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Do I Have A Case? Do I Counter Claim? Please Help!


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Hi there sorry to bother, but I desperatly need some advice!!

 

Ill try to keep it breif.

 

Basically its to do with early termination of a joint AST and claiming for the deposit that wasnt protected.

 

My girlfriend was living in a house for a year, two of the tennants left an two more replaced and were put onto the tennancy, after a month my girlfriend in her final year of her masters decided to come and live with me as it was much cheaper for her and better place to study.

 

She then told the other 2 girls who said ok and agreed to try and fine someone else to replace as she knows she has a duty to do so. after 2 weeks, nothing, so my girlfriend got her own tennant, viewing, I credit check her, suitable tennat. The girls refused to meet her and eventually called my GF and said we dont want anyone else in here, she was stuck and likewise the potential new tennant.

 

She then spoke to the landlord explaining this, he said its upto her o sort out, 2 more weeks went by and nothing but my GF had many other potential tennats on standy by ready to move, but girls would let it happen and the LL having no part of it. Feeling trapped, She then wrote a letter to the lanlord explaining the situation, returned the key, is this not the legal end of tennancy? and saying out of goodwill keep the bond to allow for a month to get another tennant in place. (by the way it is not protected by any form of DPS and was post april 7th 2007 when she signed, if this helps the case i dont know?! need help what to do with that) and also a stating in the letter she has the names and number of tennants wanting to move in if he wanted them, as she no longer felt like she had any other options to help mitigate her losses she moved out of the property. This ws in Jan 09.

 

After hearing nothing until this week we have had a court judgement to go to small claims.

 

My question is is there any point us defending the claims?! do we hav a case at all?!

 

Also do you think we should counter claim ref the DPS even though she has moved out.

 

If you anybody could give me some guidance that would be great!

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I'm not a lawyer, but yes you should defend, otherwise landlord will get everything he asks for.

 

If you can answer the following, maybe people might have ideas:

1. Is the claim just for the GFs rent?

2. How many months before the end of the contract did she move out?

3. Is the claim against the GF, or against any of the other tenants as well?

 

If the LL is suing only your GF then maybe your GF should be suing the other tenants, as you are normally jointly liable.

 

Failure to protect the deposit opens landlord to a threat of a fine of 3 times the deposit. You could maybe make a without prejudice offer that he agrees to stop all claims and you agree not to sue him for 3 times the deposit.

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Perfect thanks for that,

 

Yes it is only for the girlfriends rent and amount of around £800 .

 

She moved out 4 months before the end of tennancy.

 

My GF mentioned to him about the deposit and he response was

"do it, my lawyer said it doent apply to me" cant fully validate the truth in what he says!!!

 

But it think that is a good idea..... I will try with him again

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Ignoring the deposit protection issue for a moment, from a landlord's point of view (I am a landlord of a property which is currently rented by sharers), I would always leave it up to the tenants to sort out replacements and so forth. The landlord would likely have had no right to intervene in the dispute between your GF and the two other girls.

 

Other options would be to look carefully at what was agreed when the two girls replaced the previous tenants, to see if there are other loopholes. Possibly your GF would have the right to sue all 4 of the others for a share of the missing rent if they are all still on the original tenancy agreement. If your GF has evidence of finding and credit checking an alternative tenant, then that might be good grounds. I am still not a lawyer though!

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