Misrepresented rental property

By BiggieB

Recently signed a lease on a 2 building property.  Primary residence is a 2 room home, the second building is a detached "studio" adjacent to the home, with a laundry room to one side.  At initial viewing the leasing agent confirmed that the studio building was included in the rental.  After signing the lease we received our keys, but after the agent left and we locked up the property for the night we noticed the keys didn’t work for the studio building.  The next morning, a Saturday, we mentioned this problem to the agent who assured us that he would have someone change the locks and provide us with a key asap.  Sunday morning my fiancee arrived at the property shortly before I did and encountered a strange man doing laundry in the studio building.  The man informed her that he was doing laundry for his girlfriend who was renting in a building on the other side of the pasture that borders the primary residence.  He also stated that his girlfriend had an arrangement to use the facilities, but did not know if it was through the owner or the previous tenant.  I contacted the leasing agent on Monday morning and when questioned he didn’t hesistate to state that the agreement was in fact with the owner/property manager, and the laundry facilities were shared.

At no point was this mentioned prior to the lease, and the laundry facilities are in the studio building with only one exterior door leading in from the laundry room.  The two buildings are adjacent, at the end of a private drive, with the other rental on the other side of a fenced pasture with a separate drive.  No reasonable person would think to ask if the laundry facilities in the building that they have been assured is part of their rental would be shared, and no reasonable person would think that would not be pertinent information to divulge as part of a lease agreement, right?

It seems to me a clearcut case of misrepresentation, but I’d like to hear from someone else on the matter.  Also, if the property management company doesn’t want to accept their mistake and rescind the contract and reimburse prorated rent and deposit, would I need a lawyer to bring it to civil court, or would I be fine going solo with copy of lease?  I’d also like to be reimbursed for any fees associated with the transfer of electrical utility and any usage fees for the days in question.  Is this possible?

Edited on: Monday, October 14th, 2013 8:02 pm

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