HELP! End a contract after signing

My landlord is annoying, we placed an order on 17 Oct and signed the contract. But the landlord disappeared a few days, leaving our messages on Whatsapp as ‘read’. Yesterday he told us the place requires refurbishment, he was about to paint on the bedroom before we move in, this is ridiculous as our contract starts next week! We urged him to cancel this contract and refund the holding deposit, but he signed the contract!

It is not unusual for landlords to complete refurbishment work during a tenancy. Sometimes it is completely necessary. Your landlord really should have declared the intention to do work beforehand and certainly before any agreement was signed. Minor work such as repainting is just an inconvenience and if you can put up with it you might benefit from a fresher/cleaner place. More disruptive/messy/noisy work can only take place with your agreement unless the property is unsafe to live in without the work. If the property does not meet current housing or letting regulations then the tenancy is void already and you should inform the landlord and agent that you are going to report them to your local council - and follow through if necessary. This should help you to get your deposit back quickly but is not a guarantee.

Is the only job to paint the bedroom ?