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landlord left materials and much stuff at property

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665 views 1 replies latest reply: 22 July 2015

Hi and thank you for any help you can provide,

We (myself, my wife and 9 month old daughter) have just moved into a property. As soon as we moved in the first boxes something that stood out was the fact the landlord had left building materials, dirty coffee cups, food on the cupboards his montain bike and etc inside the property.

We collected al his belongings and stored them on the second bedroom (which was supposed to be the nursery – baby bedroom) and contacted him asking when would these be collected. He gave me a excuse that had to leave in a rush to wales and had no space on his van but would come next week to collect his stuff.

The week came and went and he did not show up. We contacted him again through text message and explained that this was leaving us unable to unpack and set up our daughter bedroom. He apologized and said that he could not leave but would come monday or tuesday the following week.

Monday and tuesday came and went and nothing. We also found out that this is his ‘modus operandi’. Through contact we made with our new neighbours we found out that all the rubish/building scrap on the driveway of the building was left by him and to the requests to clear it up his answer is always ”next week”… We found out that the previous tennant had a similar problem and that some neighbours are in court against him.

Furthermore the works on the flat should have finished before we took possession but when we moved in it was caos (door handles falling, skirting missing in some points, internal doors don’t close and balcony door does not lock, light switch not screwed and hanging of the wall, cable comming through the floor – we dont even know what it does, toilet seat rocking back and forth – this one he told us someone would come to fix it next week, for 2 weeks now…)

I feel gutted 🙁

My questions are: Can I use this to cancel my tennacy agreement? Can I deduct from the rent the room I’m unable to use, and if so how could this be calculated? What options do I have as I don’t want to do anything illegal and cannot afford to lose the deposit?

Thank you for any help or advice

A desperate tennant


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This is a horrible situation, I really feel for you. Did your tenancy agreement make the finished work a condition of moving in? If so the landlord is in breach of the tenancy and that might possibly provide you with a reason for moving out.

However, do not hold on to any of your rent – no matter how justifable this might seem it instantly puts you in breach of your tenancy agreement and that’s not a strong position to be in.

It might be worth speaking to Citizens Advice or someone at a Law Centre. There are obligations in the tenancy agreement on the landlord that he could be breaking by leaving you with an inaccessible room and a building site of a property but the process of getting out of a broken tenancy is unfortunately not as straightforward as simply cancelling it. You are liable for the entire rent for the period of the tenancy unless you can prove that the contract is broken and so you should be released. Or unless the landlord accepts this and releases you (unlikely). These lazy types of landlords who take the proverbial will do nothing if you ask them to fix something but as soon as their income stream is threatened suddenly they’re all action.

I would start by taking photos of everything, keeping all the correspondence and getting some advice from the places I mentioned above. After that it might be worth writing a formal letter to the landlord that sets out the issues, why you think he’s in breach of his responsibilities in the contract and giving him a time limit in which to fix these things. Sometimes, putting it on a formal footing like that can spur people to action.


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