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Need pointing in the right direction please.

 

I have an assured short hold tenancy agreement which started 27 February 2015, ends 27 August 2015.

On 4 th August my landlord changed the locks to the property and will only let me back in to collect my belongings.

 

I called the Police, they state they can't help it's too much of a grey area. Local Council won't get involved. Shelter pointed me to Local Council, local council pointed me to CAB. Cab stated I should just accept it as no one was going to prosecute the landlord. They did point me to Civil legal helpline, who stated they can't help because I have now secured another property. What are my options ?

 

A little back ground,

my landlord did not protect my deposit until late April and offered no explanation as to why. I did not receive the prescribed information until 8th May. On 9th May I received a hand delivered letter stating that the landlord /tenant relationship had broken down and therefore the landlord was evicting me as of 1 st Aug. I replied and stated there were no legal ground for eviction and his letter was not valid.

In May I received a further letter advising me that he was evicting me under section 21 of the housing act on Aug 27th.

 

Late July I received a letter asking what it would take for me to leave the property. I replied and stated I wanted the return of my deposit before I would consider leaving. I further stated that I would not hand back the keys to the property until all my belongings were removed and I had confirmation from Royal Mail that my mail redirection was in place.

 

On 4th aug, the deposit was repaid. Later that day I went home and found the locks changed. I emailed the landlord seeking confirmation he had done this and pointed out it was illegal, his response was that the legal owner of property was the person paying the mortgage and my tenancy had ended when my deposit was returned.

 

Everyone who I have spoken agrees the landlord acted illegally by changing the locks, but no one can help and I have been told in no uncertain terms no one is going to do anything about it.

 

What can I do myself ? My belongings are still in the property. He states I can collect them and he is perfectly entitled to remove them 4 weeks after the tenancy ended, but to my understanding, the tenancy has never been legally ended as the only section 21 notice he issued was prior to returning the deposit.

 

Do I have any options ? I wanted him prosecuted for this but no one is prepared to help, bit pointless having a law thats states it is an offence to illegally evict someone if no one is going to uphold that law.

Any advise regarding what I can do would be greatly appreciated. I don't have the money to hire someone to remove my belongings or for solicitors, but if it is possible to issue a court claim myself then I am not afraid to do so. What would I claim for ? and which claim form ?

 

Sorry for the long convoluted post but wanted to give as much background as possible.

Oh, one final things, he has today emailed me stating that my continued emails to him are bordering on "harassment" and he will forward a complaint to the Police. He further states I am not to contact him again unless it is to confirm I will collect my belongings or through the Courts. Happy to do so through the Courts, but where do I start ?

 

Any advice please

Edited by honeybee13
Paras.

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http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/eviction/harassment_and_illegal_eviction_by_landlord/illegal_eviction

 

An illegal eviction is a criminal offense

 

You need to go back to the police and demand they act, complain to a superior if needed in writing.

 

 

"Sometimes the police may not know the law about illegal eviction. You can tell them that the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 makes it a criminal offence for your landlord to evict you without following the correct legal steps. The police should not enable or assist an eviction by a landlord, but can act to stop a breach of the peace.

Show the police a copy of your tenancy agreement."


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According to the Police they can't take action. They offered to call the landlord for me to get him to allow me to collect my belongings, that's it. He has told them I agreed to move out. I have all correspondence which clearly states I would consider moving only AFTER my deposit was returned, and I had been able to remove all my belongings and redirect my mail. I never got a chance to do either as he changed the locks the same day as the deposit was returned. The Police seem to be under the impression that because I had stated I would consider leaving, that I gave up the tenancy willingly. According to CAB, the Police would not prosecute him. I have the Tenancy agreement and all correspondence but they simply stated it was not a matter for them to get involved in. Even the civil legal helpline said the same, that it was a civil not a Police matter. If it is an offence, what proof do I need and does the fact I had stated I would consider moving out change anything ? Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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I would be going back to them saying that he changed the locks while you were out.

He did not follow the proper procedure, no court order was applied for or given

That you did not voluntarily surrender the tenancy.

 

Therefore you want him prosecuted.

 

Ask for the details to send a formal complaint to the Chief Inspector


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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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Hi again

I have just spoken to Police again on 101 and they brought up the original cad ref. As instructed, I quoted Protection From Eviction Act 1977 and the guy I spoke to has gone to seek out further information and will call me back. If the answer is the same, ie, they will not take the complaint further, I will ask for the address for complaints. It is my conception that by (police) offering to call him (LL) to secure a time to collect my belongings, they are technically assisting him in the eviction, but don't want to insinuate anything and get myself into trouble, but certainly feel like no one is assisting me.

they have now returned my call ans state it is something they can look into ........whatever that means.........

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Hello there.

 

Have you spoken to Shelter about this? They may be able to give you information that would persuade the police to take the problem seriously.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi yes, Shelter directed me to the Council, who directed me to CAB, who directed me to Civil Legal Helpline.......but, finally the police are listening to me, thanks to quoting Protection From Eviction Act 1977 ! Have an appointment to go and give a statement tomorrow. Hopefully the documentary evidence I have will speak for itself and they will show this person that my rights count for something.

Thanks to all here, really appreciate this site, it gives you the strength to continue when you think no one is listening to you.

Will keep you posted on the outcome of tomorrow and what action, if any, they decide to take against him.

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http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/eviction/harassment_and_illegal_eviction_by_landlord/illegal_eviction

 

An illegal eviction is a criminal offense

 

You need to go back to the police and demand they act, complain to a superior if needed in writing.

 

 

"Sometimes the police may not know the law about illegal eviction. You can tell them that the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 makes it a criminal offence for your landlord to evict you without following the correct legal steps. The police should not enable or assist an eviction by a landlord, but can act to stop a breach of the peace.

Show the police a copy of your tenancy agreement."

 

9 Days after he changed the locks and evicted me, several telephone calls and emails later,several agencies, Councils, etc spoken to...... this is the only good advice I have been given. Thank you so much, finally the Police are listening to me.

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Me2212

 

You need to contact you local councillors http://local.direct.gov.uk/LDGRedirect/index.jsp?LGSL=358&

 

Protection from Eviction Act 1977

 

Gives local councils in England & Wales the power to prosecute private landlords for illegal eviction and harassment http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/43/section/6

 

Don't let the local council fob you off, if they do contact your MP http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

 

Part I Unlawful Eviction and Harassment

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/43?view=extent

 

Criminal law

 

Part 1 (3A) (a)

 

Civil Law

 

Part 1 (3C) (5)

 

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

 

(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £400 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both at the Magistrates court.

 

(b)on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both at the Crown Court.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Civil action via a Solicitor

 

1988 Housing act http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/50/part/I/chapter/IV

 

Protection from Eviction 27 -33 Damages for unlawful eviction.

 

 

Slimmer laws apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland....


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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Thank you, hopefully the Police will now deal with him accordingly, but if not I will pursue this. Out of everyone I have spoke to, my local council were the least interested. Told me point blank they would not intervene and did not have a specific department dealing with evictions. At least to their credit Shelter and CAB showed some empathy, even if they could not help. The council not at all helpful and no empathy to my situation at all. Does make me wonder what the eck I am voting for ! Thank you for the links, I will follow it through if the Police decide not to prosecute him.

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Thank you, hopefully the Police will now deal with him accordingly, but if not I will pursue this. Out of everyone I have spoke to, my local council were the least interested. Told me point blank they would not intervene and did not have a specific department dealing with evictions. At least to their credit Shelter and CAB showed some empathy, even if they could not help. The council not at all helpful and no empathy to my situation at all. Does make me wonder what the eck I am voting for ! Thank you for the links, I will follow it through if the Police decide not to prosecute him.

 

Please don't give up, Keep at them and keep us All updated on CAG

 

Good Luck .......................


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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I certainly won't give up now, was ready to, because everyone said the same thing," yes the law exists, but no one will prosecute him" It is a sad state of affairs that on paper there is a law preventing someone from doing illegal things, but no one wants to take the responsibility of punishing those that do. Was ready to give up and accept there was nothing I could do, then thought I would ask here and what do you know ? in One hour I had the advice I needed to move forward. I will keep everyone posted as I feel my experience might help someone else in the future. It's good to see how things start, where the best advice is and what outcomes you can hope for. I would say the same thing to anyone reading this. If you know you have been wronged, act on it, don't give up. If the Police won't take action against him I'll be back to ask what next ?. Thanks all :)

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I certainly won't give up now, was ready to, because everyone said the same thing," yes the law exists, but no one will prosecute him" It is a sad state of affairs that on paper there is a law preventing someone from doing illegal things, but no one wants to take the responsibility of punishing those that do. Was ready to give up and accept there was nothing I could do, then thought I would ask here and what do you know ? in One hour I had the advice I needed to move forward. I will keep everyone posted as I feel my experience might help someone else in the future. It's good to see how things start, where the best advice is and what outcomes you can hope for. I would say the same thing to anyone reading this. If you know you have been wronged, act on it, don't give up. If the Police won't take action against him I'll be back to ask what next ?. Thanks all :)

 

If it was me.

 

I would start Now looking for a Solicitor (Legal aid if your on low income) with a view to starting civil action for damages against this LL.

 

Solicitor may also be able to push the district council in the right direction .....


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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I have an appointment with a solicitor next Tuesday for a free first half hour, after that, if I don't qualify for legal aid I would have to go it alone. Not afraid to do that, just need to know how !

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I have an appointment with a solicitor next Tuesday for a free first half hour, after that, if I don't qualify for legal aid I would have to go it alone. Not afraid to do that, just need to know how !

 

That good your seeing a solicitor that soon.

 

Try this checker https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid for legal aid....


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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Do you know what irks me most ? Because I was resourceful and found another property, no one sees any issues.......CAB actually said to me, "so if you now have a home, what are you actually searching/asking/hoping for...? Cut your losses and accept it" I found another home because the LL evicted me....why can people not see the illegal act for what it was ? If no one is willing to do anything about landlords breaking the law, what is the point of their existence ? Guess that is what I will be asking my MP if the Police will not prosecute him.

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had you paid your rent for August?

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That good your seeing a solicitor that soon.

 

Try this checker https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid for legal aid....

 

That's brilliant. Just used that and it states I might be eligible for legal aid. What will solicitors do that Police can't ? Excuse my ignorance. The basics are easy to look up online, when it gets to this stage, I am not so well informed......

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That's brilliant. Just used that and it states I might be eligible for legal aid. What will solicitors do that Police can't ? Excuse my ignorance. The basics are easy to look up online, when it gets to this stage, I am not so well informed......

 

IMHO.

 

Courts and Bailiffs end a tenancy, gain possession of a property and not the way your LL did it, that even includes rent arrears.

 

Solicitor would be able to start civil proceeding for damages/money against the LL.

 

Obtain a injunction forcing the LL to allow you back into the property.

 

All this would be best discussed when you see the solicitor on Tuesday...

 

PS: Have a read of a slimmer case to your's here http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?69617-Landlord-changed-locks


Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

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So, as promised here is an update and hopefully someone can point me in the direction I need to go next. I made the complaint to the Poliuce on Agust 14th 2015. Thorughtout the hour and a biut it took, the Officer taking the statement was yawning continually and the statement was also interrupted by his mobile phone ringing to the tune of "I'm sexy and I know it". Professional ! (not) He stated he felt it was a grey area but did look up the Protection from Eviction Act and it clearly stated that changing the locks during a valid tenancy was an offence under that act.

 

 

By the beginning of Sept I had heard nothing, so called 101 and was advised the PC dealing with my complaint was not back on duty until 9/9/15. I request that the PC contact me on her return. Jump forward to 23rd September and I had still heard nothingso yet again called 101 and was advised that the PC who should have been dealing with it had had a lot of time off work and another PC was named on the log. I advised it was my second attempt to have someone call me as I had no idea what was going on and was conecrned that the delay could mean that the landlord had disposed of my belongings.

 

I was advised by the call handler that he would put a call in to whoever was dealing with my complaint, or to a Sgt if he could not get the persona dealing with it. I was advised it may be a little while, ie it may be evening time before someone called me back. Skip forward to this morning and I have just received a call from the POlice (not the persona dealing) who advised he had been asked to pass on a message to me to advise that having checcked with Emergnecy housing the Police state I have no complaint and the landlord was perfectly within his rights to change the locks.

 

I stated I was not happy with that decision as the Protection from Eviction Axxt clearly states it is an offence to change the locks durinf a valid tenancy. I was told not to shoot the messenger that he had not been dealing with the complaint and was simply delivering the message. He stated that the PC dealing has said she had tried to contact me on more than one occassion. I advised I had not received a single message from the POlice regarding this complaint despite having answerphones on my mobile and the landline. Again, I was told not to shoot the messenger.

 

The PC stated that as there were arrears it was a civil matter not a crime. I advised that arrears were a civil matter and still did not give the landlord the right to change the locks. I asked about my belingings, he said he did not know anything about them.

 

So, 6 weeks after making the complaint that is the only response I have had from the Police. |Any advise about what I do next? I can't afford a Solciitor and the stress of all this has had me off work sick for two months so I am now on SSP. Is there really a get out clause that states if there were arrears the landlord can legally change the locks ? The arrears were less than I would have been awarded as compensation for landlord not protecting my deposit so that's the reason why he didn't want to go to Court.

 

That and the fact he did not have lenders permission to rent the property.

 

Anyone any advise ? I'm at a loss as to how he can get away with this and absolutely appalled at the way in which the police have dealt with my complaint.

Hope someone can point me in the right direction.

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I thanks for this reply. I had a free 30 minutes with Solciitor who said I probably wouldn't be able to get Legal Aid but that yes, he had illegally evicted me. I was advised to wait the outcome of the Police complaint as that would be a free way of obtaining a resulty against the landlord. What happened since is stated below.

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https://www.ipcc.gov.uk/complaints

 

This link may have the information you need.

 

Its time to stop talking and start writing


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EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

 

 

 

The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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Hi again. Just so I know what I'm talking about when i complain, are there any grounds under which he could "be within his rights "to change the locks? I really can't see how they came to that conclusion and want to be precise when i complain. Just to clarify, he had served a sec 21 notice to quit 27/8,it was served prior to deposit being return so wasn't valid as he didn't protect deposit for 2 months. My tenancy was 6 months ast due to expire 27/8. He did not have a court order. I had agreed i would leave the property IF he returned my deposit and on the proviso i had removed my belongings and had confirmation that my mail was being redirected. He changed the locks the day the deposit was returned to my bank account and sent me an email "confirming " the tenancy ended the day my deposit was returned. Does he have a get out of jail free card if i had agreed to leave (but not on the day he changed the locks ) and does arrears have any bearing on the protection from eviction act ?

Thanks for your time.

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Have you not started you own claim at the County Court yet? If not get going asap. If the Court agrees with you claim damages and the such. You really need to get this in front a Judge....

 

 

Added a link http://blogs.findlaw.co.uk/solicitor/2015/10/property-law-new-legislation-protects-tenants-from-revenge-evictions-and-unsafe-properties.html

 

 

And here

 

 

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Factsheets/FS68_Tenants'_rights_security_of_tenure_fcs.pdf?dtrk=true

 

 

The above link is correct as of 09/2015 sorry for the huge read on the above link but worth reading in full...


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I am really quite surprised that neither Shelter or CAB have taken up the banner on this one - they advertise they are the champion of the unrepresented !


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