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Flat in bad condition and we refused to sign a Schedule of Condition which says all is Excellent

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346 views 4 replies latest reply: 12 November 2015
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Tenant

Hi. We just moved to this flat and after coming in and seeing it out of furniture, we found out that it is in a very bad condition. The decoration is old and awful. Lacks of paint, holes in the walls amongst other things. The fan of the Bathroom’s extraction was 24 hours on and the landlady rejected to pay for a technician liying to me about the reason. I made the callout and the technician stopped it and said it was too old and has to be replaced. The landlord rejected to reimburse this and to fix it. Besides the professional cleaning wasnt made and we had to complain about this too. There is a hole on the wall where the shower is that shows cables, which could be hazardous. The main fact here is that we rejected to sign the schedule of condition which says that all is EXCELLENT for obvious reasons. We made a counter document attaching the bills and all for this to be signed first and our landlady is complaining and getting aggressive. She was aggressive since the minute 0. 

We want to break the lease and leave as she is not respecting the contract either and we are so distressed.

What can we do?

Thanks

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Administrator

Hi Chris

First of all don’t sign the schedule saying everything is in excellent condition. If you do that then the landlady will try to charge you for the problems when you leave, claiming that it was you that caused them. When it comes to deposit deductions, make sure that you have sent your copy of the inventory via email so that you have a record of when it was sent and received – that should be enough of a record, especially if you can also attach time stamped photos.

It’s more difficult to get out of the contract unfortunately. If you don’t have a break clause in the contract then you will need the landlady’s agreement to break the contract before it ends. Although she is potentially in breach of the contract I’m not sure if it’s enough of a breach to justify you leaving early – to test that you would have to leave and see if she took you to court for the outstanding rent, and then if the court agreed with her.

Has your deposit been properly protected? It should have been protected and you should have been given information about where it is protected within 30 days of you paying it over. If not then you can make a claim against the landlord for the deposit and 1-3 times the amount in compensation. Also, have you received a Gas Safety certificate? Again this is a legal requirement and you can report the landlord to the Health & Safety Executive who may fine her. I mention these things as you could use these to negotiate with the landlord – ask her to agree (in writing) to you leaving early and in return you won’t sue her for the deposit compensation or report her to the HSE. I’m not a lawyer so I’m not 100% sure about whether it would work but it might convince her to let you go.

Alex

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Administrator

You can also start making complaints to the local Environmental Health department of the council – or threaten to as part of your negotiations.

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Tenant

Hi Alex thank you for your help.

The truth is that we sent a document to her with a lot of photos of the condition of the flat and our appreciation about it, the things she has to repair, the hazardous element on the ceiling of the shower (cables). Along with the bills she own us for things we should never had to pay for (fixing stuff, wasted bulbs when we first came, etc) and asking her to solve what we placed on the terms of our offer). We wanted her to sign this as a commitment to do the things right. But she answered very angry for us to reject signing her fraudulent schedule of condition and ignoring our document attached.

The deposit is protected and we have the gas safety document.

We sent her an email offering her a friendly deal, giving her 3 months to find someone else as we are not gonna change our mind. She hasn’t answered yet in 3 days.

 

We don’t know what to do.

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Tenant

We’ve been released from our lease.

Good news. Thanks!

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