poor agent

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    #16
    Originally posted by two View Post
    the bond isn't registered with any of the protection schemes
    Then, under s.215 Housing Act 2004, the LL cannot serve a valid s.21 notice unless he first refunds the deposit to you. So the s.21 notice which has been served on you is, as you say, invalid.

    However, it also means that you have a claim, under s.214, against the LL (also the agent, if he received the deposit on behalf of the LL) for failing to comply with deposit protection requirements. The court may order the defendant to pay between 1x and 3x the value of the deposit to you.

    You would, however, need expert legal advice to pursue such a claim, as it would be allocated to the multi-track. This means that the court fees would be high, and you'd be exposed to the defendant's legal costs if you lost. Therefore it's essential for the claim to be correctly pleaded.

    See: http://www.snorkerz.com/deposits_new.htm

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      #17
      Originally posted by two View Post
      The advice seems that we must assume that LL knows all about our problems, and it's chase the EHO to force the work to be done.
      I also gave you a link to the correct procedure to follow if you wish to carry out the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from the rent.

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by two View Post
        have asked for landlords address - nothing. have now served section 48.
        we understand that we must receive a section 48 notice within 21 days and that proceedings against us cant begin until that's complied with?
        What is it exactly that you've served?

        You perhaps mean that you have written to the agent asking for the LL's name and address under s.1 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/1
        1 Disclosure of landlord’s identity.
        (1) If the tenant of premises occupied as a dwelling makes a written request for the landlord’s name and address to—
        (a) any person who demands, or the last person who received, rent payable under the tenancy, or
        (b) any other person for the time being acting as agent for the landlord, in relation to the tenancy,
        that person shall supply the tenant with a written statement of the landlord’s name and address within the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which he receives the request.
        (2) A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with subsection (1) commits a summary offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.
        (3) In this section and section 2—
        (a) “tenant” includes a statutory tenant; and
        (b) “landlord” means the immediate landlord.


        The consequence of the agent failing to provide the LL's name and address within 21 days of a written request is that he may be prosecuted and fined. It doesn't prevent the LL bringing proceedings (of whatever kind you mean).

        Under s.34, the prosecuting authority is the local housing authority.

        [EDIT: Another way to find the LL's address is to check the title register of the property. You can do this online at the Land Registry. It costs £4].

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by westminster View Post
          I also gave you a link to the correct procedure to follow if you wish to carry out the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from the rent.
          Thankyou for the link and all the other information.

          There's no need for us to be concerned about this option for a little while. The sudden shock,stress and anxiety is behind us to a degree as we now fully understand that the LL/LA will do nothing to help. We've also suffered the bulk of the inconvenience too. There are special damages but these are relatively small and contained now.

          We can contain the problem to some extent with additional heating and are logging all usage and temperatures within the house. The EHO has isolated why condensation is being created, that's the heating picking up the moisture from the downstairs walls and sending it upstairs to an un-insulated first floor.

          I think that no further contact with LL/LA might be best for a while until we've sought specialist advice.

          I doubt that a business lawyer or conveyancing solicitor (to use 2 examples that immediately spring to mind) would be the right person, is there a specific description for a lawyer/solicitor with the skills to help us?

          thanks in advance.

          Comment


            #20
            You need a solicitor who is specialist in landlord and tenant law and who also conducts litigation.

            However, be aware that there are a lot of incompetent solicitors out there, even in the big firms, so proceed with caution, and ask a lot of questions before engaging the services of one.

            Ask whether they have experience in disrepair claims, for a start - though note that, according to the Nearly Legal blog (written by housing/landlord-tenant solicitors and barristers)

            "...if a disrepair claim reaches trial these days, then one of three options must be true:
            a) there is a genuine and substantive issue of causation or liability (rare as hens teeth);
            b) one or perhaps both of the parties are mad;
            c) a combination of the above."


            I suggest you read the posts on disrepair quantum. http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/tag/disrepair-quantum/

            You could alternatively consider going to a direct access barrister. Barristers cannot conduct litigation on your behalf but they can draft letters for you to send, and of course, they can draft the claim and argue your case in court. It might be advisable to seek advice from a barrister in the first instance, to ascertain whether you have a viable claim against the LL and moreover one worth winning.

            http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/instruc...public-access/

            Liability for damp is not necessarily as straightforward as you might think - see http://blog.painsmith.co.uk/2010/11/...egal-position/ - and it is obviously not worth spending money on lawyers unless you have a strong case and stand to gain a significant award. In other words, you'd be insane to spend, say, £5,000 pursuing a claim which has a 50/50 chance of resulting in an award of £500; and you can never be certain whether your costs will be awarded.

            Litigation is always a risk and not something to be pursued at any cost, however much animosity you feel towards the LL's agent. It will also take many months, and inevitably cause you stress and anxiety, along with the risk of losing money.

            You say:

            now we discover there's no insulation in the loft and that is causing the condensation.
            The LL is not liable for making improvements such as installing loft insulation, so it's possible the damp is an inherent defect of the building, thus it's possible the LL might not be liable.

            I also wonder whether it might have a bearing on a judgment (and costs), that you voluntarily remained in occupation beyond fixed term expiry. It seems to me a somewhat perverse choice, to continue to reside in a property you are arguing is almost uninhabitable, when you don't have to.

            All the above is why I originally suggested that the sensible solution is to move house. I hope this advice doesn't seem quite so 'uncaring' now.

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by westminster View Post
              I also wonder whether it might have a bearing on a judgment (and costs), that you voluntarily remained in occupation beyond fixed term expiry. It seems to me a somewhat perverse choice, to continue to reside in a property you are arguing is almost uninhabitable, when you don't have to.
              We said that 4 rooms were affected by damp, including a spare bedroom. The survey precisely locates the problem and its quite easily remedied. iro £800. Our problems were with the LA and their unwillingness to even admit that there was a problem. With one month to go, we stated that they would lose 2 good tenants if this wasn't resolved as a matter of urgency. A glimmer of hope we thought, 2 meetings on site, the most profuse apologies - all witnessed. The LL appears on the scene then, same thing, apologising profusely and making serious promises to resolve, LL said that LA should compensate. Six days of tenancy left, refusal by the LA to compensate, refusal by LL to compensate and when LA asked to provide LL's address - a s21 is served. Not really much time to have done anything else IMHO.

              so you're suggesting that it would strengthen our position if we were to move out. I hadn't considered that. Maybe demand the bond and go and seek a claim later if we have the stamina for it? that's what the LA wants of course.

              I would feel so sorry for anyone else moving into this house with nothing resolved. That shouldn't be allowed to happen - but of course, it would.

              thanks for all of your thoughts, its much appreciated.

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by two View Post
                We said that 4 rooms were affected by damp, including a spare bedroom. The survey precisely locates the problem and its quite easily remedied. iro £800.
                Maybe, but as I said, damp liability isn't necessarily straightforward, and it's about liability, not how simple/complex or how cheap/expensive the remedy for the damp might be.

                so you're suggesting that it would strengthen our position if we were to move out. I hadn't considered that.
                No. I said that I wondered - only wondered - whether staying put might undermine a claim, if you are alleging intolerable conditions, yet nevertheless opt to stay on (tenants don't always have a choice in the matter, e.g. on benefits or there's a long fixed term to see out, etc). I could be completely wrong, however, about choosing to stay or not having any bearing on the matter. You need expert legal advice, not amateur advice on forums, for something like this.

                If you are concerned about future tenants of this property, then all the more reason to persist with the EHO and getting him to serve notice on the LL to address the problem.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Thank you, I misused the word 'strengthened' because I was thinking about the opposite of 'undermined' as you clarified. I should have said 'undermined less' if we'd opt to leave. Timing is not good as, at the last minute there was an obvious retraction of promises by LL and an s21 is served. That clearly leaves us with no alternative to think about moving but a full month is lost because we need to still serve a months notice (despite the s21 - valid or not) and have to pay for this tenancy until the next possible notice date.

                  apart from the damp, there is strong evidence of a general reluctance to attend to simple, yet in some instances dangerous, defects that should have been attended to before the tenancy started, but were not attended to until Month6 despite our many documented requests and photos.

                  LA claimed affiliations to (names withheld) various letting and estate agent associations which have proved non-existent. LA was asked to provide bond certificate and has provided a forged incomplete and unsigned document from a TDS company to which they're not even members, nor is LL. Plus a couple of items that I cant discuss on here.

                  overwhelming evidence of misrepresentation, of property and LA, attempted fraud (cant discuss) and forgery..

                  our previous LL was private, for 3.5yrs, they're living in that house now, we cared for it, had our bond paid back immediately and we've become good friends. we're pretty normal run of the mill busy people who have invested a lot of time and energy into this property - to be treated in this way.

                  expert legal advice is needed now. God bless

                  Comment

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