Tenants threatening to take LL to court.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Tenants threatening to take LL to court.

    Hi all,.

    This is a bit of saga and I have been here before with this issue but now tenants say they have been advised by a solicitor that they can pay £25 to take me to a small claims court - I would welcome advise whether or not I should just let them as they can't prove I was negligent - or, have they got a case.

    When tenants moved into my property March last year there were two showers - a walk-in cubicle and one in the bath. In February this year I had a new combi-boiler installed and as a result, the walk-in no longer functions (no overhead tank) so I told tenants I would up-grade the one in the bath as it will now be their only shower.

    Tenants were not happy as they said they took my property mainly because it had a walk-in shower (I didn't know this before) - one tenant is very large and claims she can't get in and out of the bath unaided.

    I looked into installing an electric shower in the cubicle but it will require major work, electrical and structural, and the cost is prohibitive at this time and would actually involve re-wiring the house which I plan to do when these tenants move out - hopefully in September.

    My first question is - am I under obligation to provide a walk-in shower if there was one there when the tenants moved in? (I did not know that the walk-in shower wouldn't work with the new boiler.)

    The tenants are now saying they are going to take me to a small claims court as, they claim, their computer and furniture were damaged when the ceiling came down in the room below the bathroom, due to a leak - water getting through seal around the bath. This shower has been used for the last 3 years without problem and I was unaware of any leak until the ceiling came down. I have reasons to believe they are making up the damage - but they say their solicitor has told them they have a case because they should not be out of pocket due to losing the walk-in shower and having to use the one in the bath, that leaked. ( the leak has been fixed and the shower up-graded)

    My next question is -
    Is the solicitor right - do they have a case and do they really only have to pay £25 to take me to court? The tenants are on HB.

    And lastly - whether they go ahead or not -

    Should I get my own solicitor? If so, how do you find a good one and and how much would one cost, roughly?

    Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you and all the best.

    #2
    Are the rent payments coming in OK? This sounds rather like a prelude to witholding rent because of the shower defect.
    On the other hand it might be worth considering whether you could do the wiring for the walk-in shower without at the same time, rewiring the whole house. Modern electric shower require a heavy duty cable and it will always be necessary to take the wire right back to the consumer unit - so you should be able to do this independantly of the whole-house rewiring, which can come later.
    The tenants threat is probably an empty one, but installing a new shower is something you have to do anyway and it will be cheaper than employing a solicitor

    Comment


      #3
      Insurance (yours or theirs) should cover the damage to their property.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by animo View Post
        Hi all,.

        This is a bit of saga and I have been here before with this issue but now tenants say they have been advised by a solicitor that they can pay £25 to take me to a small claims court - I would welcome advise whether or not I should just let them as they can't prove I was negligent - or, have they got a case.

        When tenants moved into my property March last year there were two showers - a walk-in cubicle and one in the bath. In February this year I had a new combi-boiler installed and as a result, the walk-in no longer functions (no overhead tank) so I told tenants I would up-grade the one in the bath as it will now be their only shower.

        Tenants were not happy as they said they took my property mainly because it had a walk-in shower (I didn't know this before) - one tenant is very large and claims she can't get in and out of the bath unaided.

        I looked into installing an electric shower in the cubicle but it will require major work, electrical and structural, and the cost is prohibitive at this time and would actually involve re-wiring the house which I plan to do when these tenants move out - hopefully in September.

        My first question is - am I under obligation to provide a walk-in shower if there was one there when the tenants moved in? (I did not know that the walk-in shower wouldn't work with the new boiler.)

        The tenants are now saying they are going to take me to a small claims court as, they claim, their computer and furniture were damaged when the ceiling came down in the room below the bathroom, due to a leak - water getting through seal around the bath. This shower has been used for the last 3 years without problem and I was unaware of any leak until the ceiling came down. I have reasons to believe they are making up the damage - but they say their solicitor has told them they have a case because they should not be out of pocket due to losing the walk-in shower and having to use the one in the bath, that leaked. ( the leak has been fixed and the shower up-graded)

        My next question is -
        Is the solicitor right - do they have a case and do they really only have to pay £25 to take me to court? The tenants are on HB.

        And lastly - whether they go ahead or not -

        Should I get my own solicitor? If so, how do you find a good one and and how much would one cost, roughly?

        Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you and all the best.

        Avoid court and solicitors at all costs !, the courts will almost certainly side with the tenant, they also have access to legal aid funding.

        Honestly, its much cheaper to get the shower working than end up paying compensation and their legal costs.

        Comment


          #5
          Do your contracts say that a working shower will be provided? How will they prove they took the place because of the walk in shower? Do your contracts read (like mine do) that it is recommended that a tenant should have their own contents insurance?

          Speak to your own lawyer. Even if you fixed the shower, they will probably threaten court action over their belongings. Going to court only means a third party will make a decision based on the facts, not on wants or wishes.
          ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you for your reply. They are paying rent ok - but they have been 'difficult' in other ways. The electrician said it wasn't possible to put new cable and supply as it is - it's an old house and with the new regulations it wouldn't be compatable and basically it needs rewiring - which can't be done whilst the tenants are there. I trust the electrician - he would have done it if he could. However - I've just got back on to the plumber after reading your reply and he reckons he might be able to do something. Now - I've just got the issue of their claim to deal with......

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by driver View Post
              Insurance (yours or theirs) should cover the damage to their property.
              I only have buildings insurance which doesn't cover there possessions - and they ddo not have their own insurance.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by porridge View Post
                Avoid court and solicitors at all costs !, the courts will almost certainly side with the tenant, they also have access to legal aid funding.

                Honestly, its much cheaper to get the shower working than end up paying compensation and their legal costs.
                Thanks for that. I would like to avoid court action. but if they are intent on going to court I have something - when they reported the ceiling collapse they did so by leaving a message on my answer phone and then they accidently left the phone off the hook so I was privy to their conversation which does not show them in a good light and gives the impression they are fabricating the story re. damage. I have kept a recording of the message.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Paragon View Post
                  Do your contracts say that a working shower will be provided? How will they prove they took the place because of the walk in shower? Do your contracts read (like mine do) that it is recommended that a tenant should have their own contents insurance?

                  Speak to your own lawyer. Even if you fixed the shower, they will probably threaten court action over their belongings. Going to court only means a third party will make a decision based on the facts, not on wants or wishes.
                  No, it does not specifically say I will provide a walk-in shower. That was there when they moved in but if they lose it - surely a good shower in the bath will surfice - as it is now as I have up-graded it because it is their main shower. I will try to settle this amicably - but I strongly suspect they are trying to get me to pay for a computer which wasn't even damaged this way.

                  Comment

                  Latest Activity

                  Collapse

                  • Reply to Is time more important than money?
                    by Lawcruncher
                    I am not suggesting it is the landlord's fault. I am just saying that, in some cases, if a tenant feels secure he is more likely to take care of a place....
                    27-01-2022, 23:02 PM
                  • Is time more important than money?
                    by jpucng62
                    Just had tenants move out of a property after 2 years. Always paid on time, perfectly pleasant young family who have now bought their own home BUT:

                    House was grimy - looks like they didn't clean properly in 2 years rather than anything overtly unpleasant
                    Garden was left in a mess...
                    27-01-2022, 17:20 PM
                  • Reply to Tenant not paying and letting agent mismanaged
                    by MdeB
                    That is because you have to do things properly for S21 to be valid.

                    Do everything properly and the S21 is valid.
                    Get one thing wrong and it is invalid. There are many things to get right....
                    27-01-2022, 22:54 PM
                  • Tenant not paying and letting agent mismanaged
                    by Beeble
                    We rented a flat out with the local branch of a national estate agent. They were charging a very low fee (that should’ve had my alarm bells ringing) and had a tenant immediately available. This was Dec2020/Jan2021 and the tenancy paperwork they sent to me was minimal.

                    Tenant moved in...
                    25-01-2022, 15:37 PM
                  • Reply to Deducting Cleaning Costs from Deposit
                    by Lawcruncher
                    The requirement comes from the tenancy terms. There are various reasons why a contract term may be void or unenforceable. They include: illegal; impossible; contrary to public policy; statute forbids them to be imposed; unfair. A requirement to keep a dwelling clean and leave it it clean is none of...
                    27-01-2022, 22:20 PM
                  • Deducting Cleaning Costs from Deposit
                    by Piffy
                    I use a Letting Agent. Recently the tenants vacated, prior to the tenants leaving when the letting agent did an inspection they advised the tenants that the property would need cleaning before they vacated. The tenants have now left, the place does need a good clean, the Letting Agents have said that...
                    27-01-2022, 11:30 AM
                  • Reply to Inherited a few rentals
                    by AndrewDod
                    Almost everything is telling you to sell them - far away, no experience, higher rate taxpayer, current environment
                    27-01-2022, 22:04 PM
                  • Inherited a few rentals
                    by Landlord7289
                    Hoping for some advice on this situation from people who may have been through similar...

                    I am inheriting 4 rental properties from my late father. Are there any tips or ideas people would share about this situation?

                    My situation is I am early 30s in full time employment, live...
                    25-01-2022, 15:02 PM
                  • Reply to Deducting Cleaning Costs from Deposit
                    by DoricPixie
                    Lawcruncher,

                    Why does a tenant need to leave the property in a reasonable state of cleanliness if the property wasn't in a reasonable state of cleanliness at the start of the tenancy? Where does the requirement come from? The deposit protection schemes don't appear to take that approach...
                    27-01-2022, 21:11 PM
                  • Reply to Tenant has moved partner in.
                    by Hudson01
                    Totally agree, the classic - still the best. They sound like a nightmare and i would be looking to get rid as soon as i could whilst we still have S21, removing kitchen cupboards !!! In a 2 bed flat...... why the hell would you remove part of a fitted kitchen, what are you going to do with the space....
                    27-01-2022, 20:41 PM
                  Working...
                  X