Rental property is unfit to live in - can you stop tenancy?What are our rights?

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  • Rental property is unfit to live in - can you stop tenancy?What are our rights?

    I attempted to move into my property on Saturday (3days ago) but it has been left in a an appalling state. The house has not been cleaned at all. There are bin bags of rubbisha nd other people's belonging throughout the house. it would take several trips to the dump to get rid of all the stuff that has been left behind.
    The place has not been cleaned at all. The fridge has red wine spillages and mould in it. The bins have not been emptied. There is old washing liquid in the washing machine that is mouldy too. There is mouldy food in the cupboards and none of the bins have been emptied.
    There are stains on the beds and broken furniture which cannot be used anymore.
    There is a mouse problem as there are dropping across furniture and there is also a house mite and fly and moth problem, evident fromt eh traps that have been left and also i got bitten during my time there (only 1 hour).
    The agency assured us before we moved in that the place would be clean and there would be no belongings in there.
    We are all really unhappy. We cannot move in because of the state. We have contacted the agency but they have washed their hands of it. We cannot contact the landlord as he is out of the country. We need this sorted asap but do not know our rights. We no longer want to live there. I have been told by a friend who is an estate agent that has told me that as we did not sign the tenancy agreement in the property we were going to rent that it is allowed to be cancelled within 14 days. is this true? we signed teh agreement in my previous home as it was emailed to us and then we posted it. please can someone offer any advice as soon as possible because i am very concerned about what to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.

  • #2
    When did your tenancy begin?
    Who put it in this state
    who manages the property for the Landlord


    • #3
      The tenancy started on the 30th of july but we havent moved in yet because of the state its been left in. i think the tenants before must have left it in this state, but surely it is the landlords responsibility to clean this? It has a lot of stuff that seems like the landlord has just dumped in the house, for example four hoovers, three toasters. its not managed by the letting agency but they assured us it would be cleaned and that we could remove anything we wanted, for example the broken wardrobe. we are really stressed as we could potentially be homeless if this isnt sorted.


      • #4
        Any advice anyone? We are in real urgent need. I am worried if i leave it too long. I am going to have to pay for a house which is unfit to live in. I will be homeless soon. thanks.


        • #5
          Are you able to contact the landlord? I'm thinking maybe he does not know of the condition.

          If you can then tell him what's happened and try to get him to agree to pay for a professional cleaning company to come in and sort it out. Keep receipts. Take pictures of the condition of the place and make sure they are date stamped, then short pay him for the costs of it all (deduct from rent) and send the paid bill on to him. That includes rubbish removal.

          I know you might ask if you can get out of the contract, but since you have been in the property I am afraid you cannot.
          I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg


          • #6
            I think where you signed the agreement is irrelevant.

            Who is in charge of the management - the agent or the landlord who is abroard? Realistically you have to give either some chance to sort it out. Contact the local council and ask an environmental health officer to call and give an opinion and get something from them on paper. Photograph the mess.

            The landlord should have provided an address where he can be contacted - why has the agent 'washed their hands of it'? Are they owned money?

            Freedom at the point of zero............


            • #7
              I am not sure that 'attempting' to move in (but not doing so because of the state of the place, which sounds appalling) is the same as taking possession. I would argue that a tenancy has not in fact been created. So the LL could sue OP for breach of contract, but this would be less of a blow financially than if OP had moved in and then abandoned the tenancy. In fact, although he has accepted keys (suggesting he has agreed orally to create a tenancy) if OP has not signed a tenancy agreement I wonder whether he may be able to walk away - what do others think?

              Otherwise, I think you suggestions are good ones and may be OP's best chance of a solution, especially if the LL cannot be contacted quickly.

              OP, you have a right to your LL's contact details and until the agent gives you them no rent is payable in any case (it becomes payable, with arrears, once they are supplied to you however).

              Put in writing/email to him what you have told us about the state of the place and enclose photographs, if you can. Propose that you will get a professional cleaning company in to blitz the place and that you will deduct from the rent.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


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