Is tenant blackmailing landlord?

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    Is tenant blackmailing landlord?

    Hi all,

    A tenant is blackmailing the landlord into returning their security deposit in FULL clear funds on the day they move out else they will not leave. The LL has recorded this call.

    The T has admitted to some damage and disposing of some furniture (which they were not allowed to do by contract), but insist they will not leave unless their deposit is returned in full.

    The tenant has already refused to leave for over a month since their term came to an end and is playing the court system!

    Is this illegal? and can anyone offer some advice please?

    Thank you in advance!

    #2
    Originally posted by Landlord9467 View Post
    Hi all,

    A tenant is blackmailing the landlord into returning their security deposit in FULL clear funds on the day they move out else they will not leave. The LL has recorded this call.

    The T has admitted to some damage and disposing of some furniture (which they were not allowed to do by contract), but insist they will not leave unless their deposit is returned in full.

    The tenant has already refused to leave for over a month since their term came to an end and is playing the court system!

    Is this illegal? and can anyone offer some advice please?

    Thank you in advance!
    It's not really illegal because unless you have a court order already then the tenant is entitled to stay in the property ad-infinitum.

    Presuming you have already issued a valid s21 notice, you need to commence proceedings at court. It is not playing the court system, it is simply the correct procedure. Total process time is 6-8 weeks and, providing and protectable deposit is protected, and your s21 was valid then possession is assured.

    Once a leaving date is organised, you can conduct your check-out and make whatever arrangements are appropriate with the deposit scheme.

    Comment


      #3
      what exactly does T say in the recorded call to LL? can you just give verbatim the words of the specific threat please? For example, does T say "if you do not give me my deposit in full i will stay in your flat and you will not be able to rent it out?"

      pm
      Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

      Comment


        #4
        1) If he given you a "Notice To Quit" and have you found another tennant.
        If so look up "Distress of Rent 1737"

        2) If he has given you a "Notice To Quit" and his rent is upto date, don't worry about it, if he stays he still has to pay rent. Make sure you have protected the deposit in an approved scheme. Then I would serve him with a S21. Even then you will have to prove the damages(4).

        3) If he has given you a "Notice To Quit" and he is behind in his rent, Serve him with a S8, when two months behind. Even then you will have to prove the damages(4).

        4) If you haven't done the inventory properly and in detail, it's likely he would get all his money back anyway. So may be worth giving all his money back anyway, especially if the deposit should have been protected, and it wasn't.

        Sometimes even if you do everything right, as a LL sometimes you need to step back and take a practical view. It sucks, but it will keep you sane. But it all depends on how much damage he done.

        Hope this helps
        Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by property mongrel View Post
          what exactly does T say in the recorded call to LL? can you just give verbatim the words of the specific threat please? For example, does T say "if you do not give me my deposit in full i will stay in your flat and you will not be able to rent it out?"

          pm
          He says exactly that. He says if the LL does not repay his deposit in full cleared funds he will not move out. he knows someone else is supposed to move in and is using this as a bargaining tool. he repeats it 3 times in slightly different ways so there is no mistake in what he is saying. there is no innuendo and he is very direct.

          can i use this against him somehow?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
            It's not really illegal because unless you have a court order already then the tenant is entitled to stay in the property ad-infinitum.

            Presuming you have already issued a valid s21 notice, you need to commence proceedings at court. It is not playing the court system, it is simply the correct procedure. Total process time is 6-8 weeks and, providing and protectable deposit is protected, and your s21 was valid then possession is assured.

            Once a leaving date is organised, you can conduct your check-out and make whatever arrangements are appropriate with the deposit scheme.
            thank for the reply.

            the problem is someone is supposed to be moving in straight after he is supposed to leave but he knows this and is trying to use this in his favour. he said previously that he know the courts can take months to evict him at the moment. im sure he will have left at his own accord by then but he know he can still disrupt other plans the ll has made which will cost the ll money.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Landlord9467 View Post
              can i use this against him somehow?
              You could always give him the money without stating that he's off the hook, and then go straight to the small claims court to sue him for the damage he owes you for (assuming you know where he is). I doubt the court would look very favourably on his actions, whether or not they are blackmail per se.

              What's the situation with the deposit, by the way? Is it protected in a scheme?

              Comment


                #8
                regardless of the fact that T may have the right to remain and force L to go through the court system to remove him there may be an offence contrary to s21 1968 theft act. an unwarranted demand with menaces which this appears to be, includes demands where the person subject of the threat would or could lose something they already have, a demand for a ransom for example where the person would lose money they already have, but it also includes losing or not getting what they might expect to get in the future, and future income rental would come into this. there is more but it is irrlevant here. by threatening to remain and cause LL lost rental income unless LL refunds deposit the offence would appear on the facts thus represented to be complete. as with so many offences it is what is in the mind of the perpetrator, what is the mens rhea.

                it sounds as though T does not know all his rights and thinks he/she is being clever by blackmailing LL when in fact they do not need to as the system is balanced in their favour in any case and they can outstay their tenancy.

                I would consult CAB in the first instance, then a solicitor at one of those free 30 minute consultations that some offer or if free consultation not available a fixed fee consultation, and then finally i would speak to the police with the facts you have. check out s21 first so you know what you are talking about. the police may try to persuade you that this is a civil matter, any excuse not to get involved, but on what you say the offence seems to be complete to me.

                pm
                Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Do you think the police will be interested? I doubt it!
                  Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                    Do you think the police will be interested? I doubt it!
                    LL9467, don't let irrelevant comments like this deter you or your friend.

                    good luck

                    pm
                    Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      irrelevant? How rude, PM!
                      Exactly what crime has been committed? Pls quote statute. And don't bother with "demanding money with menaces" please....
                      It is a financial decision for the LL - give back the deposit and save the cost of court etc or don't and see what happens.
                      Not reallly a case for storming the house with riot shields.
                      And even if they did charge him, exactly how would that get the house back? Court eviction still needed, more costs.
                      As GB said, PM, get real!
                      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                      Comment


                        #12
                        "what is the mens rhea."
                        it's mens rea, property mongrel
                        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                          "what is the mens rhea."
                          it's mens rea, property mongrel
                          Ha! Yes. Any fool knows that ostriches have no minds at all!
                          '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


                            #14
                            But big eggs
                            Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                            Comment


                              #15
                              How emusing.
                              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).

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