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View Full Version : Council stopped HB because old L had sold- news to us!



Cranstoun
26-08-2010, 15:11 PM
Having taken a tenancy with Lanldord A in November, our housing benefit was stopped in March when the council informed us that the property had been sold in December. We knew nothing about this and were still paying the old landlord. The new ówner´then tried to have us sign a new lease which we refused. We had many problems not least our electric was being drawn off our supply. We are still paying off the bill. Is it illegal for a lanldord not to be registered? Must he comply with repairs when plenty of notice is given? We gave verbal notice when we left and refused to pay the last months rent as he was holding our deposit, he is now taking us to court for the unpaid rent and loss of earning for two months to the point he re-rented the house. The situation was so bad we had no heating over this winter and used candles for lighting and the bill was still 40 pounds a day.

Ericthelobster
26-08-2010, 16:32 PM
The situation was so bad we had no heating over this winter and used candles for lighting and the bill was still 40 pounds a day.40 pounds a day?? And with no heating or lighting?

thesaint
26-08-2010, 16:35 PM
We gave verbal notice when we left and refused to pay the last months rent as he was holding our deposit, he is now taking us to court for the unpaid rent and loss of earning for two months to the point he re-rented the house. T

Whose advice did you take for this cause of action?

jeffrey
26-08-2010, 16:40 PM
Whose advice did you take for this cause of action?
The cause of action is L's (enforcing the Letting Agreement contractually), not T's.
Did you instead mean 'course of action', perhaps?

remyrobson
26-08-2010, 16:49 PM
We had many problems not least our electric was being drawn off our supply.

What do you mean by this? Who was drawing electricity from your supply? How did you get stuck with the bill if this could be proved? Your bill sounds extortionate!

Cranstoun
26-08-2010, 16:57 PM
Scottish Power had put in a check meter with us and the previous tenant. The meter was found to be correct. The electricians who looked at the property could only say that there was something wrong but could not tell us what that was. The last report stated that the property had been altered to such a degree that track and trace was not possible. The account was in our name and we though that if we left and took the bill the landlord would leave us alone. There was water running down from the bathroom upstairs into the hall downstairs, fungus on the walls, we insulated the kitchen to stop the wind coming in as much and we ended up sleeping in the lounge. The landlord found this all very amusing. We called the police, CA, TS, LA - all of them referred us to the others. We had no choice but to leave.

Ericthelobster
26-08-2010, 17:27 PM
Scottish Power had put in a check meter with us and the previous tenant. The meter was found to be correct. The electricians who looked at the property could only say that there was something wrong but could not tell us what that was.Sorry but something doesn't add up here. £40/day equates to a continuous use of about 17kWh per hour... that's roughly the equivalent of running six three-bar electric fires on full, 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week... if so that's realistically far more than one property could use even if it tried.

jta
26-08-2010, 17:35 PM
. that's roughly the equivalent of running six three-bar electric fires on full, 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week... .

...or one cannabis farm. :D

property mongrel
26-08-2010, 17:39 PM
£40 per day, every day, 7 days a week, 30 or 31 days a month? How did you pay this every month? £1,200 per month just for electricity. That is a bit more than I would expect electricity consumption to come to. Were you funding anyone elses indoor gardening perhaps?

Why was "track and trace" not possible, did cables or wires lead to other properties?

Where is this property?

pm

Cranstoun
26-08-2010, 18:09 PM
All the electricians said the same! We paid Scottish power 2300 (or will have when the payments finish). The bill for 2300 was for the period 7th January to 7th May, Scottish Power cancelled the bill for December. There was no pattern to the meter reading which we took every hour on the hour for 4 weeks, so at the beginning of January 40 per day was with the kettle, the fridge and lighting. We then ran out of wood to burn and put 3 radiator on for 2 hours a day but put the electric lights off at the mains. This made a huge difference, although I know it should not have. The meter did stop when we switched the mains supply off - which we did on as many occassions as we could. This did not seem to alter the lights in the houses round about, so we assumed the FARM was not an option. We were one of four houses in the middle of nowhere (Scotland), West Lothian. We now have to convince the court that we were being done by the landlord(s).

Cranstoun
26-08-2010, 18:12 PM
track and trace was not possible becuase ´the house had been altered too many times and it was impossible to trace the wiring without removing walls´. i was an old farm cottage which was altered and extented over many years.

Cranstoun
26-08-2010, 20:09 PM
So...has anybody any advice for me?

Is it illegal to rent a property without being registered?

Is the landlord legal bound to ensure the electrical supply is completely investigated ie with track and trace?

Are we within our rights not to pay when the property is in such a bad way and the services are obviously ´falty´?

theartfullodger
30-08-2010, 08:58 AM
Yes, illegal (can be Criminal Charge, up to £5000 fine) not to be registered. Even more interesting your local council can decide you should not pay rent if not registered. Suggest you contact council Landlord Registration dept.
Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004
Section 94...

94 Circumstances in which no rent to be payable

(1) Where a local authority is satisfied that the conditions in subsection (2) are met in relation to a house within its area, the authority may serve a notice under this section on the persons mentioned in subsection (5).

(2) Those conditions are—

(a) that the owner of the house is a relevant person;

(b) that the house is subject to—

(i) a lease; or

(ii) an occupancy arrangement,

by virtue of which an unconnected person may use the house as a dwelling;

(c) that the relevant person is not registered by the local authority; and

(d) that, having regard to all the circumstances relating to the relevant person, it is appropriate for a notice to be served under this section.

(3) Where a notice is served under this section, during the relevant period—

(a) no rent shall be payable under any lease or occupancy arrangement in respect of the house to which the notice relates;

(b) no other consideration shall be payable or exigible under any such lease or occupancy arrangement.

However, clearly, if he registers that problem goes away..
.. see
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/acts2004/asp_20040008_en_1


https://www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk/Pages/Process.aspx?Command=ShowHelpWhoRegisters


In Scotland (as opposed to Engerland) I understand that Electrical installations (fuse box, sockets, wiring etc..) should be inspected and passed IIRC every 5 years. Suggest you contact Shelter Scotland
http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/getadvice/advice_topics/renting_rights/renting_from_a_private_landlord?id=hp
0808 800 4444 - but they are a charity, not enough resources so you may have a long wait on't 'phone...

and/or/also your local council "Private Tenant department" ( or similar name or just housing dept..)

Re not paying if repairs issues etc.. not sure, ask Shelter....

You should also contact PRHP (? who they??) well, you knew about them as your Landlord MUST give you a letter telling you about them & how they sort out these sorts of disputes.....
http://www.prhpscotland.gov.uk/prhp/1.html


Got a tenancy issue?

The Private Rented Housing Panel (prhp) can help Scottish tenants and landlords resolve their differences. From 3 September 2007, the prhp will provide tenants with a way to force landlords to do necessary repairs.


What a t****r of a Landlord, he's a disgrace to the decent ones & to Scotland.

Perhaps when he realises what a mess he's made of things he will fix problem and take money off the rent (Aye, right...). Point him at this thread???



Cheers!

Artful (Registered, Accredited Scottish landlord, attending accreditation update session from Landlord Accreditation Scotland tomorrow afternoon in Paisley.. but still with much to learn and still making mistakes...)

Cranstoun
30-08-2010, 16:14 PM
Thanks to all...in court on Thursday...all very helpful!

FYI: We have contacted West Lothian Council many timess and they confirm that the landlord was/is not registered, however, they also said that they were not aware it was illegal.

Many, many thanks!

theartfullodger
30-08-2010, 20:01 PM
We have contacted West Lothian Council many timess and they confirm that the landlord was/is not registered, however, they also said that they were not aware it was illegal.


Sigh! What do you do with these numties?? I've a house next to mine, unregistered, man who owns it local bank-manager in small town, thinks he's important... There's been 7 emails between me & council about "are you going to get this guy to register"?? Nothing.. so i emailed my councillor & head of housing committee.. is there any enforcement of Landlord registration?? Got a lovely email back explaining they're doing a great job.. I await my further email asking so why ain't you done anything about this t******r then...

Best of luck in court: Be calm, smart, polite to everyone, expect the LL to accuse you of all-sorts - just stick to the stuff you have evidence of.. & keep us posted...

Cheers!

Artful

baldelectrician
04-09-2010, 11:25 AM
Looking at the post it may be that you were supplying other properties or equipment

If I was asked to look at this I would have isolated each circuit and found the one with the high load.

Worst case scenrio- it would be easy to put in a new small consumer unit and power essential circuits from that, or even a close by socket for your kitchen essentials. Then you would have full control of everything you used

As far as the LL goes - I hope you have photos

The council should have a landlord scheme.

see here
http://www.westlothian.gov.uk/media/downloaddoc/1799479/2150514/PSLguidance

islandgirl
04-09-2010, 16:33 PM
Artful - my daughter born in Paisley - give it our regards!

mind the gap
05-09-2010, 19:33 PM
Artful - no longer Scottish Highlands? I'm gutted!

What sort of substitute is Windsor, for goodness' sake? It's a dreadful place!

theartfullodger
15-09-2010, 19:26 PM
Artful - no longer Scottish Highlands? I'm gutted!

What sort of substitute is Windsor, for goodness' sake? It's a dreadful place!


You're gutted?? think how my darling "friend" Morag the sheep feels...

Windsor... ah, yes,, well, it's not quite "South Slough ( where Liz Windsor has a gaff...)" that I live (with the wife, wife's house..) more horsey if you get my drift...

But, I'll be back in the Highlands Sept 30th.. (checking on tenants... tax deductible trip..!!)