Tenants who tried to convince a tribunal they were being harassed and unlawfully evicted have had their Rent Repayment Order claim dismissed.
Olaleye and Olunbukola Akinwumiju alleged that landlord Saleha Zulfiqar Hussain tried to increase the rent and end their tenancy, both in an email and by deactivating the fob which allowed access to the car park as well as their three-bedroom flat in the gated Wards Wharf Approach, London (main picture).
The tribunal heard they had signed a 24-month tenancy in March 2021 which provided for an early break clause after 14 months and provision for a rent increase no earlier than 12 months into the tenancy. The pair complained that their landlord wanted to raise the rent by £200 per month and had decided to end the tenancy from August 2022.
Although the car park area had been deactivated, Hussain denied that the fob allowing access to the main building had ever been deactivated. She had also done her best to accommodate her tenants’ needs by extending the tenancy’s initial end date to October 2022, but when they failed to leave had had to instruct solicitors to serve a Section 21 Notice as she needed the property for family members.
The tribunal judge said the Akinwumijus carried on using the flat’s parking space until they left in December 2022 and added that its use had not formed a term of the tenancy and was provided as a goodwill gesture. He dismissed their claim for £23,700.
Although on some occasions Hussain misrepresented the legal position to the applicants, the judge added: “The tribunal finds that in any event the deactivation of the car parking fob caused minimal inconvenience to the applicants who continued to use the space as before without any real difficulty or interference from the respondent or her agents.”