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Everything posted by Snorkerz

  1. In view of your last post, I apologise. The arrangement is unusual, but yes, your contract appears to be with the agency. You seem to have had 2 consecutive tenancies for the same property Tenancy A - up to 2 months ago with shady agent Tenancy B - from the end of tenancy A - with either landlord or Winksworth The 2 are totally separate and (if there are any) rent arrears from A do not affect B. You need to write to shady agent, keeping a copy of he letter and getting a free proof of posting from the PO. In this letter, you should tell them what you want (return of your full deposit) and why (end of your tenancy on the day before the winkworth one started). Say that if you do not receive this within 14 days you will take legal action. If the agent has not paid up in time, make a claim at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. The agent may counterclaim for any number of things, but they will have to prove those claims. All you have to prove is that you paid the deposit to them initially. This page will give you more info regarding the court process - it's not difficult. http://tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/index/court_information/0-53
  2. As steve_m has said - just because the fixed term is coming to an end does not mean you have to move out. Section 5 of the 1988 Housing Act creates a 'statutory periodic tenancy' if you stay in the property beyond the end of the fixed term. This has all the same rights etc as the 'fixed term' tenancy, except with regard to notice. You must give 1 months notice to leave (ending on the same day of the month as your fixed term ended), and the landlord must give 2 months notice before he can apply to the courts for possession. The agents seem to think thay have already given you this 2 months notice, but all that gives them is permission to go to court to get possession - where they will be expected to prove that they DID give you the notice. The court process can easily take a couple of months - plenty of time.
  3. Do you have your original tenancy agreement? Who is shown as the landlord on it? (Lets call them Mr A or Agency B)
  4. If it came to TDS arbitration, the adjudicator would be looking for proof of the condition of things at the start of the tenancy and at the end of the tenancy. I get the impression the agent would have difficulty providing any worthwhile proof of the condition at the end, making any claim on your deposit difficult to say the least. HOWEVER. Although your notice did legally end the tenancy, it would appear that the agency has just crossed you off the agreement and inserted 3 new names, in effect assigning your spaces on the tenancy to these new people. Do you have a copy of your notice? No proof of service I suppose? So far as the agency are concerned, the tenancy continues and I suspect they will argue with the TDS that the tenancy isn't over, so no deposit refunds can be given. They are wrong. The tenancy HAS ended. You may have a battle ahead. Launch your claim with the TDS and if you need any help, I am sure the forum members will be only too happy to contribute
  5. The contract is with the landlord. Foget the original agency, deal with the landlord. As you are still in the property, you have no claim for your deposit back. When you signed a new agreement with the landlord - did he take a new deposit off you?
  6. Write a letter to the new agent FAO the landlord and explain that you understand you had a bad reference from the previous agent, and then explain your side of the story. Don't get too hung up on stuff like 'quiet enjoyment' or technical terms - might make you sound like a potential troublemaker. After you have explained your side, ask if the landlord would reconsider your application. I can't guarantee it will work - but it's worth a shot. You can ask the new agency for a copy of the reference - it's called a subject acces request under the Data Protection Act. Basicaly you have a right to see anything they hold about you. If the reference is wrong (as in outright lies) the best thing to do would be to get a solicitor (possibly free through CAB) to write to the agents warning them that if they issue such a reference again, you will sue for damages. On the other point - why have you only 2 days to find a new place? May be able to help on that issue.
  7. The agent can NOT give you notice to leave. That decision is the landlords and the landlords alone. They can not take unilateral decisions of that nature. They may (at a push) be able to issue a section 21 notice, but that does not force you to do anything even though they'd have you believe it was an eviction notice. This may help give you a bit of piece of mind: http://tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/index/being_evicted/0-21 Dear Sirs RE: 123 High Street, Looneytown. This is a request under section 1 of the 1985 Landlord And Tenant Act. Please provide me with written details of my landlords contact information. Failure to do so within 21 days is a criminal offence with a potential fine (scale 4) of £2500. Yours sincerely Mr Discontented
  8. Your copy of the report will be useful evidence to prove your 'story' about the report being amended.
  9. I feel it would be to your advantage (even if only for peace of mind) to speak directly with the landlord. Give him your side of events and ask if there is anything he can do to get the agents to comply with their original commitments. There is plenty he CAN do, doesn't mean he will (or knows that he can), but its worth a try. Do you have the landlords contact details? If no, ask the agent IN WRITING for them. It is a criminal offence if they don't supply the info within 21 days. Section 1, 1985 Landlord & Tenant Act.
  10. As you are posting in the Lettings section, are we to assume you mean "Letting Agent" as opposed to "Estate Agent"? In which case, they may be members of ARLA, NALS or TPOS (look for logos in windows or on stationery) and you could solicit their help. Otherwise, they are just like any other business, you can try Consumer Direct (not much use IMHO) or Citizens Advice. Do you have a contract with the agency? What does that say about ending the relationship?
  11. You need to be looking at the more economical end of the market - maybe look to be a lodger. You have less rights, but because of that (you can be thrown out if you don't pay) the references and financial requirements to find such a place are lower.
  12. The issue of the time the property was unlettable is a grey one. It would not be 'illegal' to charge such a time, but is it enforceable? IDK! If you are happy to accept the cleaning and door damage, then agree to that and as for the balance to be disputed through the deposit schemes ADR arbitration service. IMHO, you are being charged twice for the door, once for the damage, where you have agree as part of the £100, and once for possible shortening of life. I suspect if you can get a receipt for your £100 that includes the word 'garage door damage' then you could convince an arbitrator that that has already been dealt with. The landlord/agent will have to prove that there were no chips in the bath at the start - you don't have to accept anything that you're not comfortable with - get an independant 3rd party to decide what is fair - be it a judge or TDS arbitrator.
  13. Whether she can or can't is irrelevant - she has! If it goes to TDS, or you have to take it to court, make sure the judge/adjudicator knows what happened with the inventory and then they can decide how much they will rely upon it. Do you have a copy of the original (un amended) checkout report?
  14. You are right that the landlord does not have to agree to TDS arbitration, in which case you will have to sue for the return of your deposit. I am not sure how easy this would be from France, but I am pretty sure there IS a process to allow you to do this in all EU states (I can't read the french pages that would describe such a process). Unless the carpet was of exceptionally high quality, I would not agree to any reductions in view of the damage. Accept that you did indeed cause the mark, but state that in view of the other stains, and it's age, you do not believe that this mark has reduced the carpets value. At most I would expect one fifth of the re-carpeting cost to be your responsibility. Once you submit a dispute to the TDS they will instruct the agent to send them the disputed amount and send you the balance. You can include witness statements in your arbitration claim (&/or court claim). This article explains how the TDS arbitrators work, and I think it will give you a little peace of mind: http://www.propertyhawk.co.uk/index.php?page=magazine&id=411
  15. Not much consolation in this situation, but FWIW the agent can not evict tenants - that is the landlords perogative. Mind you, a decent agent would have given you help and maybe filled in the necessary forms for you. Problem is, letting agents do not have to have any qualifications or experience. This is resolvable (although not speedily) and unless you want to, there is no need at this point to incur the cost of solicitors. You can DIY s21 and s8 but I am guessing you have spent well over £100 that you can't afford. The tenants inability to understand the forms served on them does not affect your claim. There will be a little time before the s8 expires - I presume it was served on grounds 8, 10 & 11? Do you have a copy of the tenancy agreement? I am still not 100% sure this is a tenancy between you & the tenants (AST) or between you and the agent (non AST). What does the agreement say? Can you also confirm if the deposit of £550 has been protected in a government approved scheme?
  16. On a periodic tenancy you must give at least 1 months notice. That notice must expire on the last day of a tenancy period. Any notice provisions in the original AST are specifically excluded from the Statutory Periodic Tenancy. (section 5(3)(e) 1988 Housing Act) A tenancy period begins on the first day after the end of your last fixed term. It lasts the same length of time as rent frequency. So, if an AST ended on the 15th and rent was due monthly, then each tenancy period would run from the 16th to the 15th.
  17. 1) Essentially, you have nothing to worry about with the counterclaim because the appeal court has decided that late protection is fine. Presuming rent is due at the end of the tenancy* then claim that through the deposit. When you get paid, notify the court so that the claim amount is reduced. Keep all the paperwork to prove the deposit WAS protected. 1a) As she is no longer using the place as her primary residence, the tenancy has ceased to be an AST (it is still a tenancy). Deposit protection laws only apply to ASTs, and the appeal court has also decided that once a tenancy is over, it is not possible to claim for non-protection. I wonder if a judge would extend that to "once an AST is over, no claim"? 2) Why did you commence your claim before the end of the tenancy? At that point you didn't know how much the total amount would be. Why did you not just evict? A section 8 would have resulted in a possession order and an order for the rent - avoiding the need for the MCOL claim and getting you the property back (and so lettable to someone who pays rent) sooner. 3) Don't think this is an issue 4) You do need legal advice. The 3x claim (section 214 of the 2004 Housing Act) should NOT be dealt with on the small claims track (it is a Part 8 claim). This means the entire case could be transferred to either the Fast Track or Multi Track, where fees are much higher, the process is more complex (you'd really need a solicitor) and you could find yourself having to pay your opponents legal costs (solicitor £150/hr?). This may fill some gaps: http://tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/index/section_214_claims/0-45 and maybe this: http://tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/index/court_information/0-53 *This tenant may be trouble. Do NOT assume that the tenancy is over just because the fixed term has ended. Whilst she has keys she may claim that she still has a tenancy (SPT) and if you re-let the room she may claim you have illegally evicted her. I suspect you would be found not-guilty, but the hassle and cost ain't worth it. If the tenant is NOT using the place as her primary residence you may be able to submit an N5 to the court tommorrow morning - what does the tenancy agreement say the penalty for non-payment of rent is?
  18. She may be unfazed - that's because she is stupid. Between us, the posters on this forum will have had heck of a lot more experience of courts, and how they work, than she will have had. She is used to dealing with tenants who just roll over and give up - that's not you!
  19. In addition to Mariners questions, can you please clarify the date you gave notice. If you have a copy, it would also be useful if you could transcribe the letter you sent back to the agency electing to go periodic. In view of your post below: When did your last tenancy agreement begin? (date) How long was it for / was there an end date specified?
  20. Unfortunately not. It is your obligation to return the property with the same amount of oil, but it is your choice if you fill it higher, and then end up not using what you have bought.
  21. I would reply simply stating that you intend to continue to comply with your obligation to pay rent. Don't give any further details. Alternatively, you could not reply at all - after all, what will she do if you don't? Be interesting to see if she accepts full rent on the 25th October - because she seems to think you'll only be paying for 25/10 to 20/11 - that's less than a month. TBH, any such written statement from you would be worthless - it has no more effect than your obligations under the tenancy agreement which would stand up in court.
  22. None of which changes my advice. If you have problems in rented property, or any situation in life, you get help to solve it at the time - not suffer and then moan because you didn't do so.
  23. The s21 notice IS NOT a notice to quit. You DO NOT have to leave on the 20th Nov, and you may want to make it perfectly clear to the agent and landlord that you have no intention of doing so. Other than that, my advice remains the same. Wait until the court paperwork arrives, and defend it. Even if your defence fails (and it shouldn't) you will be given at least 2 weeks by the judge and after that it will probably take 6 weeks to organise bailiffs - so you'd probably have a couple of months to organise somewhere else. What did the landlords email say about paying rent?
  24. Your landladys breach of the tenancy agreement (and I am not sure how you feel she breached it) did not give you the right to leave without notice. If she wanted to, she could sue (and win) for rent in lieu of notice. Two wrongs don't make a right. I suspect there was no inventory/condition report taken when you moved in, so the landlord has no proof that the fire even existed at the start of the tenancy? What happened to the fire - is it not still in the cellar? If you have the receipt for the deposit you can easily sue for that, and on the assumption there was either no inventory, or no damage beyond fair wear and tear, you should get it all back. Don't forget she could counterclaim for the notice period. The police will not be interested in your landladys claims regarding the fire. They will be interested if your parents contact them with regard to her actions - they will regard it as breach of the peace at least.
  25. The property is a HMO, possibly not a licensable one, but a HMO none the less. Therefore it has to comply with HMO and Housing regulations. I would get your friend to have a word with the HMO officer at the local council (in the housing dept) as security is an important element of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. See section 12 http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/150940.pdf
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