My tenant gave notice to me as wanted to move to a bigger flat, family need. I found a tenant, however my extenant viewed a property with an agent and agreed the renting verbally. Two weeks before tenants were due to move in, the agent said the flat had gone and so the agent offered them a different flat in a different Borough much further away from where the tenants wanted to be. The flat does not have double beds and sent single bed for a couple. Did not carry out inventory, deposit paid in cash for 6 weeks agent had only put down 4 weeks (there is a language barriers for the tenants) The contract is signed for 6 months. Tenant is not happy as agent deliberately pushed the house they could not get rented otherwise. I feel very bad for my ex-tenant he is saying he wants to move for number of issues mentioned above. He us been there sind 21st of September. How can the tenant break his contract? Deosit certificate hasn’t been issued as yet. What can the tenant do? Any advice to get him out of this 6 months contract?
naughty… see C A B and tell local council
Get council involved and tell agent that is happening. Breach of deposit rules (max 5 week’s rent) and not issuing correct docs (see https://www.zoopla.co.uk/discover/buying/landlord-documents/) can mean heavy fines for agent. Once you have then over a barrel, give them no leeway to put things right. Can tenant prove that 6 weeks’ deposit was given? Bank statement or withdrawal advice slip?
I have mentioned the 5 weeks rule, not sure about taking to the Council, who in the council would deal with it, I myself not sure to advice the tenant. He wants to get out of the contract, I suppose he can refuses to pay on the ground that he can no longer afford the rent and can get thrown out, if it’s the only way to break the contract.
What can Council do if the tenant is a private Tennant. May be CAB can advice?
According to Tenant Fees Act Government guidance- Trading Standards have a duty to enforce the 5 week ban, or your Local Authority. Contact trading Standards about the Agency and specifically this breach.
An organisation like Shelter might help. Probably best to write to the agents laying out that they paid a deposit of XXXX and have not recieved the deposit registration information - the agent has 30 days to provide it. They could also say the property was misdescribed. Inventory doesn’t matter from the tenants point of view, just means that the landlord has no come back if there is any damage/missing items.
Important thing is to put it in writing and that will be their evidence.
Look, it sounds harsh, but it’s not your problem. You aren’t their solicitor & any advice you give can only be opinion. Language barrier or not, everyone needs to understand that putting a signature on a document & handing over money is serious stuff. Sure, we feel for the conned, but we aren’t the law, the legal profession or the ones running the con. Personally, I’d send them to the citizens advice bureau. I’d fear that my advice could be questioned legally at a future date & I really don’t want the financial consequences at my door.