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View Full Version : Need to break my tenancy lease without losing money



erieny
06-04-2010, 22:49 PM
I have been renting a flat in London, Uk. My lease is for 12 months and I just paid for the 8th month. On Easter Sunday, the bathroom ceiling caved in and the debris is scattered around the floor, in the bathtub and in the toilet.

I am able to see the through the ceiling and it is clearly obvious that the cause of this is a leak from the apartment above me.

I have not seen any signs prior to the incident that could indicate a leak problem. I have seen red/brown stains on the ceiling but I naturally thought they were the result of condensation because the bathroom all together was never painted with proper bathroom paint (one of the things I complained and pointed out to the property management handling the client's property when during the first month of my tenancy). The stains however were easily wiped off.

The bathroom is in a horrible and unusable state. It also smells like mold so I had to use some incense to kill the smell.

I am now staying temporarily at a friend's house but I cannot do that for long. I cannot live off a bag. I am aware that may parties will be involved to sort the issue out (ie. landlord of both flats, insurance companies, etc) so I gather this could take weeks or months before all is sorted.

I definitely need a place to stay from now on and I do not think I should be paying for the new place or the move, and I should get my April rent back.

If this is going to take more than a week or two, then I need to find a permanent place. I am in the middle of exams, research papers and a dissertation, so I am in no state to be stranded. If need be, I will have to move out quickly and I should be entitled my deposit and my rent (starting from the 4th of April).



My question is: Would I be able to break the lease if the repair may take a long time? Would I be able to get my deposit and the rest of April's rent?



They may put a temporary ceiling till the problem is rectified but even then..I have no patience to wait weeks having contractors over while I am in the middle of exams.

The landlord lives abroad and has family who have the keys to my flat. When i first moved in I noticed kitchen appliances that I thought belonged to the previous tenant. I put them together and placed them in corner in the kitchen. I went out to stay overnight at my bf's place, and when I returned the next day to my flat, I noticed that the appliances weren't there. I spoke to the letting agent and she investigated the matter. She found out that the landlord's family member went into my flat and grabbed the stuff. I do not have proof of this by email.
This is obviously a breach of contract. Can I use that against them if they won't allow me to break my contract now or return the money?

I have mentioned in an email also when I first moved in that there are moisture marks on the walls. The agency never responded to it.

sorry for the long post but would appreciate your help.

westminster
07-04-2010, 00:10 AM
The bathroom is in a horrible and unusable state.
In what way unusable? Is there still hot water, working loo, etc? Is the hole in the ceiling such that the upstairs neighbours can see in? Too much debris to even contemplate clearing it up?


I am aware that may parties will be involved to sort the issue out (ie. landlord of both flats, insurance companies, etc) so I gather this could take weeks or months before all is sorted.....
They may put a temporary ceiling till the problem is rectified but even then..I have no patience to wait weeks having contractors over while I am in the middle of exams.
So long as the LL responds reasonably quickly to the problem and you have a usable bathroom, he won't be in breach of contract, nor will you have a valid basis to end the contract. You may, however, have grounds to claim a small amount of compensation for the period without a usable bathroom.


If need be, I will have to move out quickly and I should be entitled my deposit and my rent (starting from the 4th of April).

Not if LL responds as above.



The landlord lives abroad and has family who have the keys to my flat. When i first moved in I noticed kitchen appliances that I thought belonged to the previous tenant. I put them together and placed them in corner in the kitchen. I went out to stay overnight at my bf's place, and when I returned the next day to my flat, I noticed that the appliances weren't there. I spoke to the letting agent and she investigated the matter. She found out that the landlord's family member went into my flat and grabbed the stuff. I do not have proof of this by email.
This is obviously a breach of contract. Can I use that against them if they won't allow me to break my contract now or return the money?
They were wrong to do what they did, but it doesn't absolve you of liability for rent etc.