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Landlord lied about the construction works

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184 views 1 replies latest reply: 01 August 2016
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Tenant

Hello 

Before I’ve moved in (move in date was on the 06/05/16) I was told that there would be construction works done to the kitchen so I’ll be affected but the landlord said that I didn’t need to worry as it would only last two weeks. I’ve moved to the upstairs room at the end of May roughly and I’ve been there ever since and we’re almost in August. Only after I’ve moved in he mentioned that he was building three rooms at the back so I asked my friend if he knew anything about that (he moved in not long after I did) and he said no. Now it turns out that my room is shrinked in size from the room I originally signed for and that the bathroom downstairs will be shared with three other rooms. The bathroom isn’t mentioned in the contract but we had a verbal agreement for it. The landlord obscured the gravity of the works that were going to be done around the house even though he says he told us beforehand which he didn’t otherwise I wouldn’t have moved knowing that it was going to be so dusty and noisy which brings be onto the next problem. I haven’t had asthma in 16 years but because of all the dust it has come back and I had to go to the doctors to get an inhaler. I’ve told the landlord about my medical condition and all he said was “I’m sorry”. He didn’t offer any compensation and when I asked for a reduction in rent because I’m not even supposed to be in the room upstairs, he says that he will not be reducing a single penny. Instead he says to me and my friend that the compensation is that he won’t increase the price of our rent. For starters he can’t do that because we have a six month contract that states how much we agreed to pay for the next six months and surely he’s already in breach of that contract because I didn’t sign a contract for the room upstairs which is where I’m currently staying. I read through the contract and there’s a section that says that he will pay for the bills but he put the bills all in my name. Even though the money for the bills comes from the landlord, the bills all come out of my account. In summary:

·         I feel like I’ve been undersold on how much work was going to be done in the house. If I had been told the truth I would have made the decision not to move in as I have asthma

·         The contract that I’ve signed for the original room is now changed and shrank which is something I wasn’t made aware of before signing the contract

·         I’ve been living in a room that I haven’t signed for and he’s making me pay almost the same amount as the room I signed for. The room upstairs is much smaller and he’s asking for £550 but the original room I’ve signed for is £575 and was much bigger. I feel like he’s trying to rip me off

·         He’s making me pay the bills from my account

·         It’s noisy and dusty all the time

What it looks like is that the landlord “forgot” to mention the details so he can move us in as soon as possible so he would have people living in the house and paying while the works were being done. I would like to hear your opinion on what I should do as the landlord is treating us unfair.

P.s – I forgot to mention above that before moving in I paid my deposit on the 25/04/16 but I wasn’t allowed to move in until the 06/05/16 because that’s when the previous tenants were moving out, that’s almost two I believe after I paid my deposit so I technically paid for two weeks which I haven’t been able to use.

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Agent

Hi Ana,

I will try and address the pints as quickly as I can:

Room switch- you did not have to take a room other than the one you agreed to. However, by agreeing to take it at a reviewed rent figure that is now a binding agreement.

Works- as this is all spoken it is very hard to state who is right or wrong. Always get essential details in writing from Agents/Landlords. Unfortunately, as long as they only work during permitted hours, there is nothing illegal here although you could potentially apply for a ‘breach of contract’ as you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of your home. You may also want to investogate with the local council if he has planning permission for the changes he is making.

HMO- it sounds like you are living in an HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupancy). This is really the only tenancy where you should sign for an individual room. Again, you should check with your local council if he has registered the house and has a valid HMO license.

Deposit- when you pay the deposit is irrelevant. It is when you pay rent from. You mjst be permitted access to the property for every day you pay rent for or that money must be refunded by the Landlord. Also, has your deposit been registered with 1 of 43 government schemes? This is a,legal requirement of the Landlord.

Medical- events causing medical issues can be a cause for breaking a tenancy. I would get a note from your Doctir stating that the building works dust is causing your asthma and, as such, the works need to stop or you need to vacate the property. If you present this to the Landlord he should then look to reach an agreement with you to vacate early.

I hope this helps!

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