Got a question for our property guru?

Alan Kaye, District Real Estate’s director of business development, addresses your property concerns, from fire hazards to landlord inspections


Q. Our friend recently moved to an apartment in a new building and was shocked to find it was not yet “internet ready”. The building management company said that it will take around four months to resolve and is apparently an internal problem. He was not told before he moved in. Is there anything that he can do?

A. I think that nowadays there is an assumption that the internet will be connected in the same way as water or electricity and I think it is now reasonable to assume this will be the case.

I would suggest that he complains to the landlord and requests a reduction in the rent until the problem is fixed.

It is unlikely that he will receive a refund but may have extra time added to the end of the lease as compensation.

It could possibly be argued that not having an internet connection comes under the heading of the apartment not being in a “fit and proper state” but this is something that your friend would need to discuss with a lawyer.

If this were the case then he would be entitled to leave the apartment and demand a refund.

Q. We live in a villa and the landlord has turned up without prior notice asking to check various items in the villa. This has happened three times in two months and the last time was with friends. Everything has always been in order. Is he allowed to do this?

A. I always encourage landlords and tenants to build a relationship but clearly there has to be respect on both sides.

He is entitled to check but this should be by appointment and maybe once or twice a year, unless there has been a particular problem.

Q. A few years ago I started renting one of the storerooms in our apartment building. I paid rent the first year on a separate agreement but have never been asked to pay again and am concerned that the landlord will realise and ask for back pay. Do I have a right to decline as they did not give notice for renewal?

A. I would firstly check that the storeroom has not been included with your current lease contract for your apartment.

If it has not then the terms of the first lease contract that you signed would just carry forward.

If it is the case that the landlord does not realise then they could rent the store room to someone else and remove and possibly destroy your items.

I would suggest that you bring this matter to the attention of the landlord and if they request the back rent try to negotiate with them.

Q. I live in a high rise building on the tenth floor and have just noticed two cigarette butts on my balcony. I am very concerned particularly in view of the recent fire in a block in the UK. What do you suggest that I should do?

A. This is clearly of great concern and one would always like to hope that smokers would be more responsible.

I would suggest that you immediately bring this to the attention of the management company both verbally and in writing.

If it continues then I would inform the police who will, I am sure, investigate accordingly as it is illegal to throw cigarette butts out of a window or from a balcony.

Q. I have just put down a reservation deposit on an apartment and now I have seen an identical apartment with another agent but at a lower price. Am I allowed to change and will I get my money back?

A. Unfortunately not: when you put down a reservation deposit you are entering into a legally binding agreement.

This article was supplied by a third party and does not reflect the views of
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