Wondering if anyone can comment on the following situation.
We’re now in our 2nd year of tenancy with a private landlord (via an agent). Throughout the first year we had various problems with the property and the agent and/or landlord took months each time to take action (all documented via email). Despite this we renewed in March 2014 with a 6-month break clause for September 2014. Since then the situation hasn’t really improved and we’ve decided to look elsewhere.
I’ve since contacted the landlord (via agent) and they’ve agreed subject to payment of legal costs (£100+vat), rent until a new tenant would move in, and payment of approx 10% of our monthly rent through end of contract to cover the reletting fees. We’re happy with the first 2 conditions, but given that the agent/landlord are the cause of the situation I’m resolved that they shouldn’t profit from the situation (ie. they’d have paid reletting fees when we gave notice anyway!)
I’m prepared to contact a solicitor to have them draft a notice before action, but wondered if anyone could comment on the grounds of the complaint as follows:
1. Maintenance of the property – on each occasion that we have required maintenance it has taken anywhere from weeks to months to get a resolution, in the worst case we had cracks open in the living room walls that took 9 months for the landlord to agree and repair. Also the building is a new high rise where the view is a significant feature, yet the external windows have not been cleaned once in 15 months of tenancy. We’ve repeatedly notified them and asked for updates, but we just get excuse after excuse.
2. There is a communal heating/cooling system in the building which is meant to be billed quarterly to the resident. In 15 months we’ve had only 2 bills, the rest are up to 9 months behind. Whilst we were made aware of this system when we moved in, we were NOT made aware that it cannot be switched off. This effectively means we are paying for a system that we have, for all intents, no control over. I question the legality of such a system in the first place if not possible to disable, but also that the lease states the bills are to be provided quarterly and we are clearly many months behind in receiving these.
Any advice is much appreciated. To be clear we aren’t seeking anything other than early termination (and only 2 months at that), and we’re willing to be flexible on the move date to ensure the landlord isn’t out of pocket.