Shortly after moving in to the property the tenant expressed his dissatisfaction surrounding the noise levels coming from the neighbouring property. The tenant stated that he had asked the Agent during the viewing who was occupying the next door property and was informed that it was a family. However, after moving into the property it became apparent that the next door neighbours were students who had a propensity for playing loud music long into the night. The tenant agreed with the landlord, Mrs D, to end the tenancy early. Mrs D then complained to the Agent that they had misrepresented the property to the tenant which directly caused her loss of rent following a vacant period of three months.
My consideration of the Agent’s file and the submissions provided from Mrs D, which included emails from the tenant, led me to conclude that the Agent had not fulfilled their obligations under the TPO Code of Practice to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the statements they had made about the property were accurate and not misleading.
Mrs D argued that the Agent’s misrepresentation of the next door neighbours directly led to the tenancy ending early resulting in a three month void period where the property remained empty and no rental income was received. As such she considered that the Agent was responsible for her loss. I considered that a compensatory award was merited for the avoidable aggravation, distress and inconvenience experienced. However, I was not persuaded that the Agent’s actions had prevented Mrs D from negotiating a more favourable settlement with the tenant or pursuing the tenant for the rent. Furthermore, the property was placed back on the market as soon as the tenant vacated. I, therefore, made an award of £500.
In this case the tenant was specifically concerned about the potential for noise from the neighbouring property and made a point of raising that issue with the Agent. Clearly this information was material to his decision as to whether to proceed with the tenancy or not. The Agent’s decision not to disclose the noise issue to the Tenant was clearly an unacceptable action under the TPO Code of Practice and potentially a misleading omission under the CPRs.