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Unhabitable room (bedbugs)

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289 views 1 replies latest reply: 19 January 2016
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Tenant

Hello,

I recetly moved to London in a furnished appertment. Since the first night me and my girlfriend got red spots on our skin, we assumed from bed bugs. My girlfriend went to the hospital and got a doctors statement.

What we found out was that the previous tenants also had issues with bedbugs and they left because the problem was not solved. We rented the room the day they left.

Before signing the contract, I did not ask the agent wether or not the room had bedbugs.

Am I right to believe the furnished room should have been habitable but this was not the case? Which would provide legal basis for action against the landlord?

Thank you

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Administrator

Hi Suntory

Unfortunately, there is no general legal requirement for a property to be habitable as far as I know (I’m not a lawyer) – there are only sets of standards that can be enforced by local authorities.

Your tenancy is what gives you most of your legal rights here and also the basis on which you could take action against a landlord so start by looking at that and identifying the clauses that he/she is in breach of. You could then write to the landlord and set out which clauses the landlord is in breach of, and point out that breach of tenancy could give you a right to sue for loss, distress, anxiety and inconvenience. Ask the landlord to release you from the tenancy now (by agreeing in writing to allow you to leave) if that’s what you want and make it clear that you’ll take action if they don’t.

You also have the protection of safety standards so it’s definitely worth contacting the local authority and telling them about this as it must be a health hazard. They will come and investigate and can compel the landlord to take action – google the number of your local environmental health team.

If you want to get some legal advice before taking action then Citizens Advice and a law centre might be useful.

Alex

 

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