Tenant in shared house victimised by new arrival

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    Tenant in shared house victimised by new arrival

    Dear users,

    I am a student and have had a nightmare situation happen to me, im really lost and have no idea where to turn to for advice, I hope someone can help me or give me their advice. Heres what happened...i moved into a house near my university last May of 2008 and it was fine. We then had another student move in who was the worst kind to live with..loud music, drunk, left dirty plates out for weeks, never cleaned the place, generally antisocial, verbally abusive and also VIOLENT (he physc
    ically hit me in front of the other flatmates).

    I told the landlord i wanted to move out becase this tenant had physically hit me and verbally abused me and my girlfriend. The landlord agreed and then i moved to another house. Of all the houses in the area, this house was the residece of the previous knightmare-tenants girlfriend...so i was stuck with him for a month!!! I couldnt believe it!!!!

    I said to the new landlord that i wanted to end my tenancy early [after one month of living there] and he verbally agreed to it. After i moved out into my third flat, the landlord sent a letter to my parents home stating that i owe him for the 6 months rent and if i did not a) pay him or b) find a new tenant then he would call the police, call my university personal tutor and take me to court.

    why would he call my personal tutor at university???? can he do this??? why would he want to put a black-mark next to my name???

    This has left me feeling depressed and distraight..i have been at home instead of at university, for the past 2 days searching on the internet for clues as to what i can do. I ddidnt feel safe living in the same house as him so thats why i moved. I have an appointment with the student welfare officer on monday but going 3 days with no answers will be hell for me. I am a student and cant afford to pay rent on two properties. I hope someone is kind enough to offer me some practical advice?.....

    kindest regards
    charlie

    #2
    Hi Charlie,

    Try not to worry.

    (1) The verbal agreement you had with your landlord was a contract to surrender your tenancy, which, when followed by your return and his acceptance of the keys amounted to a surrender of the tenancy by operation of law. However, unless you had a witness, or confirmed this conversation in writing/email/text, it will be your word against his if it ever gets to court. In that case, whoever looks the least shifty, should, in theory at least, convince the judge that they are telling the truth.

    (2) Your dispute with him is a purely civil matter arising out of your alleged breach of tenancy. The Police will not be interested. In fact, ironically, he may well have committed, or be about to commit a number of criminal offences in which case the Police might take an interest in his activites. Please see below.

    (3)

    (a) Phoning your university tutor could well amount to harassment (which is both a civil and a criminal matter). For what it's worth, depending on what he says in the phone call, it could also be defamation (a civil matter), not that you have the funds to sue him for defamation, but it's certainly worthwhile mentioning it to him at an appropriate moment.

    (b) It is an offence under the Administration of Justice Act 1970 s.40(1)(a) to harass a debtor with demands for payment which...due to the manner or occasion of making such demands or of any threat or publicity by which the demand is accompanied are calculated to subject him or members of his family to alarm, distress or humiliation.

    By the same Act, s.40(1)(b); a person commits an offence if he...falsely represents in relation to money claimed that criminal proceedings lie for failure to pay it.

    (c) Threatening criminal prosecution for a civil debt may (possibly) amount to an unwarranted demand with menaces with a view to gain. This is more commonly known as "blackmail".

    Ask the Police for assistance and also call the Tenancy Protection Dept of your local authority.

    (4) Your tutor not a guarantor of your liabilities, nor is he a babysitting service. Nevertheless, warn your tutor that your former landlord may contact him, tell them the story of what has happened, and they should, if they are doing their job properly give him an absolute earful if he makes the mistake of calling them.


    In addition to contacting the Police and the Tenancy Protection Dept, if your Uni has a student accommodation office or some sort of student support unit, also get them on the case. You should also make an appointment with a CAB or Law Centre, who can offer you free legal advice and write letters on your behalf.




    In conclusion, try not to worry too much. After he has felt the sting of the lash from your tutor, the Tenancy Protection People, your Uni Accom/Support Office and the CAB (and any other relevant bodies you can think of), he will probably leave you alone. As an added bonus, if you manage to find a sympathetic ear down at the Police station, he may even end up getting his collar felt.


    Good luck!
    Health Warning


    I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

    All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by agent46 View Post
      Your tutor not a guarantor of your liabilities, nor is he a babysitting service. Nevertheless, warn your tutor that your former landlord may contact him, tell them the story of what has happened, and they should, if they are doing their job properly give him an absolute earful if he calls them.
      Agreed, but to be honest is it likely that the LL will be able to contact the tutor? How would he find out who it is? I wouldn't have thought it was information to be given out to any Tom Dick or Harry phoning in to the university. Sounds like a lot of bluster to me.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
        Agreed, but to be honest is it likely that the LL will be able to contact the tutor? How would he find out who it is?
        I don't know.

        Perhaps OP gave him the details as part of his referencing process, or perhaps it is, as you say just "bluster". Either way, OP wanted to know the position if he did.
        Health Warning


        I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

        All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

        Comment


          #5
          THANK YOU THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!!!
          I CANT THANK YOU ENOUGH!!!

          I have been a nervous wreck all of today i havent been able to do anything or think about anything else. Im a medical student, hopefully oneday I will be able to help one of you guys out. I will make an appointment to see the CAB, I have an appointment with the student union advisor on monday, he says he wants to see the contract and the letter which my landlord sent to my parents home. I will keep you updated with the outcomes.

          I dont suppose that there is anyway I could get out of the contract by "fear of living in the house", or "fear of personal safety" is there?

          The other student who caused me hell was evicted from university accomodation for posession of a pellet gun, and was thrown out of a lecture for flicking an elastic band at another student...funnily enough it was MY tutor who threw him out of the lecture. Could i use any of this evidence in my favour??

          Comment


            #6
            No he doesnt know who my tutor is. He didnt ever ask for references from me. I asked him about references on the day i moved in and he said "we dont ask for refernces, if we like you, we let you move in"

            Comment


              #7
              Just to echo previous posts - don't worry! Your tutor would not discuss your conduct with a third party unconnected with the University (it would be a gross breach of your privacy and of his code of conduct to do so), unless, of course, you had asked him to give you a character reference, or similar, which is quite a different scenario.

              You could be the greatest reprobate in town (although I know you are not!) and your tutor would be unlikely to be interested as long as you behaved yourself on campus. I know this because we had a Law student who invited drug-dealers into our student property, was arrested by police twice for causing a disturbance and urinating in a public place, and was arrested twice in town centre bars for starting fights. We asked the police if we could inform his tutor, to be told, on no account. He won't be interested, and he would probably complain of harassment. And in your case, you haven't even done anything wrong!

              I wish you all the best in your studies, Charlie. My daughter does the same course as you and I know it is stressful enough without all this hassle. I do hope it is soon resolved.
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

              Comment


                #8
                If your concerned about him talking to your tutor, do this yourself. He/She woulb probably be able to point you in the way of some student support services that may be able to assist also.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Im just worried this will reflect badly on me if my tutor was to find out.

                  Thank you for your kind words. Guess the next stop is the CAB office

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by charlieballtimore View Post
                    Im just worried this will reflect badly on me if my tutor was to find out.
                    Your tutor will have your best interests at heart and he will be realistic enough about students generally to know that some of them are toe-rags who behave appallingly, and make life unbearable for others. He will, I'm sure, agree that you should not have had to live in fear of physical violence - no-body should. You may care to send him a brief note or email advising him that your ex-landlord, who agreed a surrender due to your having been assaulted in the property, but then went back on his word, has threatened to contact him about you. Say that you are resloving the issue but you would be grateful if he would refuse to discuss the matter (except with yourself, if he wishes).

                    Honestly, he will not think any worse of you - he will just be glad to have been forewarned.
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                      Your tutor will have your best interests at heart and he will be realistic enough about students generally to know that some of them are toe-rags who behave appallingly, and make life unbearable for others. He will, I'm sure, agree that you should not have had to live in fear of physical violence - no-body should. You may care to send him a brief note or email advising him that your ex-landlord, who agreed a surrender due to your having been assaulted in the property, but then went back on his word, has threatened to contact him about you. Say that you are resloving the issue but you would be grateful if he would refuse to discuss the matter (except with yourself, if he wishes).

                      Honestly, he will not think any worse of you - he will just be glad to have been forewarned.
                      Thank you, i will do this tomorrow morning. Thanks again

                      Comment


                        #12
                        it might be wise to do a letter to the LL stating that you and he agreed a surrender and you returned the keys to him, which he accepted - therefore he is not able to claim for further rent.

                        this letter could then be used at court as evidence that you have not just 'created' this claim once court proceedings were issued.

                        Also, if LL does not reply to the letter then IMO it damages LL's case. The reason I say this is that if a reasonable LL (who disputed the surrender) receive that letter they would reply stating there was not an agreement for surrender. If LL does not reply then it suggests to the court that LL is trying it on.
                        PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Paul Gibbs View Post
                          this letter could then be used at court as evidence that you have not just 'created' this claim once court proceedings were issued.

                          Also, if LL does not reply to the letter then IMO it damages LL's case. The reason I say this is that if a reasonable LL (who disputed the surrender) receive that letter they would reply stating there was not an agreement for surrender. If LL does not reply then it suggests to the court that LL is trying it on
                          Playing Devil's Advocate

                          Strictly speaking he could not put that letter put such a letter in as evidence to prove his assertion that there was a surrender as it would contravene the rule against previous consistent statements. Such a letter would be admissible as evidence to rebut an allegation of recent fabrication, eg: if, as you suggest, the landlord asserts (in response to the claimant's case) that the claimant has invented the agreement at some point after the date of the letter. However, there is nothing to stop the landlord then replying, "Yes, but all this means is that the claimant had fabricated the claim at some point before the letter was sent. I didn't reply because it was such a pack of lies and I don't have the time to engage in stupid correspondence with dishonest people. I didn't really take it seriously, so I didn't take legal advice, and so I was not aware that failing to reply could damage my case."

                          It could be relevant to the issue of costs, but I think its probabtive value as evidence to support the claim that there was an agreement is minimal.


                          Oh, by the way, Paul, do you remember that £1,000,000 I lent to you recently? Well I'd like it back please asap (just preparing the ground for my upcoming claim against you)
                          Health Warning


                          I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                          All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            [QUOTE=Paul Gibbs;121372]it might be wise to do a letter to the LL stating that you and he agreed a surrender and you returned the keys to him, which he accepted - therefore he is not able to claim for further rent.

                            this letter could then be used at court as evidence that you have not just 'created' this claim once court proceedings were issued.


                            Would this actually work?
                            The LL could just say one of the following:
                            1) i didnt receive any letter. {but you could do a recorded delivery/signed for i suppose}
                            2) i received an empty envelope

                            Comment


                              #15
                              [QUOTE=newbie2009;121529]
                              Originally posted by Paul Gibbs View Post
                              it might be wise to do a letter to the LL stating that you and he agreed a surrender and you returned the keys to him, which he accepted - therefore he is not able to claim for further rent.

                              this letter could then be used at court as evidence that you have not just 'created' this claim once court proceedings were issued.


                              Would this actually work?
                              The LL could just say one of the following:
                              1) i didnt receive any letter. {but you could do a recorded delivery/signed for i suppose}
                              2) i received an empty envelope
                              1 - It is always possible - in fact it is imperative - to keep proof of service of documents which may be needed as evidence in court

                              2 - Why on earth would any court believe that?
                              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                              Comment

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