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groupoffour

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About groupoffour

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  1. Thanks up2late I will try to check that and thanks very much Matt, that is very clear now. So on this basis we should not bother looking into contacting the people on the Land Registry form?
  2. I see. Without reading that law I really don't understand the difference between owning a property and being a landlord! I will make sure I do before taking action though so thanks for the lead. Ok, well hopefully what you are saying will mean that as the landlord CCJed is committed to paying out by whatever means of enforcement we decide. Many thanks.
  3. I have decided to repost this case with a clearer description of events and my questions regarding them. I should apologise, however, for any still present lack of clarity and also for the length of the post: I am one of four tenants who were awarded a CCJ against the person who countersigned our tenancy agreement claiming to be both the landlord and the director of a letting agency managing the house which we rented. I will from now on refer to him as ‘CCJed’ (unless anyone can suggest a better name) and he was named directly in the order without any reference to him being director but with the letting agency office stated as his address which we used for correspondence. The CCJ was awarded as a penalty for not protecting (via TDS) or repaying our deposit. However, in investigating how to enforce the CCJ we have found several complications and discrepancies via the following sources: Land Registry – Shows the Landlords to be a differently named (apparently) married couple and not CCJed, the director of the letting agency who is signed as landlord on the tenancy agreement. Companies House – 16/02/2007 date of appointment of Letting Agency 04/09/2007 Letting Agency was dissolved 26/10/2007 We, the tenants, signed a new assured shorthold tenancy agreement beginning from Nov 2007. 01/05/2008 Tenancy agreement expired. 13/08/2008 Our small-claims case filed. This information appears to confirm CCJed as the director of the letting agency which is a limited company (“LTDâ€), however, it appears that, from before we signed the contract the letting agency had been dissolved. With this information in mind it is unclear whether or not it is still a legitimate (correctly awarded) CCJ and where we can hope to get our deposit back. The letting agency’s office is still open and the company continues to trade. Another point of confusion as to whether this is a legitimate CCJ, is that it has been placed on the director which a forum member informed me would normally be illegitimate because the letting agency is a limited company. However, the fact that this director (CCJed) has signed as the landlord (albeit seemingly illegitimately) may mean our CCJ was correctly made and can be enforced. Firstly, does this appear to be still a legitimate CCJ? Secondly, is it not a criminal offence to give one’s name as landlord on a tenancy agreement when it is not the case? A forum member also suggested we might be best served looking into switching our focus to the landlords. Clearly in this respect we jumped the gun in deciding who to bring our case against. If this appears recommendable, would it be easily changeable via the existing CCJ or would we need to start a new case with fresh court costs? We have received no contact from CCJed subsequent to him posting his defence and counterclaim which was subsequently struck out due to him not attending our hearing with I believe a default judgment in our favour. The address of CCJed was given as the Letting Agency but this may be insufficient given the lack of response to our case following the judgement and the fact that the company has officially been dissolved (despite it continuing to trade, now, long after its dissolved date). I am currently out of the country and am therefore conducting this research from afar. When I return I intend to contact the Dawn Advice Ltd on 0845 456 6815, attempt to access half an hour’s free advice from a solicitor, and possibility employ a licensed private investigator in order to successfully enforce. Other avenues which appear may be useful which I have found from reading numerous posts on numerous legal/consumer rights websites are Business Anti-Fraud helpline on 0800 788 887, Customs Confidential hotline on 0800 595 000, the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887. If any members have any extra advice or similar experiences I would greatly appreciate it.
  4. This post concerns how to best successfully enforce a CCJ against an unlawful landlord, apologies for the length: We, the four previous tenants, are now creditor of a small claims county court judgment (CCJ) against the defendant, who we understood to be our landlord (the person who countersigned the tenancy agreement that we signed and the person we most often dealt with) and the apparent “boss” of the letting agency which managed the house. In our ignorance we had proceeded with our TDS non-compliance case before confirming the director of the company and owner of the house. The judgment concerned non-compliance of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). The CCJ requires the defendant to pay us back our deposit plus its value another 3 times plus court fees. Although the defendant initially defended our claim and launched a counterclaim, on the day of the hearing the defendant did not appear before the judge and we won the decision. In the hope of successfully enforcing the CCJ, our subsequent investigations (Companies House) have since found that the person who countersigned the tenancy agreement (now the creditor of the CCJ) may not actually have been the director and secretary of the letting agency. The name of the “Consent signature” is different to that on the tenancy agreement and business card: what appears as his surname on the tenancy agreement actually appears as his first of three forenames on the Companies House appointment of director document. In fact the name we recognise as the counter sign on our tenancy agreement appears in the section: “director, secretary etc must sign the form below”. Within my limited knowledge, this appears to mean that the “consent signature” is the ‘acting director and secretary (for whom an a residential address is provided) and the name below is a (or the main?) director. Apologies for this lack of clarity but I have no experience or expertise reading such documents; does it sound as though the CCJ was made against the correct individual? A further complication appears to be the fact that the letting agency is stated as being “dissolved... struck off the Register under Section 652(5) of the Companies Act 1985 on 28 August 2007 and dissolved by notice... dated 4 September 2007”. This is despite the date of appointment, in the above section being 16/02/2007. Assuming the CCJ was made against the right person, how might the dissolution of the letting agency affect our potential enforcement? Finally to enable us to make an enforcement against the correct person by the best route, we found that the property where we were tenants is owned by a third party couple from the local area and presumably was/is only being managed by the letting agency. I imagine in this case the house we would not be able to be involved in any potential enforcement route. Sincere thanks in advance for any time and advice offered regarding our situation. N.B.: This issue was detailed in a different thread which was originally created concerning the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This thread is being created concerning the subsequent outcome of that issue and is of a much more general subject matter. I write this to explain potentially seeming as though I have posted the same thing twice.
  5. groupoffour

    Tds Non Compliance Action

    Sorry to hear of your misfortune. I have to admit we fear a similar outcome (he was 'slippery' as a landlord...) and so are trying to find the best course of enforcement. Maybe seizing his property would open up a similar way out for him. It is outrageous how people hide behind companies in order to rip unsuspecting people off. I will look into the half an hours free advice from a solicitor, I hope it is as widespread as you make it sound. All the best.
  6. groupoffour

    Tds Non Compliance Action

    The CCJ is against the man from the letting agency who was acting as landlord on behalf of the property owner. He is who took our deposit so I hope in that respect we targeted the right individual. I'm not yet sure if the company folded and has creditors (besides ourselves?), they may have just decided to stop trading. We will chase! Regards.
  7. groupoffour

    Tds Non Compliance Action

    I wasn't sure whether to continue this thread or start a new one because our situation has now changed a lot from the original problems, but since it is a continuation of the same case and for fear of potentially breaking 'netiqutte' I have continued: We, the four previous tenants, are now creditor of a small claims county court judgment (CCJ) against the defendant, who we understood to be our landlord (the person who countersigned the tenancy agreement that we signed and the person we most often dealt with) and the apparent “boss” of the letting agency which managed the house. In our ignorance we had proceeded with our TDS non-compliance case before confirming the director of the company and owner of the house. The judgment concerned non-compliance of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). The CCJ requires the defendant to pay us back our deposit plus its value another 3 times plus court fees. Although the defendant initially defended our claim and launched a counterclaim, on the day of the hearing the defendant did not appear before the judge and we won the decision. In the hope of successfully enforcing the CCJ, our subsequent investigations (Companies House) have since found that the person who countersigned the tenancy agreement (now the creditor of the CCJ) may not actually have been the director and secretary of the letting agency. The name of the “Consent signature” is different to that on the tenancy agreement and business card: what appears as his surname on the tenancy agreement actually appears as his first of three forenames on the Companies House appointment of director document. In fact the name we recognise as the counter sign on our tenancy agreement appears in the section: “director, secretary etc must sign the form below”. Within my limited knowledge, this appears to mean that the “consent signature” is the ‘acting director and secretary (for whom an a residential address is provided) and the name below is a (or the main?) director. Apologies for this lack of clarity but I have no experience or expertise reading such documents; does it sound as though the CCJ was made against the correct individual? A further complication appears to be the fact that the letting agency is stated as being “dissolved... struck off the Register under Section 652(5) of the Companies Act 1985 on 28 August 2007 and dissolved by notice... dated 4 September 2007”. This is despite the date of appointment, in the above section being 16/02/2007. Assuming the CCJ was made against the right person, how might the dissolution of the letting agency affect our potential enforcement? Finally to enable us to make an enforcement against the correct person by the best route, we found that the property where we were tenants is owned by a third party couple from the local area and presumably was/is only being managed by the letting agency. I imagine in this case the house we would not be able to be involved in any potential enforcement route. Sincere thanks in advance for any time and advice offered regarding our situation.
  8. groupoffour

    Tds Non Compliance Action

    Thanks for the response. We had thought of that but weren't sure how reliable and trustworthy they might be. Have you had good experiences with any or know of any to recommend?
  9. groupoffour

    Tds Non Compliance Action

    Firstly, thank you to everyone who responded, secondly I thought we should post a conclusion to this thread in case anyone had been interested or in a similar position: we were successful! Up to a point… We are now creditor of a small claims county court judgment (CCJ) for money owed for which we are responsible for enforcement. Therefore, we are now looking at the different ways and means of getting our money and would greatly appreciate any advice offered. The judge found automatically in our favour due to the defendant’s (landlord’s) non-attendance at the hearing, further, the defendant’s counterclaim was struck out and the judge made reference to the DPS law seemingly to legitimise our case. The hearing was not adjourned but the judgement was not final due to the defendant’s non-attendance. The defendant can request a retrial if he provides a valid reason for not attending the first hearing which would be granted the original ruling overturned but according to two sources I have read, the request-for-retrial-with-valid-reason period of two weeks has well expired. As regards the next step and enforcing the small claim and getting the sum payment, I was hoping to get some recommendations about the best/most recommended enforcement method of the 5 that appear to be available to us. I realise the method depends on the debtor’s assets, in this case the landlord of the house and the apparent owner of the letting agency which manages the house. At this stage we are trying to ascertain which route would be most appropriate and how to access the information that would enable us to decide this. So far we have checked on the Companies House website: http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/ to try to conclusively ascertain the business type and its current status but the details of the debtor company's registration number were not apparent. Next it seems we would need to find out what assets the debtor has, the address of the debtor and whether any addresses we have for him are office/business or home addresses. We’re not sure whether to continue this thread here or switch it to one concerning enforcement; we don’t want to be seen to be flouting forum rules or convention so advice would be appreciated. Best wishes.
  10. groupoffour

    Tds Non Compliance Action

    Dear members, Having read many posts on this and similar forums I in agreement with and on the behalf of my 3 ex-housemates issued a county court claim against our landlord for non protection of our deposit of £1000 (shared between four tenants) in the tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) for a short hold tenancy which was signed on October 28th 2007 and ran from November 2007 to May 2008. If I can explain briefly the circumstances of our entering the property and signing the tenancy agreement/contract: The original tenant moved in in early summer 2007 but did not sign our joint tenancy agreement until the end of October 2008. The other 3 tenants who jointly signed that contract moved in closer to the signing date and up until that point we lived there for varying amounts of time on a kind of ‘rolling’ basis, paying rent and having paid our deposits to the respective outgoing tenants of our respective bedrooms who in exchange handed us the keys. The final of these outgoing tenants was present when the deposits that the letting agent (and landlord/owner of the property) were signed over from his (and one other person) to our names as stated in our new, joint short hold tenancy agreement. Some way into our tenancy I was informed by the office lady that our deposit had been transferred and the landlord (LL) had not received it in cash at the time of signing and therefore the deposit would not be protected in the TDS because the original deposits were received prior to its coming into being (which I do not now thing is even true). Upon exiting the property the LL informed us (via his office lady) that he would be withholding just under half of the deposit on the basis that he claimed we had left the property late, and the need for a professional clean. Having issued several letters before court to request repayment or evidence as to why the deposit was being withheld I eventually filed on 31st July 2008 via MONEYCLAIM ONLINE a case claiming £4100 with the description “Deposit owed by Landlord” worded as follows: On Oct 26th 2007, the Claimant and fellow tenants, jointly signed a new assured shorthold tenancy agreement with the defendant’s agency, xxx, for xxx from Nov.1st 2007. A deposit of £1000 was transferred from the previous tenants to us. Subsequent dispute determined the landlord did not comply with the initial requirements of section 214(1)(a) of the Housing Act 2004 stating that deposits must be paid into a tenancy deposit scheme (section 213(1) of the Housing Act 2004) within 14 days of the Defendant's receipt of the deposit (section 213(3) of the Housing Act 2004). We ask that the court make an order: 1. That the person who appears to the court to be holding the deposit do repay it to the Claimant, in accordance with section 214(3) of the Housing Act 2004. 2. That the Defendant pay the Claimant, within 14 days of making of the order, a sum of money equal to 3 times the amount of the deposit, in accordance with section 214(4) of the Housing Act 2004. This was initially met with a defence which stated our action would be partially defended but then subsequently changed to dispute the whole amount claimed in addition to a counterclaim for further damages to property and furniture and rent arrears which had been previously threatened in telephone communications (which I recorded) amounting to £2500. The case was then transferred to the local court for continuation with a 10th December 2008 deadline for witnesses and evidence and the hearing on 8th January 2009. We have recently learned that just days prior to filing this defence and counterclaim, the LL belatedly registered our deposit with Tenancy Deposit Solutions (now trading as mydeposits) on 3rd September 2008 despite our leaving the property 3 months previous. We have been advised by mydeposits that our deposit has been inserted in “an insurance based protection scheme” whereby mydeposits do not hold onto the deposit amount, this remains with the landlord. Our queries and concerns are as follows: 1 Given that we have only today found out that our deposit was belatedly installed in a scheme, should we apply for the release of the deposit that way or continue to pursue our deposit as well as the penalty for non-compliance? 2 Also as regards the timing of our case, it will be heard long after the deposit should have been put into TDS and long after we have vacated the property. But the subsequent dispute over the deposit stems from the fact no TDS was used only until our TDS-non compliance case was filed. Is this fact, that tenancy has ended, likely to count against us in the judge’s ruling? The LL’s defence is premised on the fact that as tenants our deposits were transferred from the previous tenants and no new cash deposit was received from the new tenants. Despite this the LL acknowledges he subsequently put the deposit into a protection scheme but illegitimately claims we were are aware of this and of this they have proof. Is this subsequent protection of the deposit likely to count against our action? 3 Given that the counterclaim made by the LL is no more than an attempt to intimidate us out of pursuing our TDS non-compliance case, could it be found to be illegal on those grounds? Or would it be merely dismissed? Are there precedents for illegality of counterclaims than anyone knows of? In the small chance that the (illegitimate) counterclaim for damages and unpaid rent is upheld how would this affect our TDS non-compliance action? To what degree do such counterclaims have to have bearing on original action/claims? These counterclaims for damages are in spite of there being no inventory or statement of condition co-signed by LL and tenants. How might these claims stand up in front of a judge without evidence? 4 In defending ourselves against the counterclaim for damages and cleaning, would it be wise to try to gather witnesses to testify the property was not in a clean condition (though rentable as it was eventually left) and damages were already present? 5 How would a four person jointly signed tenancy/contract and a collective deposit be affected by the fact one of the co-signers is willing and may well deal with the LL and claim some of the collective deposit prior to our TDS non-compliance small claim action being heard? The LL has made great efforts to try to reach individual tenants at various times with the purpose of splitting up our group and making various offers to all of us at various times. 6 To what degree should we try to describe the above manipulation, lies, dirty tricks, procrastination, fabrication, threats and intimidation (of added damages being withheld), emotional pressure on tenants that the LL has engaged in? In our opinion he has repeatedly flagrantly flouted the law and rules on doing business but should we try to demonstrate this to the judge or concentrate on less personal matters? The counterclaim for additional withholding of money to cover other damages unless we agreed to the initial withholdings was threatened various similar threats and deadlines were made after we disputed them and requested evidence of the professional clean, damages and unpaid rent. These have since appeared in the counterclaim. Indeed we believe the professional clean was fabricated by the LL, so to what degree and how might we present this belief? 7 The initial claim we registered online was for £4100: deposit plus 3 times it plus £100 costs. However since then we have realized that other costs have been involved and we might also have claimed interest on the £4100 or maybe just the £1000 deposit. Would it now be too late or might it appear unseemly to claim these amounts as well? Apologies for the length of this but I have tried to cover everything so no added questions or amendments are needed. Sincere thanks in advance for any time and advice offered.
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