Question about possible law action against my letting agency

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    Question about possible law action against my letting agency

    Hello,

    I have a question about possible law action I could take against my letting agency/landlord after the situation they put me through. Let me describe the situation...

    I was renting a studio flat in HMO, I was paying my rent on time for more than 2 years. One day the local council decided that they have to close the building down as it's unsafe to occupy due to problems with fire alarm and I believe some other tenants.


    My letting agent has knocked on my door and said I have to leave the building now and I should take only the most precures personal belongings like a tooth brush and I should leave and wait for an update. When I was taking some of my things out I saw police, fire department and people from council so I thought there is some problem and I should leave and come back later as advised.

    I went to stay at my friends house and was hoping to get some replacement studio flat from my letting agency but they were saying that they can offer me only ensuite room and they were delaying and avoid contact with me finally after a week I managed to meet with them in their office and I spend few hours talking with them and asking if they can give me this room as I don't have other place to go but at the end they didn't provide me with the room as they said they don't have anything and the moment and they will have rooms ready in 2 weeks and they asked me to leave.

    This situation puts me through a lot of stress and it gets more stressful as the time passes. Most of my personal belongings are still in my old studio flat and I don't even have access to it as the building is boarded up and all doors are closed. I am afraid someone could break in there and steal my things that I have been collecting for years. I was only given an email address from the letting agency saying I should write to them and they will arrange a meeting with me when I can collect the things but they haven't responded yet.

    I was so shocked they can kick someone out on the street especially when they pay rent every month. No notice was given to me and I was asked to leave straight away. Also no replacement recommendation was provided for me.

    Is it possible I take some legal action against my letting agency and try to get some type of recompensation for this situation ? Could you point me in the right direction and tell me who I should contact about it ?

    Many thanks.



    #2
    It sounds as if the property had a closure order on it. Is this the case do you know? If this is the case, which I suspect, the letting agent can only follow the order, so I very much doubt that you would have a successful outcome.

    Comment


      #3
      I know that it was closed down by the council as they decided it is not safe to live in. (So I think it is closure order)
      I would be fine with it if they gave me some notice or some other accommodation till I find other place to live in.

      Comment


        #4
        'phone Shelter free helpline 0808 800 4444 to discuss your options
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          What agreement did you have with the letting agent?
          Was there a tenancy agreement and were they the landlord?

          A closure order doesn't change the contract that you have with the agent, so the contract you had is important in determining what right(s) you have.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            When I moved in I signed standard 6 months contract that I still have in my documents.
            After contract ended I believe it was rolling over on monthly basis.

            Comment


              #7
              In which case, whoever is the landlord has evicted you illegally.
              Until the contract is ended, the tenancy continues, the landlord needs to find you alternative accomodation and has probably illegally evicted you.

              If the local authority have closed the building for safety reasons, that doesn't end the landlord's obligations, it just gives them a problem.

              Have you contacted the housing department of your local authority?
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                Go through lettings agent's complaints process then the relevant letting agent redress scheme.

                This agent seems to got things badly wrong, sorry. At the very least they/your landlord should have given you compo & alternative flat accommodation.
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  If the property was subject to a closure order, it was probably being used for prostitution or drugs or some other illicit purpose, in which case it may be that the landlord was unable to do a lot. The contract may be void, depending upon what the situation is and whether the issues were beyond the landlords control.

                  " . . . unsafe to occupy due to problems with fire alarm and I believe some other tenants" covers a multitude of things. It can be difficult to evict difficult tenants at the best of times so maybe that wasn't an option due to time constraints.

                  You can get advice and assistance from your local authority homelessness team if you present as homeless. They can secure temporary accommodation for youbut I suspect it will only be in the short term.

                  I don't agree this is an illegal eviction, without more detailed information it's not possible to say, but the presence of the fire service, council and police is relevant here and I think on the limited information it seems a closure order, in which case as said before contact the homelessness team for assistance.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                    I don't agree this is an illegal eviction, without more detailed information it's not possible to say, but the presence of the fire service, council and police is relevant here and I think on the limited information it seems a closure order, in which case as said before contact the homelessness team for assistance.
                    A closure order doesn't, by itself, end a tenancy.
                    It may be that such an order makes it reasonable for a landlord to evict someone (but I'm not sure of that either - unless the tenant was the cause of the closure order), but they're still stuck with the contract.
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment

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