Rent arrears with no tenancy agreement

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    Rent arrears with no tenancy agreement

    I recently left a property leaving a month's rent in arrears. For the previous month I had lived with no hot water, no working cooking facilities and multiple other problems in the house including serious damp which actually damaged my own belongings which had to be disposed of.

    I requested a tenancy agreement and an inventory both of which were not provided by the landlord in spite of various requests. I also could not get him to carry out repairs because of said lack of agreement. I did not until today, have his address only his mobile number which he didn't respond to most of the time. He wants 2 months rent which he says I am in arrears for. I gave him a cheque which he kept for more than a month and then it bounced because he cashed it before I got paid. I withdrew cash and paid him with that. He still wants 2 months' rent. I sought legal advice on this and was told that no rent book, no statement of tenancy and no receipts or proof that I had paid rent meant he could not bring a claim for unpaid rent against me.

    He has other ideas and is now pursuing me through his solicitor and is aapparently going to forward all our texts as evidence that I am tenant. BUT he is not going to return my £1000 deposit and says I have no evidence to prove this is a deposit. Which is true - he never gave a receipt.

    I have now had to verbally agreement repayment of 2 months worth of rent so he can make vital repairs to the house. With no safety checks or certificates issued on any of the items. HE ALREADY has this money!! but because it's cash and he never gives receipts he's saying I can't prove I have given it to him and he's going to claim it again.

    IS there any way I can report him for his illegal behaviour. I have to pay him the rent arrears I assume because he's saying that all our texts are proof of tenancy and he's going to the small claims and I don't want this brought against me because I can't prove I've given him the money already. How do I get around this!

    #2
    Where did you acquire this incorrect "legal advice"?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      I should clarify - he doesn't always collect each month. He often wanted the rent in cash but on this occasion he wanted 2 months' rent at 9pm on a Sunday night so I had to write him a cheque which he cashed about a month later just shy of my pay date. I then gave him the cash the following day when my pay went in. He's now saying that the last text he sent me saying the cheque had bounced is proof that I haven't paid. He has done this before - withholding cheques and paying them in late so they bounce and then demanding cash. All that shows up on his and my accounts is a series of bounced cheques which makes me look like a bad tenant. I would have large cash withdrawals showing on my account in the same month though but I can't prove that I gave HIM that money. I want him to go away but he won't. Legal advice told me that he couldn't claim against me because he has no forwarding address but he has my work address and the court themselves say that is all they need for a claim. What he doing is so bad. How can someone get away with doing this? I have been a great tenant and actually IMPROVED his stupid house which he has acknowledged himself!

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        #4
        I got the advice through a legal advocacy unit at my university and through the housing association in this area. However the small claims court themselves say that they could approach the judge to allow him to bring his claim against me via my work address.

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          #5
          He isn't able to withold cheques, and pay them in late so that they bounce.
          They bounce because you don't balance your chequebook.
          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

          Comment


            #6
            You will be ordered to pay rent for all the time you were in the property.
            You will probably be ordered to pay rent in lieu of notice.

            You will counterclaim that the property was sub-standard and that your final months rent should be forfeit because of that - and the judge will probably pick a figure somewhere between £0 and full rent that you do owe.

            You will also defend the rent in lieu of notice stating that it was unreasonable for you to stay in the property any longer, and hope the judge agrees.

            Unfortunately, without proof of what you gave the landlord, you can not prove you did. The judge has to make a decision based on the information in front of him, which is why proof (or at least some sort of evidence) is essential. Example - on the day you claim you paid cash, do you have a receipt for taking the money out of the bank - or can you get one? I have a tenant who claims they gave me £1000 rent in cash, they can't prove it because it never happened, I expect the judge to believe me if the tenant can provide no proof.

            In future - no receipts, no cash. If you have any letters or texts or answerphone messages where the landlord mentions anything you have paid to him - keep them safe as evidence.

            Comment


              #7
              That is a mean comment. I wasn't expecting that. I am a student and I am paid on a low stipend I have to budget extremely carefully and I plan everything to come out on the 25th because that is when I get paid. I pushed for a standing order or direct debit arrangement because that way everything can be tracked but if someone denies you this route what else can you do? I came on here for help - puzzled as to your abrupt comment.

              Comment


                #8
                @snorkerz. The bank statement shows both the returned cheque and then the cash withdrawal on the same statement. I actually can't believe I am going to have to pay two lots of rent for a property that isn't even fit for living in and lose a £1000 deposit because my landlord is nothing short of a Del Boy who knows how to rip people off. Also, thanks to other tenants who behave in despicable ways, tenants like myself are disbelieved when we say we have paid for things we have actually fully paid for because we trust the integrity of our landlords.

                I think the law should stop proposing that rent books and tenancy agreements are legal requirements because there's nothing that can be done when your landlord flouts these regulations and it's you, the unprotected tenant that gets the final bill.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Rent books are only a requirement on weekly tenancies.
                  Tenancy agreements are only a requirement on tenancies over 3 years.

                  I think thesaints point was : if money was in the bank account when you wrote the cheque and you didn't subsequently spend it then the funds would be available whenever the landlord deigned to cash it.

                  The bank statement you refer to is good evidence - not proof, but good evidence. Do you have similar statements for any other cash payment?

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                    #10
                    I'd simply re-iterate, if paying cash (which I do not recommend) only do so if getting a receipt.

                    If a landlord demands/asks for cash I'd bet there's a good chance he's on the fiddle -tax, mortgage, whatever..

                    Sorry to read your story: Hopefully next rentals will be better...
                    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                      Rent books are only a requirement on weekly tenancies.
                      Tenancy agreements are only a requirement on tenancies over 3 years.

                      The bank statement you refer to is good evidence - not proof, but good evidence. Do you have similar statements for any other cash payment?
                      Apparently the fact the withdrawals show up on my account mean nothing because I can only prove that the money was withdrawn not that the money was given to him. I am in northern ireland and have been told by the local council that a rent book and a tenancy agreement is a legal requirement for all tenancies regardless of weekly/monthly payments and that the landlord is in breach of this. HOwever whilst all and sundry seem to be able to prove conclusively that I was a legal tenant (agreement or not) when it comes to me agreeing that I WAS a tenant however, it seems that I am in no way able to use the same evidence to prove that he should have made repairs, had a gas and electricity certificate issued, issued me with the rent book that I requested so we could record payments. One rule for one and one rule for another. All the legal advice I've received is totally contradictory.

                      What if I pay this money he's demanding from me and then he keeps coming and asking for more? Will the law allow him to collect off me for the rest of my days?! I can prove through closing bills and letters and recorded conversations with the utilities and tv licensing people the date when I vacated the property but apparently my evidence is never enough.

                      Do you know that I paid his first electricity bill of nearly £150 and also got a warning from the tv licensing people when I didn't even have internet, a smartphone or anything on me that could be used to watch or rerecord tv progs because they knew he'd been watching tv in there without a licence and he had admitted this to me. I said nothing because I couldn't afford to be homeless. I am not from Northern Ireland and came here to improve my life not destroy it. I have now dropped out of uni and am living back home because I cannot afford to pay rent on a property I'm not able to live in.

                      Evil evil man. Hope the money he is stealing from me brings him the luck he deserves.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Okay, first things first. The law in NI is different than England/Wales, which is where this forum has most of it's expertise.

                        In England, the bank withdrawal would NOT be proof that you have paid the landlord, but it would help add believability when you claimed in court what you had paid. Then you are at the judges mercy.

                        You paid his electricity bill - so presumably you have a receipt for that? If you pay more money, than as you have already been advised don't do so without a receipt, or pay by a traceable method like cheque or bank transfer.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I do have a receipt for his electricity bill plus a letter from the power company confirming that I paid off his account and opened a new one of my own. I have also got the bank to send me all my statements for the period of my stay and a copy of all the cheques. Obviously this doesn't cover the times when the rent was paid in cash.

                          Oh well, thank you for taking the time to reply to me and for your advice.

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