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Dear all,

 

I will try and keeo this brief and appreciate any help or addvice as I'm unsure where to go or start.

 

I was moving back to Leeds after a short spell with my parents as I'd found a job there, a place to stay and to be with friends and family in the area.

 

It was a single bedroom basement flat advertised on Gumtree at £400 pm. I arranged to view it, handed over a deposit of £450 and offerred a few months rent up front to help things along and sicne the paperwork / tennancy she didn't have right then. This was to be by direct debit and I duely requested bank details.

 

The landlord then went away on holiday, gave me the keys in as I'd handed over that £450 and told me I was free to move things in and move in. She was away for some two weeks and over those two weeks I had no electric, had to borrow "tokens" from other tennants, friends and family had to bring me blankets, duvets, flasks of hot water and cooked meals, it was a total nightmare and everybody was very stressed and upset, it affected me and my partner a great deal.

 

All the while having to put up with noise, music, shouting, screaming and general anti social behaviour from flats above.

 

She still refused to provide bank details despite numerous requests over those two weeks.

 

Upon her return I had to badger her for the tennancy agreement and to take my paperwork, get it signed and be done with it as I was starting to get a bit suspicious. She came shouting and screeming kicking the door one evening about how I was to hand over the money, she doesnt want my paperwork, statements, refrences etc, she wanted my money "now" and no I would not get a receipt. ????

 

Over the coming days, I had to call the police on nmersous occasions, 999 on three as she had her brother and toher tennants kicking down the door threatening to kill me if I didn't hand over the money now,and how they would so my arse off and I was getting nothing from her ever.

 

I spent a terrifying week, barricaded in the bathrooom, subject to this every night, unabale to eat, sleep or relax, was just awful. I ahd to sneak out of the house when nobody was there to avoud confrontation. Due to all the above, the stress and fear I was alte for work more than once, and as such lost my job, which I was doing well at, and my income.

 

One day after sneaking out when I could a large burly tatooed man crossed the room and threatened to rip my effing head off if I returned there and slice me good.

 

I have since moved out, used what savings I have to find elsewhere and am hoping I can get some help with the rent untill such a time I find work or return to University.

 

I have since found out the previous tennant of the apartment is taking her to court, although I do not know what for.

 

I just need to know where I stand, can and will I get that deposit back as I am deperate for it, what about loss of earning to this point, the abuse, harassment, right to live peacefully, stress etc? It has affected a lot of people. I am havingt o see a councillor as I still find it difficult to relax and sleep.

 

All help and advice appreciated.

 

Phillip

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I suggest your AST was activated when you moved in, evidenced by payment of deposit .

LL was ill-advised to provide keys until agreed rent in advance had been received.

You say you offered x month rent in advance, was any of this actually paid?

Neighbour noise is not a LL resp, but harrssment/intimidation on behalf of LL is

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can you advise how long you were there, and how much you paid in total?

Did you in fact sign a contract?

Any thing in writing about moving out by you or LL?

 

Was there around 5/6 weeks in total, I think, haver to check to be exact.

No, again, she refused to sign anything untill I handed over yet more money, when I refused, that's when it got silly.

She said she wanted me out within 7 days unless I paid her more money, once she knew this wasn't going to happen thats when the violence and intimidation started.

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I suggest your AST was activated when you moved in, evidenced by payment of deposit .

LL was ill-advised to provide keys until agreed rent in advance had been received.

You say you offered x month rent in advance, was any of this actually paid?

Neighbour noise is not a LL resp, but harrssment/intimidation on behalf of LL is

 

I thoguht so too, she gave me the keys, took my money and that would be enough to imply some sort of contract?

She provided the keys because I had paid the rent in advance, plus the deposit.

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It would appear then that you are in breach of contract!

AST conditions would apply in absence of anything else and that is for min 6 months.

You could sue for deposit, but then she could counter sue for the remainder of the rent.

Suggest you just leave it, not worth the stress as you are not there etc.

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It would appear then that you are in breach of contract!

AST conditions would apply in absence of anything else and that is for min 6 months.

You could sue for deposit, but then she could counter sue for the remainder of the rent.

Suggest you just leave it, not worth the stress as you are not there etc.

 

That's my point, she ahs the remiander of the rent, it was gievn in good faith upfront as a good will gesture. From what I've read, and been advised, an implied contract is slghtly dofferent from an AST tennancy. There is no set term and legally in the absence of any written agreement the notice to vacate has to be equal to the rental terms the property was advertised for, £400 pm, ie one months notice. She threatened me with 7 days and that I would "regret it" if I didn't hand over more money. She then cut off the elcetricity.

 

She was aressted, twice, threatened to kill me, tried to break in, called 999 three or four times, made my life hell, ruined my relationship, cost me my job, effectuvely stolen my money, not put it in a deposit scheme, and I;ve had to shell out for alternative accomodation with what saving I had.

 

I can't leave or let anyone get away with that, I'm sorry. WHilst it might not be worth more stress she has a lot of money of mine and cost me my job. I'm hoping to know where I legally stand for suing her, and how to go about it in the most effective way, where should I start?

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Legally, in the absence of an actual contract it will be deemed to be an AST and its standard conditions; housing act.

you can speak to shelter or contact a solicitor!

Only option is take her to small claims court, but she would have the opportunity to counter claim.

Even if you win, you still have to get her to pay!

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Legally, in the absence of an actual contract it will be deemed to be an AST and its standard conditions; housing act.

you can speak to shelter or contact a solicitor!

Only option is take her to small claims court, but she would have the opportunity to counter claim.

Even if you win, you still have to get her to pay!

 

 

She forced me from the property through, violence, intimidation and threats, and cutting off power when I refused to hand over more money. Is that not some sort of illegal eviction???

 

What about a charge on the property

Edited by Astronomyphilly
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did you contact the police?? Report to Police now. Will help any civil action later.

did they physically throw you out? that is a criminal offence.

what evidence, witnesses do you have?

see below.

“Protection from Eviction Act 1977”

Section 1

Unlawful eviction and harassment

s.1(3A) (as was amended by the Housing Act 1988) which states:

"the landlord of a residential occupier or an agent of the landlord shall be guilty of an offence if he does acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier or members of his household."

The individual carrying out any inspection will be personally criminally liable, and could face arrest by the police on the above charge. Likewise the agency as a corporate entity may face criminal investigation.

Also any attempt to enter the premises without your consent will treated as, as a matter of civil law:

a. trespass; and

b. a breach of the quiet enjoyment clause under the tenancy agreement.

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did you contact the police?? Report to Police now. Will help any civil action later.

did they physically throw you out? that is a criminal offence.

what evidence, witnesses do you have?

see below.

“Protection from Eviction Act 1977”

Section 1

Unlawful eviction and harassment

s.1(3A) (as was amended by the Housing Act 1988) which states:

"the landlord of a residential occupier or an agent of the landlord shall be guilty of an offence if he does acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier or members of his household."

The individual carrying out any inspection will be personally criminally liable, and could face arrest by the police on the above charge. Likewise the agency as a corporate entity may face criminal investigation.

Also any attempt to enter the premises without your consent will treated as, as a matter of civil law:

a. trespass; and

b. a breach of the quiet enjoyment clause under the tenancy agreement.

 

 

As stated in the original post, I had casue or concern to call the police plenty of times during that week, I had to call 999 on some occasions when they were threatenign to kill me and trying to kick the door down and force thier way in. Surely this will all be documented and on record with the police?

 

She didn't physicaly throw me out, but throught the joise, harassment, muci, threats and violence, she forced me to find elsewerhe, as I would not hand over yet more money. Witnesses are the girlfriend and perhaps those in the apartments above or next door, I wouldn't know.

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was any one arrested and/charged?

Only option is to take her to court and use any and all the evidence that you can get.

cannot think of anything else you can do.

If she does not turn up you may get judgement by default.

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was any one arrested and/charged?

Only option is to take her to court and use any and all the evidence that you can get.

cannot think of anything else you can do.

If she does not turn up you may get judgement by default.

 

One of them was taken away, she was cautioned I belive but so far I've heard nothing further.

 

Where would I start with court action, and what would it specifically be for, what can I claim, where do I start, what and who do I write?

 

All new to me but I'm not prepared to let them gget away with this, It's a matter of principal and in all honesty I doubt she would even turn up or be bothered.

I was hoping I could put a charge on the house forcing her to sell, disrupt her life as much as she has mine.

 

Al help appreciated, I'd like to get this in motion today if possible

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You can do it yourself through the County court, small claims court systems; there is a book you can get from this site.

You can speak to the court direct and they will send the appropriate forms.

You can do it on line at

https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

or you gat the help of a solicitor.

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You can do it yourself through the County court, small claims court systems; there is a book you can get from this site.

You can speak to the court direct and they will send the appropriate forms.

You can do it on line at

https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

or you gat the help of a solicitor.

 

I already thoguht about the moneycllaim thing and have just registered to do so but, what can and do I claim for, deposit, loss of earnings, for the srtress, distruption etc etc??? Any help there?

 

What about wrtinig to her first, should that not be part of the process?

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yes you have to do a letter before action, informing of your claim and the amount you want and giving a response time, say 14 days or you will proceed to court.

as for what to claim, this should be your loses, out of pocket expenses, punitive damages or compensation ( that would be up to you ) but you must put a value on it. With Substantive documents or proof if you have it.

Don't forget that she may well counter claim, then it will be up to a judge.

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Indeed, but what could she possibly claim for?

 

I've been googling and researching what I can but still unsure what I can claim, and or how to put a value on it? I don't want to be greedy or awkward, I just want back what I've lost and something for the, lets call it, "inconvienience" and hassle of the whole thing.

 

I found this

"Someone who is protected by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 may go to the county court to claim damages if

they are harassed or illegally evicted. Under the Housing

Act 1988, for cases of illegal eviction and of harassment

which cause a tenant to leave his or her home, the court

may award damages based on the profit made by a

landlord from illegally evicting his or her tenant. Normally

the market value of an untenanted property is greater

than the value of the property with the tenant in it. In

some cases, the difference in value could be considerable.

The court, in assessing the damages to be awarded to the

tenant, may take the development value of the property

into account, in certain defined ways.

In certain circumstances a tenant may take legal action

against his or her landlord for ‘breach of the covenant for

quiet enjoyment’ – in other words, the landlord has

broken a term which every tenancy agreement contains

(whether set out in words or not) that the tenant should

be able to enjoy his or her home in peace. The tenant may

also have grounds for damages on other counts according

to the nature of the case."

 

"If a landlord uses language or physical behaviour which is threatening or violent against the tenant, the latter should

consult his or her local authority or other advice centre

The tenant should call the police where there is actual

physical assault. The abusive behaviour could be

prolonged and systematic, or could consist of isolated

incidents. Where it is sexually or racially motivated, there

may be grounds for action under legislation dealing with

sexual and racial harassment. Where the harassment is so

severe that it could cause the tenant to leave home, there

may be grounds for action under the Protection from

Eviction Act 1977"

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You may need the services of a solicitor then!

Limit your claim to legitimate loses and a nominal sum for your upset etc.

Remember you will need proof to back any of your claims for harassment etc.

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My partner has a few Solicitor friends who I'm waiting to here from.

The only lgitimate loses aere that of the 3 month contract I lost, fairly straightforward to work out what that amounts to, my deposit and the rent in advance. As for claiming damages for the stress and so forth, not really sure how to work that out?

 

Only proof is that of friends who witnessed some of the behaviour, my partner who had to continualy bring me hot water etc for the lack of electricity and the Police records - you don't dial 999 for nothing!

 

Is there a template letter I can write or anyone with some legal experience in this area tat could give me some advice?

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  • 2 months later...

i suggest a visit to local citizen advice buruea or call dawn advice

on 0844 411 1309 10am - 3pm Monday to Friday, also shelter may be able to offer some limited legal advice. Hope all goes well

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