Council let our garage without our consent/knowledge!

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  • Council let our garage without our consent/knowledge!

    I am based in Dorset but purchased a buy-to-let property in Somerset 3 years ago. Due to the property being in need of complete renovation, and the small interest-only mortgage incurred, it has been empty for that time.

    There is a garage belonging to me, situated in a separate garage block. When attending the property last week, it has transpired that the Council have been letting it out for over 18 months, and receiving the rent!

    I have written to them and they have responded, acknowledging their error and apologising for any inconvenience received. There is, unsurprisingly, no mention of them forwarding the rent to me!

    I therefore wrote to them again, asking them to forward a detailed account of the rent received, together with a cheque.

    I am taking legal advice next week, but in the meantime, does anyone know of any further amount I could charge them?

    Thank you in anticipation.

  • #2
    First up, how did this happen? Did the Council previously own it, for instance?
    You should instruct your own solicitors (on a no-win, no-fee basis) to write to the Council demanding a full explanation plus:
    a. that they (the Council) at their own expense take possession proceedings against the [presumably-innocent] T;
    b. payment to you of all that wrongfully-received rent with an added sum by way of appropriate damages; and
    c. that they (the Council) accept responsibility for your solicitors' legal fees etc.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


    • #3
      I should leave that to your legal advisor to hopefully screw them for as much as they always manage to screw us for when the boot is on the other foot. Trouble is that the rule of local authorities is: "Heads, we win, Tails, you loose!"

      Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


      • #4
        You might also get the solicitor to state that you will be doing an inspection of the garage on its return and will be requiring them to pay for any damage.

        Perhaps adding you are particularly concerned about the large collection of 14th century Venitian glassware that you kept stored there last valued at 7.5 million :-) - whilst that's not a serious suggestion certainly check that e.g the doors are in good condition and work fully as I am sure they were before the council 'stole' it from you.


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