I am the tenant can I cancel my tenancy agreement?

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  • I am the tenant can I cancel my tenancy agreement?

    Hi everyone I desperately need some help regarding a complicated tenancy
    agreement matter.

    Firstly I am renting an apartment from a company located miles away from my property. Therefore I was asked to go to the local estate agent to sign the forms today 2/5/12.

    I had already viewed the property and when I did things were fine. Maybe a few little niggly things but when I was shown around the caretaker saidthey would be sorted out which was fair enough but on questioning the estate agent they said they weren't aware anything needed doing which was again fair enough.

    I picked up the keys today but first had to go to a local agent who had the forms as the estate agent I am renting from said it would be easier to do so. When I went to the estate agent yesterday to sign the forms as
    originally it was meant to be yesterday they told me they were not happy
    with the forms as the estate agent I am actually renting from has nothing to do with the estate agent I was to sign the papers with. Anyway they said they would send the papers back to the agent I am renting from with their
    signature's on them - because they didn't want to be held liable for
    anything so I had to wait until today to finally sign the papers!

    When I finally went to sign the forms today and pick up the keys I was given the inventory which I signed without seeing the place again because it had photo's with it and the photo's looked absolutely fine.
    However when I went to the apartment today - firstly the keys I had
    weren't working the caretaker had to let me in and when I got into the
    flat I have never been more disgusted in my life.

    Since I saw the flat the first time there has been all that horrible
    dreadful heavy rain and getting to the flat today there is a heck of a
    lot of damp all over the walls. There is also a light switch hanging off
    the wall by the cable which I know definitely wasn't there the first time
    I saw the apartment. So I have been over the inventory with a fine tooth
    comb noting down everything!

    I am well and truly horrified! The only upside I can see is that the
    agent I saw yesterday said that if anything with the inventory they had
    done wasn't correct then I can take it back to them and tell them. The
    only thing I can suggest is they did the inventory through rose coloured
    glasses? As I said though I have noted everything down that's not good
    with it!

    However where do I stand now with legal side of things?

    The tenancy is a shorthold tenancy agreement but there is no mention within the document I signed about any get out clauses the contract may have within it if I wanted to leave now. The tenancy agreement states that:
    in Section 8 sub-section - (8.3)
    "The parties further agree that:
    Before the Tenant can end this tenancy, he shall give 1 full calender
    months notice in writing. This notice must run from the rental due date and must be served to the landlord or his agent to his address stated.
    The earliest time at which the tenant can terminate this agreement with
    sufficient notice as above will be at the end of term of the agreement.
    - Which in my case would it not be 6 months?

    However the agent who I signed the documents with yesterday told me there
    is usually a cooling off period of a few days - can anyone tell me if
    this is correct?

    I did also notice that in the Tenancy Agreement it stated in section 5 states:
    "The Landlord also agrees to carry out any repairing obligations as
    required by Sections 11 to 16 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985"

    - so would that therefore mean the Landlord would have to sort out all of the problems I have listed on the inventory? And because they are structural I would not be able to stay there so could I
    with hold the rent or ask for the first months rent back until the repairs have been sorted?
    However my concern is the caretaker has told me that there has been a new roof on the house/apartments but it is obviously causing damp - there is water running down the walls! Can the Landlord wriggle out of sorting it somehow?

    Another concern being that I believe all the electricity for the entire property (3 flats in
    total) are being processed through my electricity meter? As I checked the
    figures the Estate Agent gave me when they did the inventory and it read significantly higher now? And just to clarify I was reading my meter
    not the master meter.

    One final thing to point out on the Photographic Inventory report I received there is a notice at the back which is dated and signed by me,
    the Estate agent I saw that:
    "Tenants to note:
    Unless stated above the property is neatly presented and free from damage. This inventory may be used in the event of dispute resolution during or at the end of the tenancy. These photographs are only a sample held on file and offer a fair representation of the property condition. Any errors must be endorsed on this document and brought to the attentionof the Landlord."

    I will be doing this as quickly as possible - tomorrow in fact but going
    off what I have said and signed do I have any way of terminating the
    agreement I signed immediately due to the uninhabitable living conditions? And be entitled to a refund of my rent and deposit plus be able to
    terminate the remainder of the tenancy agreement?

    And finally was the agent who gave me the inventory incorrect in allowing
    me to sign it without having taken me to the property to view it again
    in line with not having viewed the property in over a month, although they were just doing the actual estate agency a favor by holding the paperwork while signed it (as I happen to live over 180 mile away from the company the property is being let through)?

    Thanks for all your help I have no idea what I can do to rectify the
    problem or if there is anything I can do so everyone's help will be much
    Last edited by hollyjessica; 03-05-2012, 02:23 AM. Reason: incorrect details

  • #2
    Sorry you lost me around para 3
    You signed an AST having inspected property and have accepted keys.
    There is no cooling off period for ASTs.
    You voluntarily signed Inventory without final check.
    I can only suggest you engage LA who completed final paperwork to undertake an inspection of property and provide you with their report for use in any claim you may have against LL.


    • #3
      You can't cancel the contract. You can't withhold rent.

      If the LL fails to carry out his repairing obligations, ask the Environmental Health Officer at the local council to inspect. They have the authority to force LL to make repairs.

      Further info in this link.


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