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Re house sale/Tenancy agreement - advice please!


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I am starting this thread on behalf of my sons partner who has just received county court papers regarding unpaid rent.

 

The saga started in Febuary when my son and his partner decided to seperate, and as a consequence she took over a property for rent. The tenancy agreement was for six months, however, it was never stated in the agreement that the property was up for sale, and that she was expected to accept viewings when she was both at home and at work, when the viewers would be accompanied by an estate agent. As my son and his GF had a two year old at the time, all she wanted was a stable situation in which to bring up the child. The letting agents were well aware of the situation.

 

She paid two months rent in advance and a further one month deposit, which totalled half of the six months agreement. She was verbally read the T&Cs of the contact by the letting agent in his/her office, and at no time did it indicate that the property was or would be offered for sale in the near future, and that they required two months notice of termination (witnessed). The property was not tax banded, therefore there were no waste collections (not a healthy environment storing rubbish when you have a child) this was not mentioned in the agreement, and so this also had to be organised by her after she moved into the property.

 

Fortunately, she decided that she had made a rather big mistake, and decided to move back home with my son, this was after one month. She wrote to the letting agent explaining the situation and relinquished the keys, along with all rights to the refund of the deposit. During the time of her leaving the property a buyer had been found and was being advertised as Sold STC, and we later found out that the letting agency had broken the Data Protection Act, by passing on her personal information to the estate agency.

 

On 1st July, she received County Court summons for four months unpaid rent. There has been no other correspondence apart from a few phone calls from the agency, so this came as rather a shock.

 

We believe she was misled when she took out the tenancy agreement, and it should have been made very clear that the property was to be marketed, that being the case she would not have signed the agreement. She intends to defend her case on those grounds.

 

Any advice please.

L/Woods B/Card/Cabot - Unenforceable CCA, SD Issued *WON+COSTS*

Capital One/Cabot - No CCA account irrecoverable.

Citi/DLC Hillesden - No CCA account irrecoverable

MBNA/Aegis - Unenforceable CCA

B/Card/HFO - Unenforceable CCA

Fashion World - No CCA account irrecoverable

TRUECALL IS A GODSEND!!

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Im not clear how you are going to be able to defend this claim. She has signed for a minimum 6 month let and left after one months. Subsequently I cant see how you can argue that four months rent isnt owed.

 

The mistake that has been made was moving, instead she should have stood up for her rights and insisted on no viewings (changed the locks if required to enforce this).

 

Sorry to be pessimistic, maybe someone else will have a fresh perspective.

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Legally Planner hits the nail.

 

However, if you wanted to try the moral route - when you take a tenancy you can expect "peaceful and quiet enjoyment". It should be in the tenancy agreement somewhere, maybe worded differently. It becomes your home. It is unreasonable then to be expected to allow hoardes of people in for viewing, and their is no way the agent should be taking complete strangers around your home, in your absence.

 

You can try this in your defence - you believe they breached their part of the contract by not allowing you to enjoy your home. You were under emotional stress and could not cope with that, working and bringing up a child. And the Agent was fully aware of this - say had they told you at the time that it was a requirment of your agreement to allow all and sundry in to view the property you wouldn't have taken it on.

 

Worth a try, but keep your fingers crossed, because I think your daught-in-law is going to get a judgement.

 

I can't say how a judge will view that, but I know that they will listen, maybe pooh pooh it, but they will listen.

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Thanks, you have confirmed what I suspect.

 

She will defend under moral grounds anyway, hopefully the judge will be sympathetic on the day, you never know!

 

Looks as if she does get judgement, we'll all have to club together to pay it off in the required time. They have their house for sale at the moment and a CCJ will be a catastrophy!

 

BTW, she has not claimed the deposit back, could that be classed as one month less to pay back?

L/Woods B/Card/Cabot - Unenforceable CCA, SD Issued *WON+COSTS*

Capital One/Cabot - No CCA account irrecoverable.

Citi/DLC Hillesden - No CCA account irrecoverable

MBNA/Aegis - Unenforceable CCA

B/Card/HFO - Unenforceable CCA

Fashion World - No CCA account irrecoverable

TRUECALL IS A GODSEND!!

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I think the fact that the agent was showing lots of people around is a bit of red herring here. You are perfectly entitled to refuse access and/or change the locks to prevent that.

 

What we really need to know here is whether the agent/landlord effectively took back control of the premises when the keys were returned. If they did, then the tenancy came to an end when they did and the landlord is not entitled to rent after that point.

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The keys were returned to the landlord, with a covering letter explaining the situation i.e. the property was for sale, and was not told about this when the contact was signed. As far as we are aware, the LL/agent took back control of the premises as it was being advertised for rental shortly afterwards.

L/Woods B/Card/Cabot - Unenforceable CCA, SD Issued *WON+COSTS*

Capital One/Cabot - No CCA account irrecoverable.

Citi/DLC Hillesden - No CCA account irrecoverable

MBNA/Aegis - Unenforceable CCA

B/Card/HFO - Unenforceable CCA

Fashion World - No CCA account irrecoverable

TRUECALL IS A GODSEND!!

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