New Letting

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    New Letting

    My daughter and 4 other students were due to take over a new tenancy agreement but for the following reasons refused to do so-
    1. Out of date gas safety record and faulty boiler
    2. General dirty state of the property; curtains hanging off the rails, oily stains on the carpet, drains blocked with food/debris etc
    3. Kitchen cupboards literally hanging off
    4. Poor condition of a bed
    5. No back door key available
    There are other issues but these should provoke initial debate.
    The agent seems powerless to enforce the landlord to carry out basic remedial work and the landlord seems unwilling to provide a basic standard of safety/cleanliness.
    Prior to going to the HSE about the gas certificate what are our options.
    Is a full refund of all monies deposited unreasonable or should we give a maximum time to complete basic repairs before we employ contractors and pay out of the rent. At this point the first month's rent has been paid but the contract has yet to be signed.
    At this late stage prior to the new academic year there is very little accommodation available.
    What are your suggestions? Thanks.

    #2
    If the tenants have not yet moved in then although there is an oral contract to create a tenancy, no actual tenancy has been created. This means that even if the place was perfect & the girls pulled out, they would only be liable for the mitigated losses the landlord suffered as a result of their breach. Chances are the agent/landlord will not refund any money and the tenants-to-be would have to sue for the return of their rent and deposit. I can offer no guarantees, but from what you say I think a judge would consider the girls actions to be reasonable and order the full return (plus court fees).

    I understand what you say about accommodation being scarse - but the landlord has already shown how reliable he is - do the girls want to spend a year in this place, constantly dealing with hassle when they should be studying (and having fun!).

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Snokerz. You've just repeated exactly what I said to my daughter!
      There seems to be a complete lack of care about the standard of the property.
      What power does the HSE have in this case; prohibition notice perhaps?
      As it's a HMO can the local environmental health revoke the license?

      Comment


        #4
        This link tells you more about the HSE http://www.hse.gov.uk/GAS/domestic/faqtenant.htm. It can be a £20k fine - but that's not likely in this case.

        The HMO officer at the local council may get involved - but as the property is currently un-tenanted then they won't take the gas issue seriously as no one is at risk - and of course it will be certified before anyone moves in!

        There are certainly issues that breach the HMO regulations, but (a) the HMO officers will be snowed under throughout September/October and (b) I'm not convinced they would take any notice unless the complainant was an actual tenant.

        Comment


          #5
          I've been in touch with the council and she has seen the landlord about the issues but we're still awaiting any movement.
          Are we entitled to direct access to the landlord?

          Comment


            #6
            Ask the agent to pass on any corrspondence to the landlord by writing to them so you have a record.

            I also thought that the person who collects the rent for an HMO can have notices served upon them for any remedial work required. Even though a tenancy has not begun the agents are already deemed to be the rent collectors.
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by RussP View Post
              Are we entitled to direct access to the landlord?
              If the landlord has appointed an agent, then you must deal with the agent until a tenancy begins. After that then you can:

              The relevant statute says:
              If the tenant of premises occupied as a dwelling makes a written request for the landlords name and address to (a) any person who demands, or the last person who received, rent payable under the tenancy . . .
              that person shall supply the tenant with a written statement of the landlords name and address within the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which he receives the request.

              Comment


                #8
                Paul_f & Snorkerz- many thanks for your help.
                We've had some promises of work today but so far nothing concrete.
                Is it reasonable to give fair notice (10 days for example) to fix a defect then invoice the landlord if they fail to comply?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by RussP View Post
                  Is it reasonable to give fair notice (10 days for example) to fix a defect then invoice the landlord if they fail to comply?
                  If a tenant wants to carry out repairs, they must follow the procedure in the link below precisely.

                  http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad..._doing_repairs

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Great link. Thanks.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If you don't yet have a tenancy then the link Mrs Mug provided (based on the case of Lee-Parker v Izzet [1971]) would not apply. Indeed, as a non-tenant, I suspect you could end up in legal trouble yourself if you made alterations to the landlords property without his permission.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        A very minor point, compared to the other issues with the property, but the lack of a back door key may be because, in an HMO all final exit doors must be openable from the inside without a key in case of fire.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                          If you don't yet have a tenancy then the link Mrs Mug provided (based on the case of Lee-Parker v Izzet [1971]) would not apply. Indeed, as a non-tenant, I suspect you could end up in legal trouble yourself if you made alterations to the landlords property without his permission.
                          Agreed. I was thinking ahead for when/if they ever move in.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks. I'll look into that but I don't think they can get out of the back door. I think they were climbing out of one of the back windows! I've just realised how bad that sounds...

                            Comment

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