In debt to landlord over Police damages. Help!!!

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    In debt to landlord over Police damages. Help!!!

    Hi all,

    I am new to this forum, and apologies in advance for the length of this post (TLDR at the end).
    I have recently been contacted by my landlord and asked to pay a hefty sum for damages to the property caused by the police.

    Some important info (me/situation:
    • I am a student, this is the second year I have lived in one of my landlord's properties, I was hoping to stay on for another year too.
    • Privately renting
    • Boyfriend was staying with me at the time and was arrested.
    • Police "raid"
    Info about landlord:
    • My landlord does not give notice, let alone 24hrs, before he comes to AND enters the property whenever he pleases.
    • I have hear him enter other tenant's rooms (when they are away from the house and have yet to move out)
    • Plays up or down a situation in his favour.

    Situation (Police)
    Police turn up at property, were about to break-in the door but I opened it just as they were putting the clamp in place. - This caused some damage to the frame of the front door, the uPVC where the clamp was had come away from the frame.
    Once inside they force entry into two locked bedroom; causing damage to the door frames and an alleged crack in the wall/ceiling.
    They were informed that a male tenant was living at the property and that's all they told me. - they also seized 0.3g cannabis from myself.

    The following day, I find out that it was my boyfriend was was arrested. - He ran and they stopped him on the street, he had 0.1g cocaine on his person and so they arrested him.
    He had told them he was staying with me and so they came to my property and his previous property.

    My landlord tried to claim for damages to the property but the police claimed they "had a warrant" and so wouldn't pay for damages. My landlord asks me what they told me when they came and I told him they did not tell me anything other than male tenant; but I did not state that I actually knew why they came (which I found out the next day), because I was scared knowing that I had indirectly caused it.


    Situation (Landlord)

    Two months later and my landlord approaches my boyfriend about the situation to which he admits his involvement, etc. The matter is discussed between the three of us and my landlord says he will come back to me with costs for damages.
    He comes back to me stating that the cost for repairs will be £6390, and with 2 repair/replacement quotes (which are barely legible, with the quote screenshots being extremely blurry), the bedroom door damages: £2484 and front door: £3906 (discounted from original list price of £6231.
    I reply to him stating that I do not believe the cost for the front door is that expensive, as the door is a standard uPVC door which Everest (home improvement company AND the company my landlord got his quote from) states can be bought and installed for a price starting from £800! The landlord's front door quote of £6231 (before discount) represented a quote for a significantly more expensive front door, rather than the standard one currently installed. I relayed my findings to him to which he denied it being a "better" door and that uPVC ones are made stronger now and more expensive.

    A few days later, my landlord and I have a conversation when he comes to the property. He states that he does not need the money right now and he does not care how long it takes to pay him back! (in hindsight, I wish I had recorded this conversation!!!) I tell him, I will speak with my boyfriend about how much we can pay per month, as it will be him paying the cost (through me).
    I speak with my boyfriend and we decide on £100 as that's how much we can afford to give per month (as a student and recent graduate).
    My landlord rejected this offer and demanded I/we pay half the cost of repairs, £3195, upfront and then £500 every month otherwise I wont be able to stay on as tenant for the next year and he will take legal action, and to respond back to him within 3 days. I state that he said he did not need the money right away and didn't care how long it took, to which he just denied having said this.

    The upfront amount and even the monthly payments are impossible for me or my boyfriend to pay, and my landlord knows this! My boyfriend tries to contact him about the money and the quotes because he does not believe the cost and knows I as a tenant have rights, my landlord insists that he'll only speak to me and does not want to be contacted by him again. - We have gathered that this is because I do not question what he tells me and am a pushover, whereas my boyfriend is not and will not just accept anything and wanted to get legal advice.
    My boyfriend and I resort to trying to take out loans, but are unable to do so, especially for the amount and how long we'd have to take the loan out for (years).
    I tell my landlord that we have tried and even tried loans to no avail, to which he once again says to come back to him with a reasonable amount we can pay as well as repeatedly saying he does not want my boyfriend to come round the next year (indicating that I will be able to stay on as a tenant and sort the matter out) and how he does not feel its fair/right for him to have to pay the cost of fixing the doors.

    Four days before the end of my tenancy, my boyfriend comes to see me but I am not in and my landlord is at the house. He asks the landlord if I'm in to which he is ignored, he then asks about the money situation and for my landlord to explain it to him (costs, damage), to which my landlord slams the door in his face. - eventually it ended with my landlord calling the police claiming my boyfriend was harassing and forcing his way into his van and the properties (which he was not).
    I get a call from him that evening saying I wont be able to stay on as a tenant and to put it in writing how the situation will be handled (how much I will pay), I ask him why he'd given me false hope in being able to stay on to which he responded that I was never going to be able to.... lol.



    I have now secured another property I will be able to live at, thankfully, and am seeking legal advice as I have no doubts that my landlord will take me to court for this.
    I guess I am posting this as I would like some advice from an outside perspective (while I wait for legal advice). This situation and the pressure/ threatening my landlord has done has caused my boyfriend and I, so much stress, to the point of depression, etc.

    Do I have any rights as a tenant in this situation?
    Has my landlord been unlawful in some/any way? - Aren't landlords supposed to pay for damages and then seek repayment from the tenant after?
    Am I liable to pay for damages, upfront or in-full?
    If taken to court, will I get a CCJ (County Court Judgement)? Can this be settled with regular payments/instalment?


    Thanks for reading, any info is great info!

    TL;DR
    Boyfriend arrested, police cause damages to my house.
    Landlord demanding payment and pressuring me into paying thousands upfront.
    Moving out and possible court/legal action.

    #2
    First of all, you're handling this fine.
    Move into your new place before doing anything else - you don't want to be involved with this crook any longer.

    First of all you should argue that the claim needs to be made against the police.
    They had a warrant, you couldn't stop them entering the property and they did the damage the landlord wants compensation for.
    So your first step should be to deny any liability whatsoever.

    Your landlord is possibly entitled to compensation from you, the damage was done while you were responsible for the property (although I have known that go the other way), and, in a sense, you caused the police to be there, but the compensation is limited to his actual losses, not what he's asking for.

    First of all, he can't claim the cost of a new anything to replace a damaged item.
    He can claim for the loss in value of what was there, which is the damage done to the existing doors (which has to be adjusted for the use he'd already got out of them).
    So if the front door was originally (say) £750, and he'd expect it to last 25 years and it had lasted 10 before it was ruined, he'd be entitled to claim £450.
    That's 15 years lost use at £30 per annum.
    That's how a court would make a decision.

    So, I'd move out first, and then tell the landlord that you are not prepared to pay anything and if he thinks you owe him anything, to put the claim in writing (as a letter before action) and you'll consider your options.

    So not offer to pay anything now he's stopped being your landlord.

    You have lots of rights.
    Your landlord is making a ludicrous claim you're not liable to pay.
    If you go to court, you might be given a ccj, but it won't go that far - you can get help here, or from a real solicitor (which would be much much cheaper than paying 6 grand for some doors.)
    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
      Just to confirm - it's important not to admit liability or to offer payment (as a plan or anything else) until he makes a formal claim.
      While you're his tenant, he's in a position of greater power and can threaten to evict you if you don't agree to pay things - which makes any admission of liability very weak.
      If you admit liability when you're no longer a tenant, he'll be able to use that as part of his claim.
      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


        #4
        Before you leave make sure you have photographic evidence of the damage. I'd also get a quote from a reputable company for replacement doors of a similar quality and preferably written evidence of the quality and their expected lifespan. The amount he's asking for is ludicrous so you need evidence of this. He should claim it from your deposit first. Assuming it has been properly protected you can use their dispute resolution scheme.
        And don't panic, it will be OK.

        Comment


          #5
          Find another boyfriend

          Comment


            #6
            Tell the landlord you were there to open the door and the force used by the police on the front door cannot therefore be shown to be reasonable, proportionate and necessary to effect entry. Therefore he should claim the cost of the front door from the police. He could also argue breaking down 2 other locked doors was an excessive use of force, I assume your own door was unlocked and these were rooms occupied by other people.

            Get your own quotes for the cost of replacing all the doors, it will be considerably less than he is asking.

            Be glad you didnt record any conversation, he has no proof you have admitted any liability.

            The landlord will make a claim from your deposit. Once that is resolved drop the boyfriend and stop doing drugs.

            If he makes a court claim - and he probably won't - if the court decides you should pay they will assess a fair monthly amount.

            Comment


              #7
              So are you saying, that you and your boyfrend, because you were in possesion of Canibis, - which is the ONLY reason the Police broke in, is not your fault ?

              If you and your boyfriend did not live ther, then the poice would not have needed to force entry.

              Get your own quotes, which could be as little at £ 1300, and offer to pay for the damage that occured solely by the actions of you and your boyfriend.

              Comment


                #8
                Police would not get a warrant for personal cannabis. They would not get one without a good reason and substantial credible reason to suspect dealing or other crimes. I know, I sign warrants!
                Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                Comment


                  #9
                  The warrant was possibly based on the cocaine the boyfriend was carrying, rather than the cannabis they actually found.
                  Although it does seem a tiny amount.

                  The police aren't going to try and break down a door without a warrant.
                  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


                    #10
                    I agree JP - but doubt they would bother for a small amount of cocaine for personal use...There is usually evidence at least of dealing drugs for example.
                    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Everyone is making the assumption that the warrant was granted because of the OP's boyfriend. In fact the police referred to a male and broke down 2 doors in the property that were not related to the OP or her boyfriend. So they may not have been after the boyfriend if there were other males in the property and only picked him up because he ran. Or he may have been dealing and quickly flushed most of the rest down the toilet, missing a little in his haste.

                      The boyfriend should be paying towards repairs, that doesnt mean he should over-pay.

                      Comment

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