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Good morning,I am looking for advice on where I stand legally when landlord is trying to claim all of my deposit on a property I have now left.

 

I lived at the property for seven years but was given one months notice to quit on October 4th(rent due on 5th of month) as the landlord informed me that she was selling the property after failing to remortgage it.

 

I told her that I believed I required two months notice but she said that I was wrong,however I cooperated with many viewings on the property and was informed that the property had been sold and vacant possession was required.

The sale fell through and she then said that she was in no rush for me to move.

I found a property for which she gave me a good reference and I left the property on Nov 4th.

 

I applied for my deposit through the DPS scheme,claiming back the full amount of £856.49 but she has declined the full amount for the following reasons:

 

1.Rent arrears of £550.00 which I assume would be for the month Nov/Dec as my rent was always paid in full to the date I left and had never been in arrears.

 

2.Missing items £250.00 - The check out inventory was not done by the landlord so I am unsure what she is referring to.The only items that I am aware of are a washing machine and a dishwasher.These items are no longer there as during the tenancy the items broke and the landlord was informed at the time and I was asked to dispose of them.I have text messages to confirm this.

 

3.Gardening £50.00 - The garden was left clean and tidy,the only exception being fence panels that had fallen during storms,I also have photographic evidence of this.

 

I am not sure how relevant the next point is but when the estate agent selling the property spoke to me he asked for a current gas safety certificate but the last one I had was dated 2014.He informed me that this check has to be done by law every year.

 

When I left the property I left new flooring and carpets that were purchased in August this year,everything was left clean and tidy,the only damage being structural i.e.severe.damp on a number of walls and ceilings,guttering broken, leaking pipes and upstairs electrics not working..The landlord had been informed of these issues but had taken no remedial action.

 

I need to know if:

1/ I am liable for the rent arrears as she has claimed or can I leave during the notice period.

2/ Is she in breach of contract for not doing repairs or failing to carry out the yearly gas check.

 

I realy cannot afford a solicitor and need to know my best course of action.

Thank you.

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It was only sent by text message,she only ever texts or sends me messages on facebook.

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I have the tenancy agreement which does state one months notice as it was a periodic assured tenancy.

 

The deposit is secured and I applied for it's release which she has declined twice now giving the three reasons in my original post.

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amateur landlord problems are always difficult to resolve becasue they never see they are wrong. Write to her otlining all of the facts you have put here regarding her unlawful NTQ and how the contract has been changed by her verbally etc and then say you require the return of your deposit in full as the reasons for witholding are untrue and provably so and you will take her to court if it isnt returned. You then need to send her a Letter Before Action to give her notice of how much you would claim in a court (plus costs) and why and give her 14 days to pay up. You can then proceed with a claim in the county court.

You have the evidence that your version of things would be preferred to hers.

As an aside, why did you buy carpets and flooring? she can do this and get a tax break for doing so, likewise replacing the washing machine. something to consider if she still carrie on saying you owe for disrepair.

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Was this an Assured SHORTHOLD Tenancy (AST), or just an Assured Tenancy (AT)?

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The original tenancy agreement was a shotrhold assured tenancy with a fixed term of three years,when this expired landlord sent me letter to say that it had reverted to an assured periodic tenancy saying that details of my original agreement would still be in force.

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Landlords and tenants can mutually agree on a different date for leaving the property than the legal rules. So if landlord requested 1 month and you accepted 1 month and then left on 1 month, the landlord cannot come back and say "Well my notice was unlawful and I withdrew it. Therefore you were wrong to rely on it".

 

So in short you need to provide your text message etc. evidence to show that you mutually agreed on a leaving date of 4th November, and did not accept landlord's request to change it.

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Your text messages and photographs that you have will be enough to prove that the LL is lying.Threaten to take her to court to claim the deposit back and that you will use all the evidence you have against her.

I did the same with an ex LL for my Niece.I took her to court,acting as Lay representative for my niece.Result?:- £3,245 to be paid within 14 days.

I am sure that a LL has to give you 2 months and 1 day minimum notice to quit(S21(4a), unless both parties agree on an earlier date.

Landlord zone is a very good site to get information/laws from.Free to use.

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