Tenant suffering harassment shortly before vacating

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    Tenant suffering harassment shortly before vacating

    It all started going wrong a few weeks before the end of the tenancy. My LL started questioning why I was asking for 24 hours notice (verbal) and sent me emails accusing me chasing people away and cluttering up the place. I reminded him of my rights and asked him to stop pestering me as I was really busy. I had allowed every viewing asked for so far, had paid all of my rent on time and made sure the place was presentable before any viewing

    It all came to a head when he booked (without asking me) on Thursday an appointment for the following Monday for British Gas to come in and do various safety checks. He then told be by email that evening that I had to be in to let the engineer in. Monday is the day before I moved out. I didnt want to take time off work as I was already taking time off the the actual move.

    I told him I would not be in, that I required 24 hours written notice and that it would be a massive inconvenience - I said he could come over anytime after I had moved out the next day (I would be checking out shortly after the move to the new property, and the current one would be vacant for a few days)

    He kept insisting saying that it would cost him a lot of money to be there himself and he would pass that cost onto me

    He sends me an email at 5 past midnight on Sunday saying he is going to turn up the next day...so I took an emergency day off work as I didnt really trust him

    He arrives first with some agents and I refuse to let them is as the place is covered with all my stuff and he hasnt told me they are coming. He tries to get in, pushing me back and putting his foot in the door. I have to push him away and shut the door

    Later he arrives with the gas man and after some initially raised words (I was pretty scared by this point and said that the engineer could come in but not him) I let him and the engineer in to do the checks.

    He then goes round taking photos of all my stuff and refuses to stop when I ask him

    Im a bit worried as I initially said I wouldnt let the engineer in and he says he is now going to take the money this has cost him off my deposit and possibly sue me

    Should I be worried

    many thanks

    Will

    #2
    Originally posted by willard View Post
    Should I be worried
    No, your LL should be. He is definitely in the wrong.

    A couple of relevant questions;
    1) When did you last sign a tenancy agreement?
    2) Has your LL told you that your deposit is in a TDS?

    Peter

    Comment


      #3
      Peter,

      Thanks for the (lighting) quick response.

      -The agreement was signed on 9th of March 2007 and was for a year.

      -My deposit is held by the agents

      Comment


        #4
        Shame; if you had signed after 6th April new rules would have applied to the deposit.

        As I say, don't worry; you've done nothing wrong as far as I can see.

        If your LL does attempt to withhold your deposit then you can sue for it --- it's dead easy.

        The only thing he can deduct for is damage that you've caused; and if he wants to do that he needs to prove that you caused it. In other words, he needs to produce an inventory that was drawn up at the start of the contract (signed by you) showing the condition of the property.

        Peter

        Comment


          #5
          phew - thank you Peter I was getting pretty stressed about the whole thing

          W

          Comment


            #6
            You could also make a complaint to the police for harassment. Your LL is well out of order and you should chuck the full weight of the law at him.

            If your LL try's to deduct the amount of the gas saftey cert from your deposit, then take him to court if you have to. You have a water tight case as far as I can see.

            Comment


              #7
              The police are a waste of time - it's a civil matter. What you can do is take out a court action against the landlord under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and it would cost him enough money in damages to stop him doing it to anyone else. Try a no-win no-fee solicitor who knows his stuff.
              The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                The police are a waste of time - it's a civil matter. What you can do is take out a court action against the landlord under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and it would cost him enough money in damages to stop him doing it to anyone else. Try a no-win no-fee solicitor who knows his stuff.
                I think you will find that you can still go to prison for harassment, hence it is very much a police matter!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for the responses guys - Im not sure I want to go down the whole harassment route for the time being....I just want to live in my nice new place (managed by some excellent agents) in peace and quiet

                  If he keeps refusing to give me back my deposit could I use that as a threat or would that be construed as intimidation, and is there any time limit on when i would have to get the court order?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                    The police are a waste of time - it's a civil matter. What you can do is take out a court action against the landlord under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and it would cost him enough money in damages to stop him doing it to anyone else. Try a no-win no-fee solicitor who knows his stuff.
                    But what would the damages be? OP is being 'evicted' 24 hours in advance of when he has agreed to leave anyway. A hotel room for the night is possibly adequate recomplense?
                    The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by chuggle View Post
                      If he keeps refusing to give me back my deposit could I use that as a threat or would that be construed as intimidation, and is there any time limit on when i would have to get the court order?
                      If all you're concerned about is getting your deposit back, write and ask for it, saying that you expect it to paid in full as there was no damage to the property (assuming that's the case). I'd probably write twice, and then finally end up with a Letter Before Action saying that unless you receive it by X date, you will put in a Small Claim for it (the letters are to demonstrate to the court that you've done your best to chase up the money and given the defendant ample opportunity to cough up).

                      And then do just that. It's not hard and people here can advise you. No need to mention any of the aggro if you don't want to, it's not relevant to the deposit issue.

                      If he defends it, you'll know before any court hearing, and if he starts playing silly buggers along the lines you've suggested, then you can trot out the full story if need be.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by willard View Post
                        -My deposit is held by the agents
                        You need to establish the status of the deposit held. Is it held as Stakeholder or Landlords Agent?

                        This is important, and will affect how you proceed if legal action is necessary.
                        On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Sorry for the delay in getting back to you (we were on a well deserved holiday)

                          The deposit is held as Stakeholder by the agents...how does this affect my situation ?

                          Ive also found out that the landlord has a few claims against him and just keeps deferring the court action (a previous tenant has been trying to take him to court for 2 years)...is there anyway around this

                          Thanks

                          W

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Technically it should put you in a stronger position as the agent cannot release the portion of the deposit that is disputed if either the LL or tenant do not agree. It should then go to independant dispute resolution, out of agents hands.

                            It might be a good idea to talk to agent about the deposit and flag up possible dipute and see what they say they will do, as you may not be able trust them to do the right thing. Show them that you are aware of the situation so that they cannot stitch you up and return any deposit to LL without your approval.

                            Are they a memeber of ARLA, or NAEA, or NALS?
                            All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                            * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                            You can search the forums here:

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Write your letters:
                              1) Initial letter "Please give me my deposit back by [7 days from now]."
                              2) If deposit not received by date you stated, write another that says "Please give me my deposit back immediately. Failure to do so will result in legal action (enclose a copy of the completed claim form). If I have not received the deposit in full by [give him 3 days] I will have no choice but to issue a claim. Note that when I win the case you will also be liable for court fees."
                              3) If deposit not received by the due date (and I mean deposit received, not just letters or excuses, then go right ahead and issue the claim, with no further correspondence. By that stage he will have had his chance.

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