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Can ex landlord take me to court?

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Hi guys,

 

How are you all today?

 

I have an issue with my ex landlord. Myself and my partner were in a 6 month lease at our last address which passed with no real issues. We then went onto a rolling monthly contract. The landlord after 6 months decided to increase the rent by 5% and said that he will be doing this every 6 months. The property didn't have saftey catches on the downstairs windows so they could just swing wide open and we have 2 kids aged 4 and 2 and found this to be dangerous. Because of these reasons we have had to look elsewhere for a property. We found a house that had cheaper rent with double glazed windows with saftey catches and no 6 monthly rent increases + it had front and back gardens for our kids. Needless to say we jumped at the chance of taking this property. But there was a lot of interest and we had had to take the property or we would miss out on it.

 

We had spoken with our neighbours about how the landlord would react to us moving out, deposit ect.... and they said pretty much that he had been really awkward at giving deposits back.... to the extent that he tried to doctor a final gas/electrcity bill to keep as much of previous tenants deposit as possible. I think you get the idea as to what kind of land lord he is.

 

Anyway, we decided to move out giving a months notice but we did not pay for the month. Instead we informed our landlord to keep our deposit to cover that rent instead. If he had any issues with the property he could then discuss it with us and we could come to an agreement with any costs or work that was needing done.

 

He came back saying that we had to give 2 months notice (although we are on a rolling monthly contract) and that we had to pay all outstanding costs into his account within 48 hours or he would persue legal action. He also got really personal with his text messages saying things like me and my wife won't have a good xmas with our kids because we're poor and that he will be in Florida with 24 members of his family and that we remind him about how fortunate he is when other people struggle to makes ends meat. (Are you getting the idea as to what kind of person he is? lol)

 

Anyway, I challenged him on the fact that his property is not on a buy to let mortgage (I heard this from a little birdy) and that I don't think he could take me to court on this basis. (It is worth noting that he has a number of property's so I don't think that he will have consent to let from his mortgage provider) I have not heard back from him in the last 24 hours. Does anybody know whether, if it is true that he does not have a buy to let mortgage, he can take me to court or is he leasing this property out illegally?

 

Any advice wold be very much appreciated.

 

Thank you guys,

 

Scott

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I am afraid that your LL can take you to court for your missing rent payment. It will be seen as rent arrears and he will get a judgment against you for it. The deposit is just that, a deposit, which is to be held to offset any potential issues to the property, and generally will only be used to offset rent arrears where a judgment has first been obtained 0r both parties have agreed to it.

 

The allegation that the LL doesn't have a BTL mortgage is neither here nor there in relation to the court. It is a contractual issue between the LL and his mortgagee...the worst they will do is charge him additional interest for the period the property has been rented. Potentially as little as 0.5% per month.

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If you were on a statutory periodic tenancy then you are right that one-month's notice is sufficient.

 

I understand the wording of some contracts is such that they become contractual periodic tenancies - if the contract says something like "the term is initially for 6 months and then is extended month to month" you should get it checked out.

 

Technically you are in breach of contract so could be taken to court. However, the breach has arguably caused no loss of money to the landlord (except interest) there is little to sue for. Given his texts, I suspect he is unlikely to take action. Keep the texts!

 

The status of the mortgage is irrelevant to you.

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"If you were on a statutory periodic tenancy then you are right that one-month's notice is sufficient."

 

Not entirely accurate Steve, SPT Notice requires a MIN of 1 cal month and must be served (receive) before end of 1 Tenancy period and expire at end of following T period, so if T misses due service date by even 1 day, they could be liable for nearly 2 months.

OP

Contractual Ts are another wrinkle, but type of Mort and whether lender has given permission for letting is not Ts concern

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