Royally screwed by Landlord - what to do?

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    Royally screwed by Landlord - what to do?

    Briefly this is the situation and I'd really appreciate any advice on how to handle it. I gave a month's notice and relinquished tenancy (AST) end of August on a converted stable in the grounds of landlord's house. Since doing so the following has happened:

    1. Despite the landlord inspecting the property on moving out day and pronouncing that it was fine, I've now had an email declaring that all the major white goods were severely damaged and will need to be replaced so he is going to retain the full deposit - just over £800. There was no damage whatsoever to any of them and the landlord inspected them on the final day!
    2. I wrote and disputed the findings and said that I'd not been given any details of what deposit scheme the landlord put the deposit into. He replied saying it isn't in a scheme and he is retaining it against the damage he claims was done.
    3. I then got a further email demanding £1,000 for a year's worth of electricity. When I moved in the landlord stated that the electricity to the property was off his supply but that it had a private meter and would be calculated from the reading on that. I have had no sight whatsoever of any electricity bills and he claims to have calculated it from this private meter. I've asked for evidence (no reply) and also disputed the amount since I lived there alone and worked away 2 weeks out of every 4 so I simply don't believe that a year's worth of electricity on a small cottage that was unoccupied 50% of the time would amount to £1,000
    4. After making the disputes above I received a further email from the landlord demanding more money, claiming that an oak side-table was missing. However there was never an oak side-table in the property during my tenancy. He claimed it was listed in the inventory - however I was never given an inventory, despite requesting one on my moving in.

    It's also worth mentioning that the landlord demanded my monthly rent be paid in cash (envelope through the door of their house), but I was never given a rent book nor any receipts for the rent paid. The property was not registered with the council as a separate dwelling (though it was), so I had to give the landlord a contribution to the Council Tax on his house and get my post delivered there. As it stands he is now not answering my emails, has £800 deposit that he says he is keeping and that isn't in a deposit scheme and he's demanding a further £1,000 for electricity that I've had no bills nor evidence for.

    What recourse do I have on this one? Many thanks

    #2
    Take a deep breath. If all that you say is correct then he is in for a very unpleasant shock when you take all of that to court! There is so much he has done wrong, some of which you can rely upon to absolutely scupper his retaining any of your deposit, should you take it to court.

    There are some very knowledgeable posters here who will probably be along very soon. They will be able to give you lots of advice.

    Me? Just want to reassure you that you hold a good hand of cards, unlike your landlord

    Comment


      #3
      See
      https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...y_deposit_back
      &, best bit, sue him for up to 3xdeposit for his ignoring the law by not protecting it. Yes, there are no-win, no-fee companies..

      https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...nsation_claims

      Can we check, this is in England or Wales & landlord does not live in the same building? - ie stable block wasn't connected to, part of, his house? (If so, different laws, no 3xcompo penalty).

      What does the tenancy agreement say about electric, water or gas bills?
      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


        #4
        Do you have a written AST? Proof that you paid a deposit? Proof that you paid rent? Proof of any correspondence being delivered to stable block?

        Comment


          #5
          If all payments were made in cash, including deposit, with no evidence of an AST or inventory or any receipts, then what proof is there that a court would consider that the OP ever lived in this property?

          Comment


            #6
            It's also worth mentioning that the landlord demanded my monthly rent be paid in cash (envelope through the door of their house), but I was never given a rent book nor any receipts for the rent paid. The property was not registered with the council as a separate dwelling (though it was), so I had to give the landlord a contribution to the Council Tax on his house and get my post delivered there.
            If the valuation office find out about the property then you will almost certainly get a backdated demand notice for the period you were resident as it's almost certain the landlord will provide your name to the council.
            Previously served 10 years as a council tax advisor with a local authority but now self-employed with my own council tax consultancy.

            If your local authority disagrees with any aspects of your council tax claim, as they are free to do so, a Valuation Tribunal appeal may be required.

            Comment


              #7
              If its a building in the grounds of the LLs house then I am not sure whethef you would have an AST? You may have some kind of excluded tenancy where the LL would not be required to protect te deposit. Check the Shelter tenancy checker herehttps://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://m.england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/downloads_and_tools/tenancy_checker&ved=0ahUKEwjAj9HJjsHWAhUsBcAKHbMiB fsQFggkMAA&usg=AFQjCNF5hIpCd6u-jbSg2TW1OnJ4Ks7Tkw

              Comment


                #8
                I have a signed AST - just no inventory ever given (I was promised one, but it never appeared). The stable block isn't attached to the house; it's a few hundred metres away from it so a separate building.

                The tenancy was in England.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by blueboo View Post
                  I have a signed AST - just no inventory ever given (I was promised one, but it never appeared). The stable block isn't attached to the house; it's a few hundred metres away from it so a separate building.

                  The tenancy was in England.
                  I'd be be pretty certain that it should have been banded as a separate property then - as the tenancy holder you're liable for the potential charge. It might be worth taking some further advice on it.
                  Previously served 10 years as a council tax advisor with a local authority but now self-employed with my own council tax consultancy.

                  If your local authority disagrees with any aspects of your council tax claim, as they are free to do so, a Valuation Tribunal appeal may be required.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If you had exclusive access and control of the converted stable and didn't share any facilities with the landlord (other than something like parking) you're most likely to have an AST.
                    The landlord would have to show that you didn't and explain why they gave you an AST agreement if they didn't think it was an AST.

                    At this point you need to decide if you want to get professional assistance and find a solicitor or do it yourself.

                    If you do it yourself, you should have a look at the shelter website about what to do when your deposit wasn't protected.
                    The landlord is only able to charge for the electricity that you used (they can't make a profit on it) so you should decline to pay anything until they show you how they bill is worked out.

                    The landlord is entitled to compensation for any loss in value of their property during the lease, that is beyond fair wear and tear.
                    If you don't agree that there's any damage, they have to be able to prove their loss - which, in the absence of an agreed inventory is nigh on impossible for them.

                    An alternative is to suggest that you use the dispute resolution service of the deposit protection company, which is available to you both at no cost.
                    Chances are they'll decline, but that means you revert to plan a, whichever that was.
                    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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