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Captain Penguin
01-03-2007, 21:09 PM
Hi, I hope that someone is able to help here...

I moved into a shared flat (2 existing tenants) in mid 2006, replacing an existing tenant. The tenants had a AST contract running from 5th Jan 2006 to 4th Jan 07 and I was informed by the tenants that there was no inventory available (even though the flat was furnished). The agent issued a new AST with the names of the 2 existing tenants and myself added, again dated to run from 5th Jan 06 to 4th Jan 07. I later gathered that this process of tenant rotation had been happening for some time.

Shortly after I moved in, the agent gave us notice that the AST would not be renewed (the place was very delapidated, needed major refurbishment and the landlord I believe is selling the property) so we moved out on 4th Jan, and the agent is witholding our substantial deposit based on the original inventory taken in October 1996 and the check-out report taken in 2007.

I have strongly objected to this and the two other tenants also object - we maintain that we have left the flat in a better state than it was in Jan 2006 when the AST we have is dated, but the agent maintains that this was a continous tenancy from 1996 and that, I quote :

"The tenancy agreement started on 4th October 1996 which has been renewed annually. However between the landlord and the tenants the occupiers have changed and contractually when you took over from Ms. xxxxx and paid your rent from June 2006 you were liable under the terms of the tenancy. We hold the deposit as stakeholders."

There are a whole bunch of other issues here that the agency is really trying it on with and I am really unhappy about - but a key issue is the agencies insistence that this was a continuous tenancy from 1996 and that we as the last tenants are responsible for all of the past delapidations - which to my mind is ridiculous. The agency took no action (no inventory or check out) at the change of tenants or the issuing of each AST contract (there is no reference in the AST to it being a continuation of a previous one)

Any advice is much appreciated.

-Steve

Bel
01-03-2007, 22:49 PM
In my view, the agent is in error/has been exceptionally lazy. It cannot be counted as a continuous tenancy if the tenants change.
Like you say, they have no evidence from a bona fide inventory/schedule of condition for your recent tenancy. They should also have made inspections and picked up on delapidations throughout this time, if there was anything serious.

If they are stakeholders they cannot release any disputed money to the Landlord or the Tenant. It must go to INDEPENDANT mediation if you cannot agree.

It may be wise to approach the LL direct, if you feel you cannot trust the agent to negotiate your case fairly. After all, they stand to gain most by keeping you in dispute, as they get to hold on to the cash!!

Captain Penguin
05-03-2007, 07:10 AM
In my view, the agent is in error/has been exceptionally lazy.

and

It may be wise to approach the LL direct,

Indeed, my thoughts entirely. My concerns are that although the agent has been, in my opinion and as you succintly put it, "Exceptionally lazy", could they end up being exceptionally lazy but correct :-(

Am trying to trace the LL at the moment...

-Steve

jeffrey
05-03-2007, 11:09 AM
Re the 10 year claim: no, because Limitation Act 1980 gives a defence to most common-law claims exceeding six years in age. Maximum liability is therefore for years 4 to 10 (ie within most recent six years).

Captain Penguin
06-03-2007, 13:41 PM
Re the 10 year claim: no, because Limitation Act 1980 gives a defence to most common-law claims exceeding six years in age. Maximum liability is therefore for years 4 to 10 (ie within most recent six years).

I'm not so sure that this would help here, the claim would be a new claim rather than an old claim - it's just referencing a contract which they claim has been in existance for 10 years...

jeffrey
06-03-2007, 14:07 PM
I'm not so sure that this would help here, the claim would be a new claim rather than an old claim - it's just referencing a contract which they claim has been in existance for 10 years...

You are not liable for dilapidations over six years ago. The new claim cannot cover them, so it's only those of the last six years for which you could conceivably be liable (and possibly you're not responsible for those anyway).