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Would anyone with experiences or knowledge pertaining to commercial leases please assist with this dilemma I'm facing. I intend to nullify the lease if possible.


In April 2010, I took out a six month commercial lease for an office using a Letting Agency in London. The office was initially constructed with the intention of being used as a one bedroom flat - it has a small bathrooom, kitchen utilities and meeting room. As I'm an individual with my own limited company and this catered to my needs, I signed the lease with the Landlords (two limited companies) via the Letting Agency.


Cosmetically, there was a problem with damp and mould in minor areas of the premises and the Letting Agents agreed that this would be dealt with as a matter of urgency once I had signed the lease. In May, one month after signing the lease, the agents finally decided they would get someone to look into the mould issues in general and a ceiling leak from a flat above, which contributed to some of the mould. On two occassions a 'heating expert/builder' was sent to identify and resolve the leak, but could not. The mould and damp was prevalent through the entire property and to such a degree and extent, that it made occupation impossible as even breathing in the stench and damp made it difficult.


As of the past two weeks, the Letting Agents (having been badgered several times for not resolving this within a reasonable time) allowed a proffessional company to address the damp work. They have completed this work (general damp/plaster work) and in the process, had turned off the electricity to my fridge/freezer which contained a lot of food. The ceiling leak and mould patches elsewhere are still as they were months ago.


My questions:


- What is considered a 'reasonable' amount of time in order to resolve a problem? Is there a universal consensus on this?


- If the Letting Agents are prolonging issue resolution expectations, should the Landlords be informed of this?


- Given that I signed the lease in April and haven't been able to fully utilise the premises, should I be negotiating the rent on the lease, inclusive of the time required to fully repair the premises?


- The lease states that the Landlord has to provide adequate insurance to the property and has to inform me of the levels of cover he has. To date, this has not been communicated to me. Is the building company liable for damaged cause to the food in my fridge/freezer, or should this be directed at the Letting Agents/Landlords?


- I'm paying for something that I'm not making full use of and the Letting Agents are wholly unreasonable and delayed in what they do; there are also existing cosmetic problems to the premises which are not being addressed at all. Do I have grounds to nullify this tenancy? (I can post a markup of the clauses if required).


Many thanks.



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