Three month AST- have I been illegally evicted?

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    Three month AST- have I been illegally evicted?

    Greetings all And thank you to anyone who is reading this.

    I took a tenancy on a house feb 25th 2009. The contract is titled as an assured shorthold but was only for a period of 3 months. I am informed that by defualt it is actually a 6 month regardless of the 3 month period stated. I was requested to sign another 6 month contract after the 3 months lapsed which i refused to do. My relationship with my landlady then became frosty at best.

    On oct 24th I contacted my landlady and informed her that I would be moving and was giving my notice. She hit the roof...
    She demanded 2 months notice and said some very unwelcome comments about me and my familys trustworthyness. I thought given her attitude that she would try a money grab with our deposit and went to my solicitor for advice. It transpires that she had not utilized the DPS scheme. I informed her of the penaltys for this and she then ceased all contact with me.
    Only breaking her silence to give me her work address as a contact for correspondance.

    I had mentioned on facebook that I was going to be taking my belongings to my new town and put in storage on wed 11th nov. On tues 10th i recieved an unanounced visit from her father and brother. They were demanding to collect the keys from me the following day. I informed them that I had legal tenancy until the 24th and could not comply. They then started to berate me about my desicion to goto the small claims court over failure to comply with DPS. I have a heart condition that they are well aware of. The stress from this encounter triggered an angina attack and I had to demand that they leave. They did not leave until I had requested 5 times that they did so.

    Wed 11th arrives and I spend the morning loading a man and van with my belongings. He leaves and me and my family jump on a train to follow our belongings and spend a few days in a hotel while we begin our search for a new home. Within 30 mins of leaving the property I recieve a phone call from my landlady demanding the keys. I inform her that she will recieve them by post or courier by the end of my tenacy.

    So to be clear. My notice expires on the 24th nov.. and I am still in possession of the keys.

    I have now recieved communication from my landlady. She informs me that she utilized a locksmith to gain entry to the property and has changed the locks. And will be taking the fee for the locksmith out of my deposit.
    My neighbour also comfirms that he saw HER FATHER AND BROTHER ..not a locksmith, changing the locks on the property within 30 mins of me leaving that day. I have informed her that I concider this illegal eviction.

    She has since paid my deopsit into a DPS scheme (1 week ago).... but I intend to continue my procceedings against her.

    SO.. have I been illegaly evicted? What steps can I take to get some satisfaction???

    #2
    Originally posted by unclehairy View Post
    Greetings all And thank you to anyone who is reading this.

    I took a tenancy on a house feb 25th 2009. The contract is titled as an assured shorthold but was only for a period of 3 months. I am informed that by defualt it is actually a 6 month regardless of the 3 month period stated. I was requested to sign another 6 month contract after the 3 months lapsed which i refused to do. My relationship with my landlady then became frosty at best. There is no minimum term but L cannot seek possession until 6 months from inception.

    On oct 24th I contacted my landlady and informed her that I would be moving and was giving my notice. She hit the roof...
    She demanded 2 months notice Only obliged to give 1 month to end at the end of a rental period and said some very unwelcome comments about me and my familys trustworthyness. I thought given her attitude that she would try a money grab with our deposit and went to my solicitor for advice. It transpires that she had not utilized the DPS scheme. I informed her of the penaltys for this and she then ceased all contact with me.
    Only breaking her silence to give me her work address as a contact for correspondance. You should use the address that is stated on S.48 Notice, or it might be within your AST. Also instigate court proceedings for return of your deposit and 3x deposit as penalty which is your statutory entitlement. Also L cannot use S.21 Notice (if she were to go that route) until deposit protected.

    I had mentioned on facebook that I was going to be taking my belongings to my new town and put in storage on wed 11th nov. On tues 10th i recieved an unanounced visit from her father and brother. They were demanding to collect the keys from me the following day. I informed them that I had legal tenancy until the 24th and could not comply. They then started to berate me about my desicion to goto the small claims court over failure to comply with DPS. I have a heart condition that they are well aware of. The stress from this encounter triggered an angina attack and I had to demand that they leave. They did not leave until I had requested 5 times that they did so. Harassment and a criminal offence under the Protection from Evicition act 1977

    Wed 11th arrives and I spend the morning loading a man and van with my belongings. He leaves and me and my family jump on a train to follow our belongings and spend a few days in a hotel while we begin our search for a new home. Within 30 mins of leaving the property I recieve a phone call from my landlady demanding the keys. I inform her that she will recieve them by post or courier by the end of my tenacy.

    So to be clear. My notice expires on the 24th nov.. and I am still in possession of the keys.

    I have now recieved communication from my landlady. She informs me that she utilized a locksmith to gain entry to the property and has changed the locks. And will be taking the fee for the locksmith out of my deposit.
    My neighbour also comfirms that he saw HER FATHER AND BROTHER ..not a locksmith, changing the locks on the property within 30 mins of me leaving that day. I have informed her that I concider this illegal eviction. Definitely illegal eviction as you have not surrendered keys.

    She has since paid my deopsit into a DPS scheme (1 week ago).... but I intend to continue my procceedings against her. Still should have done this within 14 days of receipt

    SO.. have I been illegaly evicted? What steps can I take to get some satisfaction???
    Yes, talk to your solicitor as your L is likely to incur damages of a not inconsiderable amount.
    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.

    Comment


      #3
      I need to also throw this into the mix.

      Although I did not know 100% that she had changed the locks until she informed me.
      I had recieved a phone call from my neighbour telling me what was going on at my residence. "theres someone at your house changing the locks mate"

      This put me and my family in a situation where we were had to find a new home at lightspeed. My landlady gave me a unfavourable reference to my new landlord, upon which he decided that he would only take me with 6 months advance rent. I had no choice but to comply and this has left me in a tough place finacially. And i think its her fualt. Can i make some claim for this?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by unclehairy View Post
        I took a tenancy on a house feb 25th 2009. The contract is titled as an assured shorthold but was only for a period of 3 months. I am informed that by defualt it is actually a 6 month regardless of the 3 month period stated.
        Wrong. There is no minimum term for an AST- so it can certainly be an AST for three months.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          I thought it was the case that you could put Eg 3 months on the contract, but as a tenant I still have the legal right to reside for 6 months.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by unclehairy View Post
            I thought it was the case that you could put Eg 3 months on the contract, but as a tenant I still have the legal right to reside for 6 months.
            No, again, just like last time. That was the case until 1997 but not now.
            The only vestige of the pre-1997 provision is that L cannot enforce a s.21 Possession Order until the end of a new T's first six months.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


              #7
              Ive just been informed by a solicitor that If my LL can demonstrate that she thought i had vacated then she has grounds to re-enter the property.

              And ive also been told that my claim for 3x compensation is now null becuase she is now using the DPS scheme.

              So really.. the law is a toothless hen. And LL can do what they want to people.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by unclehairy View Post
                So really.. the law is a toothless hen. And LL can do what they want to people.
                Can you please explain to me exactly what you think your L has done to you to disadvantage you?

                (I agree turning up in your house uninvited was a bit off, but he went away and left you alone.)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Can you please explain to me exactly what you think your L has done to you to disadvantage you?
                  If the OP had informed the LL that she would not recognize an end to tenancy until the assigned date does that matter?

                  Furthermore if the LL changed the locks within 30 minutes of the T leaving when T said she would return keys at the end of tenancy this just seems a stretch and utterly spiteful.

                  Surely the LL can not charge her for the price of a locksmith and new keys if this is the case! I think the OP's major complaint here is that the LL wants to deduct for this absurdity.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by unclehairy View Post
                    Although I did not know 100% that she had changed the locks until she informed me.
                    I had recieved a phone call from my neighbour telling me what was going on at my residence. "theres someone at your house changing the locks mate"

                    This put me and my family in a situation where we were had to find a new home at lightspeed.
                    But you said that you had removed your belongings from the property, and (surely) clearly had no intention of ever returning there, to live or otherwise - right? So not sure how you perceive the LL changing the locks has acually disadvantaged you, whether by the speed with which you have to find alternative accommodation, or otherwise.

                    Not that I'm saying that the LL was in the right, mind...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Its hard to say whether I would have returned and for what reason.
                      I can think of several reasons why i might have wanted to return, (to collect my washing machine/sons toys/virgin cable+tv box that i coulndt unscrew from the wall. To collect my mail. I may also have medical appts to keep in that locality)

                      Thats why I left the option open to myself by declaring that my tenancy didnt end until the 24th.

                      She has taken that option away from me.

                      Its a money grab plain and simple. Charging me for a "locksmith".. when it was her father changing the locks. Charging me for carpet cleaning when there was no inventory or condition report done when we took the tenancy.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by unclehairy View Post
                        Its a money grab plain and simple. Charging me for a "locksmith".. when it was her father changing the locks. Charging me for carpet cleaning when there was no inventory or condition report done when we took the tenancy.
                        That's a money grab, plain and simple. Agreed - unless of course you did leave the carpets dirty, in which case the existence of an inventory is irrelevant.


                        However, this has nothing to do with your question "have I been illegally evicted" to which the answer is probably not.

                        Ripped off? Possibly.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Illegaly evicted almost certainly, in front of a witness he clearly stated he would not be surrendering the property until the end of the tenancy, this is clearly therefore not a case of abandonment.
                          This is his evidence when he disputes the retention of his deposit with the TDS also the lack of an inventory is in his favour with regards to the carpet cleaning, also claiming for a locksmith that didnot perform the task is fraudulant.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If tenancy has not ended yet and if the tenant expressed that she would surrender only on the last date of tenancy on this month she still has a week to make good on any thing that might need to be put right.

                            If for example the carpet is filthy and needs to be cleaned she should still have the time, the right, and the access to the property to do so.

                            How many tenants pack up there stuff and clean a larger place (I'm assuming we're talking atleast a 3 bedroom for a family) and finish it all in one night, much less start the night they've got everything packed up to move?

                            This LL is acting ludicrously. It's a simple case of a LL stalking the T waiting for an opportunity. "Well the last load of stuff is out, that must be it! Now I'm going to take my pics..." Come on! No house is left in any seemly condition right after all the furniture is moved... bits of fuzz, a candy wrapper that was under the couch, crumbs that were hiding in the sofa... the T should have fair and ample opportunity to clean this up as long as they have not yet surrendered the tenancy and are within their acceptable time frame of moving out.

                            If anyone has sympathy for this obviously unscrupulous LL I would have to ask why. I hope that T fights this and these charges (especially those for cleaning since no time was given to clean through no fault of T's own, but through the LL's antics) and wins.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by unclehairy View Post
                              Ive just been informed by a solicitor that If my LL can demonstrate that she thought i had vacated then she has grounds to re-enter the property.
                              That is certainly a defence which the LL might attempt to use. However, you can still argue that you informed LL you were retaining keys till the end of the tenancy, etc. Are you also aware that you can report the LL to the council; the local authority have powers to prosecute for illegal eviction.

                              And ive also been told that my claim for 3x compensation is now null becuase she is now using the DPS scheme.
                              Technically speaking, late compliance ought to defeat the claim (because the purpose of the legislation is to ensure deposits are protected, not to impose penalties per se). However, did the LL also provide you with the prescribed information? See
                              https://www.depositprotection.com/Pu...AgentInfo.aspx

                              If not, that also constitutes a failure to comply. Read the statute.
                              http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2004..._en_19#pt6-ch4

                              So really.. the law is a toothless hen. And LL can do what they want to people.
                              Not at all. You have grounds to bring a claim for compensation for illegal eviction and the outcome will depend on the strength of your case. With regard to the deposit, the law has achieved its objective - the deposit is now protected.

                              Comment

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