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kcmatt79

Holding deposit being withheld for unsuitable room - advice needed please!

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Hi

 

To cut a long story short, I am in the process of separating from my partner and looking to rent a room in a house share in my home town. After looking at loads of pretty dire places, I went to view one which seemed nice - big house, plenty of space etc. The kitchen was a bit of a mess but I put that down to maybe the tenants not getting home from work by then and not clearing up night before's mess. So, I rather rashly signed the contract there and then without meeting the tenants. I've not lived in shared accommodation for a long while and didn't really think about this at the time. I paid the landlord £150 holding deposit and said I would move in two days later.

 

So, the day came to move in and (thankfully) I only took one suitcase and a few other bits and pieces with me to move in. The house was more of a mess than before - piles of rubbish outside the front door with flies around and piles of rubbish in the kitchen. Kitchen sink full, dishwasher full and dirty bin overflowing. Three of the housemates were in and I went and introduced myself. They weren't particularly unfriendly but what they told me made me realise I'd made a massive mistake. These were namely,:

 

1) The other housemate smokes drugs in the house and regularly takes acid.

2) Him and a relative are constantly drunk and come home and throw food around - they mentioned that had happened the night before.

3) The other tenant had blazing rows with his partner and had hit on a few occassions leading to a massive fight between all the tenants.

 

These are the main problems they told me about, but they seemed to find it quite funny. The problem I have with this, is that I'm a teacher and can't live in a place where stuff like that goes on. It's not just about being kept awake/messy house, it's more the drug thing that concerned me because obviously I have to be careful in my job.

 

Anyway, I promptly packed my stuff back up and drove home. I rang the landlord and told him I had made a massive mistake and the reasons why I couldn't live there. I made it quite clear that I just couldn't contemplate livign in a house where illegal drugs were present. He agreed to return my month's rent but is refusing to return the £150 deposit. I understand that he may have to readvertise (altho his ad is always up online because he has so many properties) but I feel that it is more his tenants which have lost him this money, not me! I was willing to move in and showed him that by moving my stuff in but simply can't live there!! Surely, it's not up to me to pay for that privilege??

 

Any advice would be great. I know that I'm not in a great position legally, but wondered if there's anyway I can convince this guy to give me my money back.

 

Thank you in advance!!

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You signed a contract agreeing to move in, If this was the Tenancy Agreement legally the LL could insist you pay rent for the whole term of the tenancy agreement, so he's doing you a favour by returning the first months rent!

I think the LL is being very fair!

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I didn't sign a contract to live in a house with drug users. If this is your idea of fair, then we live in very different worlds.

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Not its not fair to have to live in somewhere like that, I was alluding to the fact that the LL is giving you the first months rent back when he doesnt actually have to give you anything, and could insist on the rent money for the whole term of the Tenancy Agreement

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KCmatt99 - Emma is right from the landlords point of view and in the eyes of the law that is fair and he is being seen to be generous.

 

However, this might be worth a try, pop along to Shelter with your tenancy agreement, somewhere in there it should state that you have the right to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of your home. Well, if you have informed him, and other residents are aware, that there is drug use in the building and he has done nothing to stop it he isn;t allowing you peaceful and quiet enjoyment.

 

And the other thing you could do is tip off the local cop shop. The term "crack house closure" springs to mind here and it doesn't necessarily apply to that particular drug only! I assume you are talking about cannabis being smoked, lets hope its not heroin, but in any case as a morally upstanding citizen you would only be doing your duty wouldn't you! ;)

 

This may not get your deposit back, but it might - I hope you find somehwere to live soon. Good luck

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