Council stopped HB because old L had sold- news to us!

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  • Council stopped HB because old L had sold- news to us!

    Having taken a tenancy with Lanldord A in November, our housing benefit was stopped in March when the council informed us that the property had been sold in December. We knew nothing about this and were still paying the old landlord. The new ówner´then tried to have us sign a new lease which we refused. We had many problems not least our electric was being drawn off our supply. We are still paying off the bill. Is it illegal for a lanldord not to be registered? Must he comply with repairs when plenty of notice is given? We gave verbal notice when we left and refused to pay the last months rent as he was holding our deposit, he is now taking us to court for the unpaid rent and loss of earning for two months to the point he re-rented the house. The situation was so bad we had no heating over this winter and used candles for lighting and the bill was still 40 pounds a day.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cranstoun View Post
    The situation was so bad we had no heating over this winter and used candles for lighting and the bill was still 40 pounds a day.
    40 pounds a day?? And with no heating or lighting?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cranstoun View Post
      We gave verbal notice when we left and refused to pay the last months rent as he was holding our deposit, he is now taking us to court for the unpaid rent and loss of earning for two months to the point he re-rented the house. T
      Whose advice did you take for this cause of action?
      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by thesaint View Post
        Whose advice did you take for this cause of action?
        The cause of action is L's (enforcing the Letting Agreement contractually), not T's.
        Did you instead mean 'course of action', perhaps?
        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).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cranstoun View Post
          We had many problems not least our electric was being drawn off our supply.
          What do you mean by this? Who was drawing electricity from your supply? How did you get stuck with the bill if this could be proved? Your bill sounds extortionate!

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          • #6
            Scottish Power had put in a check meter with us and the previous tenant. The meter was found to be correct. The electricians who looked at the property could only say that there was something wrong but could not tell us what that was. The last report stated that the property had been altered to such a degree that track and trace was not possible. The account was in our name and we though that if we left and took the bill the landlord would leave us alone. There was water running down from the bathroom upstairs into the hall downstairs, fungus on the walls, we insulated the kitchen to stop the wind coming in as much and we ended up sleeping in the lounge. The landlord found this all very amusing. We called the police, CA, TS, LA - all of them referred us to the others. We had no choice but to leave.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cranstoun View Post
              Scottish Power had put in a check meter with us and the previous tenant. The meter was found to be correct. The electricians who looked at the property could only say that there was something wrong but could not tell us what that was.
              Sorry but something doesn't add up here. £40/day equates to a continuous use of about 17kWh per hour... that's roughly the equivalent of running six three-bar electric fires on full, 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week... if so that's realistically far more than one property could use even if it tried.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                . that's roughly the equivalent of running six three-bar electric fires on full, 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week... .
                ...or one cannabis farm.
                I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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                • #9
                  £40 per day, every day, 7 days a week, 30 or 31 days a month? How did you pay this every month? £1,200 per month just for electricity. That is a bit more than I would expect electricity consumption to come to. Were you funding anyone elses indoor gardening perhaps?

                  Why was "track and trace" not possible, did cables or wires lead to other properties?

                  Where is this property?

                  pm
                  Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    All the electricians said the same! We paid Scottish power 2300 (or will have when the payments finish). The bill for 2300 was for the period 7th January to 7th May, Scottish Power cancelled the bill for December. There was no pattern to the meter reading which we took every hour on the hour for 4 weeks, so at the beginning of January 40 per day was with the kettle, the fridge and lighting. We then ran out of wood to burn and put 3 radiator on for 2 hours a day but put the electric lights off at the mains. This made a huge difference, although I know it should not have. The meter did stop when we switched the mains supply off - which we did on as many occassions as we could. This did not seem to alter the lights in the houses round about, so we assumed the FARM was not an option. We were one of four houses in the middle of nowhere (Scotland), West Lothian. We now have to convince the court that we were being done by the landlord(s).

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                    • #11
                      track and trace was not possible becuase ´the house had been altered too many times and it was impossible to trace the wiring without removing walls´. i was an old farm cottage which was altered and extented over many years.

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                      • #12
                        So...has anybody any advice for me?

                        Is it illegal to rent a property without being registered?

                        Is the landlord legal bound to ensure the electrical supply is completely investigated ie with track and trace?

                        Are we within our rights not to pay when the property is in such a bad way and the services are obviously ´falty´?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, illegal (can be Criminal Charge, up to £5000 fine) not to be registered. Even more interesting your local council can decide you should not pay rent if not registered. Suggest you contact council Landlord Registration dept.
                          Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004
                          Section 94...
                          94 Circumstances in which no rent to be payable

                          (1) Where a local authority is satisfied that the conditions in subsection (2) are met in relation to a house within its area, the authority may serve a notice under this section on the persons mentioned in subsection (5).

                          (2) Those conditions are—

                          (a) that the owner of the house is a relevant person;

                          (b) that the house is subject to—

                          (i) a lease; or

                          (ii) an occupancy arrangement,

                          by virtue of which an unconnected person may use the house as a dwelling;

                          (c) that the relevant person is not registered by the local authority; and

                          (d) that, having regard to all the circumstances relating to the relevant person, it is appropriate for a notice to be served under this section.

                          (3) Where a notice is served under this section, during the relevant period—

                          (a) no rent shall be payable under any lease or occupancy arrangement in respect of the house to which the notice relates;

                          (b) no other consideration shall be payable or exigible under any such lease or occupancy arrangement.
                          However, clearly, if he registers that problem goes away..
                          .. see
                          http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/s..._20040008_en_1


                          https://www.landlordregistrationscot...lpWhoRegisters


                          In Scotland (as opposed to Engerland) I understand that Electrical installations (fuse box, sockets, wiring etc..) should be inspected and passed IIRC every 5 years. Suggest you contact Shelter Scotland
                          http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/getad...landlord?id=hp
                          0808 800 4444 - but they are a charity, not enough resources so you may have a long wait on't 'phone...

                          and/or/also your local council "Private Tenant department" ( or similar name or just housing dept..)

                          Re not paying if repairs issues etc.. not sure, ask Shelter....

                          You should also contact PRHP (? who they??) well, you knew about them as your Landlord MUST give you a letter telling you about them & how they sort out these sorts of disputes.....
                          http://www.prhpscotland.gov.uk/prhp/1.html

                          Got a tenancy issue?

                          The Private Rented Housing Panel (prhp) can help Scottish tenants and landlords resolve their differences. From 3 September 2007, the prhp will provide tenants with a way to force landlords to do necessary repairs.

                          What a t****r of a Landlord, he's a disgrace to the decent ones & to Scotland.

                          Perhaps when he realises what a mess he's made of things he will fix problem and take money off the rent (Aye, right...). Point him at this thread???



                          Cheers!

                          Artful (Registered, Accredited Scottish landlord, attending accreditation update session from Landlord Accreditation Scotland tomorrow afternoon in Paisley.. but still with much to learn and still making mistakes...)
                          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


                          • #14
                            Thanks to all...in court on Thursday...all very helpful!

                            FYI: We have contacted West Lothian Council many timess and they confirm that the landlord was/is not registered, however, they also said that they were not aware it was illegal.

                            Many, many thanks!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cranstoun View Post
                              We have contacted West Lothian Council many timess and they confirm that the landlord was/is not registered, however, they also said that they were not aware it was illegal.

                              Sigh! What do you do with these numties?? I've a house next to mine, unregistered, man who owns it local bank-manager in small town, thinks he's important... There's been 7 emails between me & council about "are you going to get this guy to register"?? Nothing.. so i emailed my councillor & head of housing committee.. is there any enforcement of Landlord registration?? Got a lovely email back explaining they're doing a great job.. I await my further email asking so why ain't you done anything about this t******r then...

                              Best of luck in court: Be calm, smart, polite to everyone, expect the LL to accuse you of all-sorts - just stick to the stuff you have evidence of.. & keep us posted...

                              Cheers!

                              Artful
                              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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