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The worst landlady in the UK. How can we give her her comeuppance?

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Hi everyone.

 

I believe I am a tenant of the worst landlady in the UK.

The effect of her behaviour on myself and my housemate is actually tangible.

We have never been so stressed out. our home is a source of stress and anxiety.

This woman clearly has some sort of disordered mind or personality and we are at the whim of it.

 

We moved in three months ago.

 

At the time, she knew my mother and told my mother that she would be renting out her house, as she was moving around the corner.

 

We agreed to move in

- this woman at the start was very nice, doing the whole "as its you",

theres no need for contracts or deposits i knew you when you were a baby!! etc.

Myself and a friend moved in, and there was an existing tenant who is eastern european.

She and her son and his partner were already living here and were "going to move". the move dragged on.

 

We were given a set rent of £110 a week for my two rooms. and my friend pays £80 pw.

I paid rent for a week on two rooms when her son was living in one of them. i was very angry about this, but kept quiet.

 

It has only got worse.

She told us she had a business registered against this address so might 'pop in' a couple of times a week.

We felt this reasonable enough.

This has descended quickly into not only every day, but invariably at least THREE times a day.

She has been here three times already today.

 

This woman lets herself in and starts acting like its still her home, and worse.

she strides in at all hours - the other night she was here at 11pm on a wednesday night.

In addition to this her son and his partner have keys.

They let themselves in on a whim too.

 

The excuses for entering the property in this way vary from they're "still moving stuff" to " she's helping us" by scrubbing the floors,

she's "picking up post" or her son is working on the house and "shes cooking a meal".

 

Worse, this business appears not to be a "beauty service" as was suggested-

its some sort of massage/waxing thing.

 

Her other business we have ascertained is a gay sauna.

Men and women knock at the door or enter the house for "treatments".

once, a transvestite came in (yeah, we laughed too..) for a "wax".

 

Then she told us her "beauty clients" use our bathroom, because they need showers and stuff.

What?? This is in our home.

Then, she moved in some other woman - we were not consulted - so we have four living here.

She basically told this woman that she was "in charge" of us.

 

This woman started off making our lives a misery,

but since has come round to the fact that there is something dodgy.

 

She is the most money grabbing bitch i have ever met. My rent was at one stage £433.34p a month. Seriously. then things got worse...

 

Our rent is "all inclusive".

one unemployed guy lives here,

one employed (me), a self employed person, and another student.

The eastern european (unemployed) came home one day saying he was worried about a letter

(this man is very benign and very mousey, and obviously rather vulnerable living in a foreign country) that was in his name.

 

He knew nothing about it. It was a council tax bill in his name for this property,

and written on it was my landladys name, phone number and "my partner".

This lad had no idea why it has come.

 

i asked him who had written on it, and he said my landlady.

She told him to go to the council tax people and show them this letter.

We very quickly pieced together what had happened.

She was trying to defraud council tax by claiming that they were partners and possibly something to do with council tax benefit too.

we suspect the other property was involved as my ll had told this lad that

"council tax can only be in one persons name, per property

- it cant be in hers for this house and her other house".

 

Worse still - our rent is "All inclusive of council tax"

- me and my friend are charged for it.

She clearly is lying and saying that this unemployed guy is sole occupant and simply pocketing the money.

 

This eastern european lad told me a few home truths about her.

he turned the bath on once and said she flipped and threw him out onto the street and said "get the f**k out of my house".

he said she has slung others out onto the street too.

He told me he found cannabis in the house once. it was hers.

 

We feel very vulnerable as we are currently saving for somewhere to go behind her back.

She told us once that her past tenants have "urinated on her floor, and keyed her car and smashed her windows". We see why now.

 

I am due to return to university soon.

I asked her about a council tax reduction and she said "its all inclusive". this is her only answer.

When i claim something is too expensive, she either tells me this, or "its because of the accountant".

I took one room upstairs, as i could no longer afford two.

 

At this point, she told us that there would be a "winter rate" on rent.

She had alluded to this when we moved in, saying £10 extra was reasonable. I agreed it was. S

he clearly meant £10 a week though.

Working this out at £44 a month extra for me and my friend, so £88, and probably another £44 for another tenant.

this is to cover "extra heating". ha!

 

Then she tried to make me pay it early, but i had a housemate who witnessed this "winter rate" discussion,

and who said "no you said from september not august..." She backed down,

but the spiteful bitch then said "Ah. Well ok. But the winter rate is carrying on throughout the year too now into the summer,

because i need to cover my gas bills...."

 

There is no internet here either - i pay my own, i am council tax exempt, and there is no phone.

 

There is no living room too - she fills this 4 bedroom house up with tenants.(or "lodgers" as she calls them)

 

She is renting out the two rooms to two others - god knows who- so SIX people in this house, plus her and her sons...

 

then WORSE still, this week, i have been pushed to the limit.

I returned home as usual to find everything had been moved around .

She touches all my stuff.

 

I found my coats, shoes, and bags, had gone from the cupboard under the stairs and the hooks on the hall.

I am moving upstairs ATM.

I found my things dumped outside my room on the floor, with my hairdryers from under the sink.

she pushed a note under the door saying she was "helping me move".

Its ANOTHER example of the controlling nature. its almost abusive.

 

We are watched constantly, passively aggressively prodded to do this or that. she makes snide comments.

Then, i went downstairs. She had put a PADLOCKED cupboard fitted on the boiler so that people couldnt touch the heating or hot water settings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i flipped out.

 

She has been here three times today prodding me to do this that.

Wanting me to do this or that. if i dont do what she "suggests" within 24 hours she will be back, prodding me.

 

we all hate this woman. we are convinced she is dodgy and exploitative.

We wish her nothing but the very worst.

 

These are just a few examples of what she does to grab money and exploit people.

We want to move ASAP, but equally we want to give her her comeuppance, but as she is threatening

and clearly knows dodgy people, we want her not to know it was us.

 

She is a millionaire. this money comes from exploiting vulnerable people.

Even if we move out, which we will soon, she will simply carry on doing it to others.

 

What can we do?

Edited by Johnny1978

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wow, best way forward in my opinion is to go to either Citizens Advice or Local Law Centre, this is a very complex and possibly criminal activity (on her part) put revenge on the back burner, anger will not help you, try to stay calm, I dont know enough about property/rental to help you more. but there is others who are very good at this sort of thing


I know my rights Mr DCA I'm with the CAG......hello hello where you gone Mr DCA8)

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As you rent only 'rooms', the landlady is allowed to come and go in the non-let areas a much as she likes, though I admit it is weird.

 

The lack of internet or telephone is not really relevant unless you were promised these facilities.

 

Have you started paying the 'winter rate' yet?

 

If there are at least 2 non-exempt people living in the property, your student status will not affect the council tax bill.

 

Okay, you want to know what to do? Other than move, there isn't much, but...

 

The propery is a 'Home in Multiple Occupation'. As such, it has to adhere to slightly higher safety standards than a regular let. Contact the HMO officer at your local council and get them to investigate the place. If it falls short, they may decide to MAKE the landlady bring the place up to scratch (possibly thousands for a new fire alarm system) and they do have the option to prosecute wih some killer fines - £1k per breach.

 

You can also contact the 'Tenancy Relations Officer' at your local councils housing department. They can help manage the relationship - make sure the landlord knows her rights, and more importantly, yours.

 

You should have a lock on your rooms, and the landlady has virtually no right to enter your rented rooms.

 

You may also want to check with the planning department to see if she is allowed to run a business, and the council tax department to see if she should be paying business rates.

  • Haha 1

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Blimey Caprice1982,

 

I am a private tenant, but luckily don't have problems like you.

 

You say that there is no Tenancy Agreement between her and you, that is not right for a start,

unfortunately you should have never agreed to anything without having it in writing,

even if she was a family friend. (

 

My landlady is my wifes son's girlfriend, but we still have an agreement with her in writing).

 

It very much sounds like she is playing the system and claiming benefits illegally, as the previous writer said,

 

go and see Citizens Advice Centre or a Local Law centre, or you could even go and see solicitor under the green form scheme

(I beleive it is still available) where you pay just £5 for 30 minutes advice.

 

You mention that you are going back to Uni soon, are you staying here until you can afford to move out?

If you are, then contact the Uni, I beleive it is the Students Union they have lists of approved Let properties

which meet their very high standards and they are cheaper than what you are paying now.

 

I can tell you this as I live in the main Uni student accomodation area in our town and see the certificates that the Uni give approved properties,

some of these are for shared houses with other students and cost as little as £50-60 per week, inclusive of ALL bills...

 

The trouble is without an agreement she can tell you to pay what she says because you can't disprove it,

but something must be done to stop this woman from extorting all this money from you.

 

I personally would go and see the council, they have people trained to do with this sort of problem as she is defrauding the system and YOU and ME, taxpayers.

Once again you have a big problem about access to your rooms,

if she had an Official Agreement she can only enter your room, or even the premises without giving it in writing giving a minimum of

2 days WRITTEN notice warning you and stating the reasons she needs entry.

 

She has No right at all other than that, but again without an agreement she can say you gave her permission when you moved in.

Something needs to be done and fast if I was you, she is breaking all sorts of laws if only you had a written agreement.

 

As the previous writer said, for the moment forget revenge, lets get you sorted out and advise you where to go.

The authorities have laws they can use to stop rogue landlords (and landladies) doing this, also to bring to their attention that the premise

s is being used by an illegal Massage business, and

 

I bet they are breaking all the Fire Regulations and Health rules and even down to the amount of rent she can claim from each of you,

as for a "winter rate" that is totally illegal, but they have to be told.

 

Go and see them, they will help you, ask them not to tell her it was you, they are very co-operative and helpful.

 

This lady needs to be stopped and now, before she conns anymore money from helpless people.

She seems to be using the "vunerable" people to fill the house (and thats said to be offensive to you at all) all the people you have

mentioned obviously don't know the laws and rules to do with rental properties.

 

So do yourself a favour and go and see the CAB and the council asap....

... Also contact your Uni and speak with their accomdation people and get them to help you find a "Real" house to live in

without having to put up with all this hassle and being ripped off......

 

Keep us updated please.

 

******** just do yourself a big favour, make sure that you either encrypt your documents

and computer so that if she did come in while you are out she wouldn't "find" this page.......

. *************************


Keefy (:-)The "Moaner":rolleyes:)Boy

Prepared to take on anyone until I win...................

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Also read the "TENANCIES" above it shows you all the Good rules and advice for a tenant and what is required by law.

KB


Keefy (:-)The "Moaner":rolleyes:)Boy

Prepared to take on anyone until I win...................

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You should now be able to see a solicitor for 30 minutes for absolutely nothing. Could well be worth giving it a go.

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Can I just add to an earlier poster...

 

So you concentrate on the things she has really done wrong, forget the issue of no tenancy agreement. There is no obligation for a tenancy agreement to be in writing so long as it is for less than 3 years.

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my advice; move asap.

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Thank you all.

 

I now have some ideas about what she ias exactly doing that's illegal.

 

Rather than comeuppance, per se, in terms of revenge, like you say

- it's exploiting vulnerable people and that's what makes me really angry

- my housemates are in a foreign country/unemployed/students etc.

 

My concern is that even if we move, as two employed english people we are in a much stronger position and still get this treatment,

so i shudder to think what she would do if she had a house full of more vulnerable people.

 

We are trying to get out asap, but we like the people we live with and feel that they are being used to:

for example as regards this council tax bill

- the guy didn't realise that once a bill is in your name, that's it!

they will still pursue him for it even if he moves elsewhere.

 

he was worried sick as the bill was about £2,000 and then they sent him one for a final demand.

 

This is the kind of exploitation i'm talking about and i feel that standing by letting it go on when we know its wrong is bad too. x

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oh also, btw, is her locking the boiler illegal too? We can't imagine that it's in any way right as nobody has any access to it now.

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Shelter are worth a ring tomorrow 0808 800 4444 (it's free)

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Shelter are a great point of contact. you say you are Uni student are you a member of Students Union already if so then contact their welfare officer who will be able to help and even get you free legal representation,


I know my rights Mr DCA I'm with the CAG......hello hello where you gone Mr DCA8)

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Caprice1982,

 

firstly start thinking about yourself first, I know you like the people you live with, but start looking after No 1 yourselves,

if you start some sort of action it will be to their advantage as well as yours.

 

You have got to get yourself out of there asap. You are being "USED" in what appears to be illegal actions to say the least.

 

With regards to the lock on the boiler cupboard door, (I used to be a fire prevention officer) and as far as i am aware she can do that, it is her premises.

 

She does not breach anything that I know with regards to locking the boiler cupboard door.

She has done this so that YOU and the other residents can not see how much she is ripping you off with the "Winter fee"

and as you say she is now making that a permanent fee all year round.

 

She is doing it so that you are pay are paying her bills for her.

There is no such thing as a winter fee or any other heating or hot water fee unless it is agreed upfront

and i would say in writing too, but she doesn't want anything in writing I bet.

 

You say that she is a millionaire, and now we know how.

Tell the gent who has had the letters to go to the council and explain everything to them,

as his name is on the council tax bill he is responsible for paying it, not the landlady,

thats why she has his name on it, the council will go after him, not her,

and its him that will get the big fine and possibly imprisionment for failure to pay,

if you feel up to supporting him then go with him and back his story up.

 

she has used you all and will continue to do so until she is stopped.

 

Get in touch with the council, get in touch with the Uni and speak with their accomadation officers, they can and will help.

 

My wifes son's girlfriend works in the Uni and this is what she has told us to pass on to you, get help asap,

this is why she is doing it because she is bullying you and as for the prodding you to force you to do things you may well find that it is classed as assault.

 

What does she prod you with?

 

a finger a stick or something?

 

is it leaving small marks on you?

 

if so then get someone to photograph it so you can use it against her.

 

She will continue to do this as it is classic signs of bullying to get what she wants.

Stand up to her and tell her to stop prodding you, see what she does to that..

... she will either stop or carrying on, if she doesn't stop write down when she was doing it, time and date

and then the reason why she was doing it.

 

She has absolutely no excuse to enter your private room,

I can imagine if you fitted a lock to it, she would rip it off and then charge you for damaging the door.

 

Do yourself a favour and get to speak to someone about it urgently, the longer you wait the more she will rip you off for.

I know you think I may be going on a bit, but I am trying to help you as much as I can,

I know I said Vunerable people, you are, you don't know your rights and she is playing on that against you.

 

You need help and you need it now.

 

Look after No 1, yourself, and maybe the other person who is working as well will come and back you up.

 

Don't delay things, make it a priority job to do as the longer you stay the more you will lose and it could be savings toward a new accomadation....

.. get to see someone now!!!

Keefyboy.


Keefy (:-)The "Moaner":rolleyes:)Boy

Prepared to take on anyone until I win...................

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oh also, btw, is her locking the boiler illegal too? We can't imagine that it's in any way right as nobody has any access to it now.
Locking the boiler isn't illegal (or even unlawful) but the Housing Health and Safety Rating System does state that tenants should have control over the temperature. If non-access to the boiler prevents this, then you should raise it with the HMO officer when he visits.

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Also the boiler is supposed to be serviced at least once a year!

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The obvious reason that she has locked the cupboard is so the tenants can't see how much gas and electric actually used, this way if they say you have got to pay £25 each person per month there is no way you can prove different. No wonder she has money, ripping her tenants off by these unfair charges. Shes not responsible for the council tax because it is in someone elses name, expensive bills for gas or electricity and probably the water as well.

This lady needs to see someone urgently otherwise you are going to be ripped off even more....

 

If I knew where this house was I would willingly report the landlady to the council officers to save Caprice any problems.


Keefy (:-)The "Moaner":rolleyes:)Boy

Prepared to take on anyone until I win...................

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Keefyboy, how does locking the boiler (cupboard??) prevent Ts from seeing how much gas/electric is being used? Meters are not usually in boiler cupboard/space.

I am still trying to unravel relationships between LL and 6? occupants. Lodgers or Ts

Suggest £4 to search Land Registry for property owner and whether Lease or Free Hold.

If occupier, Lease/Free holder is resp for C Tax. Max rate is 2 adults over 18yo

6+ residents may be overcrowding.

LL def smells like Grimsby Fish Docks on a Friday. A few 'discreet' enquiries to C Tax dept may elicit a spot visit. Beready to move out.

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BTW it is illegal to make a profit selling electric unless a supplier so she may be brfeaking the rules if she is charging for electric and making a profit.

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I agree that the boiler cupboard may not hold the meters (but in experience of renting a let house which had been split into 3 flats,

the boiler and the meters were located on the ground floor in a "Locked cupboard" which until I started kicking up a stink

about not having hot water available to shower or bath in, (because the boiler was set on a timers) and

 

my partner and I were shift workers, there was never enough hot water when we wanted to use it.

I worked as a fireman, and as a qualified Fire Prevention Officer for the Ffire Service,

there was no laws being broken that way.

 

But the council may say that the occupants "Should" have access under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System,

and "should" is totally different from "Must" and this could be got around many ways,

all she has to say is that she done it because someone kept breaking the boiler controls or timers,

but if this landlady doesn't have approval for change of use for the building

(which I very much doubt she has) then whatever she does is just to line her own pockets at the expense

of the "vunerable tenants" (because they are unaware of their rights as shown in a Shorthold Tenancy Agreement or continuation tenancy agreement).

 

I also understand that the boiler "Should " be serviced every year,

but when it due to be serviced she has the key and unlocks it for the engineer to do his servicing work,

she has not broken any rules.

 

Also if she is living in the house and it is not registered as a B&B or HMO then who knows what she should be doing but isn't.

 

I agree that a Council official should look into this the sooner than later as she seems to be flouting the system left right and centre and breaking all sorts of rules.

 

I just think we should not keep questioning each other about the technicalities of this situation as this is just confusing Caprice1982,

she is in a terrible position with a landlady who doesn't want anything in writing because this would implicate her

and resorts to bullying tatics to "persuad" her tenants to get her way and make them feel belittled and afraid of her.

 

Caprice get and see the council or someone, on the double, this woman is not only ripping you off but bullying you into submission to get her nasty little ways.

The only way she will be stopped is if someone reports her.

 

You can ask the council to not disclose your name and they must abide by this request.

Get to speak to someone at the Uni or students union as a matter of "yesterday" to help you sort out alternative accomodation.

 

Also if she keeps "poking you" then warn her that this is Intimidation and you do not like it and if it continues and she marks you

(which can even be just a nail print where she has poked you,) then you will be taking legal advice.

 

As I said before if she marks you photograph it, you must have a mobile phone which takes photos, so use this.

 

Keep us updated please and good luck.


Keefy (:-)The "Moaner":rolleyes:)Boy

Prepared to take on anyone until I win...................

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Hi and thank you all guys.

don't have much time cos at work, but we are doing a midnight flit tonight, its got worse.

 

She basically brought a bloke in on monday to look at the house and gave him keys.

i asked her who he was and she responded ' i don't know, but i'll find out when he comes wont i?'

she took him on a tour of the house and then handed him keys.

We only know cos we are listening in.

 

i saw him from the window - a burly 40 odd bloke with a shaven head and tattoos - hardly an appropriate housemate for two women.

i was very upset that we were not even consulted about this (other two tenants knew nothing about his moving in).

next day we were listening in and he came back for the room keys - moving in on wednesday!!!!

 

i heard her ask his last name - she clearly didnt know. no references were taken - he could be anybody.

we casually went downstairs to investigate and i pretended that i didnt know who he was until i formally introiduced.

my LL was putting her nicey nice act on. i was just fuming.

 

she was wanting me to do the whole hard sell about how great the house was.

she was hinting for me to say he could use my net and my kitchen stuff. but underneath i was seething.

my other housemate was scared too - saying who was he?

where were his references??

he could bring groups of friends to the house etc.

 

we arranged a meeting all three of us with her.

she turned up but this third woman did not and we wanted to speak to her all together.

we briefly said well, theres no heat and we want it.

 

i said i'm a little cold, but other h/m is very cold.

my ll laughed and said "well i'm not cold!' and her words were ' if X wants heating on a lot then she'll have to pay for it..

' she then went **** ing and moaning to her son downstairs.

 

this woman has been in our home EVERY SINGLE DAY when ive come back from work

- saturday to thursday. then the sh*?* hit the fan... i got in and she was there.

 

She called me and had an aggressive "CHAT" with me,

basically this bloody third housemate had clearly seen her before and shed given her stick about wanting the heating on.

 

our other housemate had defended herself by dropping me in it by deflecting it to: SHE says blah blah blah.

...." My landlady was subtly threatening - i could see she was seething underneath. she said

'for your information my tenants are hand picked - this guy is a friend of a friend of a friend.."

she accused me of being rude when this guy came, ignorant, " i turned my back" and then started going "oh,

i WON'T say it...it's just that you're... no actually i won't say it...." i said "well say what?"

 

i was very calm and also a bit upset at being spoken to in this threatening way and felt like at any moment she would flip.

She said "well, maybe theres something here you don't like.. or maybe its ME you don't like..

.. and if you don't like me or my pratices you know what you can do..

if you've got some sort of problem.. ive been letting houses out for 5 years i'm experienced..

.' then she started saying i was slagging her behind her back about this guy and the heating

.. (well i was, but i think anybody could see why) i reasonably replied with a)

 

i didnt know WHO this guy was, you never told us, let us meet him, consulted us..

you just moved him in, so how am i supposed to guess who this bloke is stood in the kitchen?'

she had nothing to say to that save for "well yes but are YOU telling me how i rent my own house out???

are you telling me what i can and cant do with my own property???|"

 

I felt very threatened by her.

 

I THEN discovered she told the other housemate who complained that the heating should be on that if she wanted it,

she had to pay an EXTRA £30 - FROM THAT DAY! added onto her rent!!!! she then wrote a NEWSLETTER!

 

Some really nicey nicey letter designed to excuse all of her behaviour in a nicey way "just popping into help you clean" "

no contracts or deposits because i work on trust!!" "making improvements to the house!"

she referred to it as a "happy and honest home!"

 

Then made sarcastic comments about me in the day to my friend ('oh i'm moving this table -maybe she wants a meeting about it first and thinks she should be informed!!!)

and other housemate, and then was at home when i came back. a strange man was using the shower.

one of her "clients". and this was the final straw.

 

we arranged to do a midnight flit.

i went to work the next day and my friend text me saying "shes in your room.

 

i can hear her walking around and then she shut the door". he can hear because its the room next to his and theres a wood floor.

 

Where do stand legally though we are vacating the property asap - we owe no rent - rent due today.

we're vacating with no notice and hoping she doesnt catch us and posting keys back.

 

We are worried - my friend and other housemate works for the police, and i am a student teacher.

we cant afford to have any CRB issues. and we know she will flip if we say were leaving or if she catches us. very worried. :(

Edited by Johnny1978

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Well done Caprice, she has admitted to you that she has renting out the property for 5 years, good ammo for council. If you start getting problems with her tonight, ring the POLICE (Use 999, being an essex Police operator they will NOT tell you off for using it) and ask for someone to attend to Prevent a Breach of the Peace, urgently as this woman is threatening you. She doesn't have a leg to stand on about the rent and notice because you don't have a written tenancy agreement with you so she cant enforce it. As long as you have paid up to today then don't worry about it, just leave as it sounds like she is introducing someone else illegally.

 

Get out asap, but still tell the council after you have left, as they need to stop this now, before she rips of anyone else. Don't worry about anyone else look after Number one, YOU...

 

Good luck and keep us updated please.

Keith


Keefy (:-)The "Moaner":rolleyes:)Boy

Prepared to take on anyone until I win...................

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Have you contacted Shelter yet?

 

0808 800 4444

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She doesn't have a leg to stand on about the rent and notice because you don't have a written tenancy agreement with you so she cant enforce it.

This is woefully incorrect advice. Caprice had a tenancy - an oral assured shorthold tenancy to be precise. It's notice requirements are set in stone by the courts - one month ending on the last day of a tenancy period. Therefore Caprice is liable for rent until that date.

 

I know the landlady won't enforce it, because a trip to court would open a huge can of worms, and a judge might accept (as all those of us reading would) that her departure without due notice was entirely acceptable. However, a blanket statement like keefyboy's could have serious potential consequences for future readers with similar problems who think their oral contract and legal obligations mean nothing.

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