Rent arrears and eviction

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by wager, Nov 2, 2010.

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  1. Hi guys,
    I’m looking for a bit of advice on a situation I have in my rented premises. I have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy with a 6 month break clause, which I have given notice on, and so will be leaving my flat in mid December.

    After I moved in I became concerned that the landlord was in trouble and I might lose my deposit if he went bust. Bills in his name were piling up, he sold his office and letters he sent me came from a different business name operating from a flat.

    I decided that in order to protect myself I would withhold a months’ rent. I had paid my rent prior to that, and have paid it since, but obviously am a month in arrears.

    My lease contains a provision for a fine each time I’m late - £50 a go! However each time I missed a payment his agent said that they would not take that, they just want the rent.

    Yesterday he called me and ranted at me, claiming that he wanted the arrears (fair enough) and the fines, despite conceding that they had already been waived.

    I certainly don’t want the guy out of pocket, but neither do I want to let this guy steal my deposit. The flat is in the same condition as when I moved in (just cleaner!). However he is threatening me with immediate eviction, and has said that he can get bailiffs to take my stuff to pay the fines.

    Basically, what I’m worried about now is-
    -Can he evict me before Christmas? If so I’d just cough up the arrears and fight him over the deposit if that became an issue. If he can’t I’ll walk away in December leaving him my deposit to cover the 1 month’s arrears.
    -Can he screw my credit rating?

    Hope someone can help, and thanks for your patience!

    Wager
     
  2. Is it through an agency? if so they should be the ones holding the deposit, not the landlord. Social housing is a bit short, but I'd advise going to your local council and speaking to them. Your would be able to go on the list and it should be at risk of losing your own home due to the suituation.
     
  3. Cheers mate. Its through an agency - the guy I've been dealing with is the owner of the agency (and possibly the owner of the flat too). I'm not too worried about being homeless, more about losing my deposit and/or credit rating. Thanks for the advice!
     
  4. Pop along to the nearest CAB for any further advice
     
  5. If your deposit is held by a letting agency. Then the government insist it must be placed in a secured account with them, to which he has no access. He would have to present a "case" to the agency to show why he was "owed" your deposit. As you've said, this may be to cover arrears if you leave the property (he can't use it to cover arrears if your still a tenant) or to cover any damage in the property.

    If you at some point you settle the arrears (even if you continue to withhold it until dec then pay off all arrrears) you would then be entitled to your deposit back.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    First off you need to pay the rent, your in a no win situation if your with holding it. Secondly the deposit has to be in one of the recognized deposit schemes and if it isn't you can immediately ask for it back, and then ask the court to order it given back PLUS three times the bond as a penalty plus costs (don't tell the landlord the last bit as he will rush to put the bond in a deposit protection scheme before it gets in front of the judge).

    Second he cant evict you immediatley you have an AST and its a bugger to evict you, also he can't just send round the Balliffs to take your stuff. Balliffs are like anyone you get some good ones and some complete ******* nobs. However a Balliffs job is to get paid and they will all lie through their ******* back teeth to get their money, they cannot however force their way into your property they can only gain access if:

    A you let them in
    B you leave a door or window open they can climb through
    c they get someone else inside the property to let them in ie wife, kids, mate who's staying with you etc.

    Being the complete bunch of ***** they are they will try anything to get in (apart from using force any that know their job won't try that route) DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE LET THEM IN THE PROPERTY EVER NOT EVEN ONCE. not even to have a piss use the phone get a glass of water NEVER LET THEM IN. They want to get in so they can effect a walk in possession order. thats where they make a list of all you stuff/belongings once they have that your fucked, they can come back and they can then force entry if you don't let them in. BUT they have to have the walk in possession order first and the only way they can get that is by coming into the property the FIRST time. So DON'T LET THE ***** IN. If they use force you are allowed to resist and to call the police. Use of force includes barging past you as you answer the door by the way. Once they have realised that they can't get in all they can do on a civil debt matter is go back to the court and tell the court that they failed to execute the warrant. (please note this does not apply to commercial rents, they are still in the ******* dark ages and landlords can really **** you over on business rents)
     
  7. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

  8. I thought Bailifs could only be sent in by the court as a result of a CCJ?
     
  9. Negligent-Discharge

    Negligent-Discharge LE Book Reviewer

    I've been hassled for years for debts relating to my address - not my debts, but some tosser who lived there before. Go to Administration of Justice Act 1970 - Debt Help UK . It works feckin wonders when you quote/read it to them. I had some cnut of a Bailiff rock up and leave an open letter in the communal entrance. You know the stuff; "Immediate seizure of goods, we're gonna smack your bot-bot, tie up your kids etc." all in big red letters. I wrote to them quoting Administration of Justice Act 1970 - Debt Help UK Section 40... never heard from them again as, technically, they had Section 40 of the act provides that a person commits an offence if, with the object of coercing another person to pay money claimed from the other as a debt due under contract, he or she:

    harasses the other with demands for payment which by their frequency, or the manner or occasion of their making, or any accompanying threat or publicity are calculated to subject him or his family or household to alarm, distress or humiliation; . Good luck matey.

    The Scarey One has also had wanchors rock up for ancient debts on her address. She just quoted the magic words off our notice board and he fecked off. Biscuits_AB's advice is good. Don't let them in.
     
  10. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    The 1997 Protection from Harrassment Act works very well along side the 1970 AMJ ACT.

    Protection from Harassment Act 1997
     
  11. Err why are you getting into this?

    Pay him any rent arrears, you owe him fair and square.

    If he can't pay you your deposit back when it's time to move then take him to the small claims court. Don't make yourself be the one in the wrong.

    CAB isn't a bad shout either, but I have to say at this point that the argument "I'm worried he won't pay me my deposit back" is not going to hold any water at all. You owe them rent, pay it. Otherwise you're looking at an almost sure fire CCJ against you, which will screw your credit rating for 6 years. Simply not worth it.
     
  12. Hi guys, thanks for the advice. I don’t dispute that I owe the months’ rent, the issue is getting my deposit back after my tenancy ends next month. Taking the high moral ground would be good, but I’d hate to be out of pocket, down £700 and fighting in court over it. Possession is nine-tenths of the law after all!

    I think that if I pay December’s rent (due in a fortnight) and hold him off then until I leave it should be ok. He’ll have my deposit and the flat back, and I won’t be out of pocket.

    My concern is what he can do in the next 7 weeks, either to evict me (and the effect that would have on my credit rating).

    Thanks for the advice on the bailiffs, I thought it sounded a bit unrealistic to threaten me with the heavies but its good to get practical advice!

    Thanks again,
    wager
     
  13. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    The landlord's late payment charges are likely to be unenforceable as unfair contract terms.

    It is unlawful to include penalty clauses in a contract where the amount payable is disproportionate to the loss suffered.

    See the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.