A tenant who says he moved into a noisy flat is suing both his landlord and letting agent.
Nick Hatter is claiming thousands of pounds in damages from agents Marsh & Parsons and the landlord, Mariana Visintin, over ‘excessive noise’ at the flat in Notting Hill, west London.
The case could potentially raise concerns for letting agents as to what they have to disclose to prospective tenants under Consumer Protection Regulations.
Sales agents have clear duties under CPR to proactively point out at the earliest opportunity ‘material information’ including possible drawbacks to properties to prevent consumers making transactional decisions – for example, whether to arrange a viewing – that they might not otherwise have done.
Consultancy Compliance Matters tells us: “Material information is a very subjective topic but both sales and lettings agents are held to the same standard under the Regulations. Material information will differ slightly from sales to lettings scenarios but the obligation to provide material information applies to both areas.”
Hatter’s claim is that he was mis-sold the rented flat, according to a story in the Telegraph at the weekend.
He moved into the property earlier this year but found that there were noisy neighbours in the flat above.
He said that as he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, he had specifically requested a quiet property.
He said: “Marsh & Parsons showed me this really nice ground-floor flat but I said I was concerned that noise from above would be a problem.
“The agent assured me that noise wouldn’t be an issue but from the day I moved in it was quite loud. Within the first week I was being woken up at 2am by the neighbours.”
He said he could hear people walking around and talking, and could also hear the London Underground, and said that he could neither live in nor work from the flat.
He moved out after ten days.
Hatter, a life coach, is now demanding that all fees and moving costs be refunded by Marsh & Parsons.
Altogether he is seeking over £9,000 in damages from Marsh & Parsons and his former landlord. This includes all the money and fees that he paid, plus £5,000 in lost earnings.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for Marsh & Parsons told EYE: “An agent cannot be held responsible for the tenant’s decision to rent a property nor guarantee the level of noise that will be experienced by a tenant and whether this is deemed acceptable or not to the tenant.
“Marsh & Parsons and the landlord have, however, been sympathetic to Mr Hatter’s situation – waiving all contractual fees that would be payable for early withdrawal from the tenancy agreement whilst continuing to operate in accordance with their legal obligations.
“As a result of the ongoing litigation, we are unable to comment any further.”