I'm in trouble (accommodation emergency) and I need some advice...

Watch
IneffableNovel
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
This is a slight cry for help and advice that's quite a long read but the case is quite detailed so I tried to make it as brief as possible!

I was meant to move into a student accommodation (A 5 bedroom house) with my university mates yesterday (August 1st.) I got there first as others are on holiday and I was still in England and able to keep everyone's keys safe as well as move in right when our contract started.

We went to go see the house about 3 months prior when the previous tenants were still living in the house and it was lovely and maintained to a liveable standard. The previous tenants had rented the house for 2 years straight so it was a great sign and we saw no issues with the land-lord who seemed to be a decent guy at the time of viewing.

Everything was going great the contract was signed, the deposit was paid for and everyone paid their first months rent. I got to this house yesterday with WRITTEN promise that the cleaners had been over to do a deep clean and replace any faults or broken furniture. When me and my parents went inside to officially move me in we were SHOCKED. So shocked in fact that we were struggling to keep our composure from the sheer disgust we felt when we saw the state the house was in. Here are some notes I wrote down while I was in panic on my phone about all of the issues we spotted:

-House promised to be refurbished but it was left in a horrendous state (stained walls, beds & the furniture was broken.) There was a stench of weed an alcohol.

- Contract breached nothing that was promised to be done was done. They promised painted walls refurbished furniture and they even claimed that the garden had already been re-done but when we got there nothing had been done. (We found out later that the land-lord said the cleaners had been around but never even bothered to check if the house was clean even after telling us like a WEEK before it was agreed that I'd move in.)

-The man who gave me the key to the house said that he wasn't sure where the other keys were and said that the previous tenants might have actually had them. (Meaning that I could have been attacked while I was in that house alone without any sort of protection.) He even mentioned after some questioning that the house might have been left in that condition because the previous tenants might have thrown a party without them knowing. (They should have taken their keys at this point.) + The housing agency claimed to do weekly/bi-weekly checks on each property they owned.

-They took everyone's deposit and first month's rent without it being a suitable house to even live in. The guy who came to look at the house's state lied about not being able to check it and then proceeded to go to the house when we went back to get out car and then locked himself in the house until we had left. (My father probably scared him because he was pretty angry at the agency.)

After my father had talked to the land-lord he kept saying something like 'she signed a contract and a contract is a contract so she can't back out of it now.' So the issue here is that they won't let me get out of this contract despite them breaching it in the first place.

I went back home to my parents house extremely panicked, confused and angry/upset. The day after the land lord had a video call discussion with one of my other housemates and he explained that he'd refurbish the house, paint it, clean it (all of the stuff that was meant to be done before the the 1st of August.) My housemates weren't there in person to see the house so they could only see how bad it was from the pictures I took but even with all of this shady behaviour some decided that they'd stay when the house was finally re-furbished.

Despite the agency trying to 'make it up to us,' I do not want to stay there. I felt disgusted and unsafe and the land lord even got more keys made the day after and lied saying 'the rest of the house keys were in the room doors all along...' Me and my parents know for a fact that wasn't the case because we checked every single room when we arrived and picked up the key to the front door. I'm sure most people would agree that the sensible thing to do would be to try my best to break the contract.

This is what I need advice on, I have no idea what to do. I've called my student union and my local citizen's advice help line neither of those lines could help me very much. I would like to find a solicitor if that's at all possible but I'm not sure if that would actually be of any help as the tenancy contract may be somewhat convoluted and loop-holey from a legal standpoint. I'm also trying my best to see if anyone else would replace me as a tenant because that might be an option but I'm so stuck.

I'm going to find some sort of uni owned accommodation to stay in because I'm fortunate enough to have a part-time job that will give me a lot of overtime in order for me to be able to afford such a thing but I'd still rather not pay 6 grand to a company that essentially screwed me over.

Thank you to anyone who read this entire thing and I thank anyone from the bottom of my heart who is able to give me any sort of advice in advance!
0
reply
mannode
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
The charity Shelter might be able to help you with advice! https://england.shelter.org.uk

The way you’ve been treated by the landlord and the agency is completely disgusting and probably illegal, so hopefully something can be done about it.
2
reply
Donahmed786
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 month ago
#3
Do you have a copy of the tenancy agreement?
1
reply
University of Portsmouth Student Rep
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
(Original post by IneffableNovel)
This is a slight cry for help and advice that's quite a long read but the case is quite detailed so I tried to make it as brief as possible!

I was meant to move into a student accommodation (A 5 bedroom house) with my university mates yesterday (August 1st.) I got there first as others are on holiday and I was still in England and able to keep everyone's keys safe as well as move in right when our contract started.

We went to go see the house about 3 months prior when the previous tenants were still living in the house and it was lovely and maintained to a liveable standard. The previous tenants had rented the house for 2 years straight so it was a great sign and we saw no issues with the land-lord who seemed to be a decent guy at the time of viewing.

Everything was going great the contract was signed, the deposit was paid for and everyone paid their first months rent. I got to this house yesterday with WRITTEN promise that the cleaners had been over to do a deep clean and replace any faults or broken furniture. When me and my parents went inside to officially move me in we were SHOCKED. So shocked in fact that we were struggling to keep our composure from the sheer disgust we felt when we saw the state the house was in. Here are some notes I wrote down while I was in panic on my phone about all of the issues we spotted:

-House promised to be refurbished but it was left in a horrendous state (stained walls, beds & the furniture was broken.) There was a stench of weed an alcohol.

- Contract breached nothing that was promised to be done was done. They promised painted walls refurbished furniture and they even claimed that the garden had already been re-done but when we got there nothing had been done. (We found out later that the land-lord said the cleaners had been around but never even bothered to check if the house was clean even after telling us like a WEEK before it was agreed that I'd move in.)

-The man who gave me the key to the house said that he wasn't sure where the other keys were and said that the previous tenants might have actually had them. (Meaning that I could have been attacked while I was in that house alone without any sort of protection.) He even mentioned after some questioning that the house might have been left in that condition because the previous tenants might have thrown a party without them knowing. (They should have taken their keys at this point.) + The housing agency claimed to do weekly/bi-weekly checks on each property they owned.

-They took everyone's deposit and first month's rent without it being a suitable house to even live in. The guy who came to look at the house's state lied about not being able to check it and then proceeded to go to the house when we went back to get out car and then locked himself in the house until we had left. (My father probably scared him because he was pretty angry at the agency.)

After my father had talked to the land-lord he kept saying something like 'she signed a contract and a contract is a contract so she can't back out of it now.' So the issue here is that they won't let me get out of this contract despite them breaching it in the first place.

I went back home to my parents house extremely panicked, confused and angry/upset. The day after the land lord had a video call discussion with one of my other housemates and he explained that he'd refurbish the house, paint it, clean it (all of the stuff that was meant to be done before the the 1st of August.) My housemates weren't there in person to see the house so they could only see how bad it was from the pictures I took but even with all of this shady behaviour some decided that they'd stay when the house was finally re-furbished.

Despite the agency trying to 'make it up to us,' I do not want to stay there. I felt disgusted and unsafe and the land lord even got more keys made the day after and lied saying 'the rest of the house keys were in the room doors all along...' Me and my parents know for a fact that wasn't the case because we checked every single room when we arrived and picked up the key to the front door. I'm sure most people would agree that the sensible thing to do would be to try my best to break the contract.

This is what I need advice on, I have no idea what to do. I've called my student union and my local citizen's advice help line neither of those lines could help me very much. I would like to find a solicitor if that's at all possible but I'm not sure if that would actually be of any help as the tenancy contract may be somewhat convoluted and loop-holey from a legal standpoint. I'm also trying my best to see if anyone else would replace me as a tenant because that might be an option but I'm so stuck.

I'm going to find some sort of uni owned accommodation to stay in because I'm fortunate enough to have a part-time job that will give me a lot of overtime in order for me to be able to afford such a thing but I'd still rather not pay 6 grand to a company that essentially screwed me over.

Thank you to anyone who read this entire thing and I thank anyone from the bottom of my heart who is able to give me any sort of advice in advance!
Hi sorry to hear you're going through all this.

What are your other housemates sentiments about the situation? Would you consider continuing with the contract if all issues are sorted out before you attempt to move in again or you already feel put off by the experience ? I'd suggest assessing whether or not the landlord can get their issues in order.

If you truly don't want to continue with them then finding a replacement tenant would be the next best move.

Good luck.

Lee-UoP Rep
1
reply
IneffableNovel
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#5
(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
Hi sorry to hear you're going through all this.

What are your other housemates sentiments about the situation? Would you consider continuing with the contract if all issues are sorted out before you attempt to move in again or you already feel put off by the experience ? I'd suggest assessing whether or not the landlord can get their issues in order.

If you truly don't want to continue with them then finding a replacement tenant would be the next best move.

Good luck.

Lee-UoP Rep
Hello, thank you so much for your reply.

The other house-mates want to stay as long as the house is re-furbished as they promised however, I personally do not feel safe within this agency and I would not like to proceed being in a contract with them. The land-lord did say he is sorting all of this out ASAP because he was shocked about the state the house was left in too but this to me isn't a small mistake. To me this is a mistake that has entirely diminished my trust for this company. This is a mistake that might cost me my job as I can no longer work in the place I was transferred to and I must beg the place I worked at in my home town to take me back on.
Last edited by IneffableNovel; 1 month ago
0
reply
IneffableNovel
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by Donahmed786)
Do you have a copy of the tenancy agreement?
I do, yes. I've kept a copy of not only each contract but also every message and voice message that the land-lord and agency has set us over WhatsApp group chats.
Last edited by IneffableNovel; 1 month ago
0
reply
IneffableNovel
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by mannode)
The charity Shelter might be able to help you with advice! https://england.shelter.org.uk

The way you’ve been treated by the landlord and the agency is completely disgusting and probably illegal, so hopefully something can be done about it.
Thank you so much for the reply.

I don't think calling the charity shelter will be of much use to me as I can find another accommodation. I only wish not to be charged 6 grand for a house I'm not going to live in.
0
reply
University of Portsmouth Student Rep
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 month ago
#8
(Original post by IneffableNovel)
Hello, thank you so much for your reply.

The other house-mates want to stay as long as the house is re-furbished as they promised however, I personally do not feel safe within this agency and I would not like to proceed being in a contract with them. The land-lord did say he is sorting all of this out ASAP because he was shocked about the state the house was left in too but this to me isn't a small mistake. To me this is a mistake that has entirely diminished my trust for this company. This is a mistake that might cost me my job as I can no longer work in the place I was transferred to and I must beg the place I worked at in my home town to take me back on.
You're absolutely right that this was no small mistake. Now we don't know the real reasons for all these issues like was it a case of mismanagement, or bad timing or simply that the agency is not very professional. Trusting your gut is the best option so perhaps finding a replacement tenant is your next option. I know a lot of Unis have Facebook housing groups, you could post an ad for an available room there.

Regards

Lee-UoP Rep
0
reply
IneffableNovel
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#9
(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
You're absolutely right that this was no small mistake. Now we don't know the real reasons for all these issues like was it a case of mismanagement, or bad timing or simply that the agency is not very professional. Trusting your gut is the best option so perhaps finding a replacement tenant is your next option. I know a lot of Unis have Facebook housing groups, you could post an ad for an available room there.

Regards

Lee-UoP Rep
Yes I'll make sure to try and reach out to as many students as possible, thanks for the advice.
1
reply
Scotney
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 month ago
#10
The reality is that you may find it difficult to find a replacement tenant. Can you really not give it a go if the place is cleaned up. The thing I would be most concerned about is how well you get on with your housemates. If they are good friends you might be better off trying to make a go of it. The thing you could press hard for is getting the locks changed. If it came to it you could get it done yourself for a lot less than £6000 and landlord probably not be that bothered. Tbh this is not an unusual story with regards student accommodation. I realise this was an upsetting incident but when your friends are there you will feel a lot less vunerable I should imagine. Solicitors are expensive so give it a week and think things over calmly. Hope it works out.
0
reply
IneffableNovel
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#11
(Original post by Scotney)
The reality is that you may find it difficult to find a replacement tenant. Can you really not give it a go if the place is cleaned up. The thing I would be most concerned about is how well you get on with your housemates. If they are good friends you might be better off trying to make a go of it. The thing you could press hard for is getting the locks changed. If it came to it you could get it done yourself for a lot less than £6000 and landlord probably not be that bothered. Tbh this is not an unusual story with regards student accommodation. I realise this was an upsetting incident but when your friends are there you will feel a lot less vunerable I should imagine. Solicitors are expensive so give it a week and think things over calmly. Hope it works out.
Thank you for the reply, it's not just me that's uncomfortable with going back it's my parents who would absolutely refuse to let me live there (with good reason tbh.) I'm sure any parent who knew one of the previous tenants of the house your kid was supposed to live in was a drug user wouldn't allow their kid to stay in such a place. (We found this out a little while ago because one of the agency employees told us.) This is along with everything else that happened on the day I was supposed to move in of course. The other house mates who are meant to live there are friends but I'm really just not comfortable with the situation anymore and we've found another accommodation for me to live in so now I'm just really hoping the land lord diminishes this contact so that 6 grand isn't totally wasted.
0
reply
Scotney
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 month ago
#12
(Original post by IneffableNovel)
Thank you for the reply, it's not just me that's uncomfortable with going back it's my parents who would absolutely refuse to let me live there (with good reason tbh.) I'm sure any parent who knew one of the previous tenants of the house your kid was supposed to live in was a drug user wouldn't allow their kid to stay in such a place. (We found this out a little while ago because one of the agency employees told us.) This is along with everything else that happened on the day I was supposed to move in of course. The other house mates who are meant to live there are friends but I'm really just not comfortable with the situation anymore and we've found another accommodation for me to live in so now I'm just really hoping the land lord diminishes this contact so that 6 grand isn't totally wasted.
I totally understand your concerns but am just cautioning that student contracts are difficult to get out of and also the use of weed at many unis is ubiquitous in reality. Again they are former residents not current. Good luck though.
0
reply
PhoenixFortune
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#13
Report 1 month ago
#13
(Original post by IneffableNovel)
Thank you for the reply, it's not just me that's uncomfortable with going back it's my parents who would absolutely refuse to let me live there (with good reason tbh.) I'm sure any parent who knew one of the previous tenants of the house your kid was supposed to live in was a drug user wouldn't allow their kid to stay in such a place. (We found this out a little while ago because one of the agency employees told us.) This is along with everything else that happened on the day I was supposed to move in of course. The other house mates who are meant to live there are friends but I'm really just not comfortable with the situation anymore and we've found another accommodation for me to live in so now I'm just really hoping the land lord diminishes this contact so that 6 grand isn't totally wasted.
I totally sympathise - I had a similar thing happen where I signed up to a studio flat (which I didn't view in-person first, big mistake), and then arrived on the day to find that the flat wasn't as advertised. It's a really horrible shock, especially if you were all mentally geared up to move in that day and for everything to be fine. I'd advise to wait and see if the landlord delivers regarding the furniture/painting/cleaning etc., and then make a decision. It wasn't a great first impression sure, but you might like it once it's done and you'll be with your friends too.

As Scotney says, finding a replacement tenant is never easy, so you might end up having to pay for your room and your new accommodation at the same time. Can you afford to do that?
1
reply
Scotney
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 month ago
#14
(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
I totally sympathise - I had a similar thing happen where I signed up to a studio flat (which I didn't view in-person first, big mistake), and then arrived on the day to find that the flat wasn't as advertised. It's a really horrible shock, especially if you were all mentally geared up to move in that day and for everything to be fine. I'd advise to wait and see if the landlord delivers regarding the furniture/painting/cleaning etc., and then make a decision. It wasn't a great first impression sure, but you might like it once it's done and you'll be with your friends too.

As Scotney says, finding a replacement tenant is never easy, so you might end up having to pay for your room and your new accommodation at the same time. Can you afford to do that?
Yes this is the problem indeed.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Feeling behind at school/college? What is the best thing your teachers could to help you catch up?

Extra compulsory independent learning activities (eg, homework tasks) (2)
4.65%
Run extra compulsory lessons or workshops (7)
16.28%
Focus on making the normal lesson time with them as high quality as possible (5)
11.63%
Focus on making the normal learning resources as high quality/accessible as possible (4)
9.3%
Provide extra optional activities, lessons and/or workshops (17)
39.53%
Assess students, decide who needs extra support and focus on these students (8)
18.6%

Watched Threads

View All