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cheesedoff
27-01-2009, 21:18 PM
We are having to take who we thought was our Landlord to court to claim some deposit we believe he is witholding unfairly and have just discovered by looking at the Land Registry that he does not actually own the house, it is in his wife's name. He has managed it and he signed the contract - is it now invalid as it did not state that he was signing on behalf of his wife?

Also, even though we paid him the deposit will we have to sue her to get it back?:confused:

PaulF
28-01-2009, 09:43 AM
L has no mandate to let it appears unless he has the express permission from his wife to do so. As his wife would appear to be aware of the situation then you should by the law of Estoppel be able take action against the L through the courts. Jeffrey or Lawcruncher is that right?

Lawcruncher
28-01-2009, 11:21 AM
Irrespective of whether the husband had authority or not, the contract is with the husband and all the landlord's obligations under the tenancy agreement can be enforced against him.

jeffrey
28-01-2009, 16:37 PM
Irrespective of whether the husband had authority or not, the contract is with the husband and all the landlord's obligations under the tenancy agreement can be enforced against him.
Yes. He signed as such, so he is bound by his own misrepresentation.

MarkJ1972
29-01-2009, 03:58 AM
I was surprised to see a topic almost like mine

Can anyone please help / advise on the following...

I moved into a property over a year ago, had AST, schedule of condition and deposit held by DPS etc.

Then I get a phone call recently (well a long message left on answer phone) from the 'landlord' saying that he needed me to leave the house for a whole day because some people were coming over for an inspection or something and they cant know I live there.
Turns out that the house is owned 50% by a company and 50% by his girlfriend, and that under the terms of the part-ownership agreement, and the terms of her mortgage, she is not not allowed to rent the property out.

Right so I ignored that (just didn't have contact with them, rather than say I refuse) and have now moved out. The house was spotless, I kept it up well (they were impressed when they did their inspection), spent a lot of time cleaning (spent 2 days just giving the carpets a shampoo), even repainted when really I didn't need to at my expense (more marks there when I moved in than any I made, but I still did it) and they wrote me a glowing reference saying my deposit will be refunded in full. They were equally impressed on my moving out inspection (except commented on some water / condensation marks on a curtain) and while I thought this was 1) fair wear and tear 2) Dampness the responsibility of the landlord, I compromised and offered to pay £20 towards new ones - which was agreed.

On the same day of me moving out they handed the keys to new tenants. I initiated a refund with the DPS and allocated the £20 to the landlord as agreed, but he then rejected the offer and changed the amount allocated to him to £70. After contacting him he said the new ones cost £30 and the rest was a 'fitting fee'. I again compromised and said I would be willing to pay the full cost for the certain at £30.


I don't think he will agree to go to arbitration because he knows he is being unfair and will probably end up with nothing at all ( as above - wear & tear and dampness being LL responsibility ) and think he might say it has to go to court to try and scare me into backing down and paying up in case it ends up costing me a lot more.
I think I have been very fair about the situation, I could have said no right from the start and dug my heels in because I honestly believe little water marks from condensation is no justification for what hes asking, but I didn't and was trying to be fair. He did also try saying on the inspection that another curtain was faded slightly from the sun and I would have to pay for that! (luckily I made a quick note of it on the form and quickly pointed it out to him)


Now I admit I am probably making more of a deal out of this than needs be because im so angry, but I really feel this is unfair. It annoys me more that there was so many things wrong when I looked around the place that he promised me he would fix prior to me moving in - missing handles, broken legs on furniture, shelve brackets missing, etc etc. Then when I moved in he promised me he would be back soon to put it right and didn't want to write these things on the schedule of condition form, but I insisted (and glad I did now!). The TV unit was so bad it basically collapses with nothing on it, and after informing him again that it was unsafe and he done nothing still, ended up repairing it myself! ( Surely I can charge for this? )
When I viewed the property there was a full house of things. However, after signing a 'fully furnished' tenancy agreement and came to move in, it was completely empty! (only a broken TV unit, fridge and cooker)
He then went on bragging how he sold everything on ebay and how much he got for this, that and the other. I mean a fully furnished place should have everything right? even basic plates, glasses, cutlery etc.
He had removed and sold everything between me signing the contract and getting the keys. Everything from the microwave to the bed!
But obviously that is irrelevant now, I was in no position to stand up to them at the time and had to find bits myself or borrow them. But it just makes me more angry about this situation now.

---------------------------------------------

Sorry back on track...

So Citizens Advice is as useful as a chocolate teapot. All they do is look on their own website and if the info isn't there to read out to you they cant help. I was told to try getting advice from elsewhere.

The only person that seems to have been able to give me any constructive info is an accountant (who obviously knows only general contract laws).
Basically his advice is if it is forced to court, I should stop all communications with the so-called 'landlord' and I should communicate only with the property owners.
He said that a judge would rule the tenancy agreement invalid / void because he did not have the legal capacity to sign the contract, which would also invalidate the contract with the DPS holding my deposit in his name falsely as landlord.

Is this correct?

And if so, surely I can then ask the judge to apply the default penalty to the property owner for not properly securing a deposit for an AST under the new law?


Sorry for the lengthy post!
Think I needed to rant and moan :(

jeffrey
29-01-2009, 11:12 AM
MarkJ1972: sorry, but it's too long to read. Please summarise.

MarkJ1972
29-01-2009, 16:24 PM
Sorry about that, it was a bit of a muddle...


The Deposit Protection Service is holding my deposit under the self appointed landlord who is now not communicating with me and being unfair regarding deductions.
I fear this person will force the issue to court by refusing arbitration.

1) The person who signed as landlord does not own the property in any way, only a percentage owned by his girlfriend (part-ownership).

2) the Property is owned by a company that does not allow it to be rented out, thus did not consent to him appointing himself landlord.

3) The mortgage does not allow it to be rented out, thus does not consent to him acting as an agent on behalf of the mortgage.

These facts came to light just before I moved out when I was asked to leave the property for a day because the company who owns the property had to come round to do an inspection and they weren't allowed to know it was rented out to someone else (Against their terms and conditions and the terms of their mortgage).


The only advice I have received is as follows:

A) To have no more communication with him, to direct all correspondence to his girlfriend

B) To take legal proceedings against the legal property owners (his girlfriend and the company) for the return of the deposit on the basis of fair wear & tear and that it is not the tenants responsibility for dampness in a property. See how the company responds.

C) To try and obtain confirmation in writing from the company owning the property and mortgage provider, that he is not registered as acting as an agent on their behalf (they can confirm this without breaking DPA laws as long as I don't ask personal information about his girlfriend?)

D) Ask the judge to deem the contract void / invalid on the basis that he does not have the legal capacity to sign such a contract, that it is knowingly done so against the expressed written consent of an owner of that property and that the other owner (his girlfriend) is in breach of contract by allowing him to do so.

E) On the basis of an invalid tenancy agreement and misrepresenting himself upon signing a contract with the Deposit Protection Service, along with breaching their terms and conditions, deem the contract with the DPS void and the full amount of the tenants funds returned to them.

F) For the owner of the property who rented it (his girlfriend, not the company as they forbid it and done against their consent), ask for the default judgment as prescribed by Housing Act 2004 in sections 212 - 215 and Schedule 10 of a full refund of the deposit amount along with a sum equal to 3 times the amount of the deposit.

Sorry if it is still too long :o

Thank you,
Mark

NB. If anyone knows of another form of free legal advice other than Citizen Advice please let me know