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Steve__M

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Steve__M last won the day on July 10 2017

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  1. There are two options as far as I understand: * You and the landlord do not come to an agreement and you leave early. In this case landlord is entitled to his losses. In this case these would be rent, bills and so forth till the end of the contract. If he re-lets the property he is entitled to rent, bills till the person moves in plus contribution to costs in advertising and so forth. * You and the landlord come to an agreement. Then he is entitled to what is agreed whether he re-lets the property quickly or slowly. If you agree on 2 months rent then get it in writing.
  2. This letter relates to your current disagreement. If you come to an agreement, then they break the agreement, that is a new disagreement and you could produce this letter. As far as I'm aware they could always decide to pay you £200 even without an agreement to pay the full amount. One option is to accept the agreement if they agree that you can add on the £60 court costs and interest if they renege. It's not pleasant to be out of pocket, but it's also a lot of work to prepare for court, and you are at risk of losing the lot if they work hard to never pay you, including lying in court.
  3. As a student I lived in a house with loads of mice. Periodically we'd have a hunt and get rid of a few. Eventually we also had a rat so got the council round. All the man did was chuck some poisoned food in various crevices. Never saw another mouse or rat again. Wouldn't be surprised if you can buy the stuff on the internet these days...
  4. 1. For information, the DPS provide a 17 page PDF document comprising the Prescribed Information. It contains about 4 pages of personal information and information about the deposit, and the rest are the detailed DPS terms and conditions. From the date you pay your deposit the landlord has 30 days to issue you with this information. 3. Good that you have these photos. I guess ideally the property should be reported to the council so they can inspect it. The council may not be inclined to do so now that you have moved out. Not sure of the legal processes for changing your claim. It's also a bit unclear as to how much of your claim is for rent and how much is for losses (storage etc). One approach could be to write to the landlord indicating that if you are able to come to agreement which simplifies his claim, that this will result in reducing his risk of legal costs. Certainly the Court would expect you to try and resolve the situation. For example, it seems clear they have locked you out, so there should be no argument about returning your rent from the point they locked you out. Assuming 30 days have passed it is clear they have not protected your deposit properly, so they should at least return it. One way would be to write requesting return of your rent and deposit now that they have accepted that the contract is rescinded (by locking you out and telling you it is being re-let). My personal view is that you will need to come across as rational and practical (and I get the impression that is what you are doing). I recently helped a friend with a claim and while he won the claim he would have won more if the issue between him and the other party had not become personal and aggressive (even though all of the aggression and 60% of the personal issues were due to the other party).
  5. 1. I don't think they necessarily have to protect your deposit with the same scheme listed in the tenancy agreement. So you may lose this claim if they have protected your deposit and given you Prescribed Information. However, some of the deposit protection schemes are quite strict about some of their rules, so worth checking carefully. I use the DPS whose rules are pretty relaxed - they provide an automatically-generated PDF that the landlord has to give to the tenant. On the other hand, I know that at one time another scheme *required* certain terms to be included within the contract. 2. The lack of gas safety certificate does not help you much compensation-wise. 3. You have to think about proving your case: * Do you have proof that the work you requested was not done? And was failure to do the work sufficient to cancel your tenancy? * Do you have proof of your ill health? * Do you have proof that the property suffered from damp? 4. I would have thought the rapidity with which the landlord and agent said they would re-let and then locked you out of the property was good evidence that they also rescinded your tenancy. So even if you lost all of your case you should be limited to paying the re-letting costs and rent till the property is re-let. It is surprising that they acted so quickly. Did you put them under a lot of pressure? 5. I'm assuming your large claim has meant you have paid a lot of court costs. The court hearing will also be expensive. You could look at your options for modifying the claim so it is covered by the small claims track. My gut feeling is that *proving* damp, and *proving* that the damp caused your ill health within one day, is difficult. If so, possibly the best you can hope for is to get your rent/deposit back because the agreed work was not done and because you and the landlord agreed, so quickly, that the property was not right for you. One of your options will be to accept the offer of a free conciliation service.
  6. If you properly fill any holes, then you cannot be sued for any losses. If you leave holes or badly repaired holes that are noticeable then the landlord may repair it and charge you the cost. You also have to accept responsibility for any inadvertent damage - e.g. to hidden wires or pipes. Also modern fire places can have vents in hollow bricks going up the wall - don't drill into them! Taps are tricky. They involve changes to the plumbing and usually involve chopping holes in walls and cupboards. If done badly they can cause leaks and long-term damage. I would not advise doing it in breach of the landlord's wishes. As long as the deposit is unprotected he cannot evict you with a Section 21 notice. If he has failed to protect the deposit then you have the right to sue for return of the deposit plus up to 3 times the amount of the deposit even if he subsequently protects your deposit. Suggest you write him a letter asking him to provide you with the details.
  7. If you are wishing to leave in the middle of a tenancy then you have to be very careful about agreeing your continuing obligations to the landlord. That would depend on precisely what he said, and not your interpretation of what he said. Note that even if you have been wrong in leaving before the end of the tenancy, if he rents the property to someone else then that should absolve you of some of your responsibility to pay rent.
  8. Was it secured originally? If so, it will likely continue to be secured till you eventually leave. Do you have your original AST? Was it a monthly AST? It is possible to have a six-monthly AST but that seems unlikely. Have they issued you with a Section 21 notice? This is a notice to start the process of ending a tenancy. Agents will often do this even if they expect the tenancy to be renewed as it puts pressure on tenants to sign up and pay the agent's fees.
  9. The story is a bit unclear because it says the gas engineer tested the system before they moved in, and they have been using electric heaters. Yet a large bill has still been raised. The gas engineer should have condemned the boiler again based on the story. Yes this does seem unlikely. If true then either the gas is being burnt and would destroy (melt) the boiler, or it is not and there would be a tremendous smell of gas around the property. The meter readings and/or the meter probably need to be checked too. The gas certificate could be legitimate, but the sticker added later (when the boiler went wrong).
  10. Landlords and tenants can mutually agree on a different date for leaving the property than the legal rules. So if landlord requested 1 month and you accepted 1 month and then left on 1 month, the landlord cannot come back and say "Well my notice was unlawful and I withdrew it. Therefore you were wrong to rely on it". So in short you need to provide your text message etc. evidence to show that you mutually agreed on a leaving date of 4th November, and did not accept landlord's request to change it.
  11. The normal legal position that applies to any tenancy is that you have to stay till the end of the fixed term. If you leave earlier you are at risk of being sued for the remaining rent. It is possible to negotiate an earlier exit. It is difficult to find examples of compensation provided for lack of boiler (I tried a lot of googling on this recently). I would guess any amount would depend on whether you had hot water and alternative sources of heating, whether you have vulnerable people in the house with particular needs, and how much *unreasonable* delay the landlord caused to the heating being fixed.
  12. If their AST ends on 14th December they are entitled to leave then. Alternatively, the landlord cannot throw them out if they find they need to stay over Christmas and get a place in the new year. The landlord would have to serve further notice of an intention to evict them. A sensible landlord (?) would understand the situation and allow the tenant to leave in their own time assuming it's only a few more weeks and the tenant makes it clear they are actively looking to leave.
  13. They need to try harder! The council should eventually send round an inspector however it will take time. The landlord is allowed a "reasonable" time to resolve the issue. Definitions of "reasonable" appear to vary depending on who you ask. In the meantime, write to the landlord/agent setting out details of the issue - dates of reporting issues, date of plumber visit, summary of communications. If there are damp issues showing up then take photos that can be used in case tenant is later accused of causing mould. If the agent or landlord contacts you, take notes of conversations and dates/times of contact. Keep copies of communication. This is all useful if you end up in court or dispute resolution. Potential partial remedies are to supply electric heaters. You can buy electric heaters for under £20. You could specify that you want recompense for them in your letter. You could suggest compensation. I have no idea how much. I tried researching this recently as someone I knew was having a similar issue. I didn't find any guidance and it might depend on specific circumstances. If they are on a 6 month contract maybe ask agent to be rehoused for zero or reduced admin costs. The agent may wish to avoid the aggravation that comes with resolving the issue between landlord and tenant. If the tenant moves out the landlord would have to fix the boiler. Failing to pay rent will commonly lead to eviction. It may be a risk they are prepared to accept if they intend to move, but they might be sued and would have to counterclaim for the boiler issue to protect themselves.
  14. What communication was there about you paying the extra £50? Was it with the landlord or the agent? Is there a chance that some of it may still exist? Was there ever a time when you paid only £1300? Do you have evidence of this (bank statements or receipts)? What is the deposit and does it relate to the rent? Was the deposit protected and if so where? The deposit company I use ask me to enter the amount of monthly rent, so the information may be held by them. In the future you might be better off putting £50 per month into a savings account. But I am not a financial advisor!
  15. Seriously!!! When I let out the house that used to be my home it was relatively straightforward to gain permission from the mortgage company to let the property. I doubt anything would have shown up on the land registry. You may be right that the landlord is evading tax or has not informed the mortgage company. Your risk is that your tenancy is less secure if the landlord defaults on the mortgage. If you have been overpaying then surely some communication has been done to explain why you have overpaid. Have you seriously lost it all in addition to losing your copy of the contract? One method would be to force the issue by writing to your landlord to say that you are now reducing your payment to £1250 for several months to off-set the overpayment. It is then in his interest to give you a copy of the contract. He may refuse and enforce the higher rent. In court a judge may have to balance the probability of a landlord also losing the contract against a tenant volunteering to give the landlord an interest free loan.
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