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ChrisH

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About ChrisH

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  1. Thanks both. I would like to come to an amicable solution, but if the landlord or property managers won't budge then I may look to either: 1. Find a new tenant and link them up with the landlord, then stop paying rent and post the keys back - abadoning the tenancy 2. Sublet / AirBnB the flat until the end of the tenancy Both options are against the clauses in my tenancy agreement!
  2. Hi all Im hoping someone can point me in the right direction to do further reading or ask professional advice. Were in a 12 month AST but need to leave five months early, in Feb 2016 instead of July. The contract gives the landlord a break clause but not me as the tenant. I approached the landlord / property manager yesterday to start talking about if/how we might come to an arrangement about leaving the property early, but she was not willing to engage at all. From reading the contract it seems like the landlord is correct and we are tied in until July. But I read (eg. http://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/tenancy-agreement-break-clauses/)that giving one party a break clause but not the other is not a fair or enforceable contract term. I suppose one question would be, if I pursued this legally, would we end up with symmetrical break clauses or no break clauses? I also understand that once a new tenant is installed in the property, we are no longer liable for rent. So if we found a new tenant, would the landlord have any obligation to accept them? Any advice appreciated! Ill contact a solicitor soon but wanted to know which direction to investigate first.
  3. If the tenancy was in England then under the Housing Act 2004 the landlord has broken the law by not protecting your deposit. You would be entitled to sue him for the whole deposit, plus three times the deposit as a fine, plus interest on the deposit, plus your court fees. There was previously some confusion over whether a tenant can bring a case after the end of a tenancy but this has now been clarified: you definitely can bring a case. The judge now has discretion to award you between one and three times the value of the deposit, rather than a fixed value of three times. I did this in 2010 and the process was quite straightforward. I was awarded the full amount, as detailed above, of around £8000 (this from an original deposit of £1800). The issue will be getting the money out of the landlord at the end. Mine went bankrupt to avoid paying the full amount and paid £4000 (plus £1200 previously paid). The bailiffs charged £1000 as their fee – so in the end it was well worth my while! Search around here or on Google for N208, Housing Act 2004 etc. and you should see a good range of information.
  4. Congratulations kaladorm! Great that you finally got your dues. Hopefully this will teach the LL and their friends a lesson.
  5. I have now paid in a cheque from the High Court Enforcement Officers closing my claim In the end we settled for approximately half the total award because the landlord was going bankrupt as a result of his accumulated debts. Quite how someone with several BTL flats gets into so much debt is of course a different question. Anyway, it feels good to get it over and done with
  6. I have now instructed a High Court Enforcement Officer to obtain a writ of fi fa and take him to the cleaners. These guys mean business and will turn up at all hours and in various places to recover the debt. Will be interested to see whether kaladorm or I get our money first
  7. There was a certain look of panic in his eyes as the truth that he could no longer rob Peter to pay Paul began to sink in...
  8. The landlord had applied to set aside the judgement and the hearing on that was this morning. His story seemed more full of holes than a Swiss cheese and the judge was distinctly unimpressed with his claims, and ruled out his application! So we can now go back and apply for a writ of fi fa from the High Court. He said that there’s no way he could pay the money but given that he has a BTL portfolio I doubt that somehow...
  9. I agree with your reading of clause 5 there, that will be my line of argument along with 214(1b) (1) Where a tenancy deposit has been paid in connection with a shorthold tenancy, the tenant or any relevant person (as defined by section 213(10)) may make an application to a county court on the grounds— (b] that he has been notified by the landlord that a particular authorised scheme applies to the deposit but has been unable to obtain confirmation from the scheme administrator that the deposit is being held in accordance with the scheme. We wouldn't go back to court for the court fees (£150 so far) if we lost but it would be annoying!
  10. Update on our case: the landlord wrote to the court 3 weeks after our hearing asked for the judgement to be set aside, and we have a hearing next week. It turns out he did protect the deposit, but submitted the wrong address details for our flat. This meant that when I asked the deposit protection companies whether they had it, they all said no. As I see it, it could go either way. The judge could accept that the wrong address was an oversight and set aside our judgement. Presumably if this happens all he’ll have to repay is the original deposit? This would leave us out of pocket for court fees and interest. On the other hand, he is still in breach of several sections of the Housing Act as far as I see, even though the High Court has emasculated the 14 day rule: (3) Where a landlord receives a tenancy deposit in connection with a shorthold tenancy, the initial requirements of an authorised scheme must be complied with by the landlord in relation to the deposit within the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which it is received. (4) For the purposes of this section “the initial requirements” of an authorised scheme are such requirements imposed by the scheme as fall to be complied with by a landlord on receiving such a tenancy deposit. (5) A landlord who has received such a tenancy deposit must give the tenant and any relevant person such information relating to— (a) the authorised scheme applying to the deposit, (b] compliance by the landlord with the initial requirements of the scheme in relation to the deposit, and (c] the operation of provisions of this Chapter in relation to the deposit, as may be prescribed. (6) The information required by subsection (5) must be given to the tenant and any relevant person— (a) in the prescribed form or in a form substantially to the same effect, and (b] within the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which the deposit is received by the landlord. (1) Where a tenancy deposit has been paid in connection with a shorthold tenancy, the tenant or any relevant person (as defined by section 213(10)) may make an application to a county court on the grounds— (a) that the initial requirements of an authorised scheme (see section 213(4)) have not, or section 213(6)(a) has not, been complied with in relation to the deposit; or (b] that he has been notified by the landlord that a particular authorised scheme applies to the deposit but has been unable to obtain confirmation from the scheme administrator that the deposit is being held in accordance with the scheme. (2) Subsections (3) and (4) apply if on such an application the court— (a) is satisfied that those requirements have not, or section 213(6)(a) has not, been complied with in relation to the deposit, or (b] is not satisfied that the deposit is being held in accordance with an authorised scheme, So we’ll see what happens!
  11. Yes - the issue is that landlords can "comply" with the regulations even at the last minute. Once our case had been submitted I contacted the three deposit protection companies and asked them not to accept a deposit relating to our finished tenancy. Not sure if it had any impact but it's probably worth trying for anyone else in the same situation.
  12. ^^ Yes, and that's the opinion of the Court of Appeal judges in the Universal vs. Tiensia case, where this happened and the landlord won. Until the law is clarified it seems there's a massive loophole for landlords to exploit
  13. We won! Had our hearing this afternoon. The landlord didn't turn up, but the judge accepted our case and awarded us our full claim: - return of the deposit - interest on the deposit from start of tenancy + 10 days until now - three times the deposit - court fees The issue I mentioned above about the cheques was OK in the end. As in kaladorm's case, the cheques will only clear tomorrow so we haven't definitely received anything yet. The judge did mention that had the landlord protected the deposit before the court case he would have won. The landlord may apply to have the judgement set aside but we'll know in the next couple of weeks. Thanks everyone for your advice and help!
  14. Our hearing (having been adjourned twice) is on for Wednesday 17 November. Things have just become complicated I think - the landlord has paid a cheque for the deposit into each of our bank accounts. Does this now mean he's not "the person who appears to be holding the deposit" as per the Housing Act 2004? We did say in our letter before action that we'd no longer accept the deposit as full and final settlement - does this mean we have effectively refused what he's now done? Advice much appreciated! Thanks Chris
  15. From what I've seen it's possible. I'm claiming interest from the day the deposit should have been protected (14 days after the start of the tenancy). I guess we'll see whether or not that's allowed.
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