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Have we got a leg to stand on?

(10 Posts)
DemonChild Fri 05-Aug-11 21:06:15

Hi, I wonder if anyone can help us with our dilemma. We recently moved into a new rented property. Part of the attraction of this property was the extra space compared to where we have been living previously; it has an extra bedroom (I'm expecting our 3rd), garden and a massive loft. When we looked around the property with a view to renting we checked out the loft and the person showing us around agreed that it was a good size. The loft hatch was then unlocked and the loft was empty and unboarded, but with boards stacked to one side all ready to use. All well and good, we thought!

So, we decided to rent the property and a couple of days later we paid an initial (non-refundable) deposit of £500 (which was £300 admin fees and £200 off the deposit) The letting agent then did references and credit checks and then called us in to sign the contract and pay the rest of the deposit and first months rent.

TBH, we didn't go through the contract as thouroughly as we ought before signing it and when we had moved all our stuff in and sorted it, we thought tonight (we've been in for 5 nights so far) we'd get some of our stuff in the loft. Which is now padlocked and full of stuff (presumably the landlady's). In the tenancy agreement it says that the loft is excluded from the tenancy and we have obviously signed it.

So, my question is - is there anything we can do about this? Obviously we should have noticed it in the tenancy agreement, but because we had been able to look at the loft and the person from the letting agency didn't say anything when we were looking round we assumed that we would be able to use it. By the time we saw the contract, and could have found out that the loft was excluded, we had already paid £500 which we would have then lost. It might not sound like a massive thing, but we would not have taken the property if we had known that the loft would be excluded as we were really relying on the space and we're going to struggle a bit over the next year. Can we argue the point with them that since they showed us the loft that we have a right to use it? <<desperate scrabble at straws!>>

TIA

sneezecakesmum Fri 05-Aug-11 22:00:47

I don't think you have a leg to stand on. Your duty is to read through any contract before you sign it and unless the letting agent told you the loft was available to you there was no verbal agreement either.

I'm not an expert though so the CAB are pretty good with regard to renting etc.

RockinSockBunnies Fri 05-Aug-11 22:02:35

Did you mention to the letting agent when you were viewing that the loft was something you planned to use? Or give any indication that it was an important reason why you decided on the house?

DemonChild Sat 06-Aug-11 09:07:49

Thank you for your replies. We did mention to the person who showed us around that we were planning to use the loft, but he was not the person we were dealing with for the tenancy agreement (it's managed by a letting agency). So I don't know whether he didn't know we wouldn't be able to use the loft or whether he knew but kept quiet to reel us in - guess we'll never know really.

Damn, I figured there was nothing we could do but I promised DH we'd exhaust all options, will try the CAB.

Grevling Sun 07-Aug-11 13:01:48

You should have got the landlord to confirm before paying the £500 if the loft was included. Any questions need to be asked before you pay your money.

Speak to the CAB by all means but there is nothing really you can do. Can you look at local self store places?

scaryteacher Mon 08-Aug-11 11:56:38

Go down the Council Tax route - if you do not have free and unfettered access to all parts of the property, then the l/l will be liable for CTAX. Contact your council to discuss this with them and get the appropriate passages in the legislation and then approach the letting agents. You are liable for CTAX if you have rented the property in its' entirety - in this case you clearly haven't, as you can't have access to the loft space.

Sausagesarenottheonlyfruit Mon 08-Aug-11 12:02:48

Were you shown the loft as part of the property during your viewing?

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 12:31:18

Aren't there rules that Estate Agents have to adhere to about property misdescription?

MaMattoo Mon 08-Aug-11 12:48:16

Yes Collaborate you are right. However having been in a similar situation some time ago..signing the contract makes it binding. The only thing you could do is request the landlady to give you access to the space. Some land lords/ladies are quite fine with requests as long as you are polite and dont push them for time. Again, where we are now..the landlord has paid around 1000£ for various repair work over the past 2 years. which is not bad...we got around to personally sending him requests via the estate agent.
no harm asking..but the contract clause does not allow much room for legal discussions. HTH

Collaborate Mon 08-Aug-11 12:51:51

I think that's right, but OP may have a right of redress against the Agents. Just guessing though.

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