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  1. Had my day in Court today but not gone as hoped. The LL had a lot of his claims dismissed and of those allowed the Judge cut them by 50% for wear and tear, He said it was betterment and would not allow it. I faced a possible £3500 bill with costs but ended up with adjustments at £1550. The LL lied through his teeth and some of his claims were ridiculous. I produced pics of rising damp and the Judge said it looked like rising damp, he replied he didnt know but it was possible a dog in the house had used that part of the wall to urinate on. There had never at any time been a dog in the house. The judge then dismissed the pics of mould on the walls as due to poor ventilation. I pointed out the boiler had broken down and despite reporting it 3 times it was not fixed so leaving windows open in the winter was not feasible. LL said it was a new boiler and would have been easily fixed if reported....I must admit I got a bit uptight with some of his claims and was told to be quiet and let the LL speak. I pointed out brochure pics from before daughter moved in clearly showing paper peeling off walls and his pics with repairs claimed for. I said it was existing damp and the LL waffled it away by saying it was the utility room so it was not of high importance. ???.....so why did he include it in his claim pack then. He was allowed £250 of a £700 claim for that. Some things like the smoke alarm claims were thrown out with the LL producing pics of the old ones saying they were the shells of the new ones we had removed. Judge told him straight he did not believe him. His claim for oven and hob was reduced from £450 to £105. The most annoying thing was his claim for lost rent. Every solicitor I had spoken to had said this was not recoverable however the judge allowed him a portion. Best part of the day however was winning my counter claim re his charges. Judge pointed out OFT had ruled £12.50 a reasonable charge. LL tried to justify it by saying he had to ring round and visit peoples houses. Judge said in the case of a tenant then that may be considered reasonable but in a simple guarantor letter it was not. Judge also queried the £1 a day penalty charge which LL said he needed to charge as late payments interrupted cash flow. Judge said he was entitled to charge 5% Per Annum and singled out an arrears notice for £104 stating that he would be entitled to £5 for the year for that, not £1 per day. He ruled that charge illegal. Judge then went through full statement of account provided and reimbursed me all the letter fees and penaltys plus interest. LL looked like a boiled lobster about to explode. That bit alone was the sweetener as it means others who have been stung by him can claim them back too potentially costing him far more in the long run. I shall be using my experiences to help other people he is trying to sting by pointing out his tactics and making very public the judges ruling on his charges. A costly day for me, not as bad as it could have been and I believe a moral victory overall. The LL was not happy at all with the overall outcome.
  2. Did think it was a long shot. The paperwork also mentioned any other submissions to the court must be made at least 3 days before the hearing. Does this mean the LL could spring something else on me which I will have had no time to refute ? I have also located a couple more photos so was wondering if I could submit them as an addition to my current defence.
  3. Update. Have submitted defence denying liability together with photos I have which contradict his claims. Also submitted the letter from Fire Safety Officer stating they inspected the property and fitted smoke alarms. Hopefully little things like this will show him in a bad light. I have a Court date of 14th October with 2 hours allowed for hearing. The judge is apparently a bit of a consumer champion having made the papers when he found for motorists against private parking companies. http://notomob.co.uk/discussions/index.php?topic=2793.0 Since he also ordered the LL to state if he had declared the costs of 'repairs' to HMRC I am hoping he is leaning towards my version of events as that tells me he is suspicious of some sort of [problem]. Just one other little bit which I have only just picked up on,if you look at post No 72 where I have attached the letter from the LL, if you look at the final paragraph of his extract from the contract it states I remain guarantor until the contract is legally ended. Since he gave notice to quit on the 21st Jan, can I argue that I am no longer guarantor as he has legally released me from the contract......long shot I know but the date is drawing close and I need to cover every angle. Thanks.
  4. Thanks steampowered. I will set to work on it. My original defence was vague as all he claimed was a sum of money due for repairs and lost rent as I was a guarantor and that was basically it. I stated his POC were vague and that's why he was ordered to resubmit his claim. Its still not much clearer although since he has now basically revealed everything he has got by sending all documents, photos, e mails etc in relation to the tenancy it gives me a better idea where to aim my defence. Bit concerned about separating liability for loss from amount of loss though. If I am found liable for a particular loss for example yet the claimed cost is greatly exaggerated, how could I convey that. The inflated costs are part and parcel of my contention that he is merely treating Guarantors as cash cows rather than claiming legitimate costs. In every instance, the work carried out has exceeded what he alleged was required with other works being carried out and claimed for that were not even mentioned in his pre exit requirements letter. A simple example of this which I can easily prove is his claim for fitting 2 smoke alarms. The fire brigade fitted these free when they inspected the house and found there were none in it. I have the e mail from the Officer who inspected and authorised the fitting together with the dates done. These were still in the house when it was vacated. The LL included a picture of the old one which was a broken shell which was in the house all along and was like that on commencement of tenancy. The Fire Safety Officer is willing to help further if required. These are the type of things I need to show to prove the LL's claim is not credible and I can't do that if I merely deny the claim.
  5. He sent to me the same documents he sent to the court (see previous court order) which consisted of a statement from him together with a series of invoices and a load of photographs. The statement alleges I agreed for him to do all the work and send me the bill which is just ridiculous. He claims I said this on the final inspection...he wasn't even there. He has included all e mails sent which don't worry me as there are lots of things I asked for which he didnt do or respond to and therefore shows him in an un co-operative light. He backs up his right to charge for these items which include future rent by a clause in his contract allowing for charges to be made. This is everything I have. No additional fee breakdown or otherwise, no moneys claimed in this second bundle which is why I am a bit puzzled by it all.
  6. Have just received latest Court Order. It reads as follows. The Court noting that the Tenancy Agreement was in the name of XXXXXXX Property Services IT IS ORDERED THAT 1. The Claimants name be amended to Mr XYZ t/as XXXXXXX Property Services. 2. The Claimant will confirm what,if any of the amount claimed has been submitted as part of the form returns to HMRC by his accountant by the next hearing. 3. The defendant shall submit a fully particularised defence by 4pm on 17 August 2015. 4.Either party may apply to have this order set aside, varied or stayed, but such an application must be made within seven days of receipt of the order by the party so applying. Since his bundle of papers and bills tally up to more than he is claiming this is going to be a tricky one. Do I counter every bill he has sent ? Any help appreciated. Thank you.
  7. Have just called the Court and asked about my case. The person I spoke to asked me to drop them a quick e mail expressing my concerns and she would hand it to the District Judge as he now had the files for consideration today. Caught on the hop a bit as I am still very tired and the time available was limited but I have fired off a quick message expressing my concerns about the claim as I am still confused by his rambling bundle. I stated I did not believe he had complied with the order as I would still not be able to defend the case on a point by point basis due to insufficient details. Just have to wait and see what happens next.
  8. Will try and ring today...have been working all night so will have to set alarm to catch the office. According to the web site it's only open 10 til 2.
  9. The bundle was sent from the Claimant to me. Meant to add, he included clauses of his contract which he said he BELIEVED entitled him to claim for items such as future lost rent etc
  10. Hi Caro. The order was exactly as typed apart from a 2nd paragraph which stated " This order is made by the Court of its own initiative without hearing the parties ir giving them an opportunity to make representations. Any party affected by this order may apply to have it set aside, varied or stayed within 7 days of service upon them of this order." No mention of me putting in an amended defence.
  11. Well the deadline was yesterday at 1600 and he did submit more information but if it complies with direction I don't know. He sent a statement from himself claiming that I was denying being a guarantor but also that I had agreed to pay all his bills at the end of tenancy meeting. Since he wasnt there at that meeting I find that amazing. He also claims in that statement that since I had asked him if he had obtained quotes for all the works that must prove I agreed. He also sent bills from various tradesmen which I had already seen together with copies of all the contracts and accounts (which I had previously asked for but he had failed to send) He attached copies of e mails I had sent claiming the clearly show I admitted being a guarantor...strange since I have never denied it. The only e mail he didnt attach was the one where I asked for 2 independent councillors to view the property and also requesting all documentation which he failed to send until now. There are no new amounts or details...just a bundle of bills. Has he complied with the Courts directions ? Also sent loads of grainy black and white pics of what he claims is damage together with lots of high quality pics of the repairs...the contrast is amazing and its clear he is attempting to portray things in a bad light. Fortunately for me, I have a few pictures of some of the same things from the same angle in colour which clearly show that its rising damp etc and other neglect rather than physical damage to property. On a different note, he also attached a statement denying his claims for charges were excessive as they formed part of his contract and attached a schedule of fees and statement of account. Nice that since I had missed a few and note he has claimed nearly 400 pounds in letter fees and late charges. My question really is...has he complied with directions ? Where do I go from here.....do I contend that he has not as I still don't think he has paticularised his claim unless the individual bills amount to that....also no amount claimed in this new bundle, just the copies of bills.
  12. Latest update (is anyone following this anymore, lol) Have today received copy of order from the Court that states... IT IS ORDERED THAT By 4pm on 22 July 2015 Claimant will send to the Court and to the Defendant an amended claim with specific detailed and particularised details of the dates and amounts claimed and legal basis for the claim to comply with CPR 16.4 and in default the claim is struck out. I defended on the basis he had not sufficiently particularised his claim as the demand suddenly went from an itemised bill to a general sum without details of what was being claimed. Those who have been following will know what he has been up to with bogus claims. It's now a wait and see situation. On a different note, a friend who was also being taken to court for arrears that were in fact illegal charges has come out on top as he has dropped the case against her. My Ward Councillor also tells me that the LL has been contacting him regularly and demanding to know in what capacity he is representing me and what Council resources is he using etc....think he is feeling the heat.
  13. Still not got any further with the Court other than notification it is being transferred locally. Spoke to my local Councillor who is helping me in all this and he tells me he attended an end of tenancy inspection for another friend (we formed a group on FB to share stories and try to help each other). The Landlord in this instance was politeness itself apparently, the tenant was gobsmacked at the change in him. In this case though, the Guarantor is being pursued for so called arrears which amount to charges that the tenant was unaware of. It seems the LL has got wind of the help I am being given and has requested a private meeting with the Councillor. I am not pleased about it but seems there is not much I can do. I have told my Councillor what I feel he is up to and he is awaiting an e mail for clarification re the meeting.
  14. Ok....have opted for Mediation. This should be interesting. Just another question though...since I also have a counterclaim, what happens to that in the event of mediation concluding the matter.
  15. Have received Notice of proposed allocation to the small claims track. Claimant has put he agrees to arbitration but I am thinking No...since he was not prepared to discuss when I offered him via e mail. (Solicitor says he will deny thing sand backtrack without any proof of conversation) Going for my day in court as I can produce photographs there...would not be able to with mediation.
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