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View Full Version : Complicated end of tenancy situation



pardalis
16-05-2007, 12:48 PM
Hi everyone,

I moved into a flat a year ago with a lease for 12 months. I went through a letting agent and was told that the property would be managed via the agency. When I moved in I asked for a number of jobs to be completed. Half of these jobs were done at the time and I continued to ask for the rest to be finished to no avail. Then approximately 2 months after I moved in I had water leaking into the kitched from outside which made the floor smelly and mouldy. I asked the agency to fix the problem and after a plumber came and checked the pipes (which were fine) it was then discovered that the water was coming in from outside. After a few weeks of no shows from a builder, someone arrived and dug away the gravel from outside the kitchen wall to stop the water from coming in. I asked for the work to be completed for months including replacement for the mouldy floor but nothing was done.
Time crept on into October without the work being completed. Then at the end of October I had a personal tragedy which led to me not being bothered about it for about 6 weeks. Then, I was in contact with the agency again, told them about my problems and someone promised to come out and have a look at everything. They never turned up and never contacted me to explain why not and to rearrange. I then had some work problems which meant that chasing the agency was the last thing on my mind.
I went away for a break at the beginning of April to find a For Sale sign outside. I then got a call the next day from the instructing agents who were under the impression that the letting agency had told me the owner wanted to sell. I had not been told anything. I told him about the problems and he arranged to come round. When he did and saw the state of the kitchen he told me he would speak to the landlord and arrange for me to be given notice. He also said not the pay any more rent to the agency and he would let the landlord know. I waited to hear back from him but heard nothing. I then chased him and he said he was sorting it out. I asked whether it would be possible to stay in the flat until mid July and he said that it shouldn't be a problem as they needed to complete the work before letting people view the place. This was at the end of April and I haven't heard from him since.
Now I am out of contract. The work has been completed on the outside of the property in the last few days but not done on the inside.
I am away with work for a month starting 22nd May and ideally I want to stay in the property until August.
Before I start talking to all the agents about what I want, I need to know where I stand.
Can they get me out before August?

Can they access the flat whilst I'm away for a month?

Who should I be talking to? I am out of contract with the letting agency and the only agent who gives me any kind of answer is the instructing agents.

I am really annoyed that they didn't do the work whilst I was a tenant but are now doing it when they want to sell. Have they broken their contract with me?

I haven't paid any rent for a couple of months on the advice of the instructing agent. I said I was happy to pay it to the landlord. No one has asked me for any money either.

How do I go about sorting this out amicably?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I really do appreciate any advice

pardalis
17-05-2007, 23:53 PM
I really would appreciate any advice on this. Sorry I can't offer any property related advice in return - obviously I would if I were able.

Thanks

aranel
19-05-2007, 13:25 PM
Can they access the flat whilst I'm away for a month?

i can help you with that bit i think, based on the advice i've already received. if you are still the tenant then they cannot legally enter the property without your consent. You are completely within your rights to refuse viewings altogether or for a certain period, but if your LL is eager to sell this will probably prompt them to evict you sooner.

you are also completely entitled to - hurrah! - change the locks, as long as you change them back before you leave.

apologies of i've got any of that wrong but i think its right!

Bel
19-05-2007, 14:51 PM
The LL has a duty to keep repair the structure of the building (Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 section 11) and make sure it is habitable under the HHSRS. He has obviously failed to do this. Your first port of call for rectification could have been from your local envirnomental health; who would not be very impressed with the mould growth, or you local authority tenancy relations officer. Its getting a bit late in the day; but what the heck get their opinion...they will then deal with the LL for you.

There are situations where you can withold rent and instruct your own builders; paying them out of your rent. You are also entitled to compensation for putting up with the disrepair (witholding rent puts you in a stronger position here)...you can negotiate with the LL yourself, or take it to court if they dont play fair. Do some research on this forum, there is loads of info.


Please see individual comments in red on your post below.


Hi everyone,

I moved into a flat a year ago with a lease for 12 months. I went through a letting agent and was told that the property would be managed via the agency. When I moved in I asked for a number of jobs to be completed. Half of these jobs were done at the time and I continued to ask for the rest to be finished to no avail. Then approximately 2 months after I moved in I had water leaking into the kitched from outside which made the floor smelly and mouldy. I asked the agency to fix the problem and after a plumber came and checked the pipes (which were fine) it was then discovered that the water was coming in from outside. After a few weeks of no shows from a builder, someone arrived and dug away the gravel from outside the kitchen wall to stop the water from coming in. I asked for the work to be completed for months including replacement for the mouldy floor but nothing was done.
Time crept on into October without the work being completed. Then at the end of October I had a personal tragedy which led to me not being bothered about it for about 6 weeks. Then, I was in contact with the agency again, told them about my problems and someone promised to come out and have a look at everything. They never turned up and never contacted me to explain why not and to rearrange. I then had some work problems which meant that chasing the agency was the last thing on my mind.
I went away for a break at the beginning of April to find a For Sale sign outside. I then got a call the next day from the instructing agents who were under the impression that the letting agency had told me the owner wanted to sell. I had not been told anything. I told him about the problems and he arranged to come round. When he did and saw the state of the kitchen he told me he would speak to the landlord and arrange for me to be given notice. He also said not the pay any more rent to the agency and he would let the landlord know. I waited to hear back from him but heard nothing. I then chased him and he said he was sorting it out. I asked whether it would be possible to stay in the flat until mid July and he said that it shouldn't be a problem as they needed to complete the work before letting people view the place. This was at the end of April and I haven't heard from him since.
Now I am out of contract. The work has been completed on the outside of the property in the last few days but not done on the inside.
I am away with work for a month starting 22nd May and ideally I want to stay in the property until August.
Before I start talking to all the agents about what I want, I need to know where I stand.
Can they get me out before August?Just because your fixed term may have expired you still have a periodic tenancy going on from month to month; UNLESS they have ALREADY served you a section 21 notice requiring possession , which they may have done at the beginning of your tenancy. Check. If they have, they could ask you to leave immediately...or start court proceedings to evict you which would take at least 6 weeks. Even if they want you out they cannot evict you without bailiffs. If you HAVENT been served an S21 notice yet, they will need to do this if they want you to leave.Then you will have at least 2 months before it expires, before they can apply to the courts .

Can they access the flat whilst I'm away for a month?
Only with your permission. If you think they will take advantage, say that you dont want anyone to enter whilst you are away (or you may charge them with harrasment if they do), or temporarily change the locks and give them a keyholder address for emergency use only

Who should I be talking to? I am out of contract with the letting agency and the only agent who gives me any kind of answer is the instructing agents. First off; the managing agent. Ask for the LL address IN WRITING if you get nowhere with the agent..they must give it to you within 21 days or its a criminal offence. Or look it up online for a couple of quid at the land registry. Ultimately the LL is responsible. The estate agent is only any good as an advisor to you...he has no authority. Dont rely on him to do your dirty work

I am really annoyed that they didn't do the work whilst I was a tenant but are now doing it when they want to sell. Have they broken their contract with me? Yes; get compensation (see above)

I haven't paid any rent for a couple of months on the advice of the instructing agent. I said I was happy to pay it to the landlord. No one has asked me for any money either.

How do I go about sorting this out amicably? By not paying any rent you will get their attention. I would write a letter to the agent and LL outlining all your woes and the compensation you deserve. Say you are willing to settle this fairly and await their reply. Do not pay rent until its settled

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I really do appreciate any advice