tenant wants to take us to court

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    tenant wants to take us to court

    Hi
    We bought a house from our parents two years with my stepbrother already living in it. with a six month tenacy agreement. On purchasing the property we agreed a new six month tenancy agreement with him. We have not recieved any rent from him since the 17th of June we have had various explanations and promises to pay since then, but no money. During this time thye central heating broke down and we arranged for a company to go around to fix it twicw. The first time he wasn't in, the second he had lost his gas card for his meter and couldn't buy any gas so the plumbers to go in. I told him to let me know when he had soted out a new gas card but he never mentioned it again.
    Eventually served section 8 on 21/10/05 which expired with him still in the property, then served section 21 with a court date set for 22/01/06.
    A week later we started to check on the property in case he had moved out, just by looking through windows, there were never any lights on, the same dirty plates and scraps of food on the kitchen sides and it looked as though it had been abanondened. After three weeks of this and being worried about mice we asked the next door neighbour if she had seen him, she said he had moved out three weeks before.
    We telephoned our solicitor to say he had moved out, she cancelled the court date and we went in. He had taken all clothes, tv, hi fi etc and left very damaged furniture that my parents had given him and loads of rubbish, dirty plates etc, this was two weeks ago.
    Yesterday as the house was exactly the same ,nothing moved we decied he wasn't coming back for his stuff so we hired a skip and threw out all the rubbish and damaged furniture. There are two beds and a very dirty empty fridge still in there.
    Today he has phoned to say that he is suing us as we have thrown out his stuff, and it is still his house. He says he only moved out because there was no heating and it was too cold, and wants compensating because we have thrown out £500 worth of some drug equipment.
    I know we entered without possession but we genuinley thought he had gone, he never left the keys so I think he was waiting for this all along
    What do we do now?

    #2
    Wait and see if he does sue you - my thoughts are that you have been set up. I hope you either have an independent witness or photos regarding the state of the stuff that was thrown out and to the fact that there were no "living material" such as Television/bedding/clothes/bathroom stuff etc. in the house which would support your contention that he has indeed left.

    Strictly speaking, your solicitor should have advised you to continue with the possession process because this is the only other legal way to get a tenant to leave other than under their own volition.

    Your tenant if he issues proceedings will have to specify what he has lost - and it will be no good saying that he has lost an 18th century dining table and chairs when in fact he has lost a load of broken junk because he will have to prove it by receipts/photographs etc. whereas you will be setting out to prove that you removed his rubbish, and as a counterclaim, want to charge him for the privilege!!!!!

    When your tenant sees the obstacles of reality in providing the evidence to back his claim up, I think you will find that he backs down. Tell him that you will be reporting his claimed loss of drugs to the value of £500 to the police and ask him to confirm that in writing exactly what drugs it is he has lost! £500 is a bit more than personal use - the local police should be quite interested and also, report to them he has stolen the keys to your house as well!

    You have a clear defence that it appeared he had abandoned the property and that you cleared what was rubbish from the premises. You will find that this is a storm in a teacup but can I ask you to make sure that your premises are well insured against particularly fire and well secured with all locks changed so that your tenant cannot re-enter without breaking a door/window at which point it will be a criminal offence on his part.

    Comment


      #3
      tenant wants to take us to court

      Thanks for the reply, it did put me at ease. We have today spoken to the solicitor who said he does not have a case for us throwing out his possessions as it was rubbish, however as he is now claiming he has not moved out we "may" leave ourselves open to an unlawful eviction case if we were to change the locks, they suggest our options are to start proceedings again, or wait leave it and wait and see if he does anything.
      He is not living in the property as there is no electric or heating (electric on token meter and has no credit on it and central heating needs fixing but he has prevented access in the past to get it fixed)but he may still be picking up post, and he has the keys.
      I would like to get the heating fixed and there is a broken window at the back which is a security risk, he has also stuffed a towel in a hole in the wall which is causing a big damp patch which needs fixing quickly, do I have a right to gain access with my key if he is not in the property??

      Comment


        #4
        Dawn - you may want to look at the following web site -www.ahuja.co.uk. It saves you paying a solicitor, who does not seem to have done much for you.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by susan 2
          Dawn - you may want to look at the following web site -www.ahuja.co.uk. It saves you paying a solicitor, who does not seem to have done much for you.
          From that website!

          "Send the tenant the proper section 8 notice which gives the tenant 14 days to get out. Its easy to fill out and you have full legal rights to issue the notice as the tenant is more than 14 days late with the rent. No Judge can contest this ground as it is legal fact. "

          Comment


            #6
            Energise... I had to laugh at that site.. it has a lot of good comments on it but then alot of daft ones too!

            I liked the comment about shopping at Tesco and not paying for it, and I agree with the fact that if we jam up the courts with possesion hearings maybe someone will sit up and take notice, but alot of his information is cock and bull!

            14 days late with rent! Yeah right! ... although he does say wait 8 weeks before going to court! .. I would like to see examples of where he has been successful in court by taking this course of action!

            Susan... I am shocked that you recommended this site in the context you did! .. To have a laugh at it maybe but his methods are very deadly!
            GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

            Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

            Comment


              #7
              Agreed! Was a funny read, but not for legitimate advice....he advocates a lot of things which would make the eviction invalid or even lead to charges against the landlord!!!! :O
              Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

              Comment


                #8
                Hi - Happy New Year. To be honest I thought it was to good to be true, and I also thought (quite rightly) that as usual the forum would correct me. So thank you Energise and Just. However I am fairly sure that I got the link from this forum. Could one of you explain exactly what is wrong with his method. I have never had to issue a Section 8 so do not know the details. I have read Mr. Ahuja's books (I've read every book on property so its not surprising!) and most of what he say's re investing seems sensible.
                Mr. Shed - I do not disagree with you, but what makes it invalid? Sorry to be so stupid, but if I have got a mistaken idea, which I obviously have then I need to know what the right way is.

                Ps. On a completly different subject, I bought the Residential Letting Pack by Lawpack (The one in Tesco's) that we spoke about in a previous post. I got it from a wholesaler much cheaper. If you are a very new BTL then it has what you need including a 21 notice! But not an 8. Plus two copies of an AST and an inventory form. The best thing is a detailed information leaflet of 26 pages giving good information on letting. The only reason I bought it was to check if the AST I am using is still legal.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sorry susan. Basically he says that you can serve a Section 8 notice after 14 days rent arrears. This is invalid, and as such is just wasting time.
                  Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    thanks everyone. So is the consensus that I don't need to use a solicitor or do they have some use, the information we have had so far from them has been vague and has ended up delaying things and costing more money. Although this is mainly due to the tenant from hell who appears to be making a career out of claiming for compensation and a legal system that helps him to.

                    Comment

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