Debt collectors chasing me for unpaid rent but I believe they misrepresented my flat and showed me a completely different one during the viewing

Signed a tenancy agreement in September 2022 for a student flat, the pictures on the website looked great as did the showroom when I came for the viewing. However when I showed up on moving in day, my room was extremely different, the furnishings were nothing like the flat I’d seen pics of, even the flooring was different. They have a few ‘refurbished flats’ that are advertised on their website for a more expensive price. I strongly believe that all of their pictures and the flat they use for their viewings are of these refurbished flats, and they simply fail to mention it. I should note that I never requested this style of flat, just the standard one.

I refused to stay in the flat as it wasnt anything close to what I’d seen or agreed to pay for, theyre now chasing me for unpaid rent. I’ve asked a friend to contact them enquiring about their flats to see if my suspicions are right. They flat out refused to specify if the flat that they use in all their advertising is the refurbished, more expensive one. I find this very strange as theyre quick to reply to all questions, except when asking about the refurbished flat. It makes me think that theyre purposefully avoiding the question and dont want to confirm that the pictures arent indicative of the flats students are likely to get.

When I first saw my flat, I had a look at reviews for this lettings agency and their were numerous poor reviews from other tenants stating that what you see in pics and viewings arent representative of what you’re actually given. I’ve noticed recently that theyve posted a disclaimer on their instagram stating that the pictures on their website ‘arent professional marketing material’ and ‘are only for context in terms of size and layout’. They’ve also stated that ‘apartments will vary depending on the last time they were refreshed’. I believe that theyve decided to post this due to all of the bad reviews theyve received. It seems to me that theyre basically confirming that their pictures are all of the refurbished flats to try and appeal to more tenants. Would I be able to refute this debt if it turns out I was shown advertising of a more expensive better quality flat to mislead me, even when I’d made it clear I wanted the standard one?

You would probably have had the right to unwind the tenancy and get all your money back, but that option expires after 90 days. You are going to need legal advice from a specialist housing solicitor about whether you can avoid getting a CCJ

So when you came for the viewing what was their reason for showing you YOUR flat?
How soon after seeing your flat did you voice your concerns
Did you not read reviews prior to accepting the flat if so why then go ahead with it

I have seen student flats advertised in this manner . They show a pod/flat but with a disclaimer that another place may be a bit different. This is deceptive. Also as an investor the returns are far too exagerated

I find students these days are way too concerned about the standard of their accomodation. If you go to a university hall they will allocate you a room type but not a specific room, and this industry norm carried forward into student housing. You get a room of a particular type, but individual details can change room by room. Students rotate out every year, you think they have so much time to spend on each short-term let to go through curtain lengths and carpet shades? Just suck it up and get on with your life.