Misrepresentation re short-term letting

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    Misrepresentation re short-term letting


    It's my first time here. :0) Hope someone can offer some wise words.

    My sister has rented a flat in London for a month on a short term basis for a job she's doing up here. She rented through a London agency she found online who deal with short term rentals in London.

    The pictures of the flat looked wonderful, as did the descriptions of the rooms and the facilities. She paid the full amount of rental up front and moved in on Saturday (she didn't have time to come up to London beforehand to view the flat and took it on good faith and the pics/description on internet).

    What a joke! No representative was there to greet here or give her a parking bay pass so she got a parking ticket and has had to put the car in an NCP. The Cleaner gave her the key! She couldn't get hold of the agents and 3 days later, still cannot.

    And the flat is totally different than on the internet. The exterior building is a totally different one to the pic on the net. The rooms are totally different. There is no TV, internetc access, DVD player, terrace or landscaped gardens as promised. The flat is practically empty with small windows overlooking London Bridge station, platform 8 which has kept her up all night! The bedding is damp and doesn't fit the beds...and so on.

    We can't get hold of the agents and their address looks a bit dodgy and I bet it doesn't exist.

    What can we do? She's stuck there for 4 weeks and they have all her money!


    There's no simple answer. However, letting it in its present state probably falls foul of a host of local authority bye-laws [damp, so not fit for habitation?] The internet/picture do not count as part of the contract (for the same reasons that Estate Agents' brochures re sale don't form part of contract of sale) but it sounds like clear misrepresentation and also possible breach of Trades Description Act.

    Did she pay by credit card [might have rights against c/card company] and does she have legal expenses insurance?
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
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      Thanks for that! She did pay by credit card - would that protect her somewhat? Interesting to note that the internet/pictures don't count as part of the contract. In fact, she is not sure she signed a very big letting agreement - it was all very simple and didn't cover facilities - they kept referring her to the internet site to see what was included!

      The bedding is now dry so it's habitable - just not at all what she has paid for or expected.

      I just checked the website again and teh decription/pictures are exactly the same as another property on their website which is a few miles away! Very odd - we still can't get hold of them....


        Do you realise that the landlord i.e. agent could not expedite a Notice Seeking Possession until after she has been there 6 months, so if she stays more than 4 weeks they won't be able to legally evict her unless she has 2 months or more rent unpaid.

        The legal owner of the property should be registered with the Land Registry and for £3 you can find out who it is. If your sister should consider any action must be against the landlord as she has no contract with the agent.
        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.


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