Landlord dispute - As guarantor I'm on the hook for missing payments

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  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by landlord-man View Post
    If she needed extra for food and heat, I'd have expected that she would at least have paid half the rent.
    To be fair, that option never seems to occur to any tenant.

    It's always all or nothing.

    Leave a comment:


  • landlord-man
    replied
    Originally posted by gnicholls View Post
    To response posted by Hudson01
    The list of '' issues '' is massive and i cannot see why anyone would live in such a hole.

    Hi, thank you for taking an interest in my post. I agree it would on the face of it appear to be strange to stay in a place that is so poorly maintained, however my friend is on benefits, and I believe that after rent and water bills she has approximately £50 per week to feed, heat and clothe both herself and her son. She doesn’t have any money saved and she took the property because it both looked great and the landlord did not require 6 months’ rent upfront and was happy for her to move in straight away in time for the start of the school year. Only once she was in did things start to go wrong and then she was stuck, her son was in school, and she didn’t have the financial backing to find a new place that was both central and at the same price as well as being relaxed about upfront cash.
    So AFTER rent etc she has £50 a week to live on - that's not a lot, but then it's not supposed to be or everyone would be doing it.

    If she needed extra for food and heat, I'd have expected that she would at least have paid half the rent.

    But NO, she's not paid anything.

    The thing that make me laugh the most is that you say "she didn't have the financial backing to find a new place" - well she's managed to spend £5,500 of backing to date by not paying any rent.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by royw View Post
    Arthuronline seems to have good reviews so it's likely their agreements are watertight.
    You can't sign a deed online, and guarantor agreements aren't usually valid contracts (no payment), so that would be interesting.

    Leave a comment:


  • royw
    replied
    With friends like that you don't need enemies. She's scammed the tax payer - we have paid so that she isn't sleeping on the streets but instead of using it to pay rent she's presumably spent it on herself. Now she's stiffed you for it. Arthuronline seems to have good reviews so it's likely their agreements are watertight. Might be worth asking a housing solicitor, most will give you a free initial review. Does your friend have any of the money left?

    Leave a comment:


  • gnicholls
    replied
    Having gone through the AST I noticed that this section....

    1.1.5 Managing agent The party responsible for managing the property shall be xxxxxxxxxxx, who the tenant shall contact for the purposes of arranging maintenance, providing notices, arranging extensions, and to make payment of rent.

    From only a few weeks into the contract the landlord announced that she would be taking over management of the property, and the property management company listed in the AST were let go. All communication then went directly between my friend and the landlord. Would this have any material impact on the validity of the contract from my perspective? As an aside the landlord attempted to get the same management company back about a month ago, turned up one evening with them unannounced and they had a look over the property and then subsequently declined to take the property back on

    Something that was also mentioned on another board was the following....

    Always, notify the guarantors in writing as soon as you become aware of a problem with rent payments, damage to the property or any other breaches of the tenancy contract. If you don’t keep the guarantors informed, giving them the opportunity to put matters right at an early stage, this could jeopardise any legal claim you may subsequently bring.

    If accurate, the above might be helpful, I received no formal notice that rent was in arrears until a few weeks back. Given that the claim is for the last 5 months of arrears then maybe some hope here.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Two comments.

    A guarantor agreement signed online, that isn’t a deed, should be almost impossible to enforce.

    You can’t rescind notice as a tenant, so I’d suspect that the tenancy is no longer the original, which further weakens the guarantor agreement. The original tenancy should have ended when the tenant’s notice expires.

    Leave a comment:


  • gnicholls
    replied
    To response posted by Hudson01
    The list of '' issues '' is massive and i cannot see why anyone would live in such a hole.

    Hi, thank you for taking an interest in my post. I agree it would on the face of it appear to be strange to stay in a place that is so poorly maintained, however my friend is on benefits, and I believe that after rent and water bills she has approximately £50 per week to feed, heat and clothe both herself and her son. She doesn’t have any money saved and she took the property because it both looked great and the landlord did not require 6 months’ rent upfront and was happy for her to move in straight away in time for the start of the school year. Only once she was in did things start to go wrong and then she was stuck, her son was in school, and she didn’t have the financial backing to find a new place that was both central and at the same price as well as being relaxed about upfront cash.

    Leave a comment:


  • gnicholls
    replied
    To response posted by jpkeates
    However, the landlord changing the locks and moving possessions into a lockup is a criminal offence and the tenant should be talking to the council.

    Hi, thank you very much for providing meaningful responses. Over and above my reply back to theartfullodger, the tenant has gone to the council and they have opened a case. Video and images have been provided to the case handler, but no response back as of yet (although they did say that they no longer do site visits). When my friend was evicted at approx. eight o’clock in the evening on Wednesday she contacted the council’s 24 hour emergency housing helpline, to find that it is only manned between 9-5. She got through to them on Thursday and they expressed concern and referred her to a solicitor, since Thursday she has been chasing the solicitor to get just an initial conversation. It appears very difficult to get official help

    Leave a comment:


  • gnicholls
    replied
    To response posted by theartfullodger
    Firstly, exactly why do you think you are guarantor please? What documents have you signed? Were they witnessed by someone independent? Were you given copies of tenancy agreement and guarantee before signing and advised to get legal advice? Has the tenancy been changed or renewed since you signed any guarantee?

    Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my post. I believe myself to be the guarantor because I signed an agreement on my mobile from a company called Arthur Online (https://www.arthuronline.co.uk/). A slim hope but they did spell my name incorrectly. The documents were not witnessed independently, I signed using my phone whilst waiting for fish and chips on a Friday evening. I did receive a copy of the Tenancy Agreement and guarantor agreement, which looks to be an all-in-one document. As far as tenancy changes go, the only possible thing I can think of was that when I agreed to be the guarantor, I requested that a six-month break clause was inserted. Because the property was so bad my friend tried to take advantage of the break clause and handed in her notice after six months which was accepted, however she has her son at a local school and was unable to find an affordable property close by and so asked to rescind her notice and this was accepted.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hudson01
    replied
    Originally posted by landlord-man View Post
    Kindly advise what "your friend" has done in reporting these (shall we just say) "extensive issues".
    As per the quote above...... there is no mention of what the '' friend '' has said to the LL about what appears to be a total dump, also what has your friend said to you about the financial burden now upon your shoulders ??? Are they going to pay you back ??

    The list of '' issues '' is massive and i cannot see why anyone would live in such a hole.

    Leave a comment:


  • landlord-man
    replied
    Its interesting that "Gareth" states "what the LL has done to my friend....is pretty disgraceful" - yet there is no disgust shared that his "friend" has failed to pay any rent.

    "Gareth" seems to know exactly what has happened to date yet not one single word against his "friend".

    I'm unsure if it's a rat I smell or a flying pig I've just witnessed.

    Leave a comment:


  • boletus
    replied
    Presumably your friend has carefully set aside the £5500 unpaid rent so you won't be on the hook for it if it is found to be legally owed. Perhaps they'll let you hold on to it until this is all sorted?

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by gnicholls View Post
    1 - Should I pay a negotiated lower payment that the landlord is indicating they would be willing to accept and then help my friend to pursue a compensation case
    Not at present.


    2 - It has been suggested that I could get out of the contract because it becomes null and void if you are either coerced or in the case of fraud. Given that my friend is paid specifically by social services an amount for rent and they have not passed this on then this could be fraudulent. I hasten to add here that I have no wish to throw my friend under the bus, so would not want to do this if it had ramifications beyond nullifying the agreement I signed
    EWhoever suggested that didn't go far enough.
    It is true that a contract can be set aside by a court because of fraud or coercion, but it doesn't happen automatically.
    Not paying rent while receiving money for rent from social services is not fraud.

    3 – Is there any other way I can get out of the contract
    Guarantor agreements are notoriously difficult to enforce in the face of an unwilling guarantor.
    See theartfullodger s questions for some indication of whether the agreement is likely to be enforceable.

    The fundamental issue is whether rent was due and whether it has been paid or not.
    All of the rest is academic to you as guarantor, the tenant's (horrible) experience is important when it comes to whether rent is due or not, but it's their fight not yours.
    Not paying rent is pretty much always a stupid move for a tenant.

    However, the landlord changing the locks and moving possessions into a lockup is a criminal offence and the tenant should be talking to the council.

    Leave a comment:


  • theartfullodger
    replied
    Firstly, exactly why do you think you are guarantor please? What documents have you signed? Were they witnessed by someone independent? Were you given copies of tenancy agreement and guarantee before signing and advised to get legal advice? Has the tenancy been changed or renewed since you signed any guarantee?

    At this stage don't pay anything and don't agree to pay

    In fact probably don't communicate back to whoever is after your money.

    until a court order is given stating you have to pay you don't have to, but we don't want it getting that far.

    Leave a comment:


  • landlord-man
    replied
    Kindly advise what "your friend" has done in reporting these (shall we just say) "extensive issues".

    Leave a comment:

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