How do we get out of this.

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  • Newtenants
    replied
    Thanks all for your advice.

    It turns out that the builder can't find the source of the ceiling leak and it might take some time to fix so they have offered to release us from the contract or stay rent free until the leak is fixed.

    So, back to house hunting.

    Leave a comment:


  • Snorkerz
    replied
    Lack of a signature is a red herring - tenancy agreements for less than 3 years don't even have to be in writing, let alone signed. Chances are that the agency had the authority to sign the tenancy agreement and they are just disorganised. Can you not decamp at the agencies office one lunchtime?

    You may want the landlords details - ask in writing and the agency have to give that info within 21 days, it is a criminal offence not to do so.

    Leave a comment:


  • PaulF
    replied
    Originally posted by Newtenants View Post
    But, in the meantime, can I claim that the flat is unfit? I presume that it is unlawful for them to give us the keys if the landlord hasn't signed and the gas safety has not been checked, but is there actually anything that you can do about this (without hiring a lawyer)?
    It's definitely not fit for purpose and you can give the landlord 7 days to put matters right otherwise you will engage somebody else to do so and deduct it all from the rent. That's your lawful remedy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Newtenants
    replied
    Also, the agent wont speak to us on the phone and the only contact we have is via email, so we haven't had the chance to have a really frank conversation and it is easy for them to just pick and choose which parts of our emails to actually respond to.

    Leave a comment:


  • Newtenants
    replied
    Ok, not what I want to hear but accepted. We will be smarter next time we are looking.

    The agent is telling us that they haven't been able to contact the landlord so can't give us a time-frame regarding repairs.

    The agent is also ignoring our requests for a copy of the lease and gas safety certificate. I am starting to think that this may be because the landlord hasn't actually signed the lease yet and that maybe they don't have a gas safety cert. I know that if a gas safety cert doesn't appear I can complain to the local HSE office. But, in the meantime, can I claim that the flat is unfit? I presume that it is unlawful for them to give us the keys if the landlord hasn't signed and the gas safety has not been checked, but is there actually anything that you can do about this (without hiring a lawyer)?

    Leave a comment:


  • PaulF
    replied
    Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
    You misunderstand frustration in contract law in my opinion. It refers to an event where the contract is unable to be performed by a party through no fault - a building burning down which is due to be hired etc. In this instance the issues can be resolved easily.
    Yes, you're right from that point of view and that is why I put the word in parentheses so as not to use the legal term. I agree it was a poor choice though.

    Leave a comment:


  • mk1fan
    replied
    You maynot want to hear this but there's no liability for a Private Landlord to adapt the rental property to suit you specific medical requirements.

    Unless you signed the tenancy without first seeing the property then - ultimately and reasonably - you're stuck with it.

    It doesn't sound like the property is very nice, well thought out and robustly converted but that doesn't usually translate into substantive legal cause to surrender the lease.

    Now you can decide to tackle this from a legal point of view and make a moral stand - which will bear a personal cost in your time. Additionally, it may take the length of the tenancy to ressolve.

    Or, you could try negociating an early surrender with the LL which could see you out of the flat.

    Or you could see out the tenancy and make sure you vacate the property and hand the keys back prior to the end date.

    Leave a comment:


  • Newtenants
    replied
    I've called the electricity company, the credit meter is not theirs. This is imposed by the landlord.
    My diabetes and epilepsy are newly diagnosed, I am going on doctors orders that it needs to be stored in the fridge and am not currently injecting but have it there for when I need it which could be tomorrow or in two years.
    Environmental health has said that we could make a complaint regarding the location but not the meter itself.
    I don't think it is right that my partner be the only one that can access the meter. What do I do when he is away and it needs topping up, call the agency everytime? Ha, this might work to make them move it.
    We are currently working with the agency to get the flat up to standard.
    It is a one bedroom flat, and not a room.
    Can we demand that the landlord show us his bill to check the rates? Or is there not really anyway to check that the landlord isn't making a profit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Snorkerz
    replied
    Many electricity companies will not provide tenants with credit meters (ie payment by DD as OP wants) unless they have previously been a customer and have a clear credit history.

    With regard to insulin and refrigeration. If we were in Africa, that may be a valid point, but a fridge will stay perfectly cold enough for insulin for many hours. In hospital recently I was expected to keep my insulin in a bedside locker for a week. This did not strike me as either unusual or unreasonable.

    Landlord would not be obligated to move meter due to your epilepsy. Obviously certain changes are covered by DDA, but the location of an electric meter is not something that you could not have checked before agreeing to move in and you are not the sole person in the property who could access the meter.

    If these are 'flats' not 'rooms' then I do agree that the arrangements for charging electricity are both strange and have the potential to be unfair. It is also possible that the landlord is making a secret (unlawful) profit.

    Leave a comment:


  • westminster
    replied
    1. Contact the electricity supplier and enquire about the set up in the block. See whether they will change the pre-pay meter. If they will, then go right ahead. Inform the LL if the contract requires you to.

    2. Contact the Environmental Health Officer at the local council re the damp/mould, leak, lack of cold water in the bath/shower and lack of gas safety certificate. There is, in addition, a procedure whereby you can arrange for repairs to be carried out and deduct the cost from the rent - you can find it in this link.

    3. Go to the flat upstairs and tell the occupier that there's a leak. (I'd also ask them about the utilities set up in the block).

    4. Note that, if you have not been given, in writing, an address for serving notices in England/Wales, (which you probably haven't if you haven't been given a copy of the tenancy contract), then no rent is payable until this provided (under s.48 Landlord and Tenant Act 1987). N.B. as soon as it is provided, all/any arrears immediately become owing.

    Leave a comment:


  • MrJohnnyB
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
    FWIW. I would say that such are the problems you are experiencing the contract is being "frustrated" by the inadequacy of the premises. As having no Gas Safety Certificate is a criminal offence, the agent should not have allowed you entry so I would definitely say if you were to leave the premises and obtain alternative accommodation elsewhere, the landlord would be most unlikely to take action through the courts for the remaining rent for the fixed terms as there are so many issues for which there is no justification in your being made to stay the course.

    Other advice appears to say you cannot walk away but I would if I were in your situation if at all possible.
    You misunderstand frustration in contract law in my opinion. It refers to an event where the contract is unable to be performed by a party through no fault - a building burning down which is due to be hired etc. In this instance the issues can be resolved easily.

    Leave a comment:


  • PaulF
    replied
    FWIW. I would say that such are the problems you are experiencing the contract is being "frustrated" by the inadequacy of the premises. As having no Gas Safety Certificate is a criminal offence, the agent should not have allowed you entry so I would definitely say if you were to leave the premises and obtain alternative accommodation elsewhere, the landlord would be most unlikely to take action through the courts for the remaining rent for the fixed terms as there are so many issues for which there is no justification in your being made to stay the course.

    Other advice appears to say you cannot walk away but I would if I were in your situation if at all possible.

    Leave a comment:


  • Newtenants
    replied
    Could I require the landlord to move the meter to a place where I can reach it without a ladder?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mars Mug
    replied
    This may be of interest;

    http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Consumers/Pa...ectricity.aspx

    Leave a comment:


  • Newtenants
    replied
    There are about 8 flats in the house. I don't think that the landlord has it wired up as separate flats as far as electric is concerned. The landlord gets one bill and he collects payment from us via the pound coin meters. We have checked with npower and they only have the house number as 20.. and not flat 1, 20...

    Is this legal or common (as the agent says). I've not seen it before so this kind of set up didn't occur to us before signing.

    Leave a comment:

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