Landlord going back on his word to repay rent

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    Landlord going back on his word to repay rent

    Hi,

    The short version of this post is that the landlord said verbally and over email that "Rent calculation we can do till the day you stay in the flat" and after i moved out of the flat early he is ignoring all attempts to contact him. I am planning on taking this to court and want to know some more opinions of this and if i'm likely to win in court.

    The long version:
    I recently bought a house and moved out of my rented flat. The completion date on my house (the 12th) was a few days after my new monthly rental period began (the 10th) and i handed in the keys to the landlord on the 16th (6 out of 31 days into the rental period).

    When i sent the end of tenancy notice to the landlord i said i would be flexible and would move out earlier if he got new tenants. The landlord responded by saying he had prospective tenants and proactively asked if i could move out on 2 dates (both which were too early in the month).

    We verbally worked out that i would move out on the 16th of the month and he said in person and over email "Rent calculation we can do till the day you stay in the flat". I rushed to move everything into my new house and clean the flat. I handed him the keys on the 16th at the flat.

    He furnished the flat in preparation of getting new tenants ( and i have timestamped pictures which i took later after he was ignoring me). He also transferred the electricity into his name on the 16th, and he applied for my rent deposit to be refunded in full 6 days after i moved out.

    My evidence is that:
    • He said "Rent calculation we can do till the day you stay in the flat."
    • He applied for the rent deposit to be refunded 6 days after i moved out which i received in full.
    • He changed the electricity to his name
    • He proactively asked me to move out on 2 dates (which were a few days too soon for me)
    • He furnished the flat (which i have pictures of)

    One problem is that he seemed nice in person so i wasn't expecting this to happen and i don't have any written proof over email or text that i moved out on the 16th but seen as he applied to have my rent deposit refunded on the 22nd this is the latest he could say i was there. I can't remember if i signed anything when i moved out (but if i didn't it would have been because he didn't give me anything to sign).

    He is a multimillionaire Landlord so i doubt it will even be worth his time challenging my claim and making this go to court.

    What are your thoughts on my chances of winning this?

    #2
    Did new tenants move in?

    The rest will all turn on your ability to prove to a court that he said "Rent calculation we can do till the day you stay in the flat" - if you were wise you would have arranged for a signed deed of surrender.

    Frankly I wouldn't bother unless you have some proof. At least you did not pay for electricity (which you were due to pay), and who covered the Council tax for that part?

    The fact that he tried to make it ready for a new tenant is irrelevant -- that is what you asked him to do.

    Sorry about that.

    Comment


      #3
      Him and his secretary haven't responded to any emails or gave me any information on if new tenants have moved into the property.

      I do have email evidence of him asking proactively asking me to move out on certain dates, and of him specifically saying "Rent calculation we can do till the day you stay in the flat". If i knew that i wouldn't get the money back i wouldn't have moved out the property 5 days after buying my new house as the time frame meant that i was moving into a house that needed to be refurbished and i was left without a fridge freezer, washer, and dryer.

      I declared that i moved out of the property on the 16th to the council and received a refund for over-payed council tax (I'm not sure if they link the dates up with the landlord starting to pay the rest of the months council tax or just take my word for it).

      In my emails i said that i would be happy to move out early if he found new tenants before my end date. He came back with the offer of only paying rent for the days that i was in the flat and said he would put it up for bookings on Air BnB till he got actual tenants (which i have the emails of). I didn't actually ask him to do anything.

      When i handed him the keys he took complete control of the property by fully furnishing the flat and changing the electricity. If i was still the legal tenant then he would have entered the property and done this without my permission.
      Legally, if i was still the tenant i could have asked for the keys back and moved in again with all his furniture there and after he had returned my rent deposit.

      the tenancy agreement i signed was with the previous owners letting agency, do you not think the new landlords emails and the landlords actions show that he believes the tenancy is over?

      Comment


        #4
        To add to the original post as i didn't notice the information required:
        This is in England
        I was a Sole Tenant
        It was a fixed 12 month that became a rolling monthly contract.
        Rent was paid monthly

        Comment


          #5
          Was the deposit not in a scheme? What is the actual problem? Has he withheld money?

          Comment


            #6
            The deposit was in a scheme and was returned in full 6 days after i left the property. The problem is i moved out of the property 6 days into the month after paying the £555 in rent because the landlord said "Rent calculation we can do till the day you stay in the flat." and he was wanting me to move out of the property as soon as possible. He originally asked me to move out of the property on the 7th or 12th which would have been roughly 2-3 weeks after i gave him my notice (this shows he was willing to over-ride the contract of giving a months notice from the start of the rent period).
            I moved out on the 16th and when i asked him to return my deposit and rent he said he would start the process of returning the deposit and calculate the rent that was to be returned (which should be £447.58) but he is ignoring all my attempts to contact him.

            Comment


              #7
              I think the problem you have is that it was too vague -- the rent calculation can mean anything, and also doesn't deal with the other things like Council tax and utilities which you would likely owe contractually until the end of the rent month as well. I can see why you feel hard done by, but it was a balance (you gave short notice, escaped some council tax due, and got your whole deposit back).

              It may be that he does intend to respond. Next time learn from the experience and make deals in writing and in a way that is clear to everyone.

              My overall gut feeling is that you should check if other tenants have moved in (ask them!) and if so you have a good case - if not I would be inclined to move on with your life. The landlord gained nothing much by your departing early, and lost something.

              You are making too much of some things -- like the fact that he entered -- where you agreed that he would *try* to let it out : he would hardly be able to attempt that without entering.

              Comment


                #8
                When I arrange for the DPS to issue repayment of a deposit I need to enter the end date of the tenancy. I advise contacting the scheme they used to check what they have recorded in this respect. As you say the landlord may not challenge the claim. If you go through the small claims process, which it seems you will need to do now, there will be a small fee to pay which will be repaid to you if you win. This is currently £70 if you submit online. Include any evidence you have and your own account of what happened.

                Comment


                  #9
                  For clarity, if you win your fees will be added to what the other party is ordered to pay you. Before you go down this route it is advisable to give the other party notice of your intentions. Contact the landlord and inform them that you intend to submit a small claim if you don't have your rent refunded within 14 days. This may prompt them to pay you.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    In the context of the full emails it is clear that he means i will only pay rent for the days im in the property.
                    A point i want to get across though is that i was willing to pay all the remaining rent. I gave 7 weeks notice that i wanted to move out. I send my end of tenancy notice on the 22nd Jun with 2.5 weeks of my current rent period which would take me to the 10th Jul, and i would have then had to pay the next months rent which i did. But, the landlord proactively asked me to move out on the 7th or the 12th July saying in the same email that i would only need to pay rent for the days i was in the property. If he didnt say that i would have happily paid the rent and stayed in the property for a few more weeks.

                    The utilities were prepayment so i wont owe that, he changed this to be under his name to top up the account.

                    I don't think other tenants moved in as he was charging 30 percent more than what i was paying before he took over the property (9 months before i moved out). It was on rightmove for more than a month as well as multiple other flats in the building he owed as lots of people started moving out after rent increases and the type of new tenants he was getting.
                    The landlord bought the block of flats for around 1.5 million and has many other properties and businesses. I didnt ask him to move out early, i said i was flexible if he found other tenants, he offered to move me out as quick as possible (my only benefit of this was getting the rent money back).

                    I'm not bothered that he entered but it is more evidence to show that he didn't think he had to abide by the tenancy agreement of giving me notice that he was entering the property because he no longer thought of me as a tenant. He wasn't just showing people around, he turned it from an unfurnished property to a furnished property.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by amy131 View Post
                      When I arrange for the DPS to issue repayment of a deposit I need to enter the end date of the tenancy. I advise contacting the scheme they used to check what they have recorded in this respect. As you say the landlord may not challenge the claim. If you go through the small claims process, which it seems you will need to do now, there will be a small fee to pay which will be repaid to you if you win. This is currently £70 if you submit online. Include any evidence you have and your own account of what happened.
                      That sounds like perfect advice, Thanks. Ill phone them tomorrow and ask about this and update this thread.

                      With regards to giving notice Ive sent multiple emails and messaged the secretary who has responded saying she will talk to the landlord. As expected, her and the landlord haven't responded.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by amy131 View Post
                        When I arrange for the DPS to issue repayment of a deposit I need to enter the end date of the tenancy. I advise contacting the scheme they used to check what they have recorded in this respect.
                        That is really really soft information. The fact that all parties might have regarded the tenancy as ended has nothing really to do with payment.

                        Originally posted by RandomPerson1345 View Post
                        But, the landlord proactively asked me to move out on the 7th or the 12th July saying in the same email that i would only need to pay rent for the days i was in the property.
                        Before you said there was nothing in writing, and moreover that it was possibly contingent on a new tenant. E-mails are not exactly hard evidence and easily forged, but ....

                        Originally posted by RandomPerson1345 View Post
                        He wasn't just showing people around, he turned it from an unfurnished property to a furnished property.
                        That doesn't really help you.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by RandomPerson1345 View Post
                          The utilities were prepayment so i wont owe that, he changed this to be under his name to top up the account.
                          This is a very minor issue, but that is not correct. Pre-payment meters (which I have never used) also have a standing (daily) charge just like usual utility payments.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post

                            That is really really soft information. The fact that all parties might have regarded the tenancy as ended has nothing really to do with payment.



                            Before you said there was nothing in writing, and moreover that it was possibly contingent on a new tenant. E-mails are not exactly hard evidence and easily forged, but ....



                            That doesn't really help you.
                            If he regarded the tenancy as over, it compounds with the other evidence of him saying that the rent can be paid for only the days that i was in the flat.

                            I did mention in the original post "landlord said verbally and over email that "Rent calculation we can do till the day you stay in the flat" "
                            Emails can easily be forged but that would mean lying in court.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post

                              This is a very minor issue, but that is not correct. Pre-payment meters (which I have never used) also have a standing (daily) charge just like usual utility payments.
                              It is a minor issue, I was with utilita which are one of the few which don't charge a daily rate for electricity (the flat didnt have gas)

                              Comment

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