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Landlord claims more people live at property

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Hi there

 

I would be very grateful if you could shed some light on this issue.

 

I rent a 2 bedroom house from my landlord, originally through an estate agent .The estate agent was apparently only used to find a tenant and the landlord himself is responsible for managing the property i.e. maintenance and repairs. I live there with my wife and infant daughter.

 

Since we moved into the house, there have been many problems that we failed to discover when viewing the property such as plumbing issues and poor windows and heating issues.

 

Originally I contacted the estate agent about the problems but to no avail and I decided to inform the landlord himself since he had turned up to the property a few days after we moved in. Unannounced!

 

Through text messages,phone calls and verbal conversations, I complained about the problems for 6 months. When I decided, enough was enough, I told him I'll be leaving if he didn't sort the problems out before this coming winter latest End of August.

 

Shockingly, he wrote me a letter claiming that some of the problems were due to the fact that there were more people living at the property. And that if they were to continue living there he would have to increase the rent by £150 a month.

 

The landlord is beserk. He has been too the property far too many times uninvited and most times, if not all the time, sees our close family/ neighbours around the house. My aunt lives a 2 minute walk from our house and stayed at my house for about 4 weeks before she found that house. So naturally, she still comes there all the time, cooks and sometimes spends the night with her little boy.

 

To make a long story short. My landlord is insisting that someone else lives at the property and is probably trying to prove this .

 

I can do without the hassle as I have already invited the estate agent and the landlord to view the property to investigate whether or not someone else lives there.

 

The only problem is that all my aunt's mails come to my address as we never bothered to change it when she moved some 4 months ago.

Would it cause a problem if her mail,bank statements and everything were still registered to my address which is just accross the road from hers?

 

What can the landlord possibly do to prove that someone else lives in the property.

If he were to gain a copy of one of her letters,would that suffice as proof that she lives at my address?

Would he be breaking the law by obtaining such information or can he obtain it legally?

 

 

I would gladly appreciate any advice. Feel free to ask for more details if required to better understand the situation.

 

Cheers guys

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It will probably say in your tenancy agreement that you are not allowed to sub-let, i.e. sell part of the tenancy to a lodger or similar, but I very much doubt that your agreements states a maximum number of people allowed to reside there as long as they do not pay to stay with you.

 

Some say to include all residents on the agreement but how far does one take that, can a relation not overnight or a man not bring a 'one night stand' back to the house? :)

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Thanks Martin

 

Like you said ,the agreement does not state a maximum number or residents but it does say 2 adults.

I'm not too concerned about that, I'm more interested in whether or not the fact my aunt receives mail at my address.

Is that proof that she lives there or not?

Is that illegal in anyway seeing as she only lives across the road

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I've never seen in an agreement that only 2 adults are allowed.

 

I receive mail for previous tenants, for the landlords, does that "prove" that they are all living with me?

 

I can't see any harm in doing a relation a favour by receiving her mail for her and if that relation doesn't live at the property with you then how can it possibly be proved otherwise?

 

Were it to ever go to court your aunt could prove that she lives around the corner by means of ownership or her tenancy agreement and I would expect the landlord to be laughed out of court.

 

I'd like to bet there's nothing in your agreement to say that you are not allowed to receive mail for others!

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Since we moved into the house, there have been many problems that we failed to discover when viewing the property such as plumbing issues and poor windows and heating issues.

 

Originally I contacted the estate agent about the problems but to no avail and I decided to inform the landlord himself since he had turned up to the property a few days after we moved in. Unannounced!

 

Through text messages,phone calls and verbal conversations, I complained about the problems for 6 months. When I decided, enough was enough, I told him I'll be leaving if he didn't sort the problems out before this coming winter latest End of August.

 

WRITE to your LL. List the outstanding problems which need to be sorted out. Tell him that unless the items listed are sorted within the next 14 days, you will arrange for 3 quotations for the work, then choosing the cheapest, will have the work done and deduct the cost from the rent.

 

Shockingly, he wrote me a letter claiming that some of the problems were due to the fact that there were more people living at the property. And that if they were to continue living there he would have to increase the rent by £150 a month.

 

Is your AST still within its term, or has it rolled over to a periodic tenancy? If still AST LL cannot increase rent. If not still AST, then he has to issue a s.13 notice under the Housing Act 1988 regarding proposed rent increase. If he chooses to raise the rent, there is little you can do except decline and give notice!

 

He has been too the property far too many times uninvited

This is totally illegal. LL must give 24 hours WRITTEN notice of any requirement to enter the property. You are entitled to refuse your permission. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LET HIM OR HIS REPRESENTATIVE IN. His behaviour is HARRASSMENT and in contravention of your right to "quiet enjoyment" of your home. If you chose to take him to court, he could be very heavily fined (judges do not like landlords who harrass their tenants) and could even be jailed.

 

Which guests you choose to have in your home, and for how long, is NONE OF HIS BUSINESS. If you in fact did have a number of people living with you which could amount to overcrowding, then he would have a case as it would most likely invalidate his insurance.

 

WRITE to him, tell him you have taken advice and that if he continues his harrassment you will take him to court. If you are forced to move because of this harrassment, it will be seen as illegal eviction and this is a VERY SERIOUS OFFENCE.

 

If you are in any doubt about any of this, you should seek advice from Shelter who are most helpful in these sort of cases.


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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"I've never seen in an agreement that only 2 adults are allowed."

 

I have, prepared by my own fair hand. Social Housing again, but AST's.

 

Most (dare I say all?) Council tenancies/HA tenancies should state the maximum number of persons permitted to reside (so that they cannot be accused of allowing/permitting statutory overcrowding). Not that they do very much about it should it occur, just they have covered their backsides.

 

Because I am a specialist HO, and because of the type of person I have to house, I have to ensure that only they live there. To give a genuine example (and please don;t anyone take offence or get upset, because we are in the real world here and someone has to deal with these people) if I have to house a sex offender, and he is known to be a danger to say, young males, or perhaps women of a certain age, then I cannot have a situation where he can have just anyone to live with him, because that person could be seriously at risk. Therefore he gets an AST which states clearly that only 1 person can reside there. And both I and the police case worker will monitor the situation closely and work together. Not always sex offenders either, women who have come out of refuges, well its a sad fact of life that some of us ladies do make bad choices time and time again, so in my field, the tenancy agreement restricts who can live there with the intention to protect. The last one that stands out is a very vulnerable and young heroin addict trying to fund her habit by tomming. She is only allowed one person, and NO MALE VISITORS at anytime other than officials and support workers. If I catch a man in there she risks her home and all the good work that has gone into turning her life around will go to pot. These are the conditions the tenants agree to before they sign. Their only other choice is to remain on the street.

 

I reckon this landlord has a key and has entered the property in your absence, seen the post and gone through it. Set a trap. When you go out put two strips of clear sellotape on the front door, one at the top, one at the bottom, over the door and the frame. Keep doing this and if anyone has entered in your absence the sellotape will let you know!

 

But, for further advice please go and see Shelter, they are very good and will help you.

 

Goodluck

  • Haha 1

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"

I reckon this landlord has a key and has entered the property in your absence, seen the post and gone through it. Set a trap. When you go out put two strips of clear sellotape on the front door, one at the top, one at the bottom, over the door and the frame. Keep doing this and if anyone has entered in your absence the sellotape will let you know!

 

But, for further advice please go and see Shelter, they are very good and will help you.

 

Goodluck

 

You could well be right - and that is a great idea with the sellotape. :lol:

Alternatively, they could always change the locks. Perfectly legal in this situation - as long as the put the original locks back when tenancy ends.


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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Sellotape is all I need really to confirm abandonment! They can lie as much as they like, if those seals are intact they have not been in there. Police are not so discreet - they use orange and black!

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Thanks so much for all your inputs.

 

I will try the sellotape intruder detection method although I am not 100% sure as to how you do it.

 

How will you know if it were someone else that caused the tape to unstick or the fact that you have just entered. I'm sorry, maybe i'm misunderstanding this here. A little elaboration maybe....

 

Thanks again guys, i'm glad that i've got some advice.

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Come out and close the door. Cut a piece of clear tape. Stick it across the gap between the door and the frame (best at the top of the door, so it isn't so visible). Go on your merry way. When you return, check BEFORE entering whether the tape has been disturbed. If it has, you know someone else has entered the property.:)


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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I got you....very clever idea

 

Thanks..I will do it everyday now..

 

Cheers guys

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Yes, and when you've confirmed it your next step is to wire the front door handle up to the electricity supply....... and the landlord gets a free perm.:D

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don't encourage him - we don't want to be visiting him in Wormwood Scrubs.........:)


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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And a trip wire inside the front gate!

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