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Landlord Taking Legal Action

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A landlord from a property I lived in a few years ago has just filed a legal action against me, and one other tenant, in court.

 

I have two specific questions about this so I can prepare a Defence.

 

1. The Claim is made against two of the original four tenants (all of which are jointly liable for rent according to the contract) so the Claim details came to me as 'First Defendant'. Do I submit a Defence on behalf of myself, or do me and the other defendant need to submit a joint Defence? If the latter, it's going to be difficult because I'm no longer in contact with him.

 

2. What laws cover this area? I'm familiar with the standard CPR 18/SAR requests and so on, but are these just for organisations? It's a private landlord that's made this claim. I've received no LBA although it's possible he could have sent it to an old address. I want a copy of everything he intends to rely on in Court - how do I request that?

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spurious,in reply to your post:

 

Please provide more information.

 

Upon reading the additional information,I will hopefully be able to assist you further.

Edited by Nightmare4banks

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Thanks, N4B. It's difficult to succinctly summarise a scenario like this, but....

 

1. In September 2005, four of us moved in to a rented house on an assured shorthold tenancy.

 

2. Three of us moved out at differing points, before the contract was up.

 

3. We each tried to settle up with the landlord, who didn't respond. His only contact was just before Christmas last year, years later, threatening legal action unless we paid him a sum that didn't seem to make sense.

 

4. He followed through on his threat and is now taking two of the original four people who signed the contract to court. His PoC do not elaborate on how he reached his sums.

 

 

I want him to produce the contract he is relying on, his calculations etc. - can I send him a request under CPR (18 or 31.14)?

If he sticks to this, how can I prove he did obtain rent he says he didn't? It seems impossible to verify - how does the Court handle that?

The contract will show that there are four names listed as tenants, not two. Is that a reasonable defence even though all of us are individually liable for the full amount?

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Hi All!

 

Spurious,in repy to your last post:

 

Please answer the following question:

 

 

What actually happened when you tried to settle with the landlord? Please give more detail.

 

In the meantime,you should see to get further information regarding the breakdown of the amount that the landlord is claiming against you.

At the end of the day,this is your right.

 

I am sorry but i am not the appropriate person to ask about court procedures.However,I am a landlord myself and have a very good understanding of the residential landlord & tenant laws and regs etc

 

The answer to the above question should hopefully enable me to assist you further.

 

Cheers,

 

Nightmare4banks

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This seems to be a claim in contract(breach) and as such the contract should be attached to the N1 claim form.Civil Procedure Rules.

 

Post the claim form on line and i will try to help.Remember to redact all personal information---names addreess's ect.

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I am presuming the landlord is suing you for the difference between the full rent for the contract period (6/12 months?) and the amounts you paid. The contract will show what was owed, if you disagree with the amount paid by you & your housemates you will have to prove what you paid. There may also be monies due for damages etc - landlord will have to prove these in court.

 

Your contract will make you all jointly and severally liable - this means the whole amount due can be demanded from any one of the individual tenants, so the amount the landlord expects you to pay is... all of it.

 

If LBA was sent to a different address, it won't be an issue for the court as presumably you failed (whilst knowing this issue existed) to keep the ex-landlord informed of your new address.

 

The landlord will have to provide you and the court with copies of any documents he intends to rely on no later than 14 days before the hearing.

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Put in a defence deniying paragraph by paragraph the landlord's claim and at the end of each paragraph state the defendent puts the claimant to strict proof. This puts the claimant back to having to make the running as it were and would stop him/her gaining a judgement by default

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Your contract will make you all jointly and severally liable - this means the whole amount due can be demanded from any one of the individual tenants, so the amount the landlord expects you to pay is... all of it.

 

Understood. That said, can he select some tenants over others and sue them? Surely he'd have to sue 'The Tenant' which includes all four of us. I can't see the justice in being sued individually for a contract on which there were three other people equally as liable.

 

If LBA was sent to a different address, it won't be an issue for the court as presumably you failed (whilst knowing this issue existed) to keep the ex-landlord informed of your new address.

 

I was sure I kept him up to date with my whereabouts, and indeed I've found a letter sent to him some time ago with my current address on it. I can't prove it was delivered, but I do have a copy of it. Does that count for anything?

Edited by spurious

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Understood. That said, can he select some tenants over others and sue them? Surely he'd have to sue 'The Tenant' which includes all four of us. I can't see the justice in being sued individually for a contract on which there were three other people equally as liable.

 

He may not have selected you as such. It may be that he cannot find contact details for the other 2 and if you are all jointly liable then to him it does not matter who he sues.


Ash.

 

If you think I have helped you, please add to my reputation by clicking the star button to the left.

Thankyou.

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Put in a defence that normally works!!

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Hi All!

 

Spurious,

 

Regarding the unfairness as you say:

 

1.You signed a tenancy agreement at the time where each one of you and all of you are liable.The onus is on the tenants to sort out the rent and pay it in a timely fashion to the landlord.

 

2.This is sort of tenancy benefits both parties as it is always cheaper to rent out a house rather than seperate rooms in a house plus the landlord can get his rent in a much more straight forward fashion.

 

3.I would suggest that you check the landlord's paperwork - this will also reveal whether he received your letter or not but otherwise it would be your word against his word.The best proof would be a copy of the letter and proof from the post office of sending a letter by recorded delivery to the landlord.

 

4.Pay what is owed and try to find the other tenants that shared the house with you - perhaps a good starting point would be the social sites i.e.Facebook and hopefully you will find one or more and if you are lucky all of them to pay!

 

 

5.In the future, my suggestion to you if you have not already purchased your own home would be to rent a property by yourself or with your partner only providing you are on an understand with him/her.As shared properties in many cases have plenty of disputes and problems.

 

I hope this helps.

 

If you have any questions,just ask.

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I've sent him a request for all paperwork under CPR.

 

Since we are all equally liable, I have asked him for statements and proof of all payments from all parties listed as 'The Tenant' for the duration of the agreement period, including proof of all deposits kept in lieu of arrears.

 

Am I entitled to be provided that?

 

I can't see why not, as that paperwork has a direct impact on how much money is owed.

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No, I am afraid the obligation to provide proof of what has been paid is yours, or more acurately, the tenants. All you need are receipts. It would pay you to get in touch with the other tenants to see what they can provide. I understand that you may not be in touch with them - but the landlord is in the same situation, so you will have to trace them by whatever means you can.

 

It is worth noting that if you end up losing the case, there is nothing to stop you sueing the other tenants for their share of the debt you are forced to pay on their behalf.

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Wow. So any landlord can just file a claim that rent wasn't paid, even for years previously, and if the tenant can't prove they paid it, the landlord wins? Seriously?!

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Yes, because what you are asking the landlord to prove is that something didn't happen. How can he prove tha you didn't pay him (say) £180 on 1st Jan 2009? Show his bank account? Ah, but he might have paid it into a different bank account, or kept the cash, or spent it on booze & fags. He can prove that you owe the money, if you are saying you have paid any of it, then you are the one to prove it, usually with a receipt or a copy cheque or credit card statement, or even a witness - although the judge can use his discretion wether to believe that or not.

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A landlord from a property I lived in a few years ago has just filed a legal action against me, and one other tenant, in court.

 

I have two specific questions about this so I can prepare a Defence.

 

1. The Claim is made against two of the original four tenants (all of which are jointly liable for rent according to the contract) so the Claim details came to me as 'First Defendant'. Do I submit a Defence on behalf of myself, or do me and the other defendant need to submit a joint Defence? If the latter, it's going to be difficult because I'm no longer in contact with him.

 

2. What laws cover this area? I'm familiar with the standard CPR 18/SAR requests and so on, but are these just for organisations? It's a private landlord that's made this claim. I've received no LBA although it's possible he could have sent it to an old address. I want a copy of everything he intends to rely on in Court - how do I request that?

 

What is he suing for? what kind of tenancy? and how many years ago?

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