Can my landlord evict me without any notice?

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  • Can my landlord evict me without any notice?

    Hi, I'm in a real pickle.

    I'm a few weeks behind with rent (4) which I was going to
    settle Saturday as my landlord insists in being paid in cash
    and I work full-time.

    I have not received any calls or letters from the landlord until
    yesterday evening when I found a small claims court bill
    pushed under my door.
    The total amout is £1324 of which £140 are for the letter and
    court costs.

    The last time I paid the landlord, I neglected to get him to
    sign in his book that he had received the funds. I recognise
    this was my own stupid fault as I was going on trust.

    That aside the landlord is now seeking to change the locks
    thereby evicting me before a court hearing and without
    any notice.

    I know this is illegal but having read through my contract,
    I found the following term

    'I, Mr X, AGREE NOT TO TAKE ANY LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE LANDLORD(S) OR HIS/THEIR AGENT(S) IF MY DOOR's LOCK IS CHANGED, IN SO DOING, PREVENTING ME TO ENTER INTO THE PROPERTY. THIS ACTION WILL BE JUSTIFIED IF MY RENT ARREARS OR OTHER OUTSTANDING; ie bills, arrears charges, cleaning charges etc., AMOUNT TO THE EQUIVALENT OF TWO WEEKS RENT OR MORE. I ALSO AGREE TO PAY THE LANDLORD £75 FOR ALL COSTS INCURRED.

    Having read read a little of the 'guidance of unfair terms in
    tenancy agreements' this looks to certainly tip the balance in favour of the landlord.

    Is this legal, please help as I'm afraid to go to work in case
    I can't get in again.

  • #2
    The clause in your AST is not legal/valid ( Your LL just can not change the locks )
    Change the locks yourself to stop your LL gaining entry, or let him do it then sue the bugger for illegal eviction.
    Speak to your local housing advice office ( Council )

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Colincbayley

      That's what I thought, but I've had to take the day off
      work because of this.

      Comment


      • #4
        odbo:
        1. I agree with Colincbayley that the clause is unenforceable. English law does not usually permit the parties to oust the jurisdiction of the courts [cf Archbishop of Canterbury!]
        2. Has L served on you any Housing Act 1988 notices, under s.8 or s.21?
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


        • #5
          No, I've had no other contact with the LL other than this
          served notice.

          What I find strange is there's no 'claim number' or 'issue
          date' on the form and it came in an evelope with 'served
          by hand' written on it.

          Isn't the court meant to post a copy to the defendent?

          Also this guy's really abusive and shouts at all his tennants.
          And there's a clause in the contract about only accepting cash
          payments. Which is what caused the delay as the ATM ate my
          card this week.

          Not to mention the small matter of the £270 he conveniently
          forgot to sign and is billing me for again.

          Och...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by odbo View Post
            No, I've had no other contact with the LL other than this
            served notice.

            What I find strange is there's no 'claim number' or 'issue
            date' on the form and it came in an evelope with 'served
            by hand' written on it.

            Isn't the court meant to post a copy to the defendent?

            Also this guy's really abusive and shouts at all his tennants.
            And there's a clause in the contract about only accepting cash
            payments. Which is what caused the delay as the ATM ate my
            card this week.

            Not to mention the small matter of the £270 he conveniently
            forgot to sign and is billing me for again.

            Och...
            So he is suing only for debt. He can do that, BUT it has no impact at all on continuance of tenancy- remains in force.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


            • #7
              If it were me I'd be inclined to hope he does evict me, and then claim money back from him for illegal eviction. Best of all, no more living with a seriously dodgy landlord.
              The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the info.

                I take full responsibility for late payment but he's behaving
                really unreasonably and has not once called or written to
                discuss this.

                I was wondering if I can counter-claim based on his abusive
                and dodgy behaviour. If I could record him, that would be
                ideal, this guy goes crazy!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Grange View Post
                  If it were me I'd be inclined to hope he does evict me, and then claim money back from him for illegal eviction. Best of all, no more living with a seriously dodgy landlord.
                  LOL, with HIS temper, I'll be surprised if he doesn't.

                  I really don't want to abuse landlords but I don't see why I should
                  be treated like this and pay double for the privelige!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    your tenancy will be shorthold assured by default. Your LL must obey the law on SA tenancies. If he threatens you or changes the locks or evicts you without a court order for eviction by bailif then call the police.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pobinr View Post
                      your tenancy will be shorthold assured by default. Your LL must obey the law on SA tenancies. If he threatens you then call the police.
                      Assuming that you mean Assured Shorthold Tenancy: yes, but that is not the question.
                      L has not served any s.8/s.21 Notice so tenancy will continue. L's debt recovery action is irrelevant.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, he's just been 'round and changed the locks,
                        I was in at the time so I'm not locked out but neither
                        can I lock my door, which means I won't be able to
                        go to work tomorrow.

                        edit. I think I have a case against these people,

                        I'm also getting the following taken out of my deposit
                        as part of the contract

                        £135 contract/insurance
                        £60 cleaning
                        £85 cutlery/crockery (2 plates, 2 knives/forks and 2 mugs)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by odbo View Post
                          Well, he's just been 'round and changed the locks,
                          I was in at the time so I'm not locked out but neither
                          can I lock my door, which means I won't be able to
                          go to work tomorrow.

                          edit. I think I have a case against these people,

                          I'm also getting the following taken out of my deposit
                          as part of the contract

                          £135 contract/insurance
                          £60 cleaning
                          £85 cutlery/crockery (2 plates, 2 knives/forks and 2 mugs)
                          I would pretend I have been locked out as you would have been in reality had you not got home in time, contact the police the council housing department and shelter make a mega saga out of it and get LL the prison sentence he deserves!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks Terryok. But what about the 2 weeks rent (£270)
                            I paid him that he's basically saying he's going to charge
                            me for unless I play by his rules? I can't prove I paid it
                            to him, my own dumb fault for going on trust.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by odbo View Post
                              Thanks Terryok. But what about the 2 weeks rent (£270)
                              I paid him that he's basically saying he's going to charge
                              me for unless I play by his rules? I can't prove I paid it
                              to him, my own dumb fault for going on trust.
                              I wouldn't worry overly about that - now your LL has shown his true colours by changing the locks he's going to have difficulty in proving his honesty to anybody.

                              Don't quite understand the lock situation - can you get out of the property? ie is it just a yale-type lock?

                              I'd seriously consider leaving the property now and locking yourself out, and calling the police, as advised above - he'll be in deep do-do. (Are you sure he didn't/doesn't know you are inside?)

                              Comment

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