I’m having an issue with a tenancy I entered into - I was due to move in on the 9th of December, but upon moving in there were a multitude of problems, firstly, the house was absolutely filthy, not even a basic wipe down of surfaces had been done, there were pet feces in some rooms, and the kitchen and bathrooms in particular looked like they hadn’t been properly cleaned in over a year and covered in grime - this was an issue not just because of the fact its an inconvenience, but I’m classed as vulnerable with a lung disease and we’re in a pandemic, something I made very clear to the estate agent beforehand, the risk of covid is very real to me and it’s beoynd insulting they wouldn’t even ensure a basic clean was done. This meant I had to wait an extra 3 days before cleaners could be organised to provide a deep clean. Secondly, it then turned out the boiler was broken, meaning no hot water or heating, it took two more days for a plumber to be organised to look at it, and he recommended a full replacement - but the landlord chose another repair (Apparently the boiler was repaired just 2 months ago) - as of today the property has been without hot water and heating for almost 2 weeks - which meant I haven’t been able to stay at the property and instead lost a tenant of my own as I had to move back into my own property.
There were some other miscellaneous issues such as rain water coming through the front door, broken locks, and junk left in different parts of the house. These issues including the need for a professional cleaner were clearly noted on the inventory yet hadn’t been done before my move in and I was simply told “It could use a hoover”.
I’ve told the estate agent I no longer wish to move forward with them, as due to losing my own tenant I’m now not in a position to rent the property since I won’t be able to re-let it around Christmas, and the property just simply isn’t fit for purpose. In an email the estate agent said the landlord agreed to release me from the contract (though I already considered the contract void as I couldn’t move in on the agreed date).
A few days later they began demanding I pay rent up until a replace tenant can be found, and given the state of the property and how long it’s taking them to initiate repairs, have no idea how long this could be. They’re also saying they won’t initiate remarketing the property until I agree to paying rent.
Has anyone been in a similar situation? What are my rights when a contract is breached by the landlord re the property not being available/suitable for the agreed upon move in date?
I’d appreciate any help, I’ve gone to Shelter but haven’t been able to get through at the times I’ve tried.