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To leave our property without notice? <<angry>>;

(19 Posts)
EverySingleStar Tue 06-Oct-09 20:54:06

Okay - this might be long so brace yourselves!

We moved into a new build property in September 2008, signed a 12-month agreement (shorthold tenancy). In October we developed a leak through the lounge ceiling coming from directly below the bath. We had various people come and look at it (although it took 3 months!) and it seemed to be finished. We went away over Christmas so it sat unused for quite awhile.

In March it began leaking again, we contacted the same maintenance man's number we were given before and he didn't respond for 8 weeks after being prompted through various channels. We complained to the estate agency who gave us the number of the head of the company who built the property and managed it.

He sent out various people in May 2009 who tried to fix it 3 times. Nothing worked. We kept complaining, and withheld rent for May, June, and July. We went away in July and were told that the property would need extensive building work when we returned (ripping out the bathroom and replacing everything) by one of the (helpful) builders. When we returned, the head of the company changed his mind and said it just needed to be plastered over...

So they came back in August 09 to replace the bath panel, regrout tiles, and plaster over the pipes. All fine until a week ago when it started to leak AGAIN.

Are we within our rights to leave this property with no notice? We owe £550 in past rent that we never came to an agreement over as far as compensation goes, as well as this month's rent (£900). Our security deposit is £900. We want to leave the property without notice this week or next due to this horrendous experience, pay the £550 owed and say 'take the deposit as further payment for owed rent.' Are we able to do this? We feel due to the problem we could ask for compensation, but we just want to be short of all of this now - the company has been dreadful as far as customer service goes, and I've had to take EXTENSIVE time off work and loss of earnings to be in when the maintenance guys come round.

Can't go to CAB within 2 weeks (I am leaving the country in 2 weeks and want to get this sorted before leaving) - they gave us an appointment for November.

AIBU to leave without notice angry

EverySingleStar Tue 06-Oct-09 21:04:03

bump sad

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 06-Oct-09 21:06:52

I don't think reasonable or unreasonable comes in to this - it's whether doing so could cause you problems in the future. If you move elsewhere, won't you need references. Could leaving without notice put you in breach of contract? Would you, in short, be cutting off your nose to spite your face?

poorbuthappy Tue 06-Oct-09 21:07:28

Can't help sorry, but try posting in legal instead, as you may get more replies.

Good luck...

franklymydear Tue 06-Oct-09 21:09:39

your 12 month agreement is up surely? Do you have a rolling contract or did you renew?

You should be out alredy if neither

ineedalifelaundry Tue 06-Oct-09 21:10:52

Sorry, I don't know where you stand legally, but it does sound as if YANBU. Try asking on the legal board.

franklymydear Tue 06-Oct-09 21:11:23

are you under any tenancy agreement to be living ther

you paid a £900 security deposit
you had a 12 month contract that was up end August 2009
you have not paid rent for May, June or July yet only owe £550? (cheap)
I would say pay all rent outstanding less your £900 security deposit and go

EverySingleStar Tue 06-Oct-09 21:12:50

Technically in the contract it says if notice is not given 4 weeks prior to living here for one year the contract renews itself.

frankly We paid most of the 3 months owed, £550 is the remaining balance.

6feetundertheGroundhogs Tue 06-Oct-09 21:13:21

Have you tried posting this on Legal too?

It's not really an AIBU, even if it has understandably made your blood boil!

You certainly ANBU in being extremely pissed off about and ready to just self combust...

Check your legal rights, make sure you know exactly all your options, and then go and sit in the Agents Office and don't leave until it's sorted.

franklymydear Tue 06-Oct-09 21:18:16

Give 4 weeks notice then in writing and leave whenever you want.

Include a compensation request which equates to x month's rent

Make it so that you get your security deposit back

You'll need to do the figures to make it work out and quote in your letter the issues and their effects on you no doubt

ThingOne Tue 06-Oct-09 21:20:58

Yep, you really, really need legal. YANBU to be extremely pissed off by this, but don't do anything illegal or that will stop you getting a tenancy when you next need one.

EverySingleStar Tue 06-Oct-09 21:22:18

I've posted in legal no replies yet, just wanted some sympathy I suppose grin

Thanks for your words guys.

LIZS Tue 06-Oct-09 21:24:51

Just contributed to the other thread. Legally you cannot withhold rent under such circumstances, it weakens your position to do so, and the deposit cannot be used against unpaid rent as it is in a specific account under the Deposit Protection scheme. Advice form Shelter advice re repairs

EverySingleStar Tue 06-Oct-09 21:26:49

How am I not entitled to withhold rent if our property is in disrepair and uninhabitable? (We didn't have a working shower for months and had a huge leak through the lounge ceiling onto the floor.)

Tortington Tue 06-Oct-09 21:30:18

phone shelter england

there are procedures you must follow - you cant just up and fuck off owing rent - witholding rent in leui of repairs just isn't the way the game is played - despite the fairness off the thing - they will chase you and you will have no redress

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 06-Oct-09 21:34:24

You might be entitled to compensation but you would have to go to court. I don't think you can just refuse to pay - you would be in breach of contract, but then so would the agents be if they didn't carry out repairs, but you are the ones who would suffer unless you take them to court. They can 'blacklist' you as tenants but you can't do the same to them.
However, are you sure that a new 12 month contract starts if you don't give notice, AFAIK it can only convert to a rolling (month on month) contract so you can legally give the notice specified in your contract.
You need to prove that you were put at risk of health problems or serious injury, a non working shower probably wouldn't cut it (not that I think YABU at all) Sadly agents and landlords have far greater rights than tenants. It's shameful.
Ho long are you leaving the country for? Can you go and speak to a housing trust or advice person when you get back? Some solicitors will do a free 30 min consultation or free email consultation so it would be worth compiling an email of your situation and sending it out to a few people to see whether you have a case.

EverySingleStar Tue 06-Oct-09 21:38:08

We have documentation from my partner's GP that the mould that collected from the bath panel being off for 6 months and subsequent mould gathering has aggravated her asthma from dormant to serious.

Also under severe stress have been prescribed anti-depressants.

I'll be out of the country for 3 months, partner will be here but don't want her to have to deal with everything on her own. Will be ringing Shelter tomorrow, thanks custardo for that.

Tortington Tue 06-Oct-09 21:47:34

np. sorry you have to go through this. but you really need to find a definition of what is legally habitable - get shelter to send it to you in writing on letter headed paper and send to landlord.

is it a privat landlord?

MillyMollyMoo Wed 07-Oct-09 08:21:54

Send the keys back with a note saying you've left and how dreadful the house was, take photo's and keep them in case it ever comes up in the future, somehow I doubt it will.

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