Breaking our lease due to flat being uninhabitable?

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  • Breaking our lease due to flat being uninhabitable?

    Hi this is my first time posting as we have a bit of an emergency. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    My fiance and I have 5 months left on our lease. Over the past week a strange smell has started to surface. It's been getting progressively worse. On Sunday I went down into the basement to see if it was something there and the place was flooded. On contacting the Landlord he got someone to come out this morning (Wednesday) to look and it turns out a sewage pipe is bust.

    Supposedly someone is coming to empty it out within the next week and disinfect. The problem apart from this is that we are becoming ill. We don't know if the water is capable to be drunk and anytime we spend time in the flat we get headaches.

    We intend on breaking our lease and see another flat over the next few days. What are our options? Bear in mind that as far as I can tell my landlord isn't registered and we don't think this problem will be resolved fast enough.

  • #2
    You don't have a 'right' to break the lease, but your landlord should be providing alternative acommodation in my opinion. Have a chat with the environmental health officer at your local council.

    If you do break the lease then the landlord may sue in an attempt to recover up to the balance of your contract rent. Obviously, you'd defend such a claim and hope that the judge agreed that your actions were reasonable.

    IMHO the sewerage should not be affecting your drinking water - no opportunity for cross contamination - but I wouldn't want to be living there until the problem had been solved and the place had had time to dry out / air.

    IMHO your landlord is being a bit slow, but he is trying to sort it out - would you have been able to solve the problem any quicker if it was your own property & you were paying for / organising repairs?

    Landlord registration is not required in almost all of England/Wales

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    • #3
      Thanks for getting back to me. I can understand the LL's situation on trying to get it fixed. We live in Scotland as well.

      Problem lies with the longevity of this problem. It is interesting to see our LL should provide alternative accommodation whilst this problem continues. The thing is however as a pair of Nurses who work nights this upheaval is distressing and could potentially affect our job performance if there isn't a quick resolution.

      Thanks again for any advice.

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      • #4
        You've posted on the general forum - I have asked the mod to move this Q to the scotland forum.

        Please believe me, I do genuinely sympathise, however your 'careers' do not affect the landlords obligations. Lets face it, if they did, nurses & night-shift workers would become outcasts in the property world!

        A further suggestion - 'Shelter Scotland' have a brilliant helpline, can be difficult to get hold of them but when you do you can be sure the advice will be worthwhile.

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        • #5
          Thanks for your advice and for moving my post lol.

          Cool, we're going to stay in a hotel tonight. See what happens tomorrow. LL not getting back to us. Frustrating but we'll persevere.

          Cheers

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          • #6
            You MAY have the right in Scotland to cancel in such circumstances. Call Shelter Scotland 0808 800 4444 and ask for advice on how...

            Possibly doesn't apply in England.
            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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