Land Lord pretending to live at address

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    Land Lord pretending to live at address

    My landlord has not protected my deposit for the garden annex studio I rented or for the loft studio my partner rented. He claims to live on the ground floor of the address however he does not his sister does. He’s claiming we were lodgers. We gave notice to him in June 2019 as his sister’s constant partying pushed us over the edge (back story she claims benefits for disability). For a month after the tenancy ended he ignored us when we requested our deposits. After three days of hassling him this week he paid over my partners deposit in full and did not make the cleaning deduction he had earlier claimed he would make. He has refused to return my deposit as he claims there is damage (there is not excepting that I did not repaint when I left the property) additionally his condition for returning my deposit was that I agreed not to take further action against him. I have received the planning permission records from 2012 for the property and see that the garden annex is stipulated as not being suitable as sleeping accommodation let alone as a rental. The LL has told me after I told him I intend to pursue the matter that he has charged me with burglary, tresspass and harassment.

    can anyone offer any thoughts on this? I am quite worried about the situation.

    #2
    Where is your deposit lodged? Can you make a deposit return request yourself? If LL is continuing to refuse to return your deposit tell him you've seen the planning docs. How has he charged you with burglary etc? Has he called the police?

    It sounds like you've got the upper hand here. I don't think you need to be overly worried.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Berlingo Girl, thanks so much for your reply. He has not lodged the deposit anywhere, he hasn’t used a protection scheme. The property was robbed in December 2018 and he’s said now said he believes I was the burglar. I don’t know if he’s charged me or if he’s just trying to intimidate me. Should I go ahead and take him to court? His told me to p*ss off in writing, said I would use fake f*cking lawyers and called me a f*cking maggot all in writing! And I have only been trying to recover a 650£ deposit!

      he has said he doesnt care about planning permissions as the window to enforce contraventions expires after 4 years. I don’t know if this is true

      Comment


        #4
        Sounds like a piece of work.

        You can sue him for the return of your deposit.
        Or you can see if one of the many no win no fee firms would be interested in taking your case.

        Using the small claims/MCOL route is actually quite simple (and empowering).

        There's nothing you can do to stop the landlord reporting you for your many crimes.
        Most police forces have a web site that allows people to report pretty much anything and get a crime number.
        I shouldn't worry about it, though - nothing will come of it (you might get a visit from someone just to check it out).

        If you can afford it, you can probably find a solicitor who might be able to make a rent repayment claim, as the property you were letting wasn't habitable. That isn't affected by the planning "time out" (which he is also wrong about).

        I'd also (because I am not a nice person) write to the local authority planning department about the property and notify HMRC of the additional income (which he is probably not declaring).
        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


          #5
          If he's not lodged the deposit he might have just realised he's in trouble. Do you have evidence that you gave him the deposit and when?

          If the property was robbed in December 2018 and he didn't report it, well, it's too late now - just ignore him on that point. If he'd have charged you, you'd have known about it well before now.

          He really shouldn't have used that kind of language. I would advise him, in writing, that as he has suggested you take the matter to court, you are going to do so if the deposit is not returned within 10 days of the date of the letter. Send two copies - one from one post office and one from another - and ask for certs of postage (free).

          When you've got your deposit back (or sooner if you're particularly riled) report the PP issue tot he council. The annex might not be safe for overnight accommodation.

          Your LL is bullying you. Try not to worry too much about your situation. You really do have the upper hand and your LL knows it.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            Sounds like a piece of work.

            You can sue him for the return of your deposit.
            Or you can see if one of the many no win no fee firms would be interested in taking your case.

            Using the small claims/MCOL route is actually quite simple (and empowering).

            There's nothing you can do to stop the landlord reporting you for your many crimes.
            Most police forces have a web site that allows people to report pretty much anything and get a crime number.
            I shouldn't worry about it, though - nothing will come of it (you might get a visit from someone just to check it out).

            If you can afford it, you can probably find a solicitor who might be able to make a rent repayment claim, as the property you were letting wasn't habitable. That isn't affected by the planning "time out" (which he is also wrong about).

            I'd also (because I am not a nice person) write to the local authority planning department about the property and notify HMRC of the additional income (which he is probably not declaring).
            Can I just add, if you're using the MCOL you'll get a gateway number. Don't lose it.

            Rent repayment claim - excellent suggestion

            Report to HMRC - nice idea

            Comment


              #7
              A sister is as good as the landlord for creating an excluded tenancy. However, it also requires that there be shared accommodation, which appears not to the case here.

              Councils can get him for beds in sheds on other grounds, and, in any case, the time limit for breaches of planning conditions is ten years, not four. The limit for change of use is also ten years, but there are exceptions. Illegal sleeping accommodation tends to be considered a very high priority offence by councils.

              Requirements to repaint are very unusual, and many landlords insist tenants to not do this. Such a requirement for excluded tenancies would be (almost) unheard of.

              Lower level offences that can only be tried in a magistrates' court must be prosecuted within six months, unless there is specific legislation to the contrary.

              As a technical point, you cannot rob a house, although you can burglarise. Robbery requires the offence to be associated with force, or the threat of it, against a human being. Burglary requires unlawful entry, so cannot be committed by a tenant or licensee. Simple theft is still possible.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                A sister is as good as the landlord for creating an excluded tenancy. However, it also requires that there be shared accommodation, which appears not to the case here.

                Councils can get him for beds in sheds on other grounds, and, in any case, the time limit for breaches of planning conditions is ten years, not four. The limit for change of use is also ten years, but there are exceptions. Illegal sleeping accommodation tends to be considered a very high priority offence by councils.

                Requirements to repaint are very unusual, and many landlords insist tenants to not do this. Such a requirement for excluded tenancies would be (almost) unheard of.

                Lower level offences that can only be tried in a magistrates' court must be prosecuted within six months, unless there is specific legislation to the contrary.

                As a technical point, you cannot rob a house, although you can burglarise. Robbery requires the offence to be associated with force, or the threat of it, against a human being. Burglary requires unlawful entry, so cannot be committed by a tenant or licensee. Simple theft is still possible.
                thanks for this - the access to the garden annex (shed with a bed) was via the sisters flat but no other then walking through her flat I didn’t use any of the facilities as the annex has its own kitchen bathroom and lounge. Should I cut my losses and walk away or should I attempt to recover my deposit?



                Comment


                  #9
                  Note the ten years for breaches of conditions and usage breaches starts from when the breach first occurred. I think there may have been some case law that establishes that it is actually from when the breach became apparent.

                  That means that if they didn't start using the annex for sleeping immediately after building it, the time limit may be even longer.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You should NOT cut your losses. You should attempt to recover your deposit, you are entitled to it by the sounds of things.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      A minor point, and not really relevant to the tenancy, but the landlord can't charge anyone with any offence (unless he happens to work for the police/crown prosecution service).
                      He can make accusations, but these would then be investigated by the police and there would be no charges brought without evidence.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        As above, don't worry at all in regards the reporting of the '' robbery '' he is clearly not up on what constitutes the offense of Burglary and as such you can be fairly sure it will go nowhere. The various reporting routes suggested for this individual are a very good idea. Good luck.

                        Comment

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