Tenants suing after accepting an offer

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    Tenants suing after accepting an offer

    Hi

    My former tenants complained about not having heating but had hot water. I got on top of the issue immediately. sending someone round to check. He made some suggestions and one was replacing the boiler. Advised to get a second opinion. Needed a second quote but plumber could not get hold of tenant to arrange a suitable time. So things started taking longer (about 2 and a half weeks now) I found myself in the firing line between tenant and plumber as one could not contact the other. Started the search again and could not get a qualified engineer out soon enough(sounds strange but true). In the meant-time plumber got access and said boiler could be fixed but replacement is better. His quotes were very high and for the price the guarantee was very little. Started the search again as first plumber on holiday. got a heating engineer and he could get this done asap Agreed on deal he offered and set a date. contacted Tenant to allow us access for work to be carried out but did not get a reply for 4 days. Got a reply from tenant the night before the scheduled works(I postponed it by now)for engineer to carry out works after hours. Obviously this could not be done.

    In the mean time tenants issued an invalid notice. They were insisting on moving out on a particular date. Explained to them about the correct notice procedure - they were not interested in listening so I made them an offer stating they could leave one month from time I received their notice. I got a rather distasteful reply back after my offer, stating they wanted more money off so I explained that by allowing them to leave at an earlier date they don't pay for 3 and a half weeks. Tenant accepted offer and has moved out. I thought that was the end of it all and nightmare tenants.
    Now Tenant has sent a county court claim saying she wants to claim for so many weeks of not having heating; physical and mental distress and negligence of landlord.

    Just wanted to know the opinion of others regarding this and if anyone else has been in this situation before and what was the outcome?

    #2
    Did you have all this (quotes, notices etc.) in writing?

    I think if you counterclaim for what they have cost you then you may well hear nothing more about it.

    Whatever else you decide...do not ignore it.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      What other space heating was avail to Ts during the boiler down time?
      Did you supply an electric convector or fan heater?

      As jta suggest, write down a timeline of events, with quotes etc and counterclaim for full rent due.

      Comment


        #4
        Has the Tenant filed with the country court or just sent you the form they are planning on sending to the court? (believe it or not one guy actually sent me the form but never sent it to the court in an attempt to 'scare' me).

        As JTA says above, do you have copies of the emails/letters/txt messages etc showing your attempts to get the repair sorted?

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks

          Fortunately I have everything written down, including copies of my phone bill showing I made the calls and did not just ignore things. Offer and acceptance is in writing. Copies of text messages, quotes are in place.

          I did provide them with electric fan heaters which they initially did not want, but still gave it to them.

          The docs are legitimate as it has the Northampton CC stamp. I am claiming a full defence and have just completed my chronology. Now, I believe that I have a strong defence since putting everything together.
          I like the idea about counterclaiming for the boiler/rent, but isn't the boiler my responsibility and seeing that the offer was accepted, I cannot counterclaim for the rent?
          On another point - I have past communications from contractors who tried to get access by contacting the tenant and could not - can I use this as part of my evidence to show that the tenant actually caused much of the delay?

          Comment


            #6
            Use everything you have, it can only strengthen your case. Include the contretemps about the notice period, it only makes you appear more reasonable.
            I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

            Comment


              #7
              Worth checking what you can and can't claim for with the court perhaps?

              Either way, sounds like you have a strong defense for the case and if you can claim the cost of perparing your defense at least you can recover some of your losses

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for the advice and suggestions. It has helped so much. I have now taken some legal advice and things look positive. Acknowledgement has been sent, so now working on defence.

                Comment

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