How do I answer inflamatory dispute?

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    How do I answer inflamatory dispute?

    Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)? England

    Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only? Multi

    Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy? 01/08/2014

    Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)? 24

    Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)? 26th month for a rental period that runs 1st month for one calendar month

    Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)? 31/07/2014

    Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy). N/A

    Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant? no

    ___________________________________

    I am currently in dispute with the landlord for the deposit - this will probably be the subject of another thread.

    The deposit of £1900 was not secured until 23/06/2015 nearly 11 months after the start of the tenancy and the PI information not sent until after that date. I am therefore aware I can claim 1 - 3x penalty .
    I have written an email (6/9/2016) with a letter before action (using the shelter template) requesting that compensation/agreement be made before the 30/9. Email is our stand communication method as the landlord is overseas. This email has been seen but not acknowledged. Today I sent a reminder containing the letter and also an email to letting agent as it is possible that they were responsible for the protection - but I am unsure on this. I hope they will explain to the landlord that this is serious and not an idle threat.

    My confusion arises on what level of fees i need to pay to the court. The whole deposit is currently in dispute as each time the landlord replies the costs requested increase.

    Given the dispute is with the TDS already, what level do I set the claim at as it is solely for penalties?

    I am sure further questions will arise.

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    If the landlord is abroad, suing them to successfuly to recover the money is going to be difficult (he understated).
    If you actually paid the money to the agent, you could sue them instead (not many people know that, including most agents).

    Use the dispute resolution service to resolve the disputed amounts - that's what it's there for.
    A series of escalating claims never looks good for the landlord

    Do you have an address in England or Wales to which you can serve legal notices for the landlord?
    Do you pay the landlord via the agent?
    Do the agent deduct the tax due before sending the rent to the landlord (if not you are liable for this)?
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the prompt reply.
      I do have an address in Wales where I can serve legal notice. The landlord is also going to use the property as a holiday home here so will be back regularly.
      I paid the deposit to the agent but the rent direct to the landlord.

      Do I now send a letter of intent to the Agent and give them a 10 day grace period? Or do I wait for the agent to respond to my email where I informed them of the lack of response from the landlord?

      The agent is aware that I am unhappy with their service as I have started a Subject Access Request as my documentation does not match theirs. Unfortunately their replies are unlikely to be in the period of the dispute but it has given me access to a "name" at the top .

      Comment


        #4
        If you paid the deposit to the agent, they also failed to protect it and are (presumably) based in the UK, so you can sue them instead of the landlord.
        Same process, letter before action etc.

        Did your landlord show you an excemption document from HMRC (I've never seen one, so I can't be more specific) which indicates that there is no need to deduct basic rate tax from the rent before sending it to the landlord?
        If not, you are meant to deduct tax from the rent before you send it, complete a six monthly return to HMRC and pay them the deducted tax.
        Not doing so is something HMRC will want to blame on you because (in some magic way) you're meant to know to do that.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Ok. I will now do a letter before action for the agent and deliver it by hand tomorrow.

          As to exemption I didn't see a certificate but I know the landlard was still taxed in this country as they wanted all receipts in their name so they could offset in their tax returns. They are not a foreign landlord just living in 2 countries so hopefully I have escaped that one.

          When it comes to going to court I am still unclear as to which fee I pay - are you able to advise on that?

          Comment


            #6
            You are meant to issue your claim using the Part 8 procedure to your County Court. If done correctly (this include ignoring any court clerk that may try to tell you differently), you are paying the "Non Money Claims" fee under "County Court (not including possessions)" which is £308 currently.

            Somewhere along the line, if the case proceed to a hearing, you may or may not be asked to pay a hearing fee. Experience by different people differs here. You are meant to be charged such, but it's not unknown for the court to simply never ask you for it. If they do, and the case proceeded along the Part 8 default route and never reassigned out of it, it's £1,090 under multi track.
            I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

            I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

            Comment


              #7
              It might be helpful in your letter before action you mention that you will be making the claim under the part 8 procedure as the agent will find out that a) they're probably going to lose and b) they'll pay a lot of legal fees.

              Otherwise, they might assume you'll claim via the small claims route and chance it - because settling right at the end of a small claims process just before you walk into court costs next to nothing, but the part 8 route isn't like that.
              You may want to consider finding a solicitor to assist with the claim, as the process can be difficult for the non-professional.
              The most common reason that these claims fail is a procedural mistake.

              Your best bet is the letter before action causing the agent to make an offer to settle.
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                How do I answer inflamatory dispute?

                Afternoon All,

                Today I received the Landlords dispute documentation and I am trying to take a step back.
                Very emotive language has been used and in one case it is so defamatory that I have requested the scheme to remove that part.

                The costs requested are twice the deposit.

                There is an inventory at check in and one which we amended. It seems the LA didn't pass the amended one to the landlord - where do we stand on this?

                Due to illness we hadn't completed the clearing of some out buildings and were granted extra time to do this.

                The landlord didnt produce a checkout instead they have sent numerous emails and each time added to them. In the dispute documentation we now have an independent checkout produced 16 days after we left. The landlord said we weren't given a copy of it as we didnt pay towards it but that we were present for this but we weren't. I have an email from the inventory clerk to say we were on the premises (clearing outside) but did not meet her. Is this checkout valid? Though some points are interesting as they contradict the Landlords view.

                Cleaning - nearly 1600 (!) We had missed some parts when we left (A dishwasher hings, a warmer tray and the underneath of the woodburner) and had offered the landlord £30 to clean them. We have in writing that the Landlord did not expect a professional clean, it wasn't professionally cleaned when we took it on.We have now had a request for £250 to clean kitchen, bathrooms and the woodburned. But when I read the quote whilst it is headed as only those areas it includes: deepcleaning - deliming and descaling all tiles and cleaning all the rooms in the house.
                The Carpets have been professionally cleaned but there are some stains. One of the carpets is damaged (daughter and nail varnish) and we have offered to replace it. This hasn't been accepted. The carpets are 15 yrs old and there have been previous tenants. The landlord has lifted all the carpets and photographed a variety of stains on the underside that I am sure are no visible on the carpet side. They have accused our dogs of this damage and used words like soiled. We signed an addendum to say any dog damage would be rectified and not be FWT. Rather than request replacement under damage the landlord has listed every separate stain and requested £35 per stain coming to a total of £1200. (These include stains that are not on the independent checkout). Do we just stick to our original offer?
                Window cleaning - we cleaned the windows inside and out. The landlord is saying they are dirty but has not listed any fingermarks, black bits, cobwebs or dog noses. There are several blown windows that the landlord is saying is due to our not wiping the condensation off after the "supposed" carpet cleaning. They have also highlighted a single piece of bird muck on an outside window. The costs to clean the internal are in the professional cleaners quote, the external quote has increased £20 from the last email to that now in the dispute. We do have plenty of photographs of window sillls, frames and windows but how do you assess cleanliness?

                Damage: £800
                Our dogs did scratch some doors and we have offered to pay for rectification. The landlord has put a quote forward which includes all of the internal doors (including ensuites), repainting 4 areas relating to holes and "other" rectification in a single price. The original emails mentioned one hole (this was already there), the increased to 2 and is now 4. The doors are knotty soft wood and a replacement would be < £30. We were thinking of saying the replacement costs of the doors as we can't assess what is for what, does that seem reasonable?
                Leak damage: £100. We had the washer at the bottom of a toilet cistern fail and water come through the ceiling. We repaired the cistern ourselves. Throughout the tenancy the landlord had delegated all maintenance to us and the repaid us when they had receipts: this included arranging servicing of boiler, replacing a split oil tank. The landlord is asking for the receipts from a professional plumber as they are saying we have been negligent.
                The tiles behind the toilet are attached to a plywood casing which warped as it dried and one corner of one tile has lifted. Although I have never noticed while wiping the tiles there is also a hairline crack in 2 tiles which the landlord says will crack from wall to wall when they push the other tile back. The landlord is also saying this is due to considerable force being applied to the toilet and was probably due to an adult standing on the toilet. Given I can only just climb stairs and my OH is >20stone I couldn't do that and he would have broken the toilet seat!!

                Gardening: £600
                The landlord is including some of the neighbours property in their requests for garden maintenance. I assume that a plan of the site (found under planning permission) will suffice to limit this.
                They are asking for £300 to lower a hedge that is about a foot higher than 4 years ago. As we border agricultural land we can't cut hedges between March and August due to the nesting birds. Is that a sufficient answer?
                The landlord is requesting £130 to weed the gravel and paths. We had weed killed prior to leaving and also weed killed whilst we were clearing the outside. We do have photos showing the weeds dying off - is this sufficient?

                The landlord is also misrepresenting a few areas.
                Initially they wrote saying we didn't have permission for dogs, now they are saying one dog. They have put up the original signed addendum which states "numerous": do we point this out.
                They are also using photos of the outside prior to our extended time to clear.
                There are some silly niggles eg 4 lights out according to the independent checkout clerk, 5 halogen/2 uplighters/flourescent according to the landlord.

                Sorry for the essay.

                Am I right in thinking we simply answer the costs and ignore the commentary?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Is your deposit protected somewhere? Is this how the dispute is being handled - via deposit holder?



                  Freedom at the point of zero............

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Yes it is with the TDS.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Seems mostly codswallop.

                      Raise a dispute with TDS if it hasn't been done already and submit your evidence to them.

                      Your LL is going down the route of inflating damages in the hopes that he gets X% of them but an adjudication will make X zero if necessary and most of this stuff is a joke. Carpets for example, 15 years old and you've been there for 4 years means FW&T will cover everything.

                      It sounds like you have good evidence so submit it to the TDS. It costs you nothing and if this is LLs attitude it's unlikely you will ever reach a decent compromise.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Two related threads have been merged.
                        I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Totally unreasonable demands! Firstly, remember that the onus is on THEM to prove all they are alleging, so most of their claim will fail just on that basis without you needed to say anything.

                          The likelihood is that IF they can evidence some sub-standard cleaning compared to when you moved in, and this is evident on the picture, they might get something for it, but only a small element of what they are claiming for. Carpets, unlikely they will get much at all, unless the check in states that they were in excellent condition/new when you moved in. They might get something for professional cleaning.

                          Damages, they will get something for the doors, but not for the replacement of them, so probably something like £20-50 for it again depending on the type of doors they are and state of them when you moved in.

                          Leak- they might get something. They might not have carried out the repairs, but unless you can evidence that you asked them to do so and they refused, whatever repairs you took upon yourself to carry out becomes your responsibility. However, again, I don't expect they will get much for it.

                          Gardening - They won't get anything for the part of the garden that is not in the tenancy, but if they had to tidy your garden, the cost of the apportion to the other garden might be minimal anyway. Unless you can evidence that you've been told that you can't trim these trees because of conservation, I think you will struggle there. They might have a claim there if you did return the garden in a similar maintenance than when you moved in. How much will be considered reasonable will depend on the pictures and the adjudicator.

                          Make an offer of what you think is reasonable and see what they say. If it goes to the adjudication service, then build your case. Remember that it will a defense case, so just refute with your evidence what they claim.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hi
                            Thanks for the answers.
                            The carpets were not new when we got the property. Burn marks and stains which were in the original inventory and proof they were laid in 2009. We also had them professionally cleaned and have invoices.
                            The doors are scratched at the base but not all of them, interestingly the count of scratched doors by the inventory clerk is less than that of the landlord.
                            On the leak - the damage was limited to a damp stain. You access the toilet trough the mdf top not the the tiled side so we wouldn't have move the back of the soil pipe at all.
                            Gardening - the garden didnt need tidying after we left only this years hedge growth which as it is a hedgerow and we had nesting birds we would have been in breech of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 181. Being a keen gardener I have plenty of photos of the garden including aerial ones :-) I have also been told I have over pruned the laurels!

                            As you say it is defense case therefore should I point out all the anomalies the landlord has written? eg including missing roof tiles - we can show the roof has one cracked we had the roof photographed the day we checked out.

                            Thanks again

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Good, just go to dispute process...
                              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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