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sqwiggs

any help would be much appreciated :)

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me and my partner have recently moved out of a house we were letting off of reeds rains.

we had to move out 2 months early as the landlord had breached his contract and threatened us which made us move quicker.

in the landlords obligations it states he must make sure the house is water tight and that everything is in wrking order at the beginning of the tenancy, when we moved in (after we were forced to move in two weeks early by reeds rains, they told us if we didnt move in they'd give the house to someone else) we noticed problems within hours of seeing the house, we had only been giving one front door key, no garage key or window keys, reeds rains told us they'd given us those keys, though when i rung them they then said they told us they'd never had a garage key.

we then noticed the gas supply had been cut from the fire, they had advertised this as a working fire yet on the certificate it states the gas supply had been cut since january (this was now march) they told us the landlord would fix it at the weekend (he stil hadnt fixed it by the time we moved out), we then found we couldn't use the garage as (we had no key) but also because the landlord was storing all his things in there, they also advertised this yet didnt show us the garage on viewing day, we wonder why!!!

we then found a huge leak in the conservatory, which give the landlord credit he sent his shoddy friend round at half 8 on a saturday morning to fix the roof with silicon, he made the leak ten times worse in which we never could use the conservatory as we live in england and it rains 90% of the time.

apart from these 'minor' problems as reeds rains would say, we also had a broken boiler in which the landlord didnt know how to use (we dont know the story behind that he lied to us loads), also the oven was faulty, the landlord didnt know how to use that either.

through all these faults, the landlord was made aware of every one of them hours after we signed our contract, we also had witnesses with us when he told us he knew about the leak and fire not working, we have records of us ringing reeds rains at least ten times in the 3 months we were there, he states reeds rains never told him anything yet he got aggressive when ever we rung him for help telling us not to ring him.

so we felt he had breached his contract and gave our months notice (after he threatened my partner down the phone and i was scared to sleep ther) reeds rains told us we were fine to move out and he had breached his contract and therefore we would get our deposit back.

there now telling us that we should give the landlord all our deposit as we owe him it :/ and that we should settle at that as it's a good offer!!!

i dont think it is, we had to move out because of the incompetant landlord and shoddy reeds rains, and aswell as our landlord never fixing anything we just got bad customer service off of reeds rains.

were currently in limbo atm were refusing to let this idiot get our 650 afterall i dont think he deserves anything and to top it off the house is back on reeds rains website already there trying to let it and they haven't even checked the property out for us yet.

did he breach his contract? were we right to terminate our contract? are reeds rains actually doing there job right?

any help would be much appreciated because i just dont want this lame-ass attempt of a landlord getting any more money off of us

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I found myself in very similar circumstance a couple of years ago and I took it to court and they paid on receipt of my pre-issue N1 form.

 

I refer you to http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/residential-commercial-lettings/116844-tenant-leaves-early-whether.html with respect to information about leaving early. I got out of the tenancy early thanks to this information.

 

As far as you are concerned send no further letter or have no phone calls with Reeds Rains. It has got nothing to do with the letting agent. It is with the landlord you have a contract and the landlord who is liable for refunding your deposit. It is the landlord you take to court not reeds rains.

 

There is some very good information in http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/residential-commercial-lettings/74057-disrepairs-privately-rented-accommodation.html regarding rented properties in disrepair.

 

I think you have grounds with nearly everything in the house 'not being fit for purpose' to claim all monies paid back (all rent + deposit). Under section 11 of Landlord and tenant act 1985 his obligations are clearly laid down in law.

 

I would send a letter before action asking for all your monies back within 14 days or you will take them to court for the full amount + costs + interest. Was your deposit paid into a TDS? Were you sent information of how you could get it back by an independent body? If not you can take them to court for the return of your deposit + 3x your deposit.

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Thanks for the info, I'm willing to try anything to make sure this so called landlord doesn't get any more money off of us

 

thanks again :)

 

it was paid into a tds yes and im going to look to see if we have information about the independant body

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Oh dear.

 

Dont act to rashly Squwiggs, I dont think you are in a stong a position as you and andrewquinn think.

 

Firstly the positives;

 

- Any deposit you have paid should have been protected in one of the TDS schemes. Has it been and do you have the prescribed information tell you about it?

 

- The landlord has a duty under s.11 to keep the property in good repair.

 

The negatives;

 

- You had no 'right' to terminate your contract early, regardless of wether you considered the landlord in breach of contract. If the repairs where not being done, you should have followed the correct procedure for witholding rent and had the repairs done yourself.

 

- In terms of the caselaw link above, have a read of it. Its quite clear that a landlord has NO DUTY to mitigate his losses, if andrewquinn used that piece of caselaw successfully without being liable for further rent he was VERY lucky he came across someone more ignorant of the law then him.

 

My advice would be to accept the LL/LA offer and let them have the deposit, and in return you want a signed letter from the LA/LL stating that your contract is terminated and he will make no further claim against you, the alternative could be you find yourself in court for the remianing rent (3 months? 9 months?) up to the end of your fixed term.

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im not willing to give them my deposit and we are willing to go to court as we have a solicitor who is willing to fight for us.

our deposit has been secured in a tds and we did withhold rent in order to get things done this just made the landlord aggressive towards us and threatened us while we were living there, we also paid for the garage door to be repaired as he had no key and told us to fix it ourselves he never paid us for it, while this was happening the agancy were doing nothings and unwilling to help which left us in a catch 22 really, as i say though we have got a solicitor ready waiting to go t court if nessecary as were not prepared to let him get away with this, we also got told by the solicitor that we could also claim back rent and anything we thought neccesary.

 

Also the landlord would have a hard job taking us to court as firstly he didnt pay re-assurance to the agency so they won't trace us, so the landlord will have to trace us himself, this will cost him roughly 50-a couple of hundred pounds, it will then cost 300 pounds roughly to book a date in court, he will then try claim these costs back but wont be able as it was his choice to take us to court.

 

ive recently been given this information, so ask yourself this, do you think he'd risk losing this money, when we have already seen he doesn't give money up easy.

 

thanks for the advice but im certainly not thinking of giving anymore money to this idiot, if he does find himself lucky enough to eventually find us and thinks he stands a good chance in court then i think we'll risk this, but until then people like us cant let people like him win

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i just thought id fill you in with the latest, the estate agents have already put the house back up to rent even thought they still haven't checked it out for us.

also the estate agents are now refusing to speak to us and wont contact us about our deposit, they've now had our deposit for 1 month, are they allowed to hold it for so long and still not do the paperwork?

even though im willing to fight for this, theres a very spiteful women who works for the estate agency who i feel will just give our deposit to our landlord and say we agreed to it, it is a big chain estate agency and i know they'd be foolish to do this but i cant help but worry.

the estate agents also told us we were fine to move out and that we wouldn't loose our deposit as we did give the relevant notice and letters and appealed, yet now there saying we should give the landlord all our deposit

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- Contact the relevant TDS scheme and begin the process of deposit recovery yourself. Theres no need to wait for the agents. The TDS procedure is relativley simple, they give there evidence, you give yours. Any issues should be resolved prior to using the arbitration scheme where possible. Im not sure if you not giving a forwarding address will be held against you?

 

- Not sure what you mean by 'we did give the relevant notice and letters and appealed'

 

- Not sure whos being telling you the costs of bringing a claim to court. Claims of upto £5,000 will cost no more than £108 (less online).

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we started having trouble hours after we signed our contract, the estate agents told us they would resolve issues, every week we rang back with problems and every week just got the same response 'someone will call you back' or 'we've already told the landlord he said he's sorted it' he never sorted anything out.

we then notified the estate agents that we weren't prepared to take nomore that we would give our months notice from there and leave the woman said fair enough i understand and you will get your deposit back once we've checked the house.

now another woman from the same agency is now saying we have to dispute and she is refusing to pass us through to the person who dealt with all the complaints, they wont talk to us or resolve anything which is kind of annoying me now.

we wrote a letter of complaints, made sure all our complaints were logged on their systems also and then wrote a letter of termination of the contract, basicly saying this is our months notice which the estate agents said was fine

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we started having trouble hours after we signed our contract, the estate agents told us they would resolve issues, every week we rang back with problems and every week just got the same response 'someone will call you back' or 'we've already told the landlord he said he's sorted it' he never sorted anything out.

we then notified the estate agents that we weren't prepared to take nomore that we would give our months notice from there and leave the woman said fair enough i understand and you will get your deposit back once we've checked the house.

now another woman from the same agency is now saying we have to dispute and she is refusing to pass us through to the person who dealt with all the complaints, they wont talk to us or resolve anything which is kind of annoying me now.

we wrote a letter of complaints, made sure all our complaints were logged on their systems also and then wrote a letter of termination of the contract, basicly saying this is our months notice which the estate agents said was fine

 

Right I see. You keep refereing to what you have given the agents as your 'Months Notice' and 'Letter of Terminition', you need to keep in mind that these letters you sent are NOT notice letters or letters terminitiang the agreement, as its not possible for you to terminate the agreement unilaterally before the end of the fixed term. Otherwise there would be little point in having a fixed term contract.

 

You dont need to speak to the letting agents to get your deposit released. You need to speak to which ever of the three TDS schemes holds your deposit - Mydeposits, DPS or TDS.

 

I hope you kept copies of all correspondance sent and recieved from the agents.

 

Contact the relevant scheme above and get the ball rolling. You will have to give them your new contact details, but I dont think they will pass it on to LL/LA (woth asking).

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