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323 views 1 replies latest reply: 11 November 2015
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Tenant

We’ve been in this property about 3 months and it’s been awful.

We’ve had trouble with the address not being correctly registered with the Council or Royal Mail (still isn’t!), problems with condensation and mould because the electric (not storage) heating is too expensive to run all the time, we still have tractors driving past at all hours (we’re on the edge of farmland), churning the track into a mud pit, despite being tld that an alternative road would be created to avoid the houses, there are cracks in 2 windows and the others are filling with condensation because the seals are broken, you can see daylight under the exterior doors, we been flooded once due to blocked drains…..it goes on!

We now have water seeping through the walls, wter marks on the ceilings, and the house is so damp that the new laminate floor has warped and coats and dog leads left hanging in the utility room have gone mouldy. We have surges of electric that “fried” 3 routers instantly. You can actually watch the light on the Wii glowing brighter and then receding!

In order to help with heating the property we had the pre-pay meter removed (NPower were unable to match the meter to the property) and in return I got a threateneing call from the landlord’s wife, a farm worker at the door and finally the landlord shouting abuse and demanding more money for the bond, all within about 20 minutes!

So, the upshot of this is that we’ve had enough. We want out. Is there any way we can use all of this to get out of the remainder of the 12 month contract that we signed?

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Administrator

Hi Sarah

Do you have a break clause in your contract? That normally allows either the landlord or the tenant to break the contract early (normally after six months) without needing any consent from the other.

If you don’t have a break clause then it really depends on whether what the landlord has done is enough of a breach of the tenancy contract to merit it coming to an end. I’m not a lawyer but probably the only way you could test that was by leaving and then seeing if they pursue you for the rent – and then seeing if the courts agree with you or the landlord. You could suggest to the landlord that they agree to a tenancy surrender (in writing), which is basically that they agree to you leaving early. Some landlords will do this if they are decent, others will agree on the basis that you find another tenant.

You can also use your power of persuasion to try and get a landlord to agree. This could include saying you will report them to the environmental health department of the local authority, take action for tresspass (landlords cannot show up at the property, they must give you 24 hrs notice every time) etc. It might be worth speaking to someone at a law centre to see if there are any other bodies you could complain to. If the building is hazardous then the landlord could be forced to carry out repairs or even fined and if you’re threatening to report them here there and everywhere they might feel it’s easier just to let you go. Just make sure you get photos of all the issues, put everything in writing and gather evidence of the problems. And call the police if they show up again and are aggressive.

Perhaps start with a letter that sets everything out, with a timeline, as well as what you want to happen next.

Alex

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