Jump to content


Counterclaim against my landlord?


style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 4865 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Recommended Posts

Dear All,

 

I'd love to get some advice on this issue and would appreciate any feedback from the forum.

In September 2007 I signed a 12 month contract on a private rented property. In May this year I granted access to the property so that essential repairs to the water system could be carried out on the adjacent flat. When I arrived back from work, the place was a complete mess. There was muck and filfth all over the carpets, my personal towels and toilet paper had all been used, my bedsheets and clothing was dirty - and to cap it all my laptop was missing. I took pictures and called the police. I obtained a police ref and attempted to contact the landlord. No avail. Over the next month I called and wrote letters - nothing. Eventually, I wrote a letter to say that I would be witholding 1 month rent to pay for repairs, cleaning and loss of my laptop - if there was any issue he should contact me to discuss. Again - no reply. For June and July I paid my rent as normal. Last week, I recieved a county court claim through the door saying I had ceased to pay rent since April and that I owed £800 in arrears. I have proof that I paid rent for April, June and July contrary to the particular to the claim. The only month that I did not pay was May, and as I have said, this was on the back of loads of failed attempts to open dialogue with the landlord. So in reality I am only one month in arrear, however - the damage to my property, cleaning and missing laptop is of a higher value than the rent he argues I owe. I really could do with some advice on this. Do I have any grounds to go to court and say 'not only do I not owe you £800 as your claim states - but through the repairs you (or your contractors) carried out I am actually owed more than this one month rent arrear. Do you think that the court will look favourably on my predicament? For over 3 months now I have tried to contact the landlord but he just ignores me - that is until he slaps a CCJ case in front of me. I'd really really appreciate any help and guidance you can offer (ps, I did go to CAB and they said I should defend the claim. I've just today filed an acknowledgemnt of service to get myself another 14 days to compile my evidence i.e. photographs, police reference, letters etc) but what I'm worried about is losing the case and getting hit by huge court costs and the CCJ. Thank you for your time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Quiettester,

 

You should defend the case as advised by CAB but you should also counterclaim if the total value of your losses including laptop exceed the 1 month's rent you withheld.

 

You should not be concerned about costs as they are not at all likely to be awarded against you, given the circumstances you've described.

 

Arrange all the evidence you need to back up your claim, photos, letters, police report, lappy receipt for old one and replacement, etc so you can find anything quickly if you go to court.

 

As long as you are reasonable when quantifying your actual losses, you should be able to avoid a judgement against you, and stand a chance of winning your counterclaim.

 

The only problem may be proving that the lappy was stolen by the contractors. Did the police investigate this at all and were you able to identify the company that carried out the works. Even if your LL won't communicate with you, they should have co-operated with the police enquiries.

 

Maybe find out from the police what enquiries were made and press them further if necessary.

Edited by slick132
typo

We could do with some help from you

                                                                PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

Thanks !:-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also bear in mind that a CCJ does not stay on file if it is settled once it is issued (think within 3 days or something) so no worries about being lumbered with a CCJ either.

 

I do not think it is set in stone that you will win however. We need more information on precisely how "access was granted" to the landlord/contractors. What communication did you have with them, when, in what format, and what precisely was said? How did they gain access - did you let them in, or supply them with a key, or did they already have a key?

 

That said it obviously goes without saying that if you can prove the other rent was paid you need to defend the case. Just to confirm - is this simply a small claims case for money, or is it possession proceedings?

 

Are you still resident in the property?

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also bear in mind that a CCJ does not stay on file if it is settled once it is issued (think within 3 days or something) so no worries about being lumbered with a CCJ either.

 

I do not think it is set in stone that you will win however. We need more information on precisely how "access was granted" to the landlord/contractors.What communication did you have with them, when, in what format, and what precisely was said? How did they gain access - did you let them in, or supply them with a key, or did they already have a key? I recieved a telephone call from the landlord saying that essential repairs needed to be carried out. I said this was OK, but that I was in work that day so would not be home. He said that he had the spare key and the contractors would be provided that. He has not been in touch with me and I have recieved letters from the police to say enquiries are still ongoing. The thing is, exactly one week after this all happened, I returned home to see that people had been in my flat again. Loads of wood and other material had been ripped out from the old boiler cupboard and left in the bathroom - and my bedroom window had again be left open (as per the week before). The flat was a mess and this 'visit' from the contractors had not been mentioned to me.

 

That said it obviously goes without saying that if you can prove the other rent was paid you need to defend the case. Just to confirm - is this simply a small claims case for money, or is it possession proceedings? It isn't a possesion proceeding. My tenancy is up on the 28th September and I will be moving out then, the court claim he has started is purely for the rent that he argues I owe him.

 

Are you still resident in the property? Yes, I'm still living in the property.

 

Thanks for your response. Please see my resposne to your questions above.

Edited by quiettester
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Quiettester,

 

You should defend the case as advised by CAB but you should also counterclaim if the total value of your losses including laptop exceed the 1 month's rent you withheld.

 

You should not be concerned about costs as they are not at all likely to be awarded against you, given the circumstances you've described.

 

Arrange all the evidence you need to back up your claim, photos, letters, police report, lappy receipt for old one and replacement, etc so you can find anything quickly if you go to court.

 

As long as you are reasonable when quantifying your actual losses, you should be able to avoid a judgement against you, and stand a chance of winning your counterclaim.

 

The only problem may be proving that the lappy was stolen by the contractors. Did the police investigate this at all and were you able to identify the company that carried out the works. Even if your LL want communicate with you, they should have co-operated with the police enquiries. Yes, I believe the police investigated and they have said the enquiries are still ongoing. The fact that the landlord has refused to discuss my grievance is to me very suspicious - I wonder if he even had reputable people round at the flat?

 

Maybe find out from the police what enquiries were made and press them further if necessary.

 

Cheers for your response slick 132. Please see my answers to your questions above.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the problem(well, potential problem) is whether the landlord is liable for the loss due to the theft, or not, as there is no question that the landlord himself did not do this, but probably the contractors he instructed. I am unfortunately not knowledgeable enough in this section of law to know definitively. Someone else may be...

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the problem(well, potential problem) is whether the landlord is liable for the loss due to the theft, or not, as there is no question that the landlord himself did not do this, but probably the contractors he instructed. I am unfortunately not knowledgeable enough in this section of law to know definitively. Someone else may be...

Yes, this is what I am concerned about, too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As you did not instruct the contactors, you have no contract or agreement with them.

 

Your issue is with the LL who has a duty to engage reputable and trustworthy contractors. LL is clearly responsible for the damage caused but I'm not sure how much this will come to.

 

The problem with the lappy is that you have no proof that it was taken by the contractors. The window being left open on both occasions means LL could say anyone could have entered and taken the lappy, not necessarily the contractors. But, as long as you can pursuade a judge that you didn't leave it open, there's a chance you'd be believed and compensated.

 

The police report may be crucial to this element of your counterclaim.

We could do with some help from you

                                                                PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

Thanks !:-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not so sure slick - only because, there is clearly no need for the OP to have a contract or agreement with them for them to be liable. If some random person had broken in and stolen the items, they would be liable - and there was no agreement or contract.

 

As I say above - I do not know enough to clarify. But that said, I do know enought to know that the agreement/contract argument is not a valid one.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if my post was ambiguous.

 

My point is that our OP can hold the LL responsible for any damage caused by the contractors. OP has no contract with the cont'rs.

 

Compensation for the theft of the lappy is clearly a different matter as it was not taken by the LL. A sympathetic judge could conceivably find the evidence or circumstances suggest it was the cont'rs who took the lappy and the LL is responsible for this.

We could do with some help from you

                                                                PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

Thanks !:-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah sorry I understand now slick ;)

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if my post was ambiguous.

 

My point is that our OP can hold the LL responsible for any damage caused by the contractors. OP has no contract with the cont'rs.

 

Compensation for the theft of the lappy is clearly a different matter as it was not taken by the LL. A sympathetic judge could conceivably find the evidence or circumstances suggest it was the cont'rs who took the lappy and the LL is responsible for this.

 

Thanks for all this. I have filed an acknowledgement of service to prepare for my defence. I'm going to get all my photographs and my written attempts to contact the landlord together as a report and send this to the court. I just hope that the landlord will take stock when he sees this and hold off on the court appearance and sort things out directly (though I doubt this). I think that fact that he was ignored my grievance for over three months will not do him any favours in the eyes of the court!

 

In terms of the damage and cleaning. I had a broken bedside lamp and some clothes and bedsheets were soiled. There was a lot of muck on the carpet and it was stained. What was a concern was the ammount of residual dust in the air (the old boiler cupboard is in my bedroom) and this was really bad for my chest (asthmatic). I didn't actually stay in the flat for two days until the place was cleaned and hoovered. Moreover, there is still a vast ammount of muck, wood and other material in the old cupboard that still hasn't been picked up and taken out. I suppose a lot of this, what I describe could be termed subjective so thankfully I have photographs to substantiate things. Also some people may say, "well it isn't that bad in the scheme of things" but it was in some ways - it had quite an unsettling effect on me and took a while to sort out. Moreover, the unannounced visit a week later was hugely disrespectful - especially as they left my room in a similar state.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...