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LL claiming rent for previous property - threatening to contact employers!!

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My ex-landlady of a property I moved from last month is claiming unpaid rent which I dispute. She is claiming we had an agreement whereby I would pay money that there is no contract or agreement in place to demonstrate I am liable for.

 

Today I have received an email in which she states she will contact my employers within 72 hours to tell them I've defaulted on rent and that she is taking me to court. She justifies this by saying that 'my employers' provided a character reference (actually, one person from my workplace did this, but did not represent anyone in doing so). She states she will then pursue a small claims court case against me.

 

Now, I'm not terribly bothered about the court action because with no contract and no agreement, she won't have a leg to stand on, but contacting my employers will obviously have an impact on my reputation at work and standing in the eyes of my management.

 

I'd like to send her back a stern rebuke - can anyone let me know precisely what she's doing wrong from a legal standpoint?

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Is this a lodging contract or did you rent a whole property (house or flat)?

 

On what date did you move in? Did you pay rent - if so how much and how often? Did you pay a deposit?

 

When you left the property, did you give any notice? And if so when did you give notice and was it written notice?

 

Unless you were a squatter there must have been some sort of "agreement". In absence of a contract the above information plus the usual rules relating to tenancy contracts would establish your responsibilities.

 

What is the LL claiming?

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Hi Steve,

 

This was a lodging contract for a single room. Notice was given and agreed, and the deposit returned. During my time in the property, both the LL and myself were bound by a standard assured shorthold tenancy agreement.

 

There was an informal agreement between myself and the landlord that the rent for the first part of the month I left would be paid at the end of that month, after I had moved out. This is the figure in dispute - the LL is claiming it's owed, however the deposit returned was less than that given and I have only paid the difference, leaving a figure the LL says is owed, but which I say is not.

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Hi

 

IMO if the landlord does as stated contact your employers within 72 hours to tell them you have defaulted on rent and that landlord is taking me to court.

 

The contract is between you and your landlord and nothing to do with your employer and any claim dispute etc is between you and your landlord and that the landlord still has to comply with the DPA.

 

Dears Sir/Madam

 

Further to your email dated 05/12/2012 in which you state the following:

 

"you will contact my employers within 72 hours to tell them I've defaulted on rent and that she is taking me to court".

 

I must now clarify the following:

 

1. I have made you fully aware that at present I dispute your claim.

2. This is a Civil matter between you my Landlord and myself and nothing to do with my Employer.

3. Under which part of the Data Protection Act does is state that you as my Landlord are allowed to carry out the actions of informing my employer

 

As stated a Civil matter and nothing to do with my employer if you do carry out your percieved action of informing my employer, I will have no choice but to raise this issue of a breach of the DPA with the Information Commissioners Office.


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

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Thanks, and I agree. Quite aside from the legitimacy or otherwise of my LL's claims, I don't see what legal basis he'd have to contact anyone other than me or - if he feels so inclined - the court.

 

I know the DPA applies to organisations and companies, but surely it must also apply in this context. It just feels absurd that he'd contact someone I work for and disclose such personal information. I've no idea what can possibly be served by doing that, other than to use it as a threat of harassment.

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Hi

 

I have to agree with what you have said now have a wee look at this link from ICO may be of use

 

http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_the_public/topic_specific_guides/housing/landlords.aspx


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Lodging contracts can be pretty informal. Even if an AST was used to define the contract, I do not think the strict AST rules apply (which results in some people owing more than they think they did)

 

So in short, if you think the correct amount of money was paid in proportion to the time you stayed for the final month, I'd write:

 

"You have withheld X of my deposit which covers rent for period 1st-Yth of November. This was as agreed between us. If you dispute this, please give your reasons in writing.

 

Do not contact my employee. As well as being highly unethical and tantamount to blackmail, I will regard such action as a breach of the Data Protection Act, defamation of my character and interference with contract between myself and my employee."

 

Personally I doubt whether DPA applies to lodging arrangements - but LL may not know that so the point is somewhat moot.

 

By the way, this sentence didn't quite make sense. I've assumed you mean that the LL has already deducted the amount you think was owed?

 

 

- the LL is claiming it's owed, however the deposit returned was less than that given and I have only paid the difference, leaving a figure the LL says is owed, but which I say is not.

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