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tenancy agreement but no keys!!!!

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482 views 1 replies latest reply: 06 July 2014
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Tenant

we signed a tenancy agreement for a property which was due to start on the 23rd june 2014. on the 23rd we had a phone call off the estate agents to say previous tennants where still in the property. We have spent the past 2 weeks trying to get some answers off them but just keep being fobbed off. we really want the property as we have spent 6 months trying to find the perfect place for u and have had 5 other properties fall through on us. We are currently living with family and have all our things in storage which is costing us a fortune. What can we do?

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Tenant

Hi, thanks for posting in our forum. How very frustrating and unsettling for you. It sounds as though there may be a problem evicting the previous tenant.

However, as you have signed a tenancy agreement, they should have made sure that the property was available to you as agreed. In this case, the landlord is seen to have broken a legally binding agreement – he or she is liable for the things done, or not done, by the letting agent.

As you still want to move into the property despite the delay, you need to keep a record of any expenses incurred because of the delay (including storage, hotels, additional removal fees, etc.) as you would be entitled to a refund of these expenses.

If the situation continues, then you would be entitled to be put in the position you would have been in had the contract been properly performed, even if this means moving to another property. If you are unable to find a similar property at he same price, you will be entitled to claim the difference in the rent you have to pay for the fixed term of the tenancy you signed.

For example, if you signed a tenancy for a fixed term of six months at a rent of £500 but you have to rent somewhere at £550 then you would be able to claim back the extra £50 for the six months.

Under agency law it is the principal (in this case the landlord) who is liable for the acts done by his or her agent. In most cases, whether they were authorised by him/her or not.

Make sure you keep proof of all your expenses, keep receipts safe, ensure all dates are included.

You could also write to both the letting agent and the landlord requesting a suitable resolution of the situation, informing them of the costs incurred to you so far and your awareness of their responsibilities to reimburse you in this case.

If they fail to respond, and you want to take court action, you should seek advice from a litigation solicitor. Hopefully it won’t come to this and you will be in your new rented accommodation shortly.

All the best.

Disclaimer: This information is derived from personal experience and should not be relied upon as a definitive or accurate interpretation of the law.

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