Bit worried...only paid half deposit and landlord's phone switched off

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    Bit worried...only paid half deposit and landlord's phone switched off

    Hi, I found a property through a friend of a friend and the landlord seemed great; nice guy, understood and sympathised with my situation (long story so won't explain that!), didn't ask for a reference or credit check and was fine accepting £500 deposit and just £300 for the first month's rent to take me from Monday to the end of the month.

    I paid £200 towards the deposit on Monday (13th) and he gave me the keys, saying he didn't have the tenancy agreement with him but it was all filled in and he would bring it the following day when I paid the remaining £300. He said he was off work the next day so I could text him anytime to say when it was ok to come over.

    I was really busy tuesday so didn't get to text him until 5pm, to let him know I'd be home about 6.30. I didn't get a delivery report back and still haven't had one, or a reply to my text.

    I just texted him again asking if he wants this £300 otherwise I could spend it on some furniture as I don't have any and am currently sleeping on a duvet on the floor...and still no delivery report.

    His phone is switched off as I just tried ringing it.

    I don't have any contact details for him apart from his mobile number and am worried I'm living here illegally or he can just chuck me out or something.

    What do I do?

    PS - the payment I made on monday was cash and didn't think to ask for a receipt...silly me.

    #2
    The lack of receipt could turn into a problem - don't do it again for your own protection.

    Don't spend the rent, but until the landlord gives you an address (in England or Wales) where you can serve legal documents then no rent is due. Once he gives you that (probably as part of the tenancy agreement) any unpaid rent becomes due.

    May I suggest you spend £4 on the land registry website to check out who the true owner of the property is - just in case you have been scammed by a former tenant or con-man and the true owner doesn't know you are there. Slightly cheaper - do your neighbours know who owns the place?

    Comment


      #3
      I haven't asked the neighbours yet but will do, thanks for the advice.

      I don't even know this guy's surname or his full first name, he referred to himself by a shortened version I'm assuming but it was a bit of a strange nickname to be honest...

      Am I legally entitled to stay here though without a tenancy agreement or having paid any money? Bar this £200 which isn't a lot really.

      I offered to pay the remaining £300 bank transfer or cash and he said "cash is fine" which made me raise my hackles a bit, I'm just wondering why he isn't chasing this money and why he would switch his phone off for over 24 hours.

      Comment


        #4
        You are legally allowed to stay there providing the person who said you could live there was legit.

        There is no legal requirement for a tenancy agreement to be in writing (in most cases) BUT your situation is sounding stranger by the minute.

        You may also want to call the housing department at the local council and speak to the "Tenancy Relations Officer", he may be able to advise or may even know this 'landlord' if he is dodgy.

        When you talk to neighbours, see if any were friends with previous tenants and have phone numbers - they may have landlords contact details.

        Comment


          #5
          Ok, thanks I'll phone the council asap.

          Even more worried now! :/

          Comment


            #6
            You could check the Land Registry website to find out who owns the property. There is a £4 fee, but might be worth it for the info which could be useful in future. Worst case scenario would be that the LL you rented from isn't the owner of the property but could have been a tenant, and therefore "let" to you without the try LL's consent and agreement.

            Does the friend of friend you found the place through know anything about the LL?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
              Worst case scenario would be that the LL you rented from isn't the owner of the property but could have been a tenant, and therefore "let" to you without the try LL's consent and agreement.
              That certainly isn't the worst case scenario.
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

              Comment


                #8
                Perhaps before we frighten OP any more we should let him establish who his landlord is or who owns the property.
                '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

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