Estate agent lied to get us into a flat.

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    Estate agent lied to get us into a flat.

    Hi there I hope you guys can help us with an issue we have had with our estate agent,
    We became interested in renting a property 3 months ago and attended a viewing. at the viewing we became conscious of major building work which was happening right next door to flat we were interested in. The estate agent at first told us that the building work would not disturb us as it would be gone before we moved in, then, instantly back tracked and said that it wouldn't be gone before we moved in but would be finished in two weeks. We were happy with this and decided to move in at a cost of £1758 a month (not cheap).
    Having moved in and settling for a month we discovered that the building work had not stopped so went to speak to the builders on the site who told us that building work was due to continue for a least 6 months.
    Due to the large amount of building staff, a CCTV camera that has been installed on the site right next our window and the often deafening and building shaking noise and vibrations that's we have 10 hours a day, 6 days a week - we can't open our windows or curtains, work from home during the day or sleep-in on a Saturday. This is all fairly basic stuff we should be able to do in our own home, especially in a premium priced one-bed.
    We would not have moved in had the estate agent not lied to us about the building work only lasting two weeks. I feel we have been intentionally misinformed (the flat was empty when we viewed it so I am of a strong opinion that the building site had put off other potential tenants) with the intention of getting us to move in and pay a premium price for the flight. I also feel as though we cannot make full use of the flat due to the prolonged noise and vibrations and that we are now locked into a 12 month contract based on a decision we made from false information from estate agent.

    What can we do?

    I would be forever grateful for help and advice.

    Kind regards

    Andrew

    #2
    Your landlord and agent are both probably in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 as they are obliged to inform you of anything which might make you decide against the property i.e. a "transactional decision".

    The OFT issued guidelines on this legislation so try and download a copy. If you send me a private message with your e-mail details I will let you have a copy. It is a criminal offence if they are prosecuted but this is open only to Trading Standards and the OFT.

    If you tell the agent that you might well use this against them (many have no idea the legislation exists) it might just concentrate their minds. You could contact your local TSO too!.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you so much, I have now got hold of a copy (http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/bus...gs/oft1008.pdf - should anyone else need it).

      This definitely helps in justifying our ill-treatment but what I am unsure of now is what I can reasonably request. I personally think a reduction in rent is due retrospectively and until the work is complete.

      The tricky thing about this scenario is that we have a great relationship with our landlady which I would rather not disturb (we've had her over for drinks to convince her to let us have a cat) but our estate agents are cowboys at best. Do you think I could ask for the estate agents to drop their monthly fees (15% I'm guessing although I think we're owed more) which wouldn't affect our landlady?

      Is this too much? Or I am asking for too little? As if I think about it the property can't be used how it should be for 8 hours a day, 6 days a week.

      Comment


        #4
        Your tenancy agreement is with the landlord and only she can reduce the rent. She needs to take up your complaint with the agent as their management fees are not your concern.

        It's a harsh world but if you need to get your rent reduced the agent can only approach the landlord so whichever way you approach it, it will end up on the landlord's doorstep.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks again for your response. What do you think I can reasonably request? I don't want to be outlandish but I do want to feel justified.

          Comment


            #6
            There's nothing to which you can refer, so it's entirely by negotiation as to what you feel is justified by way of a reduction. I would suggest 10-15%, but that's just an arbitrary figure.
            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

            Comment

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