First time tenant- False claims? No proof? Where do i stand? Help please!

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    First time tenant- False claims? No proof? Where do i stand? Help please!

    Ok so to cut the story as short as possible Im from Gibraltar (we are a british colony so i assume the laws are extremely similar if not the same).
    I lived with my partners parents, we were a family of 11 living in a 3/4 bedroom. So desperate to get out!
    Fast forward, a work friend of partners mother says she has a 1 bedroom for rent. £650 plus bills etc. We view it, fairly old, not been upgraded ever (estate is over 20 years old and she still has the same blinds! We know because his aunty has lived in the same estate all her life and shes about 40).
    You could tell no1 was living there, it was very dusty. Ants on the sofas. Basically, she uses that house to have an ID in Gibraltar to have access to our schools, healthcare etc but is living across the border in Spain. The house looked like the furniture had been all 2nd-hand, nothing matched (and after my experience i fully stick by my word). We viewed and paid our first month with more furniture we were left with. (I only knew she was taking the mattress, i had to bring my own) but she ended up taking the dining table with her and we were left with minimal, not even a tv unit. Just a tacky side table.
    Everyone told me to ask for my money back as it wasnt how i viewed, but as she was a family friend I made do with what we had. To be honest, I just felt bad to reject her. I know, my mistake.
    I never had a contract. She never went through anything with me. She never gave me the right to use the house as my address. She never gave me the keys to the letterbox (as thats where she received her Doctor apps etc lol!), she told me not to tell anyone i was renting the flat. She told me time and time again i could paint the full house, throw all the furniture etc (all makes sense now 😂). I asked for a permit to park in the estate which she never provided. I had to make my own key copies. I had to buy basic stuff like a kettle, cups, cutting knifes, oven dishes, toilet brush, sofa covers because her sofas were quite dusty and tacky. She was a family friend so i felt bad to complain, huge mistake. I didnt take pictures because i didnt feel the need to, again huge mistake. I do have pictures of my children on the sofas etc which i guess could prove the condition they were in.
    Fast forward 10 months, we had to leave for personal reasons she accepted. We never had a contract anyway to state otherwise.We left on the 30th of June.
    We accidently broke a window and blind in process of moving. We told her straight away and said we would pay. She didnt want to do it so told us she was in no rush. I did tell her we were busy and if we could pay it would be much easier, she again refused and said she was not in a rush. Both her and her partner view the flat. Her partner states what we had already said, the broken window, blind and mattress. She goes and also states the same. Also about its clean, but the apartment was empty for nearly 2 weeks before she went to view, the estate is also under construction so if anyone left the windows open this could easily be the reason! 9th of July she messages me asking what i thought would be fair to pay and how much? And what i thought needed paying for. (Surely this is something she needs to tell me?) I told her the things i broke i have no problem paying as its my responsibility. The day my partner was on his way to sort it all out (he left the mattress too as he thought she was in a rush, so was on his way to get rid of this too) she demanded the keys and said he had no permission to go in that she had already sorted every thing (she told me this 11th of July so apparently everything was fixed on 10th). She never told me she was sorted it til the day i told her my partner was on his way to sort it. Said she would send the bill that day. I asked for proof of receipts etc. She never did.
    29th of July i get a message saying if id accept to pay a summary and when the man sends the receipt through email? She will pass it onto me... im wary of this, Surely if she bought the furniture (2nd hand from a charity shop apparently, she would have got a receipt there and then? Even if she got a van to collect it, she had to have paid it before it being taken, so would have a receipt?..). Included in this summary are removal of mattress and apparently a broken sofabed (she never ever mentioned this before ever). Apparently £70. She says she hired a man and van. Sofabed £120 even though she never provided proof of it broken. £150 for a mattress when the 1 there is mine (memory foam 1 i was given over 4 years ago pregnant with my 1st child) she stating im lying. Her friend (my MIL saw us take this mattress from the house to our rented house), his sisters husband helped take it up in his Jeep. £30 for matching blinds (i only broke 1). Sofa covers £60 (apparently there was paint, and she tried removing and it didnt get off, i think this is a lie, if i missed somwthing, it was childs paint, 100% washable from Early Learning center). Window £45. Ihavent received any proof of anything being broken or replaced. No receipts.
    What do i do? I told her im sorry im finding it very hard to believe all this when shes lied on 2 occasions. 1 being the mattress being hers and the 2nd of allowing us to move stuff in before payment. (I paid her at the house and she still had to remove all her belongings! which took about a week). Especially without proof of anything. Weve been out of the house a month and bothof them have seen it and didnt say anything about the sofas or side table.
    She is renting illegally, i didnt know it was this serious til i started looking into it. She has £6500 of my undeclared money (10 months of renting). And shes talking like shes done us a favor? And is being quite judgemental without knowing me. She keeps changing her stories too. 1st she says i have stuff there that may be important to me (theres nothing that i know of she hasnt said what these things are), Then she says that the £70 is for the removal of my stuff? All within the same hour? Im so confused.
    Should i see a solicitor? Any advice?
    Last edited by NB17; 31-07-2018, 12:42 PM. Reason: Ending didnt post.

    #2
    I'm 100% certain the law in Gibraltar will be different. Is there a Citizen's advice office?
    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...

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      #3
      I don't know anything about the law in Gibraltar, but don't need to.

      Just tell her you will be paying her nothing, and she is free to take you to court if she likes.

      Obviously if she is breaking the law by renting illegally then she will not want to go anywhere near a court.

      You might also want to ask her if she has declared that rental income to the tax authorities.
      I'd be pretty certain that she hasn't and will not want you to tell them.
      Presumably you didn't just pay cash so can prove you were paying rent to her?

      I don't know if you have things like local taxes (our council tax) in Gib. but if you do then no doubt she has not payed those correctly either.

      Comment


        #4
        Im pretty sure there is, we follow a lot of things in the UK, our healthcare is followed by NHS etc. Schooling too.
        Yes i paid cash first time, the rest are by bank transfer. Im sure she hasnt declared anything at all, not even her workmates (apart from my Mother-in-law) knows she was renting it out.
        She is using the address for her personal ID (its on her ID card etc too and health cards) so i very much doubt anything has been done correctly, as shes 'living there' with her partner and children.
        Im a very reasonable person, i have never denied any damage that i have done, and i wouldnt! (Gibraltar is a very small place so its very hard to run away! Especially since shes a midwife and works at our local hospital). Im just in shock of how shes turned out. Money definitely talks!
        Thank you for taking the time to read my long desperate post!

        Comment


          #5
          I don't know about the cross border living/working thing, I imagine that many do that. (The same happens with the Irish border).

          But I would also imagine that if she's claiming Gib. residency whilst actually living in Spain then that's probably illegal too.

          You could get her into a lot of trouble if you are minded to.
          Some would say that it's your duty to report all this illegal activity just as you would any other crime.
          Especially as she seems to be in a 'respected' job.

          Comment


            #6
            Property law is different in Gibralter.
            It's different between England & Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
            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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