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Rented Flat.


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This is broads related but if you view a flat via a video presentation and decide to take it but when you get the keys you find it’s full of damp with humidity at 82% can you hand the keys back and get a refund. 

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It's not so much about whether it was misrepresented, but more about whether it is fit for human habitation. I'm assuming you have taken the flat on an AST? If so you can only end it early if you surrender the lease with agreement of your landlord otherwise you remain liable for the rent and other bills, however under the terms of the AST the landlord should keep the flat in a suitable condition and fit for habitation.

Your first course of action is surrendering the lease if your landlord is agreeable. If they are not then the second course of action is to report it to the environmental health department, mentioning that is your planned course of action might change your landlords mind if he refuses to allow you to surrender the lease. Be aware however that due to Covid environmental health are not making visits in person and everything is taking a lot longer than normal.

 

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Relative atmospheric moisture levels at 82% is likely to be enviromental rather than structural. Does it have humidity sensor extractor fans, are they turned off.

It is easy to reduce moisture levels with moderate heat and ventilation, the problem comes with maintaining it below 63%, this takes disapline. No washing drying indoors, unvented dryers, including condenser dryers.

A decent dehumidifier will work wonders.

The exception to this is a lower ground floor flat, never own or rent one, in 40 years I found very few that weren't a problem.

Have a 'discussion' with the agent, take it higher than the branch bod as well as a discussion with the landlord.

 

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In my experience , the law favours the tennents side majorly. If you hand your notice in and leave immediately, there is not much he can do. He could technically chase you through the courts, with no guarantee of winning, its hardly worth his (or hers of course) time effort and money. 

If the landlord is registered , then he has a responsibility to maintain the property to a living standard, id he is not registered then he doesn't have a leg to stand on. I would just bail out .,

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They only got the keys yesterday, the flat has been empty for some time and the smell is overpowering. There is a large painting on one wall which when removed was found to be covering a large damp area which is wet to the touch. The have not moved in yet and hoping to meet the agent and landlord on Monday. If they had viewed in person they would not have taken it. 

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8 minutes ago, Wonderwall said:

In my experience , the law favours the tennents side majorly. If you hand your notice in and leave immediately, there is not much he can do. He could technically chase you through the courts, with no guarantee of winning, its hardly worth his (or hers of course) time effort and money. 

If the landlord is registered , then he has a responsibility to maintain the property to a living standard, id he is not registered then he doesn't have a leg to stand on. I would just bail out .,

I would assume if it is an AST that there is a months deposit paid and at least a months rent paid up front. Sadly not normally as easy as just walking away, not without losing money anyway.

I think irrespective of whether they would have taken the flat if they'd seen it, your now beyond that, so they need to work out a solution with the landlord or take it to environmental health.

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I would have thought that the fact a painting had been placed in such a position as to cover an area of damp is indicative that the landlord was aware of the problem and had attempted to disguise it which could certainly be interpreted as deception and false advertising .

If the humidity is indeed as high as 82% then the flat does not meet accepted standards , the maximum accepted humidity for student flats is 50% and if the property regularly exceeds this then the tenant has a valid reason to request cancellation of their contract .

I agree totally that if the landlord plays hardball then the first recourse should be the environmental health dept , and a posting on social media with time dated photos etc is always a good way to get the landlords attention , especially if they are a local company .

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5 minutes ago, CambridgeCabby said:

I would have thought that the fact a painting had been placed in such a position as to cover an area of damp is indicative that the landlord was aware of the problem

Mould will grow behind a picture, wardrobes and units as the surface temperature is lower allowing condensation to form.

Mould in any above ground property is easy to rectify wilth the right measures. Two different tenants can live in a property with vastly different experiences. The vast majority of condensation formation is caused by lifestyle.

A good landlord or agent would have installed solutions and deep cleaned the property before reletting it. They would have found the mould behind the picture and steam cleaned all soft furnishings, don't necessarily write the flat off but insist on adequate heating, not night heaters, sufficient extraction and preferably a passive ventilation system.

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The property was extremely dirty and the previous tenant had made no attempt to clean it but the flat had been empty for a number of months which makes me wonder if they continued to pay rent until it was re-let but had vacated sometime before. 
 

 

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5 hours ago, BrundallNavy said:

Great news the Agent has viewed the flat and agreed to refund all the money. 

Good, but what on earth were they doing signing you up, taking your money and handing you the keys without inspecting first?

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