Damage caused during DV

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    Damage caused during DV

    Hope that this is allowed here as it’s a very tricky subject and not one that’s on the internet already.

    I’ve been renting a house through an agency for just over a year now, I have never met the landlord. When I first moved in it was the middle of November and the boiler was broken. My daughter was 6 months old at the time and the boiler was not replaced for 3 days after that. We had no hot water or heating. The maintenance guy said it needed replacing when the previous tenant was there and the property had been vacant for a year.

    The back garden was also full of the previous tenant’s furniture and general rubbish (not house waste). I was a single women with a child I should not be held responsible to hire a van to get rid of that stuff. There were a lot of things that needed fixing in the house since before I moved in, which are listed on the inventory. At the first inspection I politely requested that the rubbish from the garden be dealt with and the problems in the house fixed. Three inspections later and nothing has happened. Therefore there is photo evidence of the agency neglecting what they should have been completed before I moved in.

    Now I am fully aware that I am liable for any damage caused by me or anyone I let into my house. I got into a relationship and it turned abusive very fast. There is a very small amount of damage from the abuse (i.e blood stains on the walls, chips from glass being thrown) that I suffered which can be fixed to the best of my abilities. He was arrested and put on remand for what he did, I almost died. He got let out and was given a restraining order for which he did not follow. The police did not take him breaking it seriously and he kicked my back door panel through (PVC) whilst I wasn’t there and caused more damage to the house as he knew I would have to pay for it. The police said there was nothing they could do as there was no CCTV and forensics was pointless because he had already used that door and been in the property. He had a pretty good cover story to tell them too I presume.

    I had to pay to get the door panel replaced so it is different to when I moved in but the door frame and lock remains the same. Since this incident I have been living in a different city with family whilst still paying £500 a month for the house. I want to get another home but I am scared that I won’t get my deposit back even though I’ll fix the damage and they have caused me problems too. It would also be helpful for me to get another home under the same agency due to the fees but they have been so rubbish so far I don’t know if I even want to.

    Does anyone know my rights on this? Obviously it is my responsibility but there must be some protocol for domestic violence victims, especially when the male has been to prison for it. It’s not like I asked for damage to be caused, I loved that house. I didn’t declare what happened to the door to the agency as I was scared so I just went ahead and fixed it.

    #2
    Sorry forgot to add that the damage caused to the house during the abuse is in my statement to the police and he plead guilty to criminal damage but has not been ordered to pay anything.

    Comment


      #3
      Really sorry to read this, should of course never happen to anyone, ever.

      Hope you are in touch with and getting support from one of the various charities that specialise with this sort of situation eg
      https://www.womensaid.org.uk/
      - or local CaB
      https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ab...tizens-advice/
      - or maybe Shelter see
      http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...ices_directory

      I am not a lawyer but from what you say I don't see why you should pay, it's the criminal who did it who should pay. Certainly dispute any attempts to take money from deposit through the scheme adjudication process.

      Might suggest your position with landlord is that he should pursue this little scr*at directly, it wasn't you that caused the damage. Perhaps get advice from Shelter via their helpline, 0808800 4444, 8-8 Mon-Fri, 9-5 all other days.

      Incidentally here is Shelter's detailed legal advice on housing matters & DV.
      http://england.shelter.org.uk/legal/...estic_violence

      Hope the next person is civilised. Best wishes.
      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
        Whilst I feel extremely sorry for the OP -- I cannot see how she is not responsible for damaged caused by fights with her ex in the property she is renting. Ex is not random passer-by/burglar etc.

        Why on earth should the landlord pay, or be forced to prove who exactly threw the glasses and did the kicking in fights where he was not involved, and has no way of evidencing anything.

        If a tenant invites a guest into the house and the guest smashes a light fitting - the landlord does not sue the guest. Who did it is totally irrelevant (unless the tenant wants to counterclaim from the guest).

        Comment


          #5
          Agreed the landlord shouldn't pay: The perpetrator should.

          But dunno if there's any law / case law on this situation.
          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


            #6
            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
            Agreed the landlord shouldn't pay: The perpetrator should.

            But dunno if there's any law / case law on this situation.
            Yes there is -- tenant returned property in a different condition to that in which it was let (fair wear and tear excepted). End of story.
            When tenant returns kitchen with a scratched worktop, case law says that landlord does not need to do an investigation to see whether it was the cook-friend of the tenant wot done it, and such a defence if proffered would not hold much water....

            Tenant holds a party for kids and kids draw all over wallpaper -- landlord does not sue local kids. Sure -- local kids unknown to the tenant break in to a well locked the property at night by smashing through the windows and then proceed to scribble on the walls -- different story. The kicking in of the door by the ex MIGHT fall into the latter category, but I think the tenant has to prove their case -- it is not up to the landlord to prove an unknowable. The police don't seem to know. The other damage mentioned (chucking of glasses and stuff around, fighting matches) ... not so much.

            Comment


              #7
              T pays for the damage and countersues person resp for the damage.

              Comment


                #8
                I sympathise with the tenant BUT its their responsibility, I would ask why move in to a property when it was in such poor condition, no boiler,, crap in the garden etc, but I also recognise some people don't have a lot of options,

                to be fair to the tenant, she does accept responsibility for the actions for anyone she lets in, unfortunately its going to cost her.

                OP go round and get some friends to help if possible and do everything you can cleaning wise to make the property look good, I doubt the agent will notice the door panel so long as its 'fixed' . fill in any holes and try to match any paint if you can, difficult but so long as it looks (NOT GLOSS ON WALLS) - other posters will have a different view on trying to touch up walls but to me its better if you went some way to sorting it out. get all the windows open to freshen the air, leave a few air fresheners around clean the bathroom and kitchen thoroughly.

                a lot of elbow grease might save you a lot of money !

                I wouldn't worry about the garden if you have photos to show what it was like !

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thea:

                  Whilst others may be correct that you perhaps might ultimately be responsible it's worth probably referring landlord/agent to the perpetrator for the costs, and any deposit scheme adjudicator who hopefully will be sympathetic to your position. Worth a try.

                  Your more urgent/important issue may be ending the tenancy & liability for ongoing rent. Try and negotiate with agent/landlord** to an "early surrender" of the property which will end your rent liability. If you need help on this try 'phoning Shelter, 0808 800 4444.

                  ** Landlord & his address: If you don;t have a direct address for landlord it might be worth spending £3 (needs credit or debit card) with land registry
                  https://www.gov.uk/search-property-i...-land-registry
                  - and seeing what name & address of property owner are on the deeds.

                  Best wishes, hope things improve.
                  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


                    #10
                    If any of this goes to court and the person either pleads guilty or is found guilty compensation can and should be awarded. The CPS should be in contact with you if they have charged the offence. Make sure you keep up to date with the case and request compensation. Compensation takes priority over everything (fines etc) and amounts can be deducted from benefits if the person is not working, Good Luck
                    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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