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I need some advice about a dispute with my landlord please!

 

I rented a two bedroom flat just over two months ago. It was in an old building that was in the process of being converted. There were a few last jobs that needed doing on the flat but I was assured these would be finished, and the flat cleaned before I moved in. Stupidly, I didn't get this in writing.

 

Two months on and the issues still haven't been dealt with. I won't give the full list but a couple of examples - there was no washing machine when I moved in and I was told this would be put in. When it arrived they found that it didn't fit under the kitchen counter because of a pipe behind it. It's now wedged in the kitchen, blocking access to the sink. There are no shelves in any of the kitchen cupboards. The natural floorboards were supposed to be sanded and varnished throughout - this hasn't been done. The flat wasn't cleaned after all the building works and some particularly dirty people who lived in the flat briefly during the renovations.

 

This is supposedly a 'high-end' property for the area with a high-end rent to match. Due to all these issues (there's more stuff I haven't mentioned) I've now moved out. I told the landlord I was moving out and he said I'd still be liable for the rent unless I found another tenant - but I can't very well show someone round with all the outstanding problems, including a very large brown patch on the ceiling from where the roof recently leaked.

 

I've written to the landlord listing all the issues three times. The first time I wrote to him was the day after I moved in, so he's had more than 8 weeks to start sorting things out but nothing so far. I've phoned them about a million times (it's a property management company and he refuses to speak to me himself). I haven't paid any rent this month, but I still have the keys. They aren't chasing me for rent, but surely it's just a matter of time - and I don't like this issue hanging over me. My local council said that they can't help because I moved out and they have people in need of more urgent help. The CAB were no help either.

 

Missing shelves and a wedged washing machine may not be critical issues but in conjunction with the bad floors, a dodgy shower and brown ceiling - it was a miserable place to live, especially for the rent I was paying. I was supposed to see the flat to check it before I moved in but I was 'stood up' by the company and there was little I could do as I had to be out of my previous flat.

 

What, if any, are my options? Is there anything I can do to either get the landlord to sort these things out or release me from the contract? I'm guessing there's no way I'll get my deposit back (just under £1,000). He didn't even put it in a protection scheme, despite my having asked several times. What can I do?

 

Sorry for the super-long post and congratulations if you've read this far!

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If you have an AST for less than 25K rent per year, and he has not protected your deposit then you can take him to court to force him to return the deposit and pay you a further 3 times the deposit. Read the sticky and the various TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) threads.

 

You are probably still liable for the rent until your contract ends or until the property is relet. There is another "sticky" worth reading:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/residential-commercial-lettings/74057-disrepairs-privately-rented-accommodation.html

 

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how much notice did you give them that you were moving out!

If you have not put in writing then do so, with a list of reasons etc.

Your contract will ususally have a two month notice period so you will only be liable for that, but you can offset that by them not using the deposit guarantee. so you can say I want my deposit back, pay no more rent and I wont take you to court??

 

You could of stayed there and witheld the rent untill defects sorted! that usually focuses their attention.

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