Could someone check a letter for me please

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    Could someone check a letter for me please

    Hi, we moved into a property in Feb 2013 on a 6 months AST and pay £1500 rent per month. When we viewed the property, and agreed to take it, the facilities offered were the only reason, this was made clear to both letting agent and LL. The property is a barn conversion and was offered with 2 stables, a ménage and a small paddock, the landlord has converted a garage on the property but we were told that the area fenced around this was his and although we shared the drive that was it.

    We were assured that the building work to his garage would be completed prior to us moving in. There was a little work to do on the stables, fencing in the paddock and a dumper truck to be removed from the ménage. So, we are now in June, the dumper truck is still in the ménage, the paddock is still not fenced and the stables are full of the landlords furniture.

    The landlord wanders around the garden and walks into the property as though it is his home, his 3 dogs wander around freely, fouling anywhere they want and it is not cleared up, it is currently 445 in the morning and his dog is barking!

    There are still constant building works going on with workmen turning up every sunday since we moved in at around 7am, although sometimes as late as 8 and then machinery and tools going all day and workmen suddenly appearing on the garden or on the patio.

    The landlord has connected his electricity to our meter (which has 2500 of his debt on it that he didn't tell us about and we are paying back, this is in hand for sorting out) and has connected the sewage pipe which is now above ground on the entrance to the patio from the drive.

    The landlord has a 5yo son that appears in the garden and peers through the windows.

    2 weeks ago (so 3 months into the tenancy) we brought a couple of our horses up and put them in the ménage with the dumper truck, trying to push the LL to move it as all requests so far have just been ignored. Within 2 hours of them arriving we had to call a vet, one had escaped through fencing that was held on with 1 nail, LL admitted it had been put up to look nice rather than be functional! I have just had enough, I am a nervous wreck, cannot relax and we are having to take the horses away because it is just not safe (or secure) to keep them here, so we have had 2 weeks with them at home and the vets bill will be around £300 when it arrives.

    LL has now served us with a section 21 notice for when our ast expires in august because he wants to sell but I really don't think I can last that long. Do we have a case to get out, I cannot bear the thought of paying him all that money for facilities we are not getting, especially since the barn conversion has been very badly done once you get in and isn't even nice to live in. If anyone can advise as to how we can get out quickly I would appreciate it, LL is very difficult but I can see us falling out very quickly if this all goes on. We have stayed quiet knowing that we have to live here.

    I probably should have added that we have never been given the certificate for our deposit protection, despite asking for it several times, we have 4 young children, and we have asked constantly for the things we are paying for to be put right to no avail.

    #2
    hch,

    If you still have time to edit then I suggest you split that wall of text into paragraphs.
    it's difficult to read as it is.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      If you simply leave, the LL could sue you for the remaining rent until the end of your fixed term. You could counterclaim, citing all the loss of amenities you have suffered, which do sound extreme. Any one of the inconveniences by itself would not be grounds to end your tenancy, but taken together, the situation does sound woeful. I am sorry you and your family have had to put up with it all.

      I suggest you write to your LL, describing your experience of renting his property in exactly the same terms as you have described it to us (but using paragraphs!), and ask him for an early surrender. He may be more than willing to let you go; after all, he has indicated he wants you out in August. Don't mention the deposit at this stage - keep it for a bargaining tool.Use this Shelter site to check whether your deposit was protected with any of the approved schemes: http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...eposit_schemes

      If he refuses to let you go early, you will have to choose whether simply to break your contract and go, (and risk him suing you for the rent and your having to counterclaim, etc.), or stay put and go in August (assuming you cannot afford two lots of rent and there is nowhere else you could go, until then). If he didn't protect your deposit, you could suggest that if he refunds it in full and lets you go early, you will accept that as an out of court settlement to avoid having to sue him for 3x its value.

      If your LL within 30 days of receiving your deposit, fail to protect it or supply you with the Prescribed Information relating to the scheme he's used, then you can sue him for 1 to 3 times its value (but although the penalty is mandatory if he hasn't protected your money,, the process for you, the claimant, is not always simple). But he doesn't necessarily know that and the thought of it might be enough to make him cave in to your demand.
      '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

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for your replies, sorry about the paragraphs, it was very early and I am very tired as I get little sleep.

        Regarding the deposit, I have now had confirmation that the deposit is protected and the company sent me a copy of the certificate (although it is covered for £100 less than we paid), obviously unsigned by anyone as we have never even been told where it is let alone asked to sign anything. I did email back and ask when this was done but have not yet had a reply.

        Comment


          #5
          Whilst I do not know your personal circumstances, if you can afford a rent of £1500 per month and can keep two horses it strongly suggests that you can afford to consult a solicitor who ought to wipe the floor with your landlord. All solicitors are used to reading long paragraphs, but make sure you choose one who knows the difference between a ménage and a manège!

          Comment


            #6
            Lol, I will blame the spellcheck for that! We have quite a few more than the 2 horses and have land where they are kept but nowhere to work them, hence taking this place on so that we could alternate them for training. The rent is managed purely because we work long hours to pay it and with the horses and 4 children we don't have a lot to spare. I think we will have to go down the legal route but I suppose I wanted an idea of whether we had a case or not, I cannot bear the thought of this man being able to charge us all this money just to make our life hell. Thanks for your comments!

            Comment


              #7
              conning landlord - update and more questions

              Hi, thanks to those who replied to my previous post about landlord not giving us the amenities we are paying for.

              I have now written to the landlord, asking him to reduce our rent for the remaining 2 months of our tenancy and to refund a portion in relation to the amenities we have been denied. I haven't mentioned anything about the deposit protection being for the wrong amount or that we have never been given the prescribed information, I feel I may need this as a bargaining tool! I also haven't mentioned that I believe the Section 21 notice to be invalid because of this. I have mentioned the lack of quiet enjoyment and asked that we be allowed this for the remainder of the tenancy.

              The refund of rent would actually cover the reduced rent until the end of tenancy, I have given him 14 days to respond but expect him to refuse because agreement will mean him getting no further payment. I just wanted to check, if he refuses we then have to pay the full rent and attempt to recover the amount through the courts, is that correct?

              I have told him we will start proceedings if he refuses and again, I just want to check, am I correct in thinking that because he has not given us the prescribed information, regardless of whether or not the deposit was protected within 30 days (I don't think it was but the company haven't confirmed this) we are entitled to claim compensation? If this is the case, should we start proceedings immediately after the 14 days or do we have to wait until after the end of the tenancy?

              The idea of the compensation is that it will cover the amount I want refunded which I consider can be proved as a loss to us because we were paying for amenities we were being denied, also we would not have gone to the expense and inconvenience of a move for only a 6 month period after he had promised at least a year. Is this a valid argument? I don't want to be unfair, not appearing to jump on a bandwagon just to get money out of him, but it has cost us a lot of money to move and then even to live here and I do feel he completely mis represented what was on offer.

              Thanks in anticipation.

              Comment


                #8
                Two related threads have been merged.
                I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                Comment


                  #9
                  Urgent help, I think my landlord has just threatened to kill me!

                  In all seriousness.........Having given him a letter outlining our problems with the tenancy and advising legal proceedings if he doesn't accept our proposal to recover our costs, he told my husband and I that if we insist on going down this route 'there will be a wake in it' He lives on site and basically I am scared. I am going to ring the police but I am really not sure what our options are with 4 kids and the dogs and cat.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Two related threads have been merged.
                    I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by hch4971 View Post
                      In all seriousness.........Having given him a letter outlining our problems with the tenancy and advising legal proceedings if he doesn't accept our proposal to recover our costs, he told my husband and I that if we insist on going down this route 'there will be a wake in it' He lives on site and basically I am scared. I am going to ring the police but I am really not sure what our options are with 4 kids and the dogs and cat.
                      Did he say this to your face, over the phone or in writing? It is an odd phrase to use. Are you sure that is what he said? If so, then I suggest you either enlist the help of an independent witness or record the conversation, asking him again to explain his response to your proposal.
                      If you ring the police without any evidence, it will essentially be your word against his.
                      '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

                      Comment


                        #12
                        He said it to me and my husband after going ballistic in response to the letter, and that is definitely what he said, I agree it is a strange thing to say and not something I have heard before, although obviously I know what a wake is. I have reported it just to have it logged really, I did say that I thought he was just angry but wanted to ensure that if anything does happen then they are aware. In hindsight now I think that is what it was and doubt we are in any danger but it was frightening at the time, his face was scary! I think I was more worried about the children being in the house.

                        The younger children are very upset, teenage daughter is hysterical, my husband wants us to move out tomorrow and go to stay with family but I think we need to hang in and get legal advice on Monday, LL reckons he knows the law so hopefully he will leave us alone until he speaks to his own solicitor, who hopefully will tell him it will be cheaper to accept our proposals regarding rent rather than allow it to get to court.. We are under the Section 21 notice due to expire in August so it is maybe going to be a long 2 months!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The word ‘Wake’ does of course have several meanings, hch4971 seems to have associated what was said with a funeral, but another in-context meaning is the turbulence that follows a boat or ship, i.e. the phrase used by the landlord could mean ‘this will not be the end of it’.
                          I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

                          Comment


                            #14
                            thank you, I have heard of 'in it's wake' but wouldn't have thought of it in that context (and didn't know it related to a boat or a ship). In any case, I am sure this will not be the end of it, I sort of wish we had left well alone but at the same time it is wrong that he is taking so much money from us and not making the facilities available. I will consult our solicitor tomorrow and also the council's tenancy relations officer.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Be aware of the criminal offence of harassment - see..
                              http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...land-and-wales
                              Protection from Harassment Act 1997

                              1 Prohibition of harassment.
                              (1)A person must not pursue a course of conduct
                              (a)which amounts to harassment of another, and
                              (b)which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.
                              (2)For the purposes of this section, the person whose course of conduct is in question ought to know that it amounts to harassment of another if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct amounted to harassment of the other.
                              "A course" means more than once and you'll see what it says about it not being what the perpetrator thinks is harassment but what a reasonable person thinks is harassment...

                              Keep a log, handwritten is fine, (date, time, what, witnesses if any etc etc) and any other evidence that he is harassing. You made need this for later criminal (by Police or Council I think..) or civil (by you) action later against this gentleman.

                              Best regards
                              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

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