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tdshelp
23-04-2008, 07:00 AM
Hi - can anyone offer some advice on my problem?

I am 6mths into a 12mth ast without a break clause. I have recieved an offer of tied occupancy which is too good for my wife and I to turn down. So I asked the landlord if he will let us leave, he gave us permission (not in writing) when he has found new tenants. To cut a long story short, he has not bothered to market the property but is telling us he is trying our best. I have offered to find new tenants, pay for estate agents with potential tenants on their books etc, he refuses. I have agreed to pay £400 for him to find someone - but in 4 weeks he has not put an advert up and not attracted a single viewing to a popular area.

I realise on principle he has the upper hand and I am asking to break a legal agreement and he has no obligation to do so - but I feel he is being unreasonable as he only wanted a 6mth tenancy to start with, the only difference being is that Im paying for him to find new tenants. I have written to him offering help in anyway possible and have asked him if he will commit to a surrender date in 6 weeks time - he wont.

As a reasonably conscientious person, when I go onto my new lease with employers I will leave this property and continue to pay rent on this lease - although it will seriously deflate savings - I cannot turn this other offer down but will not reisk rent arrears.

My LL though, has not protected our deposit, I have written to him and asked for details - no reply. I have written to 3 tds providers who have confirmed no deposit registered with our, his or propertys details.

Im not keen on going to court, I would rather use it as a bargaining tool to get out of lease and end this souring tenancy. If I write a letter to him threatening court action on tds failure if he doesnt allow us to leave, and he simply goes and protects deposit - will this weaken my case in court? Or is it best to take initial court action and then write to him offering a compromise?

Many Thanks for any help

agent46
23-04-2008, 08:45 AM
If I write a letter to him threatening court action on tds failure if he doesnt allow us to leave, and he simply goes and protects deposit - will this weaken my case in court? Or is it best to take initial court action and then write to him offering a compromise?

Many Thanks for any help

I wouldn't couch it in those terms as it looks like a direct threat and some people's response to being threatened is to become even more stubborn.

If I were you I would approach it in a more conciliatory manner - along the lines of "You could sue me for the rent and I could sue you for 3 X the deposit, so perhaps we should call it quits because otherwise we'll both have the stress and hassle of unecessary legal action to deal with."

cas84_utd2
23-04-2008, 09:01 AM
Subsequent protection does not equate to compliance with TDS legislation as highlighted by leigh's recent case, and more solidly by the case at Gloucester County Court.

From Consumer Action Forums:

"the case number is 8GL00457 (Stankova-v-Glassonbury). If you wish to obtain a copy the district judge has requested that;

'A request should be made, by letter, duly signed, giving a reason for the request'"

As you do not want to go to court, you should write to him politely indicating his non compliance with TDS, and the fact that if you were so inclined, you would be within your writes to seek 3x compensation. Ask him to consider a compromise that would be most beneficial to all parties.

Good luck!

tdshelp
23-04-2008, 15:03 PM
Agent46... thanks for your reply - I appreciate the advice, I think your'e right with the gentler approach. Someone has advised that I get a letter to him from CAB or through a Solicitor but this may seem like overkill...

tdshelp
23-04-2008, 15:07 PM
cas84_utd2: Thanks for this, its a relief to know that I can go down the softer route first as Court appearances are grief that we could do without. I just hope he his willing to accept a compromise - although its only him that stands to lose out if he doesnt...

Thanks again... I am going to write him another but slightly stronger polite letter and see where we get to!

agent46
23-04-2008, 15:17 PM
I am going to write him another but slightly stronger polite letter and see where we get to!

Polite is good.

Despite what we've all seen on telly with American programs like LA Law etc negotiation within litigation is not all about being a macho idiot. Whilst there are times when a bit of steel is needed, in the early stages it is worth remembering the sayings "Softly, softly catch ye monkey" and "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." And unless you can possibly avoid it, you should never back the other side into a corner - in other words, always give them an opportunity to save face.

Good luck :)

tdshelp
23-04-2008, 16:04 PM
You're absolutley right with that - I was thinking of going in heavy handed but this seems the better option....
However its a shame I can't shout - 'You cant handle the truth' across the court room at him...

Thanks again

agent46
23-04-2008, 16:14 PM
However its a shame I can't shout - 'You cant handle the truth' across the court room at him...

Well that would be cross examination, which, again, contrary to popular belief, doesn't actually have to be "cross" to be effective.

In any case, "You can't handle the truth!" is a statement and not a question, and moreoever, it is "comment", so in an English court the judge would probably have pulled Jack Nicholson up on his professional etiquette. However, if Jack had put the words "can you?" at the end of his statement, then he would probably get away with it!

:)

tdshelp
23-04-2008, 16:21 PM
Would have made a worse film - but a more accurate one! Would you mind just glancing this over to see if I have the tone correct?

"Dear ********

I am writing to inform you that have failed to comply with laws regarding protecting tenants deposit under Housing Act 2004. Any landlord who takes a deposit from a tenant after April 6th 2007 must register deposit with one of 3 schemes and let the tenant know the details of the chosen scheme within 14 days of receiving the deposit. We have not received details from you regarding this and the schemes have confirmed that our deposit is not registered with them.

The legislation states that if these conditions are not met then the tenant can take the landlord to court and seek compensation for the return of the deposit and 3x the amount of deposit unless the landlord can prove otherwise. Subsequent protection has been shown in court as not equating to compliance with the legislation; the most relevant recent case for reference would be Stankova v Glassonbury: Case number 8GL00457 at Gloucester County Court.

I am writing to ask if you would be willing to accept a compromise that would be the most beneficial to all parties. We would be willing to receive our deposit of £800 in return for an agreement to surrender the tenancy

Yours Sincerely
**********