Looking for 'no-win no fee' solicitor for re-opening case against publicised tenant

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    Looking for 'no-win no fee' solicitor for re-opening case against publicised tenant

    Hello,

    I have been served with a pre-action protocol for housing disrepair early notification letter by my tenant's community solicitor, but as a landlord I want to counterclaim each of these claims against the tenant, as I have evidence that she is financially responsible for them. Can you advise if there is a counter-claim protocol that would apply for landlords to execute in this scenario, or should I just reply to the ELN stating my counterclaim and evidence?

    There isn't anything in my counterclaim that would warrant a mandatory reason for a section 8 eviction notice however, only discretionary.

    Many thanks for your replies.
    Kind Regards,
    ________________
    AG Landlord

    #2
    I would think it would depend on what the dis-repairs are.

    Regardless of whether or not T is liable financially the LL has to do the repairs and then later get monies from T or T's deposit.
    I'm a good tenant with great landlords
    I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

    Comment


      #3
      See http://www.justice.gov.uk/civil/proc...s/prot_hou.htm

      Can you tell us what the alleged disrepair is?

      Comment


        #4
        Hello, thanks for responses and link so far. The alleged disrepair items are in my opinion either the fault of the tenant or invalid claims in the first place. Examples include:

        a) A broken lock latch which the tenant admits broke when they moved furniture in (I have proof), but wants me to pay for claiming it's wear and tear
        b) A TV aerial connection using an electrical signal booster which the tenant objects to paying power costs for - this was present when the tenant moved in, and the area is a low signal one
        c) two small lengths of trim around laminate flooring which have come off and which I tried to repair, but was denied by the tenant when attempted.

        There are others - but you can get the gist that this tenant is quite pedantic.

        From my reading of the disrepair protocol, it is very bias toward the tenant and offers no compensation at all to the landlord. Even if the landlord's points are proven to be valid, the landlord still potentially loses money by having to contribute to a joint or single expert (though I think I can demonstrate no expert visit is required).

        Therefore I am wondering what legal framework exists for a landlord to counterclaim finanical compensation from a tenant where the disrepair protocol proves this (including landlord costs incurred in the process of dealing with the protocol and paying for an expert)?

        Many thanks for any further replies - replies from those in the legal field would be especially appreciated. I have only a few more days left to submit a response to the ELN, and want to understand how to structure my response to position myself for a counterclaim in the best possible manner.
        Kind Regards,
        ________________
        AG Landlord

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by AGlandlord View Post
          Hello, thanks for responses and link so far. The alleged disrepair items are in my opinion either the fault of the tenant or invalid claims in the first place. Examples include:

          a) A broken lock latch which the tenant admits broke when they moved furniture in (I have proof), but wants me to pay for claiming it's wear and tear
          Technically, LL's responsibility to repair, but if broken by T, then T liable for cost of repair.

          b) A TV aerial connection using an electrical signal booster which the tenant objects to paying power costs for - this was present when the tenant moved in, and the area is a low signal one
          This is not a valid disrepair claim unless the contract makes you responsible for TV connection, i.e. there's no statutory liability.

          c) two small lengths of trim around laminate flooring which have come off and which I tried to repair, but was denied by the tenant when attempted.
          Oh, for God's sake... Needless to say, this doesn't fall under LL's statutory repairing obligations under s.11 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985.

          There are others - but you can get the gist that this tenant is quite pedantic.
          Yes, I fully get the gist, which is that the T is trying it on. From the sound of it, a vexatious claim, and I'm actually rather surprised that a lawyer is supporting such a claim.


          From my reading of the disrepair protocol, it is very bias toward the tenant and offers no compensation at all to the landlord.
          I don't think it's designed to cater for a LL's counterclaim; because, most usually, disrepair claims are where a T has a valid claim (e.g. boiler broken for months) against which LL has no actual counterclaim (albeit he might have a defence, such as unavailability of boiler parts).

          Even if the landlord's points are proven to be valid, the landlord still potentially loses money by having to contribute to a joint or single expert (though I think I can demonstrate no expert visit is required).
          I'm afraid that this is just the nature of litigation. If you win you can apply for costs, but if your T is on benefits then you're highly unlikely to be able to enforce a costs order. It is quite possible that the T's claim is cynically calculated to make you offer to settle in order to avoid incurring the legal costs of a defence, with the likelihood of not getting these costs back.

          Therefore I am wondering what legal framework exists for a landlord to counterclaim finanical compensation from a tenant where the disrepair protocol proves this (including landlord costs incurred in the process of dealing with the protocol and paying for an expert)?

          Many thanks for any further replies - replies from those in the legal field would be especially appreciated. I have only a few more days left to submit a response to the ELN, and want to understand how to structure my response to position myself for a counterclaim in the best possible manner.
          Personally, I would pay a specialist landlord & tenant solicitor for advice before responding. And I'd go for a big gun, in order to intimidate the T's solicitor to the max (with the objective of persuading T to drop the claim).

          There is also the issue of technicalities of the defence/counterclaim. If you slip up on procedure, you could potentially lose an otherwise easily winnable case.

          So, although you do sound like you have your head screwed on, and could potentially DIY your defence, I would strongly advise seeking professional, specialist advice, even if it's just half an hour of prepping with a landlord & tenant solicitor.

          Comment


            #6
            What an idiot T. My earlier post was based on proper dis-repair. I was thinking toilet etc. Only one there I'd say you had to fix is the lock (and get monies back from T or Ts deposit).

            Is the T quite young ? seems odd that a T would sour the relationship and potentially annoy LL to use S21 over unremarkable repairs but nowt as strange as folk I suppose.

            Is T maybe wanting out of their fixed term .... ?
            I'm a good tenant with great landlords
            I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you westminster and brb for your responses.

              I think I've just made a mistake of taking on a tenant who's got some incorrect and fussy standards, and I made a rash decision to take her on as she passed her checks, and I was busy starting a business. Unfortunately for me, I don't think she wants to leave.

              Westminster's advice is good - can you recommend any good landlord / tenant solicitors whom I can get the 30 mins prep from? I've already drafted my response letter, but it needs a legal eye on it before I'll send it out.

              Many thanks for any suggestions you can give.
              Kind Regards,
              ________________
              AG Landlord

              Comment


                #8
                I hope the section 21 is served.
                Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                Comment


                  #9
                  Using rent to top up deposit

                  Hello,

                  As a landlord with a very difficult tenant I am in a situation where I've foolishly agreed a 2 year tenancy without break clause with her.

                  One of our issues is a broken entrance door lock after the front door which poses a security and insurance risk. I know it is her fault and have proof, so should I have it repaired and claim off the deposit scheme immediately? If the claim is in my favour, do I have a right as landlord to use the next rent payment as a top up of the spent deposit and demand full rent on top of that?

                  Furthermore what are my options to get the rent direct from the council? She is about 6 days late paying all the time and i am also convinced she must be working even though she is claiming housing*benefit as she can afford expensive furniture and a large satellite dish.

                  Many thanks for any help you can provide.

                  Kind regards,
                  AGlandlord
                  Kind Regards,
                  ________________
                  AG Landlord

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Repair the door lock asap at own expense as it is a seurity risk which may invalidate your buildings Ins and could lead to T claim for breach of contract. How did T break it? If you have proof inform T in writing that the repair will be claimed from her deposit or she can pay for the repair from her own cash. In what way is she difficult?
                    Many LLs would be happy if their Ts paid in full if 6 days late!
                    Even if LA agreed to pay HB direct to LL, it is paid 2-3 weeks in arrears.
                    Usin rent to top up deposit is not a good idea as dep remains the property of T for duration of T and LL should not be able to access it as it should be in a protected deposit scheme until end of T.
                    HB can be paid to people in work. Many HB claimants have satellite and 'expensive' furniture, even 42 in plasma TV, doesn't mean they own them. Provided you receive your rent, Ts other finances are not your concern IMO.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Worry that my tenant is sabotaging my place

                      Hello,

                      Can someone help me to understand what I must do in a legal sense to protect myself as a landlord?

                      I have a nuisance tenant, our relationship has broken down and I am stuck in an 18-month contract with her.

                      She has made unreasonable demands for repair to me as a landlord and has issued a failed disrepair claim through her solicitors.

                      More recently, she has reported 'emergencies' relating to the problems she wanted me to fix, i.e. she wanted a plumber to check the tanks in the loft at my cost (no reason) and then the tanks start leaking, she cannot retract an awning and says it will be damaged from rain, she says that she had to forcibly break open a door a day after she complained about it to me for the first time (when she could have used common sense to keep the keys on her considering she knew about it). I have repaired all emergency items with reasonable expediency.

                      I am now in a position where I do not trust her, and worry that she might be sabotaging the property to force me to repair things at her whim.

                      Furthermore, I am planning to claim for the cost of some of these repairs against her deposit - but I am already convinced that the total cost of this will come close to the total amount of deposit paid into the scheme.

                      So what should I do to protect myself as a landlord, and what remedy do I have to ensure that she doesn't end up in a situation where the cost of my claims is greater than the deposit paid? She is a council tenant - can I go to the council to ask that they pay me rent directly instead?

                      Do I have any possible means for a case to evict her?

                      Many thanks for any replies you can give.
                      Kind Regards,
                      ________________
                      AG Landlord

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Why is it an 18 month contract? Is tenant provided by council?
                        To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Any damage to property that you could reasonably withold from deposit can (under most template ASTs) be billed to the tenant with a 14 or 28 day payment period. If they are not paid, you can take the matter to court and get it settled before the end of the tenancy - thus keeping the deposit in place for it's true purpose.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My agent sent my evidence direct to tenant in my section 8 claim!

                            Hello,

                            I'd like to get the opinion of the legally minded experts on this forum please. I have commenced a section 8 eviction proceeding against my tenant on discretionary grounds only.

                            To that end I prepared a substantial file of evidence to support my claim and emailed it to my agent, but to my horror I discovered that the agent had sent it directly to the tenant without my consent - and I only found out when the tenant started referring to comments I made in my evidence statement.

                            I am very worried that this will now give the tenant a chance to submit a defence and potentially lose me my case for eviction, which makes my recourse one to potentially sue the agent for this action.

                            Upon close reading of their terms and conditions, though I read:

                            "By instructing us you hereby agree and consent for us to liaise, pass, share, and divulge through us all information, correspondence and evidence in relation to your case with our lawyers and any other relevant party"

                            Does this give them the right to send my evidence to the tenant without informing me first?

                            Do I have a viable case against them if the tenant succeeds in the hearing?

                            Your views much appreciated.
                            Kind Regards,
                            ________________
                            AG Landlord

                            Comment


                              #15
                              AG, legally minded but not legally trained.

                              OK bit of a shock, but if it was the same evidence bundle you were going to submit to the Court and you stated nothing that was untrue or derogatory, Judge may be impressed at your openess. Yes T has sight of your case against him/her giving chance to counter. You should know the mindset of your T to predict his likely responses. If he goes OTT it may not help his case. I suggest a 'mock hearing' - get friend to read your evidence and predict counter claims. Then you can prepare a counter to his arguments, called preparation.
                              I am sure others here would be willing to participate in your anon case and provide case law etc for your evidence. Hearings prefer to deal in facts and assessment of credibility of both parties - so avoid slanging match in Court.
                              If you lose I doubt you have a claim against agent as he will claim case was decided on strength of arguments/case. Collusion with T would be hard to prove IMO.

                              Comment

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