Tenant threatens legal action

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Tenant threatens legal action

    Hi all

    A former tenant of mine whom moved out without giving 4 weeks notice as per his contract is threatening legal action over a deposit which I did not protect in time and was returned to him in full once the admin error was realised (my farther usually deals with the paperwork)

    can anyone recommend a legal stance on this matter as he has suffered no loss far as I'm concerned whilst I have corrected the error as soon as it was pointed out , I feel I'm being blackmailed now because of my error

    this tenant was always a douche , in rent arrears and also late with payments whilst painting the room a unagreed colour.

    i accepted 4 days notice to move out and have lost out on 1 months rents as well as costs to rectify paint and other issues i.e. Damage to items , that was his compensation as far as I'm concerned.

    very anxcious and would like to hear a legal standpoint on this matter

    thanks in advance for your help

  • #2
    If you didn't protect the tenants deposit within the required deadline, the tenant can sue you for the return of the deposit, if you haven't done so already and ask the court to impose a penalty between one and three times the deposit value.

    There doesn't have to be a loss and, from the sound of it, you have no defence.

    If you have returned the deposit, it would be more difficult for the tenant to sue you, but they may elect to use a no win no fee solicitor if that's the case.
    In which case, the threat of legal fees would exceed the deposit and penalty.

    The deposit is the tenant's money and you can only use it for things that the tenant agrees you can - "as far as you're concerned" sounds like only you have agreed things, which is one person fewer than required.
    If you agreed the tenant could move out early, either there were conditions or there weren't.
    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


    • #3
      Well, he is entitled to apply for this penalty to be levied on you... it is how the government get the deposit scheme to work. It has nothing to do with him having suffered any financial loss.

      Your very best bet is, as is said here very often, to come to an agreement with him before he goes via a no win no fee solicitor. If he does that the 1-3 x deposit penalty will be peanuts compared to court costs!

      You could have pushed back with a counter claim for all of your losses, but if you have accepted it all then he has a free run at the deposit penalty.

      Good luck trying to reason with him.

      Comment


      • #4
        Legal standpoint is that a claim against you will be successful if it goes to court. Claim award will be between 1-3x deposit amount. Maybe head them off at the pass with an offer or wait it out to see if they actually take it to court. It's not an award for damages so doesn't matter if the tenant suffered no loss. It's a penalty that's enforced and then passed to the tenant for a nice holiday or similar.
        "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

        What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi guys

          I formally did not accept his actions of moving out without proper notice neither did I accept him paying me late or not at all on various occasions as well as damaging kitchen equipment due to non- maintence

          i asked him to confirm that his moving out before proper notice period would be full and final settlement of course he never did confirm this and now 2 months down the line after his moved out , he hits with me this request

          Am I right in now issuing a counter claim which by my reckoning will far exceed his likely award of X1 or X2 (£670 per month was rent)

          i acted in good faith and didn't knowingly fail to protect , I can prove that I had a family situation and my farther moved in to the property for a short period so I wasn't on top of such matters.

          also his AST expired during his tenure whilst he never signed a new one for the new room he moved in to as a result of dad moving in 3 months in to tenants tenancy so isn't his claim void as the AST he has references the incorrect room and he delicately refused to sign a new one to bring this claim

          i really don't want to settle as his been a douche from day one and I fear other tenants may try the same if I give in even though they agreed an early move out as full and final settlement

          thanks again

          Comment


          • #6
            Also I don't know how to issue this counter claim without it being a case of if you take me court then I'm taking you court so let it go type of thing , don't want him using that as evidence to show court his being bullied.

            i want to respond with a letter saying that I believe I have mitagatung factors for a judge to consider whilst it would not be in the tenants best interest to go this route as the amount i will be counter claiming for will be higher than the penalty which I may face but again I'm not sure how to do that without sounding blackmail centred.

            thanks so much for any responses

            Comment


            • #7
              There's no written tenancy, but there's a verbal tenancy if he paid rent for the new room.
              If there's more than one tenancy, you may have more than one claim against you - did you protect the deposit for the new room?

              The court might only take the mitigating factors into account when they award the penalty.
              The lowest possible award is one times the deposit.

              I would simply respond that, as far as you were concerned, no agreement had been reached for them to leave early without paying the rent due for the notice period.
              You were happy to let sleeping dogs lie because, to be honest, life is too short to be taking people to court.

              On the other hand, if they take you to court, you will defend yourself robustly and counter claim for all rent owed and for compensation for damage caused.

              And leave it at that.
              They'll either sue you, leave it, or go to a no win no fee solicitor.

              If they leave it, do nothing.
              If they sue you, counter sue.
              If they go to a no win no fee parasite, settle.

              Just one thing. You don't have to formally agree something, verbally agreeing would be fine.
              Last edited by jpkeates; 16-08-2017, 17:06 PM. Reason: Hit post too soon.
              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
                Thanks jpkeates

                i did not verbally agree to the moveout either and the other room I didn't take a new deposit for

                so can i just write a letter back stating that his deposit was returned and that should he wish to pursue this matter further I will be forced to counter sue ??



                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Golip View Post

                  i really don't want to settle as his been a douche from day one and I fear other tenants may try the same
                  But it'll be impossible for them to 'try the same' as their deposit would have all been protected within 30 days, PI issued, how to rent leaflet given etc etc wouldn't they?
                  "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

                  What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You can't break the law (deposit protection, been around 10+ years....) "in good faith". You broke the law he can sue, your mistake.

                    You can sue him for what he owes you.
                    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


                    • #11
                      Yeah I know I know I may have broken the law I'm happy to pay x1 of the deposit for this error but don't understand why the tenant would insist on settlement when my counter claim will be for much more than he can claim from me even at x3 my claim would include several actions he did which cost me money and damaged my dwelling.

                      also can he pursue the matter in small claims or doesn't it need to be a section 8 as it is a fine ? If so won't he incur legal costs further adding to his unproportionate claim ?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Golip View Post
                        Yeah I know I know I may have broken the law I'm happy to pay x1 of the deposit for this error but don't understand why the tenant would insist on settlement when my counter claim will be for much more than he can claim from me even at x3 my claim would include several actions he did which cost me money and damaged my dwelling...
                        Because that is what the law says: Parliament debated it at least twice, even extending the time landlords were allowed to do the admin, going from 14 to 30 days. Started over 10 years ago, no offence but surely you were aware of this?? Serious question, please let us know....

                        Best regards

                        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


                        • #13
                          Yes I was aware but was confused regarding certain things and relied on dad to sort it and far as I knew he had obviously not now , I'm not a professional landlord I merely help my folks manage the 1 property they have

                          hoping to get a solicitor to draft a response that makes the financials clear as I can't see his gain , his more likely to lose out once I counter sue

                          that's the issue with this law greedy tenants exploitation of x3 rule because they automatically feel entitled

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How late was the deposit protected? Did you spot the mistake, or did the tenant chase you to protect it?

                            In terms of damage limitation, I think you need to offer to pay at least what would be awarded if the tenant went to court. The above may help more experienced members of the forum suggest what that amount would be.

                            As I understand it, costs are less likely to be awarded against you if the tenant refuses a better offer than the court would award.

                            I'd also note that most BtL landlords would be described as amateur landlords. I'm neither a landlord, nor a short least tenant, but I was aware of the DPS before I came to this forum.

                            Although you can't get a criminal record, a finding against you may harm your chances of getting a licences if selective licensing is introduced in your area.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Golip View Post
                              that's the issue with this law greedy tenants exploitation of x3 rule because they automatically feel entitled
                              It's not that they 'feel' entitled, they are, someone who is supposed to do a job/be responsible broke the law which has a financial penalty. Property damage, missing rent is far more subjective.
                              "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

                              What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X