Can i end my licence agreement early if property is an unlicensed hmo?

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    Can i end my licence agreement early if property is an unlicensed hmo?

    Hi, I'm new to the forum so apologies if this subject has been covered off elsewhere (couldn't find anything). I naively signed a 'licence agreement' when moving into the room in my current flat. I'd never heard of this before and everything else pointed to it being a standard AST (it even said tenancy agreement at the top). My main concern was the letting agents claim that this meant they weren't required to secure my deposit in a standard protection scheme. I've taken advice from the council office & Citizens Advice and it's evident that the agreement isn't appropriate (as the landlord/agent doesn't claim residential status) and the flat is let as an HMO which he clearly doesn't have a licence for as the shared 'facilities' (1 room with a toilet and sink, a shower cubicle in very poor condition in the room next to it and a small kitchen) are grossly inadequate for a 5 bedroom property. I'm halfway through a 6 month contract but am desperate to terminate this now as the boiler is constantly breaking down, the shared areas are filthy, I have to use the shower at work, the front door is frequently left unlocked by the other tenants and now my bedroom has become infested with ants.

    I'd really appreciate some advice on whether I have grounds to terminate contract early or whether I should go straight to Environmental Health to report the agent for an unlicensed HMO. The guidance I've had so far is fairly vague and noncommittal (and it's understandably difficult to get an appointment) but I'm now at my wits end and paying £780 a month for the privilege.
    Hope this is all OK, first time poster so bear with me! Cheers.

    #2
    Normally the agent and the landlord aren't the same "person", so the agent is simply working for the landlord.

    It's quite possible that the property doesn't need to be licensed, all HMO's don't have to be licensed.

    Presumably, while the ants and door locking are new issues, the shared facilities are as they were when you viewed the place.

    If the agreement you signed has a fixed term, from a cancellation point of view the type of agreement doesn't really matter.
    You can't terminate it early unless the landlord (or the agent on behalf of the landlord) agrees.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      'phone Shelter 0808 800 4444. Suspect your deposit should be protecteed & you can sue landlord for up to 3xdeposit.

      In your shoes I would point this out to landlord & agent then request early end by mutual agreement. Leave. Then sue for 3xdeposit.
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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