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House not ready

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1413 views 1 replies latest reply: 15 February 2016

Me and my partner viewed a property twice, when viewing it was in the process of being updated. We were said there would be a new front door, and all work completed. We were supposed to move in on the 15th January, which then got moved to the 22nd, to then be moved to the 23rd. We put a holding deposit down of £290 to be moved in on the 15th. Where do we stand with the holding deposit as it was their fault the date changed?

Also, when we signed the tenancy agreement we were under the impression the property was ready, only to turn up and builders still being there, we had to put our stuff in two rooms that were done and find somewhere else to sleep that night. The landlords knocked £50 off the first months rent. The property still isn’t finished and the front door was never changed. We had no use of the shower till a few days ago because it didn’t work, the radiator in the living room doesn’t work. Pipes leaking and a drain in the kitchen backed up and my bath water and bubbles were in the kitchen. 

Could I get some advise on what I can do because I want out-of my 6month tenancy


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Hi Kelly

Your holding deposit should have been deducted from the tenancy deposit you paid – or the first month’s rent – when you moved in. It’s only a deposit that you pay to reserve the property, it’s not a payment, so it should be refunded on the day the tenancy is signed.

When did you actually sign the tenancy agreement? I’m not a lawyer but I imagine that if the tenancy started on 15th then you’re entitled to a refund of rent for all the days that you couldn’t access the property. If you didn’t sign it until the day you actually moved in then I’m not sure you have any course of action but it might be worth checking with citizens advice or a law centre.

There’s no doubt that the landlord is doing a terrible job with the property and hasn’t provided you with the facilities you were offered. However, for you to be able to end the tenancy you’d probably have to take the landlord to court and prove there was a big breach of the tenancy. I’m not sure that’s the case here but check with the two sources mentioned above. You could simply ask the landlord to surrender the tenancy agreement – list all the issues you’ve had and say you want to leave. Perhaps offer to find another tenant to replce you. Just be aware that you can’t normally give notice in the first six months of a tenancy unless there are serious problems – if you try to leave you will most likely still be liable for the rent. If your landlord is reasonable then, given all the problems you’ve had, they might agree – if the agent is obstructive then just bypass them and go direct to the landlord.


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