Defective lighting, and L wants to sell flat- can T leave?

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    Defective lighting, and L wants to sell flat- can T leave?

    I desperately need a sound legal advice if all possible.

    I signed an AST on the 9th of July. The estate agent, who are managing the flat as well, gave me the keys without an inventory list. they said they will email it to me which they never did.

    As the lighting in the living room was not in a working order, I emailed the management company on the 12th with a list of the work needed.

    They replied on the 13th confirming they will carry some of the essential repairs.

    However, on the 16th, same week I signed the contract, The LL emailed me saying he wants to terminate the AST in good will as he has accepted an offer on the flat.

    He expplained the flat had always been up for sale. He implicitly threatned me saying that if he does not sell, the flat will be foreclosed which will not be good for me!

    I immediatley started looking for a replacement which I have found in 2 days. I emailed the land lord expressing my annoyance and my symapathy at the same time. I informed him that I am prepared to move out provided I get all the monies I incurred back, including the month paid in advance.

    I did not ask for any extra compensation or removals fees at that time.

    to my annoyance, the LL disappeared for 4 weeks without replying to my email. That has not only cost me the new flat but also a lot of stress not knowing whether I am staying in the flat or not.

    I contacted the management company to do fix the lighting which I need to study after work. However, it was obvious to me that I was a victim of a campain as the agency refused to do the work without the LL permission.

    I reminded them that they agreed to do the work in their email of the 13th of July, yet they refused to comment saying the landlord is not answering their calls.

    I was left in this horrible situation for 4 weeks which has affected every aspect of my life. I am a surgeon who is pursuing a PhD at the same time.I took this flat which is close to my hospital so I could save time on commuting to write up my thesis. However, I was left with no lighting for 6 weeks untill I hired a private contractors to fix it. I lost all my spare time between looking for a replacement flat and corresponding with the inefficient state agent.

    The LL has finally appeared after 4 weeks, boldy asking me to leave by the 25th of August. He stated he will only give me £400 for any inconvenience!

    I wrote 2 signed letters demanding someone to answer for what I had to go through for the past 6 weeks before a judge. yet, he insisted he wants me out one way or another.

    following another letter demanding information as to legal situation of the flat of concern before we could discuss any further payments. He came back now saying that he is happy for me to stay until January and I have to pay the full rent now.

    I feel so harddone by the whole situation. The LL and the management agent have made me go through hell. I lost 7 weeks worth of work since this situation started, it also reflected on my performance at work as witnessed by my bosses and colleague and has eventually resulted in a delay in my graduation plans.

    My question is: is there any law in this country to ensure I get my rights back? they know that legal costs are high and that I won't pursue that route and hence they allowed themselves to treat me the way they did.

    Where do I go from here?

    #2
    Having read the background to your story, can you clarify what the end result you want is? Do you want to stay in the property? Do you want to leave the property, with some compensation? If so, how much? Or do you just want to walk away with your deposit returned and owing nothing?

    Can you confirm the duration of the tenancy agreement you signed and if you paid a deposit? Can you also check your paperwork to see if you have ever been served a 'section 21(1)(b)' notice requiring possession?

    While you think about that, I can tell you that your landlord can not make you leave the property without a court order. IF the property is re-possessed, the mortgage company may evict you, but if that happens, you will possibly have a case against the landlord for breach of contract.

    This page contains info about the legal eviction options available to your landlord: http://www.tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/i...g_evicted/0-21
    And this page contains information about illegal eviction: http://www.tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/i..._eviction/0-22

    If there are repairs still outstanding, this info may help: http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad..._doing_repairs

    Comment


      #3
      [QUOTE=Snorkerz;239105]Having read the background to your story,
      can you clarify what the end result you want is? Do you want to stay in the property? Do you want to leave the property, with some compensation? If so, how much? Or do you just want to walk away with your deposit returned and owing nothing?
      I certainly do not want to stay in the flat. I want out with a ssuitable compensation, I would think 5-10K.Today he said he can release the deposit but will not pay the £400 removals he originally promised. The agent said they are happy to pay refund the fees.

      Can you confirm the duration of the tenancy agreement you signed and if you paid a deposit? Can you also check your paperwork to see if you have ever been served a 'section 21(1)(b)' notice requiring possession?
      I have a 1 yeast AST with a mutual 6 month breaking clause. He said he wants to serve s21 but I know he can't before the end of the AST which started on 9/7/10.

      Although I want to move out, yet I need him to pay for his unprofessioanly shady attitude which has cost me dearly.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Gazzar View Post
        I certainly do not want to stay in the flat. I want out with a ssuitable compensation, I would think 5-10K.
        I sympathise with what you've gone through but seriously doubt you could win anything like that amount. For sure if you do try to go for it, it will cost everybody involved an enormous amount in legal fees and I suspect the hassle and stress it will cause you will dwarf what you've experienced already (even in the unlikely event that you win your case and are awarded your and the LL's legal costs. Are you really ready for that?)

        Furthermore, you mentioned earlier that the LL had indicated that if you didn't quit, the property would be 'foreclosed', which if true, suggests that the LL has no money to pay the mortgage on the property, let alone your enormous legal costs and compensation.

        Comment


          #5
          How many lights weren't working?

          How you lost 7 weeks worth of work is something you'll need to detail, as personally, I think you're away with the fairies with your compo claim.
          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

          Comment


            #6
            Just re-read the OP after seeing thesaint's reply and realised that the only problem with the property was apparently non-working lights in one room! So I'll re-visit my original reply to agree wholeheartedly with thesaint.

            Your options are to refuse to move out until the end of the fixed term (and to see what happens vis-a-vis any possible repossession by a mortgage lender - hopefully nothing), and to go through proper procedures for repairs, which have already been done. Have you been reimbursed for the electrican bill?

            If you do choose to move out, then you're free to agree with the LL any compensation for doing do, which is simply a matter for negotiation between the two of you - if you can't agree, then you don't move out.

            Comment


              #7
              I think you might need to take a step back from this, take a deep breath and go back to basics.

              I think you need to write a letter to the LL copying the agent that covers the following.

              1. State the key facts - you have signed a 12 month AST - the LL would like to terminate that ageement early - you have tried to be accomodating but the LLs attitude has made it impossible to reach an agreement.

              2. You will therefore be remaining in the flat until, at least, the end of the AST. The rent will be paid as it falls due under the agreement and no advance payment of any sort will be considered.

              3. You have reported the non working lights issue to them on date x and no action has been taken - this letter gives you 14 days notice to put the woeks in hand. If this has not been done you will get the problem fixed and deduct the cost from the rent - then do that

              4. With this letter you explicitly withdraw your consent fro the LL or anyone acting on his behalf to enter the flat without your positive consent which needs to be given on each occasion. No access for viewings etc. will be allowed.

              Then leave it at that - this puts the ball back in their court and makes it clear that they have to make an offer to persuade you move and you can impose whatever conditions you want - if you demand too much then no deal will be done but thats life.

              Ignore the repossesion threat - it may well be nonsense anyway, even if it isn't the repossesor might well honour the AST anyway. If you think this is a real danger watch out for any court paperwork and stop paying rent if repossesion is commenced - keep the rent in a seperate account opened fro the purpose so you can show you are not trying to get out of paying just protecting your position.

              Comment


                #8
                As there is a 6 months break clause, the LL can commence possession proceedings in line with that. So you could be evicted legally far sooner than July 2011.

                By all means negotiate an early surrender, and bear in mind the information I refered to regarding illegal eviction. The letter suggested by Fletchj should be sent, perhaps a minor change to numbers 2 & 3:

                2. You will therefore be remaining in the flat in line with the agreement, unless an early surrender can be agreed on mutually acceptable terms. The rent will be paid as it falls due under the agreement and no advance payment of any sort will be considered.

                3. You have reported the non working lights issue to them on date x and no action was taken - you have had to employ private contractors to carry out the repairs and will be deducting their costs from your next rent payment.

                I think the faulty light fitting would be insufficient grounds for any serious legal action as you could have mitigated it's effects. The advice on the shelter website (or other similar advice) is very easily googled and so you could have solved this problem far sooner. You shouldn't have had to, but you could have bought a lamp from Argos for a tenner.

                I guess the fact that it is the middle of summer, with light until relatavely late in the evening, would also contribute to a judges view of the consequences of the landlords inaction.

                Finally, can you clarify...

                When did you first move into the property?
                When did you sign this AST?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                  How many lights weren't working?

                  How you lost 7 weeks worth of work is something you'll need to detail, as personally, I think you're away with the fairies with your compo claim.
                  I lost the work because I spent my time between searching and viewing new properties, and speaking and writing to the agency. I lost the work because the amount of stress I am under is enormus, particularly when you feel threatened in what supposed to be your new home.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If you seriously think you have a case then by all means take advice but on the basis of what you have said here I would say your chances of winning in court are slim to none.

                    1. You will have to prove that the contract was breached - asking you to move out is not a breach - harassment and illegal eviction might be breaches but I don't see that here.

                    2. You would have to show financial loss that was directly attributable to the breach - saying you didn't get the work wouldn't be close to enough, you would have to clearly show that had the contract not been breached you would defintitley got the work.

                    You might possible get one of the no win no fee lawyers to take this on but I doubt it.

                    You could, I suppose, go down the small claims route which would at least keep your liability to costs under control but even here you are going to need professional advice as it would not be a straightforward claim.

                    Your best chance of recompense remains negotiation of a fee in return for you allowing early termination. A target of one months rent - maybe 2 would probably be the maximum as more than that and the LL will just sit it out and give you notice at the earliest legitimate oportunity.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by thesaint View Post
                      How many lights weren't working?

                      How you lost 7 weeks worth of work is something you'll need to detail, as personally, I think you're away with the fairies with your compo claim.
                      Originally posted by fletchj View Post
                      I think you might need to take a step back from this, take a deep breath and go back to basics.

                      I think you need to write a letter to the LL copying the agent that covers the following.

                      1. State the key facts - you have signed a 12 month AST - the LL would like to terminate that ageement early - you have tried to be accomodating but the LLs attitude has made it impossible to reach an agreement.

                      2. You will therefore be remaining in the flat until, at least, the end of the AST. The rent will be paid as it falls due under the agreement and no advance payment of any sort will be considered.

                      3. You have reported the non working lights issue to them on date x and no action has been taken - this letter gives you 14 days notice to put the woeks in hand. If this has not been done you will get the problem fixed and deduct the cost from the rent - then do that

                      4. With this letter you explicitly withdraw your consent fro the LL or anyone acting on his behalf to enter the flat without your positive consent which needs to be given on each occasion. No access for viewings etc. will be allowed.

                      Then leave it at that - this puts the ball back in their court and makes it clear that they have to make an offer to persuade you move and you can impose whatever conditions you want - if you demand too much then no deal will be done but thats life.

                      Ignore the repossesion threat - it may well be nonsense anyway, even if it isn't the repossesor might well honour the AST anyway. If you think this is a real danger watch out for any court paperwork and stop paying rent if repossesion is commenced - keep the rent in a seperate account opened fro the purpose so you can show you are not trying to get out of paying just protecting your position.
                      I have already done that. I sent him a signed letter stating all the above mentioned facts last week. He had the manager of the letting agency calling me yesterday asking for my terms.

                      I stated that I want my deposit in full and I will leave. Although he agreed to that offer yesterday. Today he has changed his mind yet again and is now offering me £600 to move out.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                        As there is a 6 months break clause, the LL can commence possession proceedings in line with that. So you could be evicted legally far sooner than July 2011.

                        By all means negotiate an early surrender, and bear in mind the information I refered to regarding illegal eviction. The letter suggested by Fletchj should be sent, perhaps a minor change to numbers 2 & 3:

                        2. You will therefore be remaining in the flat in line with the agreement, unless an early surrender can be agreed on mutually acceptable terms. The rent will be paid as it falls due under the agreement and no advance payment of any sort will be considered.

                        3. You have reported the non working lights issue to them on date x and no action was taken - you have had to employ private contractors to carry out the repairs and will be deducting their costs from your next rent payment.

                        I think the faulty light fitting would be insufficient grounds for any serious legal action as you could have mitigated it's effects. The advice on the shelter website (or other similar advice) is very easily googled and so you could have solved this problem far sooner. You shouldn't have had to, but you could have bought a lamp from Argos for a tenner.

                        I guess the fact that it is the middle of summer, with light until relatavely late in the evening, would also contribute to a judges view of the consequences of the landlords inaction.

                        Finally, can you clarify...

                        When did you first move into the property?
                        When did you sign this AST?
                        The legal action is not about the lights, its about all the dilemma I have been going through for 7 weeks. Its about keeping me hanging for 4 weeks without knowing I am staying or not. Is not enough to bring him to court. I am not after the compensation to be honest. All I want is to make the LL realize he can not do that and still get away with it.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Gazzar View Post
                          The legal action is not about the lights, its about all the dilemma I have been going through for 7 weeks. Its about keeping me hanging for 4 weeks without knowing I am staying or not. Is not enough to bring him to court.
                          Are you telling us or asking us whether it's enough to sue him? Because if you're asking, then the answer is a categorical 'NO'.
                          I am not after the compensation to be honest. All I want is to make the LL realize he can not do that and still get away with it.
                          You're understandably angry. But not sure what advice you think you can get here? I would think that for your sanity your best plan would be to draw a line under the situation and just move on as soon as possible.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Gazzar View Post
                            I am not after the compensation to be honest. All I want is to make the LL realize he can not do that and still get away with it.
                            Eric's advice is good. Aren't you just after a bit of revenge?
                            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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                              Are you telling us or asking us whether it's enough to sue him? Because if you're asking, then the answer is a categorical 'NO'.
                              You're understandably angry. But not sure what advice you think you can get here? I would think that for your sanity your best plan would be to draw a line under the situation and just move on as soon as possible.
                              I know that drawing a line is the only way out now but, isn't that what the LL knows and therefore he is messing me about?

                              The reason I am here was to know whether the law will support me or not. I offered to leave in the first week provided he gives me what I paid back. However, he disappeared for 4 weeks while finalizing the selling to make sure he gets a month rent instead of keeping the flat vacant.

                              Would such an attitude go unpunished by law?

                              Comment

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