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Everything posted by barella

  1. thanks pinky I decided to call British Gas and explained the situation and surprise surprise its a 'simple matter that can easily be sorted in a week'. British Gas is going to bring the debt back to their system so its 'live' again before carrying out a 'moving out' process using the final meter readings and date of move (which thankfully we still have). This is what was meant to happen back in September 2006. I'm told the account will then be closed and my father won't be pursued for the debt again. Fingers crossed it WILL actually be that simple but I'm going to be optimistic. It really brings it home how debt collection agencies operate. They make out there is no other way of sorting it out other than paying but in actual fact the consumer can contact the company the debt was for and get it sorted easily and communicate with a far more reasonable and friendly person! I understand how debts get referred to debt collection agencies (when there is no forwarding address to communicate with the customer for example) but my advice to anyone who is contacted by a debt collection agency for a debt that isn't theirs, to not enter into any communication with them at all. I found that 'assisting' Buchanan Clark and Wells was pointless. Instead, if possible, go straight to the company who you apparently owe the debt to and communicate with them.
  2. Hoping for some advice on a matter that is causing great distress to my father. He sold his house after a divorce in September 2006. He advised British Gas of final meter readings for both gas and electric on 6th September. The actual date of sale was 7th September. He received the 'final' bills (stating meter readings on 6th Sep06) and paid them. Now, 2 years on and he has been contacted by two debt collection agencies chasing payment of bills for gas and electric for dates AFTER he moved out. We sent copies of the last bills he received with the payment stamps. Along with copies of the solicitors letter confirming date of sale and even the names of the new owners. The company chasing the electric accepted this evidence and closed the matter. We have heard nothing since. However, Buchanan Clark and Wells are a different story. They don't consider the copies of bills paid and confirmation of sale from the solicitor as evidence that my father is not liable for this debt. They are stating British Gas terms and conditions and because British Gas did not update their records correctly is not their problem. The guy I spoke to from Buchanan Clark and Wells was unbelievable arrogant and argumentative from the word go, his bullying words and tone were quite disgusting! Any reasonable person can see this debt is not my fathers and I said since he does not have the money to pay (almost £1000) it will have to go to court. This man then started to say how much worse it is going to get for him saying it will become a bancruptcy order (or words to that effect) and his posessions will be ceased. I said he has nothing to be ceased. He then said there will be an attachment of earnings to which I said he doesnt work he is on benefits, so he said the courts will take his benefit from him. My father is getting on, he isn't working (the over 50 scrap heap!), he is on anti-depressants and lives in a bedsit. It's really quite distressing. This guy was unbelievable and was clearly got a kick out of the phone call being rude and argumentative every step of the way. I confess to calling this man an arrogant pr*ck before putting the phone down on him. Can I request that all further communication is in writing to stop the phone calls (which I consider to be harrassing)? Anyone any advice on how to proceed from here? Thanks
  3. Is this definitely true? I've always been led to believe that a cleaning charge was standard. I'm not sure a judge would consider it unreasonable to charge for cleaning and i expect the cost would depend on what level of cleaning was required, if the place is covered in dog hair the carpets would need more than a hoover. In my new tenancy agreement it states a standard charge of £60 will be deducted for cleaning at the end of the tenancy which is fine with me because I would rather pay someone anyway than spend all day doing it myself. But I thought it was a bit cheeky that when we moved in it wasnt cleaned for us!. It was covered in dust (a new build). The agreement also states that if we want to keep a pet we have to pay a deposit of another 2 weeks rent (£over £400) to cover potential costs of specialist cleaning.
  4. if this went to court he would need to provide evidence of the costs. if he's anything like my exlandlord he probably won't even replace it and will have plucked a sum out of fresh air. In any case (should it not come under wear and tear and assuming its down to your word against his) he cant replace it with new (betterment), it has to be like for like. According to Google you can pick up bathroom suites for anything from a hundred quid.
  5. this is uncanny. In my case, there was a 'raised mark' on one of the kitchen tops (possibly a burn) which was there when I moved in. It flaked a bit over the next 2 years & 4 months but I'm sure it would have been worse if I wasn't kitchen shy. He is saying same to me; if he cant match the kitchen top the 'whole lot' will have to be replaced. It's one of those low cost laminated worktops which are common and cheap to replace so it will be interesting to see what he comes back with. I loved the LBA referring to not being able to use the deposit for 'betterment' or as a 'redecoration fund'. good luck, let us know how you get on
  6. yeah, as soon as ive got everything in order i'll post the links list on the forum, might be useful to others too!
  7. that is what ive been posting about regarding my own issues to start with all i had was 'my word against his' and then i came here and was given the impression he doesnt stand a chance without an itinerary. I then did my own research and found a number of case examples that confirmed it. Do you have any links to case examples where the tenant lost despite there being no itinerary so we can gauge what might be considered strong enough evidence of 'proof'?
  8. Hi, sorry to jump in here but i have a questions about RBoS account numbers and wondered if someone can confirm. is there a difference in format of business account numbers and personal account numbers? i.e. business numbers start with xxx personal account numbers are x digits long, etc Many thanks!
  9. Hi, This is a strange one, hope someone can clarify The landlord on my Tenancy agreement is a business The registered owner of the title deeds of the property is an individual (not the business). The individual is the MD of the business. Can a landlord be someone who is not the property owner? If the landlord must be the property owner, what should i do to confirm it before I commence with my court claim if the LL has refused to communicate with me? Please ask if further info is needed Thanks
  10. hi hippychick, i'm going through a similar experience to you. i sent the LBA but the LL continues to hold the deposit (and has refused to provide a break down or invoices, etc) in fact he has now refused to even talk to me so its onwards with the court case. Like you there was no initial itinerary But I am now in the process of getting witness statements contradicting everything he claims. Including the ex-caretaker who will confirm the LL is lying and that he carried out the work that the LL is claiming to be 'damage'. I do think its important to remember that if you KNOW you did not cause this damage the landlord should not be able to 'prove' a damn thing. All I can say is I have read an enormous amount of legal documents, posted on this and landlordzone forum and run everything past a solicitor (through work) and you do sound to be a good position. With a bit of luck your exLL will back down with that LBA. I suspect mine doesn't expect me to go through with the court case, he has underestimated me! By any chance are you aware of the annual gas safety inspections that are required by law? You should have a copy of the certificates sent within 28 days. My philosophy now is if someone tries to rip you off, fight back with a bigger weapon. I'm currently looking into the gas safety, permissions for grade II listed buildings permissions and think i may have come across some naughty dealings regarding tax and property ownership too. PM me if you would like to exchange notes and support
  11. i feel for you. im going through a similar thing but to do with so called 'damage' rather than articles. some people just aren't particularly nice and they know that if they dig their hells in the majority of people will walk away. thankfully forums like this exist to remind us that we can stand up and fight, with support, if we choose to. good luck getting everything sorted and being able to move on contented.
  12. yes its held in a TDS If i had got everything in order with my previous landlord i might not be going through the stress of a disupute with him now im about to take him to court for withholding my deposit for things I did not do. I just checked the emails and it they all just refer to "blinds being fitted" they dont specifically say "throughout the house". The LA owner said the blinds would be fitted in the attic to me verbally. Guess I'll have to let that one go...maybe. thanks for all the comments
  13. hya, thing is with new builds is that snags can appear while the house settles, those I can deal with because they are pretty common snags which i doubt could be attributed to anything OTHER than the house settling. but there is also damage that was done while things were being installed. there is a crack in one of the doors (looks like it was made when they were attaching the handle) the aerial installers (which the LA instructed) botched up an extension into the basement room (drilled an extra hole). I notified them of this but they have not made steps to get the aerial guy back or repair the hole. I worry they could later claim I am responsible since I requested additional points and paid the difference. the workmen didnt finish sealing the kithchen, there is a gap between the bathroom floor and the skirting boards, the seal around the bath hasnt been finished, one of the shower heads is broken and sprays water everywhere if we try to use it. these concern me because sealing should be done to prevent water getting where it shouldnt. ive been advised not to do anything of the work myself because the LA could later say I didnt have permission or it wasnt done correctly (and contributed to whatever could happen). At the moment I have tape around the bath, not very pretty. 5 - they said the blinds would be fitted on a certain date prior to us moving in and indeed they were - at least the blinds on all the other windows were. it wasnt until we moved in that we noticed the attic windows were still bare. i presumed they would be done the week after so when they werent i chased it up and was told the landlord 'has changed his mind due to the expense'. convenient eh? I've emailed the LA again asking for an appointment to get everything sorted. I am wondering if the LA has been fobbing us off knowing that anything said verbally is not evidential. If I dont here anything else I'm thinking I should go direct to the LL just in case the LA has not being completely honest with him about the outstanding issues.
  14. Hi MrShed, I'm confused. From reading your answer the LA could produce any photographs as evidence in the event of a dispute. I'm surprised they don't need to be agreed by me. This actually contradicts what I've understood reading other posts of LL/tenant disputes on this forum. There are 4 identical houses in the court, all built at the same time, all new builds. They said the LL and I would walk round the property together and they didnt say till a month in that they already had the photo's and the LL never attended a joint inspection. So even if i went round taking photo's myself now, they would prove nothing because they could say 'damage was done' in the first two months. I suppose the only thing I could do now is get my ar*e down to the LA, ask to see the photo's to check if there is anything I don't agree with. Do you have any thoughts on point 2? If they can produce any old photo's Im assuming they can produce any old basic condition report? Does that have to be agreed in writing by me? does the fact I wrote to dispute it (which was acknowledged) stand for anything? I do have it in an email from the LA dated before I signed that blinds would be fitted throughout the property - does that give me any 'oomph'? Thanks lots for your time on this.
  15. This is interesting: I have an ongoing dispute with my ex-landlord and I contacted my local authority regarding electrical inspections because I had previously read about the requirement for testing every 5 years. They said there was no statutory requirement to have the fixed electric installations tested unless it was a large industrial building. (It is an HMO but not one that is required to be licensed) I'll go back to the council and quote these regulations and ask them to double check. Thanks!
  16. Hello all (I have posted this in another forum too, hope thats ok, no reply in other forum as yet) I moved into a new build rented property at the end of March. The Letting agents have been really poor with communications since before the tenancy began (not responding fully to queries and giving contradictory information). I was told the LL would make an appointment to go through the property with me and note down any issues/snags before sending the 'basic condition report' which never happened. I drew up a list of issues (some needing attention, others simply minor cosmetic snags) and took it the the LA the day after I moved in then about a month later i was sent a basic condition report that said everything was immaculate and that they have photographs at the office. They did not acknowledge the issues I raised previously and I have not seen the photo's. They said if i did not write to them within 7 days it would be taken that I agree with the report. I wrote a letter raising the issues again and hand delivered it. The LA later confirmed by email that they would amend the report and send it to me. A short while later I hadnt heard anything so I called into the LA and asked about the outstanding issues, etc and was told the LL was managing the property himself and I had to contact him (this contradicts what I was told when I signed the lease). But I said I gave them a list the day after I moved in and they said they would forward that the the landlord and chase it up for me. I also left a messag on the LL's mobile that I was having problems getting things sorted. Still nothing so I sent an email about a week ago to the LA chasing everything up and asked them to confirm who I should go to. To date I have not received any further communication, no amended condition report and the issues needing attention remain unattended to. 1. Do the photographs in the office hold any weight since I was not present when they were taken, have not seen them and have not signed anything to say they are a true representation? 2. Because I have disputed the first basic condition report (which they acknowledged by email) and have still not received an amended copy, does that hold any weight? 3. There are a number of other snags because it is a new build (doors not fitted properly so they dont close, still not provided with keys for window locks, etc). Does the LL have to fix these within a certain time period? 4. I was verbally told by the LA that we can hang pictures as long as we used picture hooks and we can also put up other fixtures as long as we left them in place at the end of the tenancy. I asked for this in writing but still nothing. I'm scared to do anything to the place now! 5. I was told before I signed that blinds would be fitted to all windows (including the velux attic bedroom windows), after I moved in I was told the velux windows would not be fitted with blinds because they are too expensive and they would be fitted with 'some sort of curtain'. I'm not happy with that and I tried to compromise with a 50/50 split on the cost but heard nothing since. Any idea where I stand with that bearing in mind that because 'fixtures' are to be left behind, LL gets a house with £400 velux blinds paid for by me (and what if he gives me notice at the end of 12 months)? Any advice from current LLs or LAs appreciated. I don't want to get into any disputes at this stage, I like the house and want to stay in it for a long time but experience tells me I need protect myself for later. Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance
  17. Thanks gogivit but the landlord isnt requesting i speak to his solicitor; he is saying he will only speak to mine. But i dont have a solicitor and didnt think he had the right to demand i get one. I've written a number of letters now and certainly stuck to the facts addressing each of his claims (plus a few of my own which I clarified with various council departments first). I had a solitor (through my employer) read through them and he said I should consider becoming an litigator (which I had to look up! ) I think I should take it as his final response and complete the online claim. At this stage I'm anxious about actually making the claim (half of me wants to let it go for a quiet life, the other half wants to fight) and when it comes to court I worry it will be down to his word against mine and my emotions could get the better of me. I would like to think the court will believe me and see through his lies but I don't have the 300 photo's as you did. I've heard it mentioned a few times now that he has no grounds to withhold the deposit for the reasons he is giving because there is no itinerary of any kind from when I moved in so i'm banking on that being the case. I am assuming the photographic evidence he thinks he has will not count because he could take a picture of anything and claim its my fault and with no previous photo's signed and dated by me to compare it against and with the absence of any kind of itinerary the photo's dont prove that I did it or even that it wasnt like that when i moved in. The good news is ive managed to contact the ex-caretaker who has said he will write a witness statement to say he did the work that the LL is claiming is 'damage'. So im feeling more confident about it now.
  18. hello again, i've got an update on my troubles (which seem far less that some of the others ive read on here, but i could do with some further advice. i sent the letter before action as advised by blitx and the LL replied saying: so my first question is, does he have the right to demand that I get a solicitor? I thought you could only say "you must direct letters to MY solicitor". I found this bizarre. second, should I consider this his final response to my LBA and commence with my claim? third, I'm worried that despite the lack of basic condition report, itinerary, check in or check out report the issue about the 'damage' caused by the caretaker will come down to the LL's word against mine and because I am admitting it was done while I was a tenant, I will be liable. Tenants were told (verbally) to deal with the caretaker for any flat maintenance issues. He stopped working there last year. Even though the work was done by the caretaker should I have still put it in writing to the LL or is it reasonable to expect that the caretaker was acting with authority? The issues i am concerned with are: An extension lead which attaches to the wall and the lead was nailed around the door when I asked if I could have an extra electric socket installed. A small hole was drilled through a wall from one room to another to allow telephone wires to be fed through. This was not something I wanted but he said it would not be a problem and is better than nailing the extension cord along all the skirting boards. I'm trying to get hold of the caretaker to write a statement to confirm the above but not managed so far, and even if i do there is a chance he wont want to do it in case it damages the chance of future employment with the LL. I'm getting anxious now so sorry if my questions seem common sense or basic but the prospect of going to court is a big issue for me and I need to try and weigh up the odds. Thank you
  19. phat256 sorry i cant advise just hang in there, forgive me if im on the wrong track but is english a second language and could it be you are finding it difficult to communicate your side of things? could it be you are highly emotional and so not being heard as well as you should? is there anyone in the community who could help?
  20. and very nice of you to not pursue your case anyway! a stint in court might have taught him a valuable lesson and you would have come out on top financially (consider the extra compensation for the stress!) but i understand like most ex tenants you probably just want what's owed to you and to draw a line under it. I've just sent the ex LL a (final) letter before action using a template from this forum which is very good and clearly points out exactly why he basically doesnt have a leg to stand on. fingers crossed!! this forum is bloody good, i read the daily LL/tenant posts like it was a soap opera, some of the stories are disgraceful. thanks to everyone who shares their experiences, it's very encouraging sorry for hijacking! Sarah85 - well done for the win
  21. thanks - in the event that I win (which i bloody well should!) could the court at that point take into account the fee for making the claim and salary lost?
  22. bump sorry, i hate bumping but i cant find any clear information about what fixed amount i need to put in the claim form, and its ambigious about how much interest I can claim (if that can be added to it) ta
  23. dont know about compensation but its amazing what you can piece together about people using the internet. i have freaked people out with what i have found (maybe thats why i cant get a date anymore ) Search for People, Businesses and Maps - 192.com (electoral and phone book - do you know any other addresses he could possibly be registered to?) facebook friends reunited on another note, was he living with his g/f? does she claim any kind of benefit? if he stayed more than 3 nights a week you can report her too. another thought - if he is saying he lived there, was he registered for council tax?
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