacting the local authority's environmental health department to ask if they will inspect the disrepair?

Preston

katief22
23-04-2009, 08:29 AM
Hi

You are entitled to the landlord's details. Section 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 reads:

1 Disclosure of landlord’s identity(1)If the tenant of premises occupied as a dwelling makes a written request for the landlord’s name and address to—
(a)any person who demands, or the last person who received, rent payable under the tenancy, or
(b)any other person for the time being acting as agent for the landlord, in relation to the tenancy,
that person shall supply the tenant with a written statement of the landlord’s name and address within the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which he receives the request.
(2)A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with subsection (1) commits a summary offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.
(3)In this section and section 2—
(a)“tenant” includes a statutory tenant; and
(b)“landlord” means the immediate landlord.

Unfortunately though, unless the flat was unfit when it was first let to you, then you do not have the right to repudiate the contract. You can, though, insist that the landlord complies with their obligations and sue (or counterclaim against any action against you for arrears) if they do not.

Have you tried contacting the local authority's environmental health department to ask if they will inspect the disrepair?

Preston


Hi There,

I've even asked if the landlord could contact me and had this reply

"In regards to contacting the landlord, please be assured that he is aware of the situation. However he has a contract with us that means we do not give tenants his contact information. It would be against the data protection act to do this. Also you will notice that we signed the tenancy agreement, so we are acting on his behalf in every aspect of the tenancy.
To conclude, we refused to give you the landlords number as a matter of protocol and not because of your circumstances."

I'm not sure this is legal? I think I may have an address on my contract for the landlord actually, as its his say whether we stay or go, I'm debating if I should sent him a letter appealing for him to terminate the contract early.

As yet I've not contacted enviromental health, but may do soon. Last night when I returned from a dance class about 9.30, the lift hade been spat all over. When I left for work this morning another tenant had left a note in the lift saying "To those who think it is acceptable to vandalise communal areas, move out, nobody should have to clean up after you, etc." I'm afraid this will just encourage the persons responsible for the damage. That's just the kind of "i do what I want, no matter who is hurt/disgusted by it" mentality we're dealing with.

Thanks for your reply,

Katie

jeffrey
23-04-2009, 10:22 AM
Don't just 'ask'. Instead, serve (on the Letting Agents) a written Notice under s.1 of LTA 1985.
If they fail to reply within 21 days, they commit a CRIMINAL offence.

Telometer
23-04-2009, 16:27 PM
You're in an awful situation. Unfortunately, the significant problems appear to be your neighbours, which is beyond the control of your landlord. Though you should follow Jeffrey's advice.

If the worst comes to the worst, forfeit the rent in your contract until the upcoming break (I imagine you're on a 6 month contract?) - and look for a house to rent instead. It will be expensive in terms of lost rent, but you might consider it worthwhile for the sake of your sanity.