Dodgy Landlord

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by TA_sig, Jun 9, 2006.

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  1. Now then, don't know where to stick this so NAAFI seems ok but some serious answers are needed.

    Two days ago housemate comes home and finds random bloke in the house, he turns out to be the 'Gas Man' looking at the boiler doing a gas safety cert check. Landlord had apparently given him a key. Landlord did not check with anyone living in the house whether this would be ok - now this seems to be against the contract in place and probably the law. It's his building but my home, I say who comes in and when, unless it's an emergency.

    I call the landlord and tell him I'm not impressed with what happened and would appreciate notice in future as letting random people into the house unsupervised is not his decision to make, and probably voids my insurance for a start. He gets upset with me as he was 'doing me a favour' for doing the check. I thanked him for the check, asked him to give further notice next time.

    Tonight my housemate had a visit at work from landlords business partner who was about to come over to the house and give me a beating for being a cheeky twat. He gets calmed down and goes home.

    Now I'm living in a house, with a landlord who has a key to get in at anytime and is probably one drink or a bad mood from coming around and beating me in my sleep or something - if he wanted to.

    What can I do legally? I have another 2 weeks left before contract is up for renewal. They have £250 of my cash, want to deduct £135 already as 'summer' rent (I won't be here though..).
  2. Check your PM's
  3. Are you renewing the contract? Personally, I would just look for somewhere else to say and report the landlord to the Student Housing dept... and have you tried speaking to Student Services for advice - thats who advised me when I had dealings with a dodgy letting agency.

    If the landlords partner wants to beat you up, let him. Then sue and rest in the knowledge he will be paying for your postgraduate study!
  4. Only £250 of your cash? Then surely it is worth causing some very heavy "wear and tear" to the property of this cnut in the time remaining?
  5. Arrse crawl at yours mate?

    Lets fcuk the place right up.
  6. Good luck to you mate. Personally I don't like the way the plaster grates my knob on each thrust. Tell me, is there some sort of special penis cover you wear, or is you penile skin somewhat akin to rhino hide?
  7. The latter.
  8. The basic incidence of any true tenancy is exclusivity of possession, ie the right to quiet enjoyment which, even if not expressed as a convenient within a tenancy agreement is certainly implied as a matter of law into all such agreements.

    It is not clear on the available facts whether such a covenant has been incorporated expressly in the agreement, but, even if it is not, it will be deemed to exist as a matter of law.

    Although a landlord maintains the right of access to the premises to carry out essential repairs and maintenance in accordance with his obligations, he, or his agent, may only gain entry to the premises after giving the tenants 'reasonable notice' to enter at a 'reasonable hour.

    In extreme case of breach of a landlord's covenant of quiet enjoyment, the tenant may be entitled to repudiate his lease. It is more common however for the tenant to seek an injunction to restrain the landlord together with damages for breach of covenant. This remedy is available notwithstanding any corresponding breach of covenant on the part of the tenant.

    it is recommended that if a formal approach to the landlord fails, that a visit their local Citizen's Advice Bureau who should be able to direct you to a local solicitor who may be able to act pro-bono for you. It is often the case that a single solicitor's letter to the landlord is sufficient to prevent further unannounced and unwarranted intrusions into your privacy.

    Moreover, I would be inclined to invite the attention of the Local Authority to the activities of this particular gentleman. Local authorities are possessed of a large range of measures at their disposal for dealing with rogue landlords in the private sector. including, inter Alia, the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended), section 33 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and Part 3 Housing Act 2004. From the facts disclosed, his activities and those of his partner would appear to place them at or over the borderline of criminal activity.

    Certainly the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 can be used if, on a second or subsequent occasion, the person who has issued vicarious threats to you uses any words or conduct causing you to feel harassment, alarm or distress. Injunctive relief together with damages are available for this type of behaviour

    The Landlord will not be able to retain you deposit for anything beyond normal wear and tear and he may be sued upon for the recovery of the money, together with interest and damages for retaining it and for keeping you out of your money.

    I do not recommend destroying or damaging his property as a 'set off' against the actual or threatened withholding of your deposit since that places you firmly within the Criminal Damage Act and you could face prosecution.

    In summary, you are entitled to exclusive possession as a matter of law whether expressed in the tenancy agreement or not. Exclusive possession means you can exclude anyone, including the landlord himself as a trespasser and seek damages for trespass. The landlord, or his agent is entitled to enter the premises to carry out reasonable repair providing reasonable notice is given. If it is not, you are entitled to rescind the contract and seek damages. You should contact the Citizen's Advice and the Local Authority and report his behaviour. He is not entitled to retain your deposit and may not make unauthorised deductions from it. Authorised deductions mean only that which is reasonable to compensate for damage which falls beyond reasonable wear and tear.

    Hope this helps

  9. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    forget the £250 you will struggle to get it back at all. I assume you are renting direct from the landlord and not an agent? if so he'll do his best ot hang on to your deposit, there is however an arbitration service. As for threats of violence you have two choices face it down or phone the police. Legal you are protected but in practice if you get any interest from the police count your self lucky. heres an option for you get a spare set of keys cut and hang onto them, if there is an argument over deposits and "summer rent" is deducted from you then you are surely entitled to use the room that youve paid for, in which case go back and smear sh1te over every surface in the entire room. that'll cost him more than £250 to put right.
  10. I know that Biscuits seeks to impart what he sees as well-intentioned advice of a practical nature and may well have tendered advice forged from the 'white heat' of personal and practical experience but I would respectfully dissent from his view for the following reasons.

    Firstly, the sum of money involved although it may appear small to some, may represent a great deal of money to those who do not have it and it's recovery may well be crucial in forming a part of the capital amount required for a security deposit.

    In the second place, unless, the so-called 'Summer Rent' forms an express part of the tenancy agreement, it's retention is unlawful. The only exception to this is where it has been raised on one or more previous occasions during the tenancy, acquiesced in and paid. The Landlord is not entitled to incorporate such terms into an agreement unless the agreement expressly provides for it.

    In the third place, manufacturing a spare set of keys with the intention of later returning to commit criminal damage would be inadvisable for the following reasons:

    (a), The Landlord may have let the premises immediately on vacant possession to a new tenant, who, even though not in actual occupation at the time the damage occurs, nevertheless exposes the previous tenant to a charge of criminal damage, as well as exposing the previous tenant to an action in tort and civil recovery on the part of the new tenant.

    (b), Even if there is no immediate occupancy by a new tenant, the landlord still has a remedy in damages against the outgoing tenant as well as the prerogative of involving the Police in a Criminal investigation.

    (c), It is highly likely that the unscrupulous landlord will have anticipated such an action and will have immediately changed the locks in any event.

    (d), Depending on the employment status of the outgoing tenant, a criminal record for this type of offence may well result in dismissal from employment or preclude the tenant from taking up certain employment in the future should a criminal records check form a prerequisite for taking up such employment.

    (e), The fine and cost of a court appearance and any subsequent civil recovery by the landlord or any incoming tenant is likely to dwarf the amount of money actually in dispute at the expense of the outgoing tenant and may severely affect her ability to obtain rented accommodation in the future.

    It is important to stress that the law governing tenancies in general and rogue landlords in particular has been considerably strengthened n recent times and for this reason, I stand by my original advice.

    It will, however, be for you, as custodian of the facts, to determine what, if any, course of action is appropriate to your particular circumstances.

    With regards and best wishes
  11. TA Sig.... sorry to hear you have dramas with an under hand land lord, but listen to Iolis, who has given you some very sound advice!
    Fun as it might be to trash the place/ send in the boys/ retaliate in kind/ etc you will find yourself in court which helps no one.
    Make sure you get your deposit back, don't do business with that person again, and make sure you spread the word round via your student union, if your a student, that said person is a crook and not trustworthy etc.
    Do things the legal way, it might take longer, but remember the law these days is in favour of the criminal, and the ordinary law abiding person gets the full force of the police and CPS chasing them, where as the criminals who use threats of violence are not persued by the police due to "lack of evidence"
    Iolis sounds like a lawyer, may be he / she can point you in the right direction and or a resolution. Good luck
  12. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    All absolutely sound advice and sage words to boot. I still wouldnt expect to see any of your £250 though as the landlord will almost certainly find "damage" to the value of £250 when they do your moving out inspection. And whilst tenants are protected under the law you still have to have the ability to enforce the law and the landlord still can claim damage has been done.

    And its not just the cheaper end of the market that has problem landlords. Ruby2Shoes and I are currently renting and paying a significant amount each month and we are struggling to get the landlord to abide by the terms and conditions of our contract, even the letting agents are strugling to get him to do basic things. We are currently putting a legal case together for when we move out because our deposit is several thousand pounds and I'll be dammed if I'm letting him keep a penny of it. Whilst tenants do have the protection of the law whilst in residence you have to able to afford to enforce it, and you also need to be prepared to fight for your deposit back. Our bond is held by a deposit scheme so they should be impartial, if however your landlord holds your deposit if they dont feel like returning it the easiest thing for them to do is play the "damage" card. They dont even need to break the law to keep your money.

    As for threats of violence well as I said its illegal but your will have to prove your case to the police before they will be interested unless they alerady have an "interest" in the person/perons you are making the allegations against.

    If you want to stay within the law then dont redecorate in brown! But maybe you could take a trip to the pet shop, mice are cheap afterall!
  13. Thanks for all the ideas/help so far folks.

    I'm going to get myself over to a CAB type place in the morning and see if their advisors can assist, also may call the landlord to see exactly how unhappy he is with me, and attempt to get some money out of him that he owes me (rent repayment due to overcharge/my poor admin). Time to read the contract once more with a fine tooth comb.

    I have nothing criminal in mind, just want what is owed to me and to be able to see out the end of my contract in peace.
  14. Feel sorry for you mate but you can have some fun with the arsehole with it pointing back to yuo why not sign him up for all the junk mail out the back of the papers, If you move out watch the paper for him re-letting it then get your mates to make false viewing appointments but not turn up I'm sure ca wasted evening and fuel ect will soon piss him off if you need to speak to him try and record it without him knowing if threating beaviour is used then you can go to the police or get a solictor to issue a letter against him for making a public nuisance.

    Failing that mate get some of the lads round with some lengths of rubber hose and when his"business" partner comes round again give him the hiding of his life rubber hose doesnt leave marks either......just ask the police. And if all else fails once you move out I'd suggest leaving a few dozen cockroches behind a panel or similar ...............that'll cost more than £250 to put right and imagaine his face when showing some one round it when a load of roaches come out to say hello :twisted:
  15. The county court method is always an aggravating and effectie route.

    Issue on him for your bond and also call the police and tell them that whilst your house was being visited without your knowledge some money and a watch ahve gone missing. They will give you a crime reference number. Tell the judge you didn't dare mention this to your landlord as you were due a beating for merely mentioning the fact that you weren't happy.

    There are many many ways of costing yoru landlord more than your bond, I know I've had it done to me. The latest stunt pulled by one of my turds was to order 1800 quids worth of stuff from the previosu occupiers catalogue... result? 4 hours of police time spent with me lookign at leases etc.

    Make sure you take pictures of everythign when you leave including the dials on any metres in the house. Don't let on you've got them, especially if it ends up in small claims. produce them in front of the judge, right after he lies his arrse off telling him how much he has lost because of you.

    If any reciepts are produce by him, ie plasterer to put right damaged walls is one of my faves... tell him you'd like a copy reciept to cross reference with the inland revenue and customs and excise, especially if VAT is being charged.

    PM me for advice on how to be a cnut....

    Last thing.. the bloke that came round to beat you up... why not call your landlord in the middle of the night, when he answers say 'Now your up you might as well have a p1ss' make sure your army pals are there and when he comes round to dish you a hiding, bring him in tie him up, take his clothes off and call the old bill, telling them he let himself in and tried to fcuk you while you slept, thankfully your military training enabled you to disable him and restrain him.