Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Sign in to follow this  
nightkitten

Change Of Landlord

Recommended Posts

Hi there!

we are renting a flat above a betting shop. This shop was owned by a sole trader until November 2007. We always paid the rent in cash to the sole trader.

Then he sold the shop to a big betting company.

The first month we went down into the shop to pay our rent as usual. Nobody wanted our money and said someone would contact us and inform us that the landlord has changed.

This never happened. And we never chased anyone up again as paying no rent is quite nice :rolleyes:

Now, 18 months later, they put a note through out letterbox asking us to contact them. We did this the same day and we were told that we hadn't been paying rent and we now owe them around £8,000.

I don't think we owe them anything as we were never informed that the landlord has changed. This is how I interpret the Landlord and Tenant Act.

I am not sure though if we should maybe have tried a little harder to get hold of the new landlord?

We will now move out as we didn't like it here anyway but staid as the rent was so cheap (nothing!). I guess though that the landlord has to give us three months time (in which we will pay rent)?

I will be contacting the citizen advice bureau first thing Tuesday morning but if anyone has some advice for me it would be great!

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi there!

we are renting a flat above a betting shop. This shop was owned by a sole trader until November 2007. We always paid the rent in cash to the sole trader.

Then he sold the shop to a big betting company.

The first month we went down into the shop to pay our rent as usual. Nobody wanted our money and said someone would contact us and inform us that the landlord has changed.

This never happened. And we never chased anyone up again as paying no rent is quite nice :rolleyes:

Now, 18 months later, they put a note through out letterbox asking us to contact them. We did this the same day and we were told that we hadn't been paying rent and we now owe them around £8,000.

I don't think we owe them anything as we were never informed that the landlord has changed. This is how I interpret the Landlord and Tenant Act.

I am not sure though if we should maybe have tried a little harder to get hold of the new landlord?

We will now move out as we didn't like it here anyway but staid as the rent was so cheap (nothing!). I guess though that the landlord has to give us three months time (in which we will pay rent)?

I will be contacting the citizen advice bureau first thing Tuesday morning but if anyone has some advice for me it would be great!

Thanks

A fascinating problem! I take it you don't have 8 grand? This sounds like a tricky legal problem, so I'd also look into getting some free legal advice as well as going to the CAB. You can have a look at this website for further info http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/

My suspicion (and it is only a suspicion, I have no legal training) is if you don't have a contract they don't have much to go on. Did you have a written contract with the previous owner? Deposit? After getting legal/CAB advice my suggestion would be to write to them to ask on what precise legal grounds they consider themselves to have inherited the tenancy, what precise legal grounds you can be considered liable for the rent and challenge them to produce paperwork evidence to that effect. Do this firmly but politely. Alternatively, if they do not have any details on you other than your names you could leg it.

Again I want to emphasize my total lack of legal training, but I thought a bit of support and some reasonably intelligent suggestions might be welcome. I look forward to hearing how it goes! Best of luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your response

No, funny enough I don't have £8k.

We had a tenancy agreement with the previous owner but did not pay any deposit as my partner redecorated the whole flat before he moved in (it was in quite a state). The previous tenancy agreement was only between the former owner and my partner. I don't appear on any paperwork.

And even now, that they have found out we are living there the only thing we have got from them is a note written on a betting slip of that betting shop stating: 'Could you please ring .... on his mobile ....Thanks'

On the phone the guy said we owe them £8k for the last 18 months and we could either pay it off now and get a new tenancy agreement or get a new tenancy agreement and pay the £8k off in monthly installments. We have agreed to neither of them and then were told that we will have to move out (fair enough).

I will let you know how we get on!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, funny enough I don't have £8k.

We had a tenancy agreement with the previous owner but did not pay any deposit as my partner redecorated the whole flat before he moved in (it was in quite a state). The previous tenancy agreement was only between the former owner and my partner. I don't appear on any paperwork.

You don't have to worry about the 8k then! :P

On the phone the guy said we owe them £8k for the last 18 months and we could either pay it off now and get a new tenancy agreement or get a new tenancy agreement and pay the £8k off in monthly installments. We have agreed to neither of them and then were told that we will have to move out (fair enough).

I will let you know how we get on!

Hopefully you will be able to tell the LL there is an option 3 which is "We leave and you try to pursue us for money we don't owe cos we didn't have a contract" and that you will be taking that option.

Anyway, look forward to hearing the updates. Your new landlord sounds very silly. You might want to think about changing the locks, though, in case he gets any comedy ideas about coming round and demanding the money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if this applies, but a Landlord has to provide you with their address, even if it is a company.

If they do not provide you with an address, then the way the law sees it is you don't know where to send the rent to, and therefore cannot pay it.

I'm not sure if this means you'd have to pay everything previously owed if you get sent the address though. You really need to get some proper legal advice on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ financialhack

I think you are right:

48 Notification by landlord of address for service of notices

(1)A landlord of premises to which this Part applies shall by notice furnish the tenant with an address in England and Wales at which notices (including notices in proceedings) may be served on him by the tenant.

(2)Where a landlord of any such premises fails to comply with subsection (1), any rent or service charge otherwise due from the tenant to the landlord shall (subject to subsection (3)) be treated for all purposes as not being due from the tenant to the landlord at any time before the landlord does comply with that subsection.

(3)Any such rent or service charge shall not be so treated in relation to any time when, by virtue of an order of any court, there is in force an appointment of a receiver or manager whose functions include the receiving of rent or (as the case may be) service charges from the tenant.

Looking at 2) I think I am pretty safe, I am just not too sure how much effort I should have made to find out who the new landlord is....

@ shylock

I don't think changing the locks will do us any good as our electricity and gas meter are actually in the premises of the betting shop. They can easily just turn them off but then I would sue them! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could it be even argued that nightkitten's LL isn't really her LL on the grounds that (i) the sale of the property does not necessarily mean the new owner takes over the tenancy and (ii) there is no AST between them clarifying who is the tenant and who is the LL. If the LL cannot prove he/she is the LL surely that would be a show stopper from the start. But as Financial Hack says, you'd be best getting legal advice as well as seeing what the CAB have to say. I'd move out asap too.

Edited by shylock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Could it be even argued that nightkitten's LL isn't really her LL on the grounds that (i) the sale of the property does not necessarily mean the new owner takes over the tenancy and (ii) there is no AST between them clarifying who is the tenant and who is the LL. If the LL cannot prove he/she is the LL surely that would be a show stopper from the start. But as Financial Hack says, you'd be best getting legal advice as well as seeing what the CAB have to say. I'd move out asap too.

The new owner becomes the LL when the property is sold by default. However, as nightkitten has found out, by not having been notified of the new LL's address she and her partner can get off scott free. Since they still haven't been notified of the address, they still don't have to pay.

I suggest getting out of there sharpish before they give you this info, cause once you're out they can't even get 1 month of rent off you. They can take you to court, but since they never furnished you with an address the court should find in your favour.

Edited by Financial Hack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We paid gas, water, council tax and electricity ourselves. We even went into the betting shop downstairs and asked if we could read our electricity and gas meter which we then did. So we haven't got any problems with that.

We are already looking for something else asap and have got a phone number from a lawyer who is specialised on properties so we will contact him tuesday.

will let you all know what he says

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I suggest getting out of there sharpish before they give you this info, cause once you're out they can't even get 1 month of rent off you. They can take you to court, but since they never furnished you with an address the court should find in your favour.

But won't necessarily, if you get a judge who's in the landlord's pocket[1]. Not that I think that's a significant risk in the case of a real business with legitimate non-property interests.

[1] Roberts spent several years actively trying to chase his landlord for this information before finally withholding money. Landlord took him to court, but the first judge threw the case out with the option to reinstate if the information was supplied. About a year later, first judge retired, and Judge Rutherford reinstated the case and told Roberts to pay, despite the information NOT being supplied. It later emerged that Rutherford was personally and professionally connected with both technical plaintiffs/landlord Bloor and managing agent Perry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:

My partner saw a lawyer yesterday. Unfortunately I could not go with him.

The lawyer said that we have to pay. The landlord can chase up the rent up to three years later.

I do not quite believe this as everthing I have read does not indicate anything in this direction.

I will now wait for the new landlord to take us to court and then get a different lawyer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Update:

My partner saw a lawyer yesterday. Unfortunately I could not go with him.

The lawyer said that we have to pay. The landlord can chase up the rent up to three years later.

I do not quite believe this as everthing I have read does not indicate anything in this direction.

I will now wait for the new landlord to take us to court and then get a different lawyer.

I think this is inadvisable. If a lawyer told you that he/she thinks you are liable, then it is quite possible that a judge will see it the same way, even if you can find a lawyer that agrees with you. You need to get the details of why the lawyer your OH saw thinks this way so you can think about a defence. If you wait until it goes to court and you lose you then also have to pay costs.

The best course of action is to do a runner and not leave a forwarding address. That is what I would have done back in May.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The best course of action is to do a runner and not leave a forwarding address. That is what I would have done back in May.

I'd agree. I'd say find a new place to live now and just disappear...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   289 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.