Landlord ending tenancy earlier than agreed

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    Landlord ending tenancy earlier than agreed

    I have quite a long story but I will just give the main points and if anyone has any advice then I would be extremely grateful.

    My girlfriend saw a flat advertised on Gumtree and asked me to ring about the flat. I rang and the landlord said that the flat needed a bit of decorating but other than that is in good order.
    I went to meet him at the flat and the wallpaper was hanging off the walls, due to so much mould and damp. There were whole walls covered with mould, all the windows sills were rotten and the rest of the property needed gutting as well. I told my GF to forget it but she really liked the area and I must admit it was an excellent place for the children. I offered the landlord a deal whereby I would do it cheaply if he would guarantee that she could have it for at least three years and he agreed. I had no reason to doubt him on this as he said it is just a rental property and that he plans on renting forever anyway.
    During the time I was working there I told him that the windows needed replacing as they were the cause of the damp, mould and rot around the windows. He said that if I could make them respectable he would change them within six months, so once again I agreed. He paid me £700 for all the work that also had to pay for the materials and my friend to help me for ten days. I was not doing it to earn money though but to make it nice for my girlfriend, in fact I got a reduction of the first months rent as he could not even pay me the £700.

    Around Christmas time I told her to contact him regarding the windows, he came to see the mould that was accruing around the frames and sills again. Granted I could have cleaned and painted them again but it would only mask the problem and I wanted him to see the windows for himself.
    As usual he was very amiable and said he would arrange someone to come around and measure up after Christmas.
    Anyway on the 11th January 2014 she received a letter from a solicitors, that contained a section 21 notice. This notice runs out on the 11 March 2014(or within a day or two, I do not have it to hand).

    Ever since she received that she has withheld her rent as she sees it has he has not kept his side of the bargain and certainly has no intention of doing the windows. Also I have found out that he has supplied a fake electrical certificate to the council, I know it is fake as it is a certificate to say he has installed a new fuse box in lone with current regulations but it is still the old fusebox. I realise she probably should not have withheld her rent but I cannot blame her to be honest.

    I have spoken to him and told him that I am perfectly willing to pay all rent arrears provided he remedies the windows and continues the tenancy. He put the phone down and said he will get the arrears of me in court, which he will not as I am not on the tenancy.

    Does anybody know how to proceed with this and how the court are likely to look on this if it goes to an eviction hearing. I am also considering bringing an action myself for full payment as I did originally quote him £1900 to do the works but we came to the above arrangement.

    Any advice will be very much appreciated, thank you.

    #2
    Unless you have something in writing you are going to struggle to get anything back from him for the work you did. I would have thought that at least was essential is this sort of situation. Something which says your charge is £1900 discounted to £700 if your girlfriend remains in the property for 3 years (or whatever)

    If the LL agreed to let to your girlfriend for at least 3 years, then she should (again) have got that firmly in writing by signing an agreement with a 3 year Fixed Term. Is she did that, the s21 would not be valid.

    As to the rent, your girlfriend really should pay it, otherwise the LL will have the ability to issue a s8 for non payment of rent and this could potentially get her evicted quicker and lead to a CCJ showing on her credit file. Not to mention a poor reference if she ever wants to rent somewhere else.

    Sorry to be giving you "should have" answers, but I fear you don't have a leg to stand on. It appears the LL is well within his legal right to issue a s21.

    There may be ways to delay the LL actually gaining possession, but ultimately he'll get there in due course. Is there a deposit and was it properly protected?
    IANAL (I am not a lawyer). Anything I say here is just an opinion, so should not be relied upon! Always check your facts with a professional who really knows their onions.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for your response.

      Yes the deposit is all correctly protected.

      I am just angry now to be honest, the funny thing is he will not even do any repairs even now and just seems to use the law to his advantage. I am rather old fashioned in that a handshake is enough, but nowadays I am learning otherwise.
      I am a painter/handyman and do a lot of work for landlords and have seen some true awful situations where they have been screwed over(thousands owed, cannabis factories, burning wardrobes, vomit and faeces on all floors), but it also seems some landlords are just as nasty.
      It seems that those who damage and mistreat the property and/or not pay rent get away with it scot free. But whats the betting my GF will be evicted whilst the landlord has a beautifully decorated flat to let.

      Comment


        #4
        When did T commence?
        How long is fixed term as quoted in AST
        Is rent payable per cal month?
        When did LL receive rent?
        What date was it protected?
        Did you also receive full PI at same time as deposit protection notification??
        s21 is mandatory repo
        As you say, there are good & bad Ts / Ts Always a problem when good T meets bad LL and vice versa.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by mariner View Post
          When did T commence?

          17/7/2013

          How long is fixed term as quoted in AST

          Six months

          Is rent payable per cal month?

          Yes

          When did LL receive rent?

          They receive it around the 12th, see below for more on this.

          What date was it protected?

          Not sure, see below

          Did you also receive full PI at same time as deposit protection notification?
          s21 is mandatory repo
          As you say, there are good & bad Ts / Ts Always a problem when good T meets bad LL and vice versa.
          The flat was actually arranged by the council as my Gf was part of a rent deposit scheme, so they paid the deposit and protected it in a bond. Not only do they provide the rent but they also inspect the flat and take an full inventory before the tenancy agreement's are signed as they have to meet certain standards. I got the flat from a state that you could not believe to passing their inspection within two weeks. Unbeknownst to me at the time though he has given the council a fake certificate over the boiler. The rent is actually £180 more than the housing benefit pay per month but I pay that for her as a private agreement between myself and the landlord. It is not mentioned in the tenancy agreement.
          The rent has always been a bit haphazard in how it has been paid but that is not my Gf's fault to be fair. When I had finished the works at his flat he still owed me three hundred pounds, so he agreed I could underpay the first months rent by £300. Shortly after the rent was paid the first month his wife telephoned me accusing me of thieving from them and having no intention of ever paying the rent, to be honest she only got away with the things she were saying as she was a woman. It was venomous to say the least, she then threatened to report my Gf to the council for not paying the rent. So I sent another payment through that made the rent upto what was in the tenancy agreement. The month after that the rent was sent through minus £120 as this is what was owed to me from the £300. I received another phone call calling me various names, the next thing was my Gf received a letter from the council saying the landlord has told them they have not been paid for eight weeks and unless she can provide proof they would pay him direct. My Gf sent in bank statements that showed the rent was paid and they started paying her again. This took eight weeks so they never received anything apart from my £180 a month for months three and four until the council started paying again, as soon as the payment from the council was received she transferred it to the landlord.

          To be honest I really want to get this man back somehow, that may sound petty but if you had seen his flat and saw it now you would not believe it. He knows that my Gf is not well and the stress of this and having to find somewhere for her and her daughter is making her worse.

          Thanks again for the responses.

          Comment


            #6
            It sounds like your gf is regularly behind in paying the rent. Her LL will still have the mortgage to pay and insurance. If, for whatever reason, the rent isn't paid to the LL, it IS your gf's fault.

            The council's deposit through the rent deposit scheme does not need to be protected by the Landlord because the council do not actually hand the money over to the landlord. Our council's bond only lasts for one year then the council withdraw it and there is no bond.Yours is probably the same. In my experience the council doesn't tell either the ll or the T that there is a time limit on the life of the bond. The tenant is expected to save for the bond themselves in this time.

            I am surprised that the council have agreed to give the bond on a house that's £180 per month over the housing benefits as your GF will most likely not be able to afford this.

            The property has passed the council inspection. Houses can pass the inspection even when they still need a lot of decorating and tidying up.

            I really don't think there is much you can do. Can you prove that the cert is fake? Have you reported the windows to the environmental health department at your council? The ll has a responsibility to keep the windows in good repair.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by adviceplease2014 View Post
              To be honest I really want to get this man back somehow, that may sound petty but if you had seen his flat and saw it now you would not believe it. He knows that my Gf is not well and the stress of this and having to find somewhere for her and her daughter is making her worse.
              Taking everything at face value, I don't think it's overly petty, but I think it is definitely a way of prolonging the stress and ending up feeling hard-done-by because any redress you are likely to achieve probably isn't going to be that significant. I mean, it's either a slap on the wrist from some regulatory body, maybe the Council, or a modest compensation payment... it's not going to change anything materially, it's not going to get this Landlord to change his ways. If you're interested in a less stressful life, then focus your efforts on moving on as quickly as cleanly as you can - get this scumbag Landlord (and wife) out of your life and forget about it. Don't let your girlfriend be forced out before she's ready, though - know her rights and what the S21 means. Try to be objective - look at it from the outside - and figure out what's best for your girlfriend and daughter... surely it is getting another place sorted out where the Landlord is not like this. It sounds like you've learned a lot from this and, while it doesn't preclude you from doing handyman / decorating work for Landlords, you'll certainly not do it on a handshake next time.

              Comment


                #8
                Berlingogirl,

                I am really not sure how you work out it is her fault that the rent has not been paid. He contacted council saying he has not received rent. The council suspended payments to give my gf a chance to show he has been paid, which she duly provided by way of bank statements. Council started paying again and she immediately transferred the money to him.

                The council never agreed to that, the landlord signed an agreement/tenancy that the rent was only £780 per month, when in fact it in £960. I give him the extra £180 per month.

                The fake certificate is actually for a fusebox, I can prove 110% that the certificate is a fake.

                I am thinking of contacting the environmental health today but as the section 21 is up next week I do not think there is much that they will do.

                Thanks

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hippogriff,

                  Thanks.

                  I have been reading up on the section 21 and ways to prolong it.
                  I have also been actively seeking somewhere else but I am finding it amazing how all landlords/agents are against housing benefit. This is 100% the truth- There is a two bedroom maisonette in Eltham that would suit my GF perfectly. Rang the agent and they said the landlord has categorically stated no housing benefit. I said I will be guarantor(perfect credit, six year history with my LL and never been a day late), that was a no. Anyway I after much toing and froing I asked the minimum lease and he said they wanted a year minimum. I offered to pay A YEAR up front and the LL still said no. I could not believe it to be honest.

                  I will not stop working for LL's as the ones I work for are always on time paying me and are generally nice normal people. The ironic thing is if my GF was ten miles down the road I could have her in a new flat by the weekend with the landlords I know.

                  Thanks again.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by adviceplease2014 View Post
                    I said I will be guarantor(perfect credit, six year history with my LL and never been a day late), that was a no.
                    Just for your information, on this site we recommend that landlords only accept guarantors who own their own home. This is so that a charging order can be placed against the house if the guarantor refuses to pay what is owed.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thats fair enough I suppose, that surely offering to pay one years in advance has to show actual intent to pay?

                      Thanks

                      Comment


                        #12
                        But what happens in a years time. If the tenant stops paying, it can take up to 7 months to evict.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by adviceplease2014 View Post
                          I have also been actively seeking somewhere else but I am finding it amazing how all landlords/agents are against housing benefit.
                          There's a good chance of more hassle with Housing Benefit Tenants. An example I am quite close to - a small house in Sheffield rented out to a working couple in receipt of Housing Benefit - the Sheffield City Council rate for this property means they pay an amount that is £46 per month lower than the rent (rent is not an outrageous amount).

                          Lovely Tenants, very personable, clean, communicative - but cannot pay the £46 each month to save their lives. So, each month, it needs chasing. Each month they take a trek to the bank, after being reminded more than once, and arrange an over-the-counter payment. They have been advised how to set up a Standing Order, but seem incapable or unwilling to do this (if money is so tight, then I guess they'd not want it to leave their account and then end up with bank charges).

                          This is extra hassle on the part of the Landlord... hassle because you're getting paid from two sources (the Council pay direct to Landlord) and one of them you have to chase all the time... it's got to the point whereby you're thinking about forgetting it and dropping the rent by £46 per month (don't tell anyone that!).

                          And that's with a good Tenant in receipt of Housing Benefit.

                          I think it's just life... and I think Landlords mostly like an easy life. These 'type' of Tenants might be more of a last resort. Best of luck - don't waste your life trying to get one over on this Landlord.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Mrs Mug View Post
                            But what happens in a years time. If the tenant stops paying, it can take up to 7 months to evict.
                            Ask me in 6/9 months for another years/6 months etc. If not issue section 21. Thats what I would do but then again I am not a LL.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Hippogriff View Post
                              Best of luck - don't waste your life trying to get one over on this Landlord.
                              Thanks. Just to clarify I do not want to get one over on him I would just like to stop him getting one over on me. There is actually a way that I could get him back and no one could ever say it was me. After all if I know how to get rid of severe damp/mould I could also reverse the process but I cannot bring myself down to his level.

                              Comment

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