What can my landlord do regarding rent arrears (sort of)?

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    What can my landlord do regarding rent arrears (sort of)?

    I am currently living in a flat and am not getting on well with my landlord. He gave me a section 21 a while back, this is due to expire on the 1st of July but I want to leave sooner (2 weeks). I pay in advance and haven't paid this months rent because I knew he would be difficult regarding the bond (In DPS sceme) and I need this for the next houses bond. There has been no damage but I know he'll find something. As soon as I leave I'm going to log on and give him it all, it's equal to the last months rent. Slightly wrong of me but he really has been a nightmare.

    I was planning to wait it out to get a council place but it turns out I'd be in a hostel for a month and I couldn't cope with that. I would also have to find a new home for my pet cat.

    Anyway I got a threatening e-mail from him saying he will pass "my file" onto the solicitor for being in arrears with the rent. After only 2 weeks late I don't think he can do anything but I'm not sure. I haven't done anything else wrong to warrent a file being made. He has somehow found out where I was going to move to although I'm not sure how. The way the e-mail was written it sounded like a threat "I know where to find you" sort of thing. He has made me quite scared. Not sure what to do. He also said he would phone the new landlord and tell them what a bad tenant I was, which to me sounds silly becasue then I wouldn't be able to move. Now I'm not sure I want the other flat so am looking for somewhere else.

    Also do I have to give him written notice to say when I'm leaving and where I'm going as that was implied. I thought if he served the S21 I didn't have to give notice, as it was already given by him.

    Thank you in advance.

    #2
    You are being rather unfair with your landlord who is unlikely to give you a decent reference (rightly so!). You can leave
    at the end of the fixed term without having to give any notice. Your landlord is entitled to the rent so if you haven't paid, the landlord is not threatening you but merely protecting his rights. Pay up!
    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.

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      #3
      I have to say, whilst I would hope a landlord remains pleasant and non-threatening, you need to consider the matter from his perspective; he is now scared that he has to pay the mortgage with no funds coming in. He is scared that you will leave, owing rent, and when it comes to the deposit (which cannot be used as rent), he is scared that any damage you may have done, HE now has to pay for. Pay the rent, as you agreed to do. Leave as advised above. Make every effort to return the property in the best condition you can. Take photos/videos as you leave and go through the property with him (get a friend along if you're worried) to identify anything he has concerns about. I would advise getting him in to do such an inspection before the handover, giving you time to rectify anything amiss. Should there be any issues thereafter, then you go through the DPS process. The deposit protection schemes are in place to prevent landlords keeping unreasonable amounts of the deposit, maybe all. Rely on that process, don't just make up your own. Bear in mind that if you don't pay your rent, which you agreed to do, you will end up paying extra costs, regarding possession and recovering the debts. Why make things hard on yourself and the landlord?

      I hope you resolve the matter amicably; life is much easier that way.

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        #4
        Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
        You are being rather unfair with your landlord who is unlikely to give you a decent reference (rightly so!). You can leave
        at the end of the fixed term without having to give any notice. Your landlord is entitled to the rent so if you haven't paid, the landlord is not threatening you but merely protecting his rights. Pay up!
        My landlord has been very unfair to me. The simple fact is I cannot afford to move (which he is forcing me to do so) without the bond for the next place. There is no damage whatsoever.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Oligarch View Post
          I have to say, whilst I would hope a landlord remains pleasant and non-threatening, you need to consider the matter from his perspective; he is now scared that he has to pay the mortgage with no funds coming in. He is scared that you will leave, owing rent, and when it comes to the deposit (which cannot be used as rent), he is scared that any damage you may have done, HE now has to pay for. Pay the rent, as you agreed to do. Leave as advised above. Make every effort to return the property in the best condition you can. Take photos/videos as you leave and go through the property with him (get a friend along if you're worried) to identify anything he has concerns about. I would advise getting him in to do such an inspection before the handover, giving you time to rectify anything amiss. Should there be any issues thereafter, then you go through the DPS process. The deposit protection schemes are in place to prevent landlords keeping unreasonable amounts of the deposit, maybe all. Rely on that process, don't just make up your own. Bear in mind that if you don't pay your rent, which you agreed to do, you will end up paying extra costs, regarding possession and recovering the debts. Why make things hard on yourself and the landlord?

          I hope you resolve the matter amicably; life is much easier that way.
          There is no debt to collect. The rent that I didn't pay this month will be paid through the DPS which I will transfer immediatly after leaving the flat. If I don't do this I can't afford to move. Even if he agrees to no damage (which he won't) I will have to wait for that to be transfered. The next landlord wants that in his bank before I move in.

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            #6
            The questions I need to know are as follows;

            I am 2 weeks late with the rent, can he take me to court for such a small amount so soon or does he have to wait until I leave or am 8 weeks in arrears. As the money will be transfered straight from the DPS on leaving he'll not be any worse off by waiting (He has no mortgage on the flat).

            Do I have to give him written notice to say when I'm leaving and where I'm going as that was implied. I thought if he served the S21 I didn't have to give notice, as it was already given by him.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Dave.S View Post
              I am 2 weeks late with the rent, can he take me to court for such a small amount so soon
              Sort-of. L can serve a Notice under s.8 of the Housing Act 1988, on ground 10 (unpaid rent).
              Two weeks later, he could begin proceedings.
              However, g10 is only a discretionary ground for possession- so it's very unlikely that he'll succeed.
              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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