Landlord is delaying handover of keys?

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    Landlord is delaying handover of keys?

    Hi All,

    Hoping for some advice for this- flatmate and I were supposed to move into a property on 1st October, but the LL has breached the contract and repeatedly delayed giving us the keys- he lives abroad so it's been a nightmare to contact him regularly. He wants to sell the property, but in the meanwhile wants to make sure he's still making money, hence why he decided to rent it out to us. I guess what I'm asking is, what is going on?

    My friend has threatened legal action to which he got very annoyed, but still hasn't given us a time to collect the keys! Our deposit is in a DPS so it's not like he's delaying us because he doesn't have it yet- we're very worried as we know that if we pull out of the contract first, he could very easily refuse to give us our deposit back. The EAs have told us that they do not want to get involved, as they are only involved in the selling side of the property.

    At this point I'd be happy to not live there anymore, but how do I make sure we get our deposit back? Also could anyone hazard a guess as to why this has happened?

    #2
    I would talk to a solicitor.

    My guess is that the landlord has realised that selling the property with tenants isn't his best option, and that the minimum term of the contract isn't working in his favour.
    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
      Hi jpkeates, thank you for your response. Do you have any idea why he's still stringing us along then? For example, we are supposed to go collect the keys today from the property (once again, he has not mentioned a specific time!)- why is he expecting us to make the effort to travel to the place, knowing full well that he has no intention to have anyone there?? Is he just a horrible person, let alone landlord!

      Comment


        #4
        I'm not sure that you can actually register the deposit with the DPS before the tenancy starts, but you can always insist on getting the money back from the DPS, even if the tenancy has started. Hopefully the DPS will accept your explanation that there was no tenancy, even if you invoked their dispute resolution procedure, but if you don't accept it, and the landlord takes you to court, not accepting it may be held against you.

        Incidentally, does your landlord have a UK address for legal correspondence, as I believe he is acting illegally if he doesn't? I think it has to be in England or Wales. Has he told you that you need to withhold basic rate income tax and pay it direct to HMRC, provided proof of exemption?

        Comment


          #5
          Keep a record of every expense that the failure to start the tenancy as agreed causes you to incur - like travel charges.
          The landlord should repay these costs (as they're a consequence of his breach of contract).

          I can't see what's to be gained by the landlord stringing you along, but a solicitors phone call might bring things to a head.
          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


            #6
            leaseholder64,

            I think he uses the current property as his UK address, is that wrong? And he hasn't told me that I need to withhold basic rate income tax either

            Comment


              #7
              jpkeates,

              Yes I think that's exactly what I'm going to do, I have strong suspicion that the EA and LL are in on this together, which I find so shocking- cannot wait for the day that I can own property

              Comment


                #8
                If he uses the current property as his UK address, you can serve legal papers on him by leaving them there. If he has no arrangement to forward them, that is his problem.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Who arranged the tenancy agreement - LL or agent?
                  If agent, then you may have a claim against agent under consumer protection law.

                  As above, seek a solicitor who specialises in housing and contract law.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Did you attend appointed place at appointed time?
                    If no keys provided, you may be able to repudiate the TA.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by MdeB View Post
                      Who arranged the tenancy agreement - LL or agent?
                      If agent, then you may have a claim against agent under consumer protection law.

                      As above, seek a solicitor who specialises in housing and contract law.
                      It was the LL unfortunately not the EA

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by mariner View Post
                        Did you attend appointed place at appointed time?
                        If no keys provided, you may be able to repudiate the TA.
                        Hi yes we did attend, and no one was there to handover the keys. Flatmate has called LL over the weekend, and he answered once and put the phone down, and has been ignoring her calls ever since. Spoken with a solicitor who has said to get small claims rolling. It feels a shame as it feels like the LL is almost 'getting away', with it. I know that we should get all our money back, but it doesn't compensate all the stress/turning down other places/flatmate having to find alternative accommodation. Wish there was a way for a LL to get a record/mark against their name to prevent this- it was lucky that both of us had the means to find somewhere else to live, as others would literally be homeless- how can someone lack the conscience to do that to people :/

                        Comment


                          #13
                          When you make your claim, don’t just claim what was paid over.

                          Claim for all the aborted visits, alternative travel and accomodation. Throw everything you can think of into the claim. You’ll only get one shot, so include everything.
                          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


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                            When you make your claim, don’t just claim what was paid over.

                            Claim for all the aborted visits, alternative travel and accomodation. Throw everything you can think of into the claim. You’ll only get one shot, so include everything.
                            In our initial email to the LL, we were going to ask for our deposit + 1st months rent back, and expenses such as alternative accommodation. Are you suggesting we also add everything else (i.e transport cost) to this email, or add everything when we take it to court, should he refuse?

                            Thanks

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MRFMRF View Post

                              In our initial email to the LL, we were going to ask for our deposit + 1st months rent back, and expenses such as alternative accommodation. Are you suggesting we also add everything else (i.e transport cost) to this email, or add everything when we take it to court, should he refuse?

                              Thanks
                              Everything. Include every penny that this has cost you.

                              Comment

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