I'm an American living in the UK for a summer internship. I moved in to a room in a shared house, and lived there for two weeks. I found it using a university accommodation portal for summer visitors. On the portal it was stated the house would be filled with other students at the university (which makes sense, because only summer visitors of the university are given access to the housing portal).

The landlord's son, however, also lives in the house. About one week in, he gave me a copy of his autobiography. This autobiography details his battle with severe mental illness. I deeply respect his courage in opening up to give me his book, but there are sections of the book which mention he has been placed into a psychiatric ward for "the most aggressive patients" and has heard voices telling him to kill people before.

This fact alone might be enough to get me to move out of the house. But furthermore, he only gave his book to me and none of the other tenants, after knowing me for only a couple of days. I would not move out of the house if there were no strong indicators of past or potential for future violence in this book.

I moved out, and the landlord sent me an e-mail saying I am still responsible for one month of rent, per the short term tenancy agreement (which I did sign).

My question is this: is there any way I can evade this extra month's rent on the grounds the she did not disclose all of the conditions present in living in this shared accommodation?

1 Answer 1


A tenant has a right to "live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair". There are additional regulations possibly applicable in your situation if this is a "house in multiple occupation", summarized here. "Hazards" are explained here. However, these rules pertain to the condition of the building, not other tenants (except that "overcrowding" is also a hazard). They also say you should "report anti-social behaviour to your local council".

It is legal to rent a room in the UK to a person convicted of a violent crime, so it would also be legal to rent a room to a person who hasn't committed a crime (assuming he is legally in the UK). If the person did not engage in actual anti-social behavior towards you, there is nothing to report to the local council. The landlord has no affirmative duty to disclose such a fact, and it might be illegal to do so under the Data Protection Act, since this is "sensitive personal data".

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