Dead rat in the wall. Horrible Landlord. How can I get out? | The Tenants' Voice
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Dead rat in the wall. Horrible Landlord. How can I get out?

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607 views 1 replies latest reply: 09 December 2016
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Tenant

My girlfriend and I signed a 12 month contract last week to rent a 1 bed flat in north london. Upon moving in we noticed the place stinks. The landlord revealed there is a dead rat in the wall and offered to refund us a weeks rent. She told my girlfriend (verbally) that she would not make us move in if the smell persisted.

Here we are a week later and she has put bowls of coffee on the floor to remedy the smell. She insists this has done the job and there is nothing to worry about. In our opinion the smell is worse than it was at first. She has made it clear no more rent will be refunded and no further action will be taken to deal with the smell. The offer that she wouldn’t make us move in has been retracted.

The exchange between ourselves and the landlord has now become very acrimonious. I do not have any faith she will acknowledge or deal with any problems properly in the future. We have not spent a single night in the flat but the contract has been signed and she has £3000 of our money. The council will not send environmental health round for another week at least.

Are we trapped here for the next year? Please help.

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Tenant

Typically in this situation, the only thing to do is go to the council and tell them there is an infestation and dead rodents in the walls, smells, etc. This is kind of serious, as there might be more rat corpses in the wall (where there is one… you know..) 

The council should send an inspector that will serve the landlord with a mandatory improvement notice following any problems they discover. 

You’ve already done that, so it’s time to arm yourself with patience. 

Tell the landlady about the council coming over for an inspection. She should realise that if an inspector finds a horrid smell of a decaying rat in the walls, this spells trouble and fat fine on her name. You may be able to pressure into getting the work done. 

I don’t know how you can escape not renting the property however.. Maybe you can negotiate with the council to announce the place uninhabitable and then the landlord can’t keep you as a tenant, thus you get to break off. 

Other than that, you need to seek a solicitor and look for options to make the contract void.

Hope this helps.

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