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Landlord problems ..


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Hi .. got a long story to tell ... make a cuppa first!!!

 

ok, I started a lease last september in a furnished house. deposit is with TDS and rent was always paid in full and on time (direct debit).

 

one major problem was a lack of hot water ... well, no hot water - found out the day after i moved in that the gas wasn't actually connected to the boiler! this took months to resolve .. the owner just didn't understand what i was complaining about. at one point i asked for a rent reduction (in writing) because of it .. but that was denied. the gas/boiler issue was finally fixed after 8 months.

 

then four weeks ago I got a letter addressed to the owner OR ANY OTHER OCCUPANT .. so I opened it. you know what comes next! it was an eviction notice giving me 2 weeks to vacate the premises because the bank had got a repo on the house.

 

I first went to the agent who acted shocked and said she'd never heard of this happening before (?!), then I rang the bank who wouldn't speak to me and wouldnt entertain any suggestions of me staying in the house and paying them rent at least till the end of the lease, then I went to CAB who rang the court for info and advised me to put in an application at the court to have my circumstances considered in the case - although the application was actually asking the court to delay the repossession. which I have to admit I found that a bit hard to take - I'd been paying my rent and instead of using it to pay the mortgage the landlord had been financing his lifestyle .. and here I was batting for his side! I realise thats probably not how it works but thats how it felt.

 

anyway, on with the story.

 

the agent tried repeatedly to get hold of the landlord but he wouldn't answer his phone or respond to letters. as I said I was renting the house furnished .. and there aren't too many furnished places around so I thought that if we could raise a response from the owner then I would make him an offer on the furniture and maybe help him out a bit and also help me.

 

in amongst all this I managed to find another place to live so was faced with the choice of either risking the court decision or taking the other (unfurnished) property and hoping the owner would do a deal on his furniture.

 

I decided to cancel the court hearing and take the flat. after I'd canceled the hearing the agent then told me that i wouldn't be able to move into the flat until a week after i needed it .. yes, I should have kept that court date even if it only gave me another two weeks (mistake #1).

 

the owner turned up on the day I was moving out of the house .. the day before the bailiffs were coming to change locks. I haggled with him over the furniture and we reached an agreement. He'd turned up with a trailer and said from the start that he wanted the bed, the tumble dryer and the cooker, the deal was that I paid him a price and I got the rest. I do have a reciept. so I went to the bank to get his money and while i was gone he dismantled the bed, loaded the dryer and cooker ... and, without my knowledge, also managed to fit a few extra things in the trailer! ok .. that was my stupidity, i should have known better and kept an eye on what he was doing/taking (mistake #2).

 

so right now my (newly acquired) belongings are in storage, I'm staying with family and friends, and I'm waiting to move into the flat. not a great spot to be in.

 

then earlier this week I've was told that the owner has disputed the deposit .. he's saying that property was missing from the house and he's also trying to charge me for damage to the sofa that I now own!

 

right oh! I've responded to his accusations .. nothing (absolutely nothing) of his was removed from the house before I bought it all, and there is no damage to the sofa either .. in fact he said in his letter that the arm was falling off .. its not and I've not only got photos but I have the sofa to prove it!

 

I'm angry. I have no home, I've suffered loss of income because of time taken from work to seek legal advice at the CAB, submit the court application and then move out of the house. I've incurred moving costs and now storage costs are mounting.

 

AND because of the landlords dispute I can't even get my deposit back until the dispute has been resolved, so now I dont have the money to put a deposit on the flat.

 

Oh yes, and another thing - my rent was paid monthly in advance so that meant that I had overpaid by 6 days (paid till the 9th June - eviction was the 4th and I moved out on the 3rd) and so should be entitled to a refund .. but, hey, the owner is disputing this too!

 

Is someone having a joke on me?! will I wake up soon and will it all have been a nightmare?

 

the agent keeps telling me that she is doing all she can for me but as each day brings worse news I'm starting to doubt that.

 

Anyway ... enough from me .. before I make mistake #3 .. what are my rights? how do I go about this in the best way? what should i expect from the agent?

 

any advice at all???? ... please?

Edited by eyedunno
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If the agent or LL protected your depsit that should be returned to you less the only the amount in dispute straight away. raise a dispute with TDS scheme holder asap and start procedure to resolve.

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thanks for your reply raydetinu.

 

today the agent agreed to release the 6 days rent into my account .. 1 small win!

 

The agent also said that she agrees that i should get the whole deposit back but she said it's with the solicitors because they want to make sure they're doing the right thing and dont have any come backs on it.

 

I did request that they return to me the amount that isn't being disputed .. but got nowhere with them on that - in fact they led me to believe that while there's a dispute going on they cant return any of it?

 

I'll be going in to see them tomorrow so if I get no joy I'll do as you suggest.

 

thanks again.

Edited by eyedunno
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The amount not in dispute must be returned to you 10-14 days max thats the law,either by the custodial sceme or the landlord if an insurance based scheme. The amount in dispute if in custodial will be dealt with by their dispute resolution scheme which will be binding and final.

With an insurance based scheme the LL must transfer the disputed amount with the scheme within 10 days of the dispute being raised, again law. Now the LL can either invoke the dispute resolution scheme and if so it is binding or can go to court to get it settled. LL choice.

The Key here is that the LL cannot hang on to all the deposit and must release the undisputed amount within 10 days but 14 is usually ok.

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