Student let, cleaning and maintenance

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D
DWP
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I am a landlord and rent to private individuals on ASTs and maintain my properties to a high standard and so on. My issue is not about my property but one my son has just taken on.

He is a University student and has just completed his first year living in Halls. For his second year he and some friends have rented a private house on a joint AST for 12 months. They don't need the accommodation until mid-September but were told by the agent that all student rentals were 12 months and that that was just how it was. They assumed they had no choice and were told that the agreement would start last Friday, and all signed to agree to that.

We went up to the Uni with our son yesterday to help him move all his stuff from Halls in to the new rental house. To say I was shocked is an understatement, but the house is in a terrible state. It transpires the outgoing students only left on Thursday, the house has not been cleaned and there are several serious maintenance issues that need to be tackled before they could live in it. One of the other tenants collected the keys as the agency only opens week days and my son couldn't get there until yesterday. No inventory has been supplied and the co-tenant was told that he/the tenants had to make an inventory within 7 days or the one the agents have on record would stand and he would risk having to pay for any existing damage etc. He was also told that the cleaning and maintenance would be done some time over the summer!

As you can appreciate, as landlords ourselves we think this is totally unacceptable to charge the tenants full whack (and it is an all inclusive deal yet as they are not living there yet the landlord will have very little outgoings by way of bills for 3 months) when the house is not ready for them.....not clean, broken furniture, dirty carpets etc. Also, the fact they have to write their own inventory....totally ridiculous! Thankfully we were there and have this morning compiled an inventory and taken plenty of photos.

Before I phone the agents tomorrow I would like to know whether anyone here knows what my son and his co-tenants' rights are and whether they can withold rent until the house is made ready for them.

Many thanks
DWP.

08/07/2012 00:00

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