Is my daughter's tenancy valid? Can landlord end it?

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  • Is my daughter's tenancy valid? Can landlord end it?

    Hello to you all.
    I came upon this site while searching for answers to a problem my daughter has with her Landlady, and I really hope someone will be able to help us....
    Situation is this;
    My daughter and 2 friends found a flat to rent from a Letting Agent. They duly paid their Deposit and first months rent etc as usual. The owner of the flat apparently is away a lot on business and the Letting Agents quite often have a problem contacting her . There were several jobs that were supposed to have been done before they moved in but were never completed, including fixing the radiator in the bedroom, which still doesnt come on. A gas safety certificate was supposed to be forthcoming but still hasnt appeared, and no sign of an electrical check having been done. My daughter kept asking for a Tenancy Agreement/Contract but that also kept being put off. The Letting Agents and landlady then fell out over money due from Landlady on her other properties with them( are you still with me) and thus she refused to deal with Letting Agents anymore.
    Anyway, the upshot is that my daughter asked the Landlady again today about the repairs etc and her reply was that "she had one month to get out of the property or she will commence Court Proceedings"....because she said, she is fed up with daughter asking for repairs etc to be completed.
    Now, the Letting Agents still have the Deposit, and have said that they doubt very much if landlady will sign to release it to daughter, and that maybe she should just use it as her last months rent....only trouble is daughter had just paid rent up until 4th May...
    So. questions:
    1. Does daughter have any rights at all without a Contract /Tenancy Agreement?
    2. can she use the Deposit as a payment of rent? ( bearing in mind that she has been given this one months notice)
    3. Can Landlady legally do this to them?
    Any other advice very very very much appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.


  • #2
    Originally posted by whyisitsodifficult View Post
    1. Does daughter have any rights at all without a Contract /Tenancy Agreement? Yes, your daughter still has a tenancy agreement, even if only a verbal agreement
    2. can she use the Deposit as a payment of rent? ( bearing in mind that she has been given this one months notice) Has the deposit been protected, when did the tenancy start, did she receive information about protecting the deposit
    3. Can Landlady legally do this to them?No, no chance!!
    Come back with the answer to the questions above for more detailed advice.


    • #3
      Hello again, thanks for your swift reply.
      Daughter says that the tenancy started on 4th December 2007, and apparently daughter did sign a contract as did the Agent, but the Landlady didnt sign it, despite saying she would "get round to it."
      The contract was a 6 months contract, with a 6 month break clause...does that make any sense?
      So, as they have only been tenants for 4 months....hmmmm


      • #4
        Sorry forgot to say that daughter doesnt know anything about the deposit being protected but she will speak to the agents tomorrow about it. All she got was a receipt from them for the money but nothing else was said about it being protected.


        • #5
          There's lots your daughter can and should do, as the law is entirely on her side in this situation:
          1. Your daughter (and co-tenants) have under the Housing Act 1988 a legal right for the landlord to provide written terms otherwise it's an offence under S.20 of the same act.
          2. If their deposit was not put into a recognised tenancy deposit scheme within 14 days of receipt by the agent they are committing a criminal offence; your daughter and tenants can take the landlord to court and you are guaranteed to be awarded three times the deposit as compensation.
          3. Under S.11 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 the landlord must amongst other things provide and maintain space heating (hence the radiator).
          4. A letter to the landlord saying that unless the problems promised to be rectified before the start of the tenancy are not done so within 7 days you can instruct a recognised tradesman and deduct the cost from the rent.
          5. Both the agent and landlord have committed a criminal offence by not providing the tenants with a copy of the Gas Saferty Certificate BEFORE the tenancy began. Contact your local Environmental Health Officer IMMEDIATELY. The electrics must be safe but no requirement for any certificate.
          6. Landlord cannot get possession without a court order and must serve a S.21 Notice beforehand giving at least 2 months Notice (tons of info on this forum how it should be done).
          7. Both agent and landlord appear to eb completely out of their depth.
          8. If agent is a member of ARLA or NAEA then you have a free complaints procedure to persue shoddy service.
          9. The landlord by failing to repair is in breach of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
          There's much much more but this will do for starters.
          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.


          • #6
            Blimey, thank you so much for that info, it is very reassuring to say the least. I will report back to the forum when daughter has spoken to the Agents tomorrow to see what they intend, if anything, to do.
            Many thanks again


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