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Elfanta

Evicted Due To No Planning Permission

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After living in a house for 18 months I received a note through the door from a neighbour informing me that the house did not have planning permission and they intended to report it to the local authority. I passed the note to the landlord.

One week later I received two months notice to move out, but instead of saying it was due to the house not being legal, the Agent said my family were being given notice due to late payment of rent.

After I had been there 12 months, the 13th months rent was a week late due to the fact that I forgot to renew the Standing Order which elapsed after 12 months. As soon as I was made aware, I sorted it out, but it did mean that 13th month's rent was one week late.

It seemed clear to me that my eviction was in fact nothing to do with being late for one month, six months earlier, but was in fact due to the fact that the landlord was not permitted to rent the house out and a neighbour was raising awareness of this fact.

I moved out two months later on the vacation date, but had to move in to a house with one bedroom less than we require due to a lack of choice. One of my children now live in a room at the end of the lounge and not in a proper bedroom. We will have to move again after our current six months is up to a house that is the size we need.

This means I have had to go/will have to go through the expense of moving twice......in a year, all due to the fact that a landlord and Agents rented me an illegal house. Had I known it was an illegal set up, I would never have taken the property.

It seems very unfair that I have to go through the expense of moving twice, because someone rented me an illegal property.

Does anyone believe I may have a valid claim via Small Claims to try and reclaim al the moving expenses, Agent fees, Credit check fees etc from the landlord?

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The planning have been in contact asking for information and confirmed in writing the house was without planning and is subject to an ongoing investigation. It's 100% cut and dried.

My view is had someone said before I moved in "..this property does not have planning permission which could result in you being given notice to move out at any time.." then I would never have taken it. Having said that, I was given the two months notice required by the contract...........so maybe I have no claim???

It just seems wrong to me I have to move twice in six months, because a landlord for years has been renting to people like me illiegally without telling us. Seems so unfair :-(

At least if I could claim back the Agent fees, search fees, van hire and lost wages I'd not be out of pocket - I just have no idea where I stand, hence asking for advice here on this forum.

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I would consider a small claims action but if you can try and get some legal advice before you do so. Check any insurance you have to see if there is any legal cover for this. We have legal cover as part of our contents insurance and this has been helpful for the small claims I have done.

Something I have found important when using the small claims court is to consider if any money is likely to come to you.

Even though the court can decide in your favour you need to consider how you will recover this if the LL simply doesn't pay up. I had a friend who did bring a small claims action against her ex-LL, it cost her money and time to do this and on the day the ex-LL didn't turn up and when she went to find him he had simply moved house. When I last used the small claims court there was no system to easily enforce their rulings.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2010/nov/20/small-claims-court-enforce-judgment

Edited by Flopsy

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Clearly there is an implied warranty in a tenancy that the landlord is legally entitled to enter into the agreement. A tenant is entitled to recover damages from the landlord for a breach of the agreement, the quantum of which would be whatever is necessary to put the tenant into the position he would have been in had the breach not occurred.

It is the quantum of damages that is the problem rather than the basis of the claim. The tenant's losses do not flow from the landlord's breach, but from the landlord's legal use of s.21 to determine the tenancy*. Lawyers would say there is a break in the chain of causation. A claim against the landlord therefore runs the risk of being struck out as being "not worth the candle" unless you can find losses that flow directly from the breach of planning control.

Incidentally, it ought not to be difficult to recover damages from a landlord. First, he owns a socking great asset that is really difficult to hide. A charging order and, if necessary an order for sale, would be straightforward to obtain - assuming the landlord does in fact own the property (so it's not a bad idea to have a look at the Land Registry for any property you are thinking of renting). Alternatively a third party debt order could be obtained so that the landlord's new tenants would be ordered to pay part or all of their rent to the judgment creditor. If necessary the landlord can be ordered to attend court to be examined as to his means to pay. I accept, of course, that it is not always that easy - another good argument in favour of compulsory registration of landlords.

*I assume that the tenancy was lawfully ended. If not then damages may flow from that breach rather than the planning matter.

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Personally if it were me I would have ignored the section 21 in the first place and let it go to court but I know that's not much help now.

Edited by spacedin

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You haven't been evicted and it's nothing to do with the planning status of your former property. So in conclusion I would have to say your not entitled to anythinget in terms of compensation.

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