Landlord pulled out on my check in date - advice please

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    Landlord pulled out on my check in date - advice please

    Hi to anyone and everyone who may be able to help.

    I have recently paid £250 in agency fees plus £30 fee for guarantor. I have also paid £1200 upfront for first months rent and deposit.

    We had our check in date yesterday and unfortunately found the state of the house to be unacceptable.
    Inside there was a broken plug socket where the hole was big enough to put my hand in, the smoke alarm was also broken. They had also left belongings in the house as well as in the garage and the shed.

    I refused the property on the grounds that the house wasnt empty, and was unsafe for me to move into with a 2 year old child. I asked that these things be rectified and i would happily move in.

    Today the landlord has stated he is deeply offended by our comments and no longer wishes to proceed with the tenancy. Because of this i will lose £280 in agency fees and £80 for van hire fees.

    Is there any sort of legal ground whereby these fees can be reclaimed, or am I chasing a bit of a lost cause with them?

    Any help is hugely appreciated as obviously the money would be helpful in order to pay for the fees i will need to pay on a new property. I live in wales if this affects the law in any way.

    Thanks

    #2
    What grounds are they saying that they will not return the agency fees? What are the agency fees for? What contracts were signed?
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

    Comment


      #3
      thanks for a quick response.
      The contracts signed were for an assured short hold tenancy.
      The agent fees of £280 are for referencing, checks and admin fees on myself and my partner.
      They are saying that they cannot refund the fees as unfortunately these are admin fees. I just fail to see how the landlord pulling out is in any way shape or form my fault, and why it should cost me the best part of £300. Should this unfortunate circumstance re occur on our next property, i will be almost £600 out of pocket with nothing to show for it.

      Comment


        #4
        A broken plug socket and broken smoke alarm are not valid reasons to not start a tenancy.

        A new front for a plug socket is around £2, and no smoke alarm is required. Even if it were, they are £10.
        As for the belongings, stick them in the garage and get the landlord to get rid of them.

        You are both at fault.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

        Comment


          #5
          I would agree that it doesnt sound significant enough for you to walk away from the property.

          Having said that, I dont see any grounds for the landlord to back out of the agreement. And if he insists, then your fees should be refundable
          All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

          Comment


            #6
            So the landlord unilaterally withdrew from the agreement through no fault of your own? When you paid the money in relation to agency fees to the agent did you sign anything that stated what these were for?

            I would have to say that undoubtedly you should not be bearing such costs. It was their client who chose to withdraw from the contract not you, and thus any losses should be payable by the landlord.
            [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by thesaint View Post
              A broken plug socket and broken smoke alarm are not valid reasons to not start a tenancy.

              A new front for a plug socket is around £2, and no smoke alarm is required. Even if it were, they are £10.
              As for the belongings, stick them in the garage and get the landlord to get rid of them.

              You are both at fault.
              Really? A hole in a plug socket where my 2 year old girl would be able to electrocute herself is note a reason not to move in? Quite right a plug socket is only £2 however, im not a qualified electrician, and if it were your property would you want someone unqualified to play with electrics?
              As for putting things in the garage, yes i agree entirely. My only ask of the landlord was that the plug socket was changed, and the garage emptied. I stated i would be more than happy to move in providing these were done.
              These were then used as a ground to cancel the tenancy immediately.

              Comment


                #8
                Maybe not through no fault of my own, but definitely pulled out with no option to negotiate. I wasnt asking the world afterall, just for little things to be done.

                Unfortunately i was fully aware what the fees were in relation to, but not that the landlord could withdraw at any time and the fees would be non refundable. I was told that should we decide to withdraw, the fees would be non refundable.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jonjokes View Post
                  Really? A hole in a plug socket where my 2 year old girl would be able to electrocute herself is note a reason not to move in? Quite right a plug socket is only £2 however, im not a qualified electrician, and if it were your property would you want someone unqualified to play with electrics?
                  If someone was this dramatic with me, then I would pull out of renting to them.
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Really... maybe im expecting too much, but when it comes to the safety of my little girl i dont think the very obvious risk of her electrocuting herself with visible live wires is over the top... maybe i am, or maybe your care for human life and mine differ.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Did you view the property beforehand? What condition was it in then?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        What is the name of the agents, are they a member of arla or similar scheme !

                        Who breached the contract was it landlord !!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Alexlandlord View Post
                          What is the name of the agents....
                          Please read the forum rules, ‘Terms and Conditions of Use’ item 11;

                          http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...hp?do=vsarules

                          The name of the agents is most unlikely to alter the advice given in this thread, but could lead to problems for the OP and/or LLZ.
                          I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Unless you signed a contract when you handed money over that explicitly detailed what the agency fees actually were I do not see how they can expect them to stand up in court. They're not contractually providing you with a service they're contracted by the landlord. You pay agency fees direct to them in lieu of payment to the LL and the contract usually makes allowances for this.

                            The contract may say that if the landlord withdraws from the agreement you are still liable, but plainly this would be an unfair contract term. They can only charge you for their actual costs incurred. Which would be circa £20-30 for referencing.

                            Say "after taking legal advice you think the money should be returned, as your client unilaterally withdrew from the contract, thus, any costs due for referencing should be borne by your client for breach of contract. I feel I will have no alternative than to instruct solicitors and notify trading standards if I do not receive a full refund within x days"
                            [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jonjokes View Post
                              I refused the property on the grounds that the house wasnt empty, and was unsafe for me to move into with a 2 year old child. I asked that these things be rectified and i would happily move in.

                              Today the landlord has stated he is deeply offended by our comments and no longer wishes to proceed with the tenancy. Because of this i will lose £280 in agency fees and £80 for van hire fees.

                              Is there any sort of legal ground whereby these fees can be reclaimed, or am I chasing a bit of a lost cause with them?
                              ...
                              The contracts signed were for an assured short hold tenancy.
                              As thesaint says, you're both at fault. The LL is in breach of contract if he refuses to proceed with the tenancy. But you're in breach of contract, too, if you refuse to proceed with the tenancy. It has probably cost the LL money in agent admin fees, too, so on balance I'd say you should just accept that you both want to pull out, and it's cost you both a bit of money.

                              I agree with others that your refusal to move in was unreasonable. You could have put something in front of the socket pending its repair, e.g. a chest of drawers. The LL has no obligation to supply working smoke alarms.

                              Comment

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