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Lettings firm accused of breaking evictions ban

Generic picture of London with Littlejohns in a small circle

Three students have threatened to take their landlord to tribunal for allegedly flouting eviction ban regulations which meant they were forced out of their flat while studying for exams.

Tenants Capucine Leclere, 21, Andrew Brooks, 22, and Aliya Abdul Kadir, 23, had been renting a flat in Edinburgh through Littlejohns letting agents for two-and-a-half years when they received a notice to quit in March.

After moving out in April, they found the property listed on RightMove in July, with the rent ramped up by 40%, reports Edinburgh Live.

The trio say the whole experience impacted their ability to perform academically and that searching for a new home meant they had to take time off work which led to a considerable financial hit. They are now considering tribunal action for wrongful eviction.

Three months

Leclere says: “We were told by Littlejohns that although the landlord had intended to move back in for three months, their circumstances had changed which led to them being there for less than that period.”

Tenancy union Living Rent argues that the notice to leave stated that the landlord intended to move into the property, which, under the Scottish eviction ban, is one of the few reasons tenants may be made to quit their home. But the tenants believe none of the criteria for overcoming the eviction ban were met.

Under the Cost of Living Act, landlords using this ground must also present evidence of financial hardship, such as needing to move in or sell to avoid becoming homeless themselves. Similar conditions are being proposed in the Renters Reform Bill which could impact landlords in England next year.

The friends protested outside Littlejohns’ branch (main pic, inset) after the agency, they claim, refused two requests to meet and negotiate with them. The firm declined to comment.

Picture credit: Shutterstock/f11photo

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