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craigieb
31-10-2005, 10:00 AM
Hi guys,

Over the past three years my girlfriend and I have run into considerable troubles with our landlord. He continually leaves the place in a state of disrepair, tells us that fixes will be made and then does nothing and then when we confront him or anyone at his letting agency they simply deny that any such promises were made and then informs us of hostile behaviour.

The final straw has came when the agency promised to replace the windows (and even sent out someone to measure up the windows for replacing). Several months passed and nothing was changed (even though the windows are rotting to the point of being unsuitable for their purpose).

We approached the agency via letter and telephone calls only to be told to stop harassing them and that no such windows had been promised. The end result has been that we wrote a letter stating we would pursue the disrepair through proper channels (i.e. legal) if they refused to change them.

Now instead of dealing with the issue at hand the landlord has decided to end our tenancy and we are to leave by the 31rst of December. This is completely out of the question since neither of us will be around at Christmas time and we feel angered that the landlord is obviously doing this to spite us. We have never been bad tenants nor defaulted on rent and we want to know how we can challenge the landlord since he has obviously failed to maintain the property and instead of providing us with what we are entitled to he is instead in effect evicting us.

Can we fight this and under what grounds? We need to be able to stay in the property for at least another three month as we had planned to move out in March.

We have several letters stating our issues over the past few years and on one instance documentation of the Environmental Health Agency forcing the Landlord to make repairs (thus proving the Letting Agencies nasty behaviour).

Energise
31-10-2005, 10:09 AM
If,

You have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy,
The fixed term has ended,
You have been correctly served an S.21 notice,

Then,

The landlord can have you evicted for no reason whatsoever.

craigieb
31-10-2005, 10:25 AM
Is that it then? No recourse, no legal standpoint given how badly we have been treated?

At least can we not fight against the time period? The 31rst of December is terrible timing.



Many thanks
Craig

RichieP
31-10-2005, 10:57 AM
Have you seen all this Energise? The poster doesn't mention Section 21 or anything.

craigieb. Have you been given written notice to vacate by 31st December? If so, this just means that this is the date AFTER which the landlord can apply to the court to evict you. If he does it via the accelerated possession route this will take another 2 to 3 weeks. If you decide to stay out he wil have to apply to the bailiffs to evict you, which will take another 4 or 5 weeks.

This is all assuming your landlord will do this legally and not just turn up and chuck your stuff out and change the locks.

Poppy
31-10-2005, 10:59 AM
Excuse me, but we need a few more facts from you craigieb.

What is the start date and end date of your current tenancy?
When did you first move in?

On a more nosey front: why have you put up with a bad landlord for three years? I can tell you now I would not put up with such rubbish beyond the end of the first fixed term. At the end of the day you will need to put this down to experience and truly learn from it.

Ericthelobster
31-10-2005, 11:05 AM
1. Leave earlier - you can give him a month's notice and leave any time after 31 November if that's easier (which I doubt it is, given what you say).

2. Grovel, beg, plead and try appealing to your landlord's better nature to let you stay the extra three months that you want - you could provide written notice of quitting on date X; and promise not to mention anything else about the state of repairs etc (rightly or wrongly) until then. If the guy wants to sell or re-let, then I would have thought that he'd find it much easier to do either of those in April rather than January, so he might be willing to go along with you suggestion on that basis. The boot is firmly on his foot, so abandon any thoughts of compelling him to let you stay, and eat humble pie in profuse quantities.

As others have pointed out, if you simply stay put on 31 December, it will take him a while, and considerable hassle, to get you evicted legally, so that's another option open to you though I wouldn't recommend it. However, if you can somehow ever-so-subtly drop the hint that you'd leave quietly and voluntarily in April rather than having to be evicted in January, that might sway your position; however you run the risk that if the LL perceives that you are threatening him, he'll be even more determined to boot you out at the first available opportunity. So tread carefully there...

Energise
31-10-2005, 11:09 AM
Have you seen all this Energise? The poster doesn't mention Section 21 or anything.

You missed the IF



Is that it then? No recourse, no legal standpoint given how badly we have been treated?

After the 31 December the landlord would have to apply to the court to have you evicted, this would give you a few more weeks.

craigieb
31-10-2005, 11:13 AM
The tenancy agreement started on 17 March 2002 and ran until 17 sept 2002 (and then it ran on month by month arrangement with no formal written contract).

We have been issued with a section 21.

Its ok to be nosey, the reason we have stayed is the fact it was a nice wee flat but more importantly we can keep our pet cat and the rent was reasonable given the fact it is in York. In fact we're really going to struggle to find anywhere at all in York that is affordable and will take in a pet. So finance is the reason.

The thing is with the letting agency is the fact they do this to everyone of their tenants (at least the small time ones). If we have to move out is their no way we can name and shame them at least? The amount of anguish that they have caused to us and others is intelorable and they shouldn't be allowed to continue with this kind of outrageous behaviour. The only thing we did wrong was stand up for our rights. I can almost say with 100% certainity that they will try and keep our deposit as we have seen them manifiest issues with other tenants properties before.

Energise
31-10-2005, 11:29 AM
The tenancy agreement started on 17 March 2002 and ran until 17 sept 2002 (and then it ran on month by month arrangement with no formal written contract).

We have been issued with a section 21.



The S.21 is invalid (wrong dates) they will have to start the S.21 process again when they try to regain possesion giving you at least another 2 months.

When was the S.21 served?

Poppy
31-10-2005, 11:33 AM
What’s most important to you:

Getting back at the landlord?
Getting back at the letting agent?
Finding a new, more comfortable place to live?

Seems to me that you need to reassess your priorities.

The first thing I would do is start looking for a better place to live - RIGHT NOW. The landlord has every right to repossess their property. Sure, you can make the landlord jump through legal hoops to repossess, but what exactly are you clinging to? By your own admission it may be a struggle to find landlords that accept tenants with pets... Even more reason to be searching now.

With regard to the return of your deposit - you’re not at that point yet. One thing at a time.

craigieb
31-10-2005, 11:33 AM
The S.21 was served on the 29th of October. I do not understand what you mean though :)

craigieb
31-10-2005, 11:45 AM
Seems to me that you need to reassess your priorities.

The first thing I would do is start looking for a better place to live - RIGHT NOW. The landlord has every right to repossess their property. Sure, you can make the landlord jump through legal hoops to repossess, but what exactly are you clinging to? By your own admission it may be a struggle to find landlords that accept tenants with pets... Even more reason to be searching now.


TBH thats a fair comment but its not that easy at present as I am training for the Parachte regiment (BTW this is part time on top of my civilian job so the military cannot really help in this issue) and my GF works full time as well. I understand your directness and this is what we want to do however at present we have other priorities that were more pressing (hence leaving the move until March).

If we could delay the eviction then that would be fine. As it stands though it seems we have very little legal protection so we'll have to jump through hoops to get moved.

To be honest its stress where I don't need it right now....at my home. So if I could at least stop this from happening to others I would at least feel some satisfaction in knowing that the agency wouldn't be screwing others.

Has justice always been this difficult to come by?

Energise
31-10-2005, 12:13 PM
The S.21 was served on the 29th of October. I do not understand what you mean though :)


The S.21 needs to cover 2 complete rental periods, in your case 17th to 16th of the month it also needs to say that he requires possesion after the 16th of (month) it has to be the 16th it can only be the 16th, the judge will reject his case for possession, he will then need to start the posession process again a new S.21 a new 2 months notice. If your landlord does not find out about his error he will not be able to get you out before the end of March.

MrShed
31-10-2005, 17:55 PM
Are you sure energise? This perhaps me being stupid, but I thought a S21 just had to give AT LEAST 2 complete rental periods, anything over that was ok? Probably just being idiotic.

And, OP, yes this is the problem in trying to force your hand regarding property problems, repairs, etc....once you are out of the fixed term you have zip protection, and a landlord can evict you for no reason. Your best bet is to sit it out, stay after the eviction date and await a court order for your eviction, IMO. Obviously you need to be looking for a property in the meantime. I suggest this as, if you really do want to get back at the LL(which as pointed out should not be number one priority, but as a side issue possible :p), the landlord must behave impeccably during this period. If they try and force you out without the court order, it is unlawful eviction, and you could sue for big bucks potentially(and it is in fact a criminal act). I would also be quite tempted to write a letter to the agent, stating you want the repairs resolved withint the next 7 days, and if they are not take the money out of the rent and get them done, sending the bills to the agent + landlord. You are entitled to do this. However with the windows specifically, REPAIR, dont replace, as you would be hard pushed to justify a replacement.

evictor
31-10-2005, 18:19 PM
now this is quite simple if your S21 says or the nearest date then the DJ will let the S21 go and you will then get a court order for your eviction but you can appeal this and that can take quite a while ???

susan 2
31-10-2005, 18:52 PM
Dear Craig - Just a couple of further points. As Mr. Shed pointed out once you go onto a periodic tenancy, which is what you are on now, you do not have the protection of a fixed period. That does not help you now, but is something to think about for the future. Tenancy agreements can be for any number of months, not just six or 12. I would take some photographs of the windows and also your flat when you eventually leave, as evidence in case he tries to keep your deposit. I would never usually suggest this (being a landlord myself) but if he is really difficult and still giving problems, you could withhold the last months rent -but put it in the bank and write him a letter, stating you have it ready for him, when he meets you to hand over the keys, do the inventory, and sort out the deposit. Poppy is right though, the sooner you find somewhere else the better. You could also contact your tenancy relations officer at the local council. They deal with this type of problem all the time and can be very helpful as the are supposed to mediate between landlord and tenant. Best of luck susan

Energise
31-10-2005, 19:00 PM
Are you sure energise? This perhaps me being stupid, but I thought a S21 just had to give AT LEAST 2 complete rental periods, anything over that was ok? Probably just being idiotic.

As I understand it MrShed

Section 21(4) of the Housing Act 1988

"Without prejudice to any such right as is referred to in subsection (1) above, a court shall make an order for possession of a dwelling-house let on an assured shorthold tenancy which is a periodic tenancy if the court is satisfied
(a) that the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, at least one of them has given to the tenant a notice in writing stating that, after a date specified in the notice, being the last day of a period of the tenancy and not earlier than two months after the date the notice was given, possession of the dwelling-house is required by virtue of this section; and

(b) that the date specified in the notice under paragraph (a) above is not earlier than the earliest day on which, apart from section 5(1) above, the tenancy could be brought to an end by a notice to quit given by the landlord on the same date as the notice under paragraph (a) above."

MrShed
31-10-2005, 20:29 PM
I stand corrected :)

mjpl
01-11-2005, 07:49 AM
You are correct Energise. It is ironic but giving the tenant more notice will cause the matter to be struck out. I have been on the receiving end of this many years ago.

evictor
01-11-2005, 17:59 PM
i got pulled on the the other week my S21 started on a Saturday and not a sunday the T started on a monday after the DJ told me to add a line in the S21 saying S21 says or the nearest date no probs from then on