tenant vs landlord dispute

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    tenant vs landlord dispute


    I would be grateful if someone could possibly advise me.

    I was planning to move into the new property in August 2010 and have signed the agreement in July.

    Unfortunately my personal corcumstances have changed and I could not move. In fact, a High Court Order, following a hearing has placed a prohibition to my move for the next 2 years. This was done because my ex husband has applied in court to prevent myself and our daughter from moving out of the area based on his ill health. Apparently he was advised by doctors that he had only 2 years left to live, it was therefore important that our daughter had more contact with her father for as long as he had left to live.

    I sent an email to the landlord as soon as the hearing was over to tell him about my family circumstances and explain to him that I couldn't possibly move into the property because of the current High Court prohibition. I also explained that I had to stay in my current property paid by the Housing benefit and I could not possibly pay for two properties. The landlord responded that I signed the agreements for 6 months and I was still liable until he finds a new tenant.

    Because I could not send the landlord any money for the rent due, he immediately filed a case with Online Money Claim Court and asked for one month rent of £775. Before he did this he sent me the following estimate that he asked me to pay him:

    lower rent on next tenancy as above 150
    Rent for August and half September 1162.5
    cost of legal action initiated 60
    additional cleaning 30
    removal of TV 25
    additional agency fee 159.35
    additional tenancy agreement fee 51.4

    Total 1638.25

    I received various forms from the Court, filled them out and asked the court to end the tenancy as I could not continue with it due to my family corcumstances. Because of my dire financial circumstances I offered to pay the landlord £10 per month to repay what he asked on the Court Claim (ie £775).

    At the same time I sent an email to the landlord and offered him the same amount by email. He refused this and asked for the full deposit, which is £2325.

    He then sent me another email to inform me that he found a new tenant and sent me the following estimate:

    Rent for August 775
    Part Months rent for September 310
    cost of legal action initiated 60
    additional cleaning 30
    removal of TV 25
    additional agency and agreement fee 216.79

    Total 1416.79

    I responded by making him an offer without prejudice of £1000 to settle this matter. I explained that as I did not even live in this property, additional cleaning was not required. Also, that I was not prepared to pay any legal fees, or any additional agency fees and agreement fees, because I could not understand what these were for. The agreement said nothing about any additional fees.

    He then sent me another email where he stated:


    Legal Fees

    These reflect the court costs for the case. I am afraid you took the decision to spend this money when you defaulted on August's rent. The figure shown is the court fees but only on the rent for August as this is the only case initiated at present. As this case proceeds costs will rise. I will certainly be asking and expecting the court to grant me costs against you. Obviously I will need to take actions to recovers the other monies and this will attract further costs that I will look to recover.

    Agents fees

    I pay an agent to establish a tenancy. You want to terminate your tenancy early so I have to pay a second agency fee to cover that portion of your tenancy that is early terminated. Specifically I paid Hunters 361.31 pounds to establish your tenancy. This was a six month tenancy that would produce a rent of 6 times 775 pounds equal to 4650. You have early terminated the tenancy so it produced a rent of 775 in July, 775 in August and 310 pound in September. (I appreciate some are these are numbers claimed not paid) I am recovering the agency fees on the60% of the contact that you will not pay rent for.


    I agree with you the flat was not left very dirty. However it was not in a condition a new tenant could move in. I will give you one small example before you moved in you insisted that the carpets should be cleaned between tenancies which they were before you moved in. However when you moved out you obviously had not had time to vacuum the carpets .(for the sake of clarity they had to be vacuumed not cleaned before the next tenant )

    At the same time I received another form to fill out from Court, which I did. I am now waiting for the date of the hearing.

    A few days ago I received a cheque for the sum that is not being disputed and a note from the agents that the sum disputed, ie 1416.79, has been sent to the Dispute Service for them to resolve the dispute.

    Today I received a form from the Dispute Service asking me to fill it and send it back to them.

    First of all, could someone please tell me whether the landlord is acting lawfully. Are his ''additional agent" fee, 'legal fee' demands legitimate?

    Secondly, would mitigating circumstances and the fact that there is a High Court Order preventing my move, play any part in Dispute when heard by the Dispute Service.

    Thirdly, why is this case being decided by the Dispute Service AND the County Court? What if I get the hearing date before the dispute is resolved by the Dispute Service?

    And lastly, is there any other way I could possibly resolve this issue to recover as much of the deposit as I can?

    What will probably be of interest to the Dispute Service is this from the tenancy Agreement:

    4. The Deposit

    4.2 The reasonable costs incurred in compensating the landlord for, or for rectifying or remedying any meaningful breach by the tenant of his obligations under this agreement, including those relating to the cleaning of the premises, its fixtures and fittings.

    4.5 Any rent or other money lawfully due or payable by the tenant under this agreement of which the tenant has been made aware and which remains unpaid after the end of the tenancy.

    5. General

    Surrender of the tenancy by the tenant

    5.5 Strictly with the landlord’s or his agent’s prior written consent and subject to certain conditions that may include the landlord’s reasonable costs associated with re-letting of the premises, the tenant might be allowed to surrender or give up this tenancy before it could otherwise lawfully be ended.

    I was simply shocked that the landlord really could not care less about anything, but his own wallet and chose to thrive on the opportunity by attempting to get as much as he can possibly get.

    I would be grateful if somebody could advise me.

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Hi, this sounds like a distressing time for you - not one I would like to be in myself.

    I think it is important to start with the realisation that a tenancy agreement has 2 purposes.
    1) To establish a contract
    2) To establish a tenancy

    Number 2 didn't happen, there was no tenancy, and even if there was an argument about the existance of a tenancy, it has now been surrendered by operation of law on the arrival of replacement tenants.

    However, you did enter into a contract to rent the property, and you have now breached that contract.

    I do not think the landlords claims are excessive, they seem to represent the landlords true loss caused by your breach - perhaps with the exception of the cleaning and removal of TV(?) which do not seem to correlate with you having never moved in.

    I again accept that you had no choice in the matter, but neither did the landlord, he agreed to let you live there for X months and you agreed to py him money for X months. Why should he lose his side of the agreement because of your circumstances?


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