Following commencement of the tenancy, the Tenants found that the residents parking that the Agent had advertised with the Property, did not exist. They immediately raised the issue with the Landlord, Mrs B, and sought to renegotiate the tenancy terms. Mrs B promptly complained to the Agent.
Given the absence of contemporaneous progress notes from the Agent, I was unable to determine precisely what was discussed between them and Mrs B at the outset regarding the parking arrangements for the Property. However, it was clear that the Agent took the decision to advertise the Property as benefitting from residents parking. Seemingly, (and understandably) residents parking was material to the Tenants’ decision to proceed with their respective tenancies. Given that parking permits were not available for the Property, it was not surprising in my view that all the Tenants subsequently complained to Mrs B that they had been drawn to the Property by way of the advertised benefit of residents parking. Subsequently, the Tenants asked to be released from the tenancy early due to the lack of parking.
I was critical of the Agent for advertising residents parking without first verifying the arrangements with Mrs B. As a matter of best practice I considered that the Agent should have sought Mrs B’s approval of the advertisement before publication. Had the Agent done so, the issue may have been avoided. I supported the complaint and my award of £250 reflected the subsequent aggravation and inconvenience experienced by Mrs B in having to deal with the Tenants’ dissatisfaction as a result of the Agent’s shortcomings. In reaching this decision I also took into account that Mrs B did not suffer any financial detriment due to the subsequent re-letting with no void period.
Parking arrangements should be considered as material information in relation to any property transaction. If parking is not obviously connected to the Property (i.e. no connected driveway or garage) agents must ensure that they make the necessary enquiries with the landlord to establish the position, document the responses and thereafter provide this information to all prospective tenants. Parking arrangements should also be included in the tenancy agreement which must be provided to the potential tenant in good time to consider prior to the tenancy commencing. Making inaccurate statements is a breach of Paragraph 4f of the Code of Practice and may be deemed as a misleading action under the CPRs.