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11 years Overcharged rent Tenancy Agreement breach


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I have been personally dealing with my landlord for over a year now without any legal support to correct being overcharged for rent at my residence for 11 years.

 

During my tenancy (before march 2013) I was issued with court costs as my landlord made applications to the court to recover rent arrears held on my account.

 

I signed a tenancy agreement for a 1 Bedroom apartment in 2002. The rent was set and I never questioned it (Why would I??). In March 2013, I found out that from the start of my tenancy I was registered as a two bedroom tenant paying rent for a two bedroom accommodation. This came about as I received a letter from the council requesting payments from me to pay for an unused bedroom space.

 

When I notified my landlord they adjusted my rent account to reflect the rent their tenant's would normally pay for a 1 bedroom property. In addition, they also debited payments from my credit balance to cover the outstanding court costs. I didn't agree to any of this nor was a new tenancy agreement issued to me. - (Do I still have a legally binding tenancy agreement contract with my landlord)?

 

I used their complaint procedure to request returning the court costs to my rent account as I believed I should not be held liable.

 

My initial complaint was overruled and was told by my landlord that they were justified in their actions as my rent account still would have been in arrears even after the adjustments. I used my old rent statements, with the correct rent charges to calculate any outstanding arrears before the court applications were submitted and found this not being the case.

 

Again following their complaint procedures, I re-submitted a compliant insisting that the court costs transferred from my credit balance should be returned to my rent account. After nearly a year on, my landlord agreed and confirmed my calculations and produced a gesture of good will (GOGW) of £190 to draw a line in my complaint.

 

I did not agree with the (GOGW) and issued my final formal complaint to return all court cost's. Eventually, (as of last month) my landlord refunded my account with the full court costs suggesting that refunding the full amount was way of compensation to me.

 

I am in desperate need of sound advice as to what rights I have as a tenant, if I am being treated fairly, do I have any entitlement or due compensation, who should i contact for legal advice and generally just being in this position as I feel that my landlord is not being up front with their obligations.

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f16 many thanks and I agree this will be better in the residential lettings forum.

 

Mr Baker will move your thread to that forum, their is nothing for you to do.

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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.

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So this is HA housing?

What was the rent for both 1 & 2 bed housing 11 years ago?

Why did you not notice diff /query the rent at time?

.You may only be able to claim overpayment for last 6 years, .but Court decision may stand as you were in arrears on stated AST rent, though natural justice should shame HA into full refund to avoid adverse local press comment.

If you have a CCJ against you for non-payment, get it removed or at least add a Note of Correction.

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So this is HA housing?

What was the rent for both 1 & 2 bed housing 11 years ago?

Why did you not notice diff /query the rent at time?

.You may only be able to claim overpayment for last 6 years, .but Court decision may stand as you were in arrears on stated AST rent, though natural justice should shame HA into full refund to avoid adverse local press comment.

If you have a CCJ against you for non-payment, get it removed or at least add a Note of Correction.

 

 

Yes it is an HA. On signing the tenancy agreement I assumed the rent amount was for a single bedroom as that was the agreement being offered. I had no reason to query the rent amount at that time. I only noticed the difference when the government enforced the bedroom tax. A letter was sent to me from the council indicating that I was a two bedroom tenant. Without this letter being sent to me, I would have never challenged the HA for being overcharged.

 

I do question if the tenancy agreement I signed is still a binding contract, as since the start of my tenancy I was put at a disadvantage and if the HA fulfilled their obligations I wouldn't be in this mess?

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lol... I only occupy a 1 Bedroom property, however I've been registered as a two bedroom tenant paying rent for a two bedroom residence with my HA since the start of my tenancy. This is why I question if the tenancy agreement is binding as neither party was in agreement.

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I agree. You mentioned earlier about having a CCJ for non payment. I was issued with a CCJ in early 2011 for a different creditor (Non HA related). During this time, I had to make a choice to either maintain the roof over my head or pay the creditor. I chose to make a payment of £840 to my landlord to reduce the arrears on my account before a court hearing.

 

On reflection, taking into account the rent adjustments from being overcharged, the calculation of my rent account would have been in credit at that time. The £840 payment I made to my landlord could have been used elsewhere to pay the creditor. If this was the case I know I would not have been issued with a CCJ. In addition, I was unable to commence employment for a new job offer within the financial sector because of the CCJ held on my record.

 

Beyond the rent rebate, do you think there is also a case for compensation by way of loss of earnings?

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Hi Mr Baker

 

Does it specifically state in your original Tenancy Agreement that it is a 1 Bedroom Flat and the rental amount?

 

Have you signed a new tenancy agreement at all during the 11yrs? (not the original one)

 

Please also bear in mind as this is a HA there would have been rent increases over the 11yrs period that you should have been notified of at the time of the proposed increases.

 

To challenge this I would write to the HA and request the following:

 

1. A copy of your Original Tenancy Agreement. (you want to see if they actually have the original tenancy agreement)

2. Copy of the Rent Setting and Service Charges Policy.

3. Copies of your rent statements from start of tenancy to date.

4. Copy of Rent Increase with Amounts and Dates from start of tenancy to date.

5. Copy of the full properties details as held and used by HA.

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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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Hi Mr Baker

 

Does it specifically state in your original Tenancy Agreement that it is a 1 Bedroom Flat and the rental amount?

 

Have you signed a new tenancy agreement at all during the 11yrs? (not the original one)

 

Please also bear in mind as this is a HA there would have been rent increases over the 11yrs period that you should have been notified of at the time of the proposed increases.

 

To challenge this I would write to the HA and request the following:

 

1. A copy of your Original Tenancy Agreement. (you want to see if they actually have the original tenancy agreement)

2. Copy of the Rent Setting and Service Charges Policy.

3. Copies of your rent statements from start of tenancy to date.

4. Copy of Rent Increase with Amounts and Dates from start of tenancy to date.

5. Copy of the full properties details as held and used by HA.

 

 

Hi Stu007,

 

In order of your questions:

Yes, I have the original Tenancy agreement which states that it is a 1 Bedroom accommodation. The rent amount agreed to pay on the TA was for the amount of a 2 Bedroom accommodation in 2002 (unknown to myself at the time).

 

No, I have only signed 1 TA during my tenancy with the HA

 

Yes, the rent had changed from year to year. The HA sent letters to me informing me of these changes at least a month prior before the changes were enforced. Each letter that was sent to me dated from the start of my tenancy reflected the yearly incremental incorrect rental amounts equal to a 2 bedroom accommodation.

 

I have made numerous formal complaints to the HA. In my initial complaint I requested for:

Copies of my rent statement from the start of my tenancy

Copies of the rent setting and service charges amount for a one bedroom

Details and dates of all applications submitted to the court to seek possession

 

I did not request for a copy of the original tenancy agreement they should have on file nor did I request for full property details used by the HA. (Should I still request for these documents as its been over a year now since realising the problem?)

 

The apartment I rent is in a small block of flats. In this block there are two different types of accommodation. I am 1 of 6 other tenants who reside in the same type of accommodation ie identical layout, same bedroom space availability. When speaking with these tenants, the rent they have been paying was less than the amount I was paying. As for the other residents in my block who occupy 2 bedrooms, my conversations with them also confirmed the amount of rent I paid was equal to theirs.

 

At the moment, the HA is eager to transfer the credit balance to me and wash their hands from the mistake that they have made and continue as normal without issuing a new tenancy agreement and no compensation.

 

I don't know what my rights are, what is legal, what I should challenge and what to accept. I've spent so much time sending letters, using their complaint procedures, waiting for responses and having conversations over the phone with them to rectify this problem. I have lost a tremendous amount of trust and respect with the HA and find it very hard to believe if the information they tell me is sound/compliant and if my best interest is taken into accountability.

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Hi Mr Baker

 

I think you are correct to fight this as the Original Tenancy Agreement states 1 Bedroom Accommodation.

 

What you need to do is to complete and fully exhaust the HA Complaints procedure then if still unhappy with the response you can then take it to the Housing Ombudsman Service.

 

What you need to get clarified is why your Tenancy Agreement states 1 Bedroom Apartment and the HA are classing it as a 2 Bedroom Apartment as this will also affect council tax and other benefits.

 

Request a Copy of the Original Tenancy Agreement (you need to see this matches your copy and hasnt been amemded) and also ask for a copy of the legal documents stating the properties actual specifications held by the HA.

 

Housing Ombudsman Link: http://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/ (Remember you need to exhaust the HA Complaints procedure before approaching the ombudsman)

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

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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