worst situation due to landlord!! (any tenants' rights lawyers?)

(175 Posts)
oinkyoink Thu 10-Jan-13 10:21:11

i am in such a bad situation and thought i would come on here for advice and opinions... we are renting our house since last february 2012 and the landlord mentioned it would be a long-term let which was great. as we had the contract for the first year feb 2012 to feb 2013 which was to be renewed annually with 8 weeks notice, we emailed the landlord in october 2012 to let him know we really wanted to stay in the house and avoid any last minute dramas of being given notice. my dd who is 3.5 will be starting reception in Sep 2013 and so I have just submitted her application based on this address.
what did the landlord do after replying in Oct to our email to say yes that would be fine to renew in Feb 2013 for another year? He called us on 20 Dec to say he had a last minute change of mind and needs his house back. (we had a great Christmas... not).
I have applied for my daughter's school based on this address and I am in a bad situation whereby the catchment for the school is extremely small and so we can only basically move along this road or along the road parallel to this one. We have approached the landlord to explain that we need to be here until end of May due to having to send proof of address after the school offers are made on 17 April. he replied to say sorry, he is not being unreasonable in wanting his home back and good luck with our daughter's schooling. How nasty can one person be? It is a crucial time for us as a family and he doesn't give a damn. I am not sure what to do now... He has said we can stay until end of March but this doesn't help. I have worked so hard at trying to get my daughter into a good school and I cannot give up now. Apart from the schooling issue, we are a young family with two children who have been upheaved out of their home. We do not have family in the UK. I am very stressed out as you can imagine.
Opinions appreciated.

No worries Ellie - we are actually agreeing and saying the same thing anyway. If all done legally then tenant should start looking elsewhere.....depends on whether that section 21 has been served and I really think that if the agency are as professional as she says they are then yes it would have been. Massive fuck up on their part if it hasn't that's for sure.

oinkyoink Thu 10-Jan-13 11:57:14

brian I have stated in several posts now, and I confirm, that NO section 21 notice has been given to us. We got a phone call saying he had changed his mind and wants his house back. It seems to me you are taking in the info you would like to take in so that you can side with the landlord perhaps?

Sorry - I missed a bit of info - he actually said in mid December (via emails from the agency) that all was good to go and that he was offering us a new term (another year) at a small increase in rent. We replied happily to say that was all good but could he do some drought-prrofing as there was a massive gap at the hall door where you can actually see the path outside! Three days later, I got a call from the agency to say he had changed his mind and wanted the house back. He basically didn't want to do any drought-proofing so wanted us out IMO.

Well he needs to serve you that section 21 and he needs to serve in on a certain date. Think it is the day of the month the contract started and then expiry date would be two months from there. That might buy you a bit more time depending on what date your contract started.

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 12:00:46

"But, say the LL has done things correctly what gives the tenant the right to stay in the LL's property when their legal right has expired?"

the law.

"Nobody other than a bailiff acting for the county court is allowed to physically remove you from the accommodation. If anyone else attempts to do this they may be guilty of illegal eviction - a serious offence. "

Nobody WANTS to overstay. But who is going to say oh, well, my date to leave is tuesday, haven't found anywhere, but never mind. I'll just put all my stuff on the street and my kids and I will sleep in a bus shelter.

Not going to happen.

Ideally, you will find somewhere else in the two months. But it's not always possible. Like us - couldn't get a private landlord to take us, cos we'd been declared bankrupt when our business went under. Tried and tried and tried. time ticking away. date getting closer. We didn't WANT to still be there! But our choices were stay until we found somewhere else, even if that meant overstaying - or be on the street.

I agree with you that people shouldn't stay if they have any other option at all. I know it's the landlord's property and they can have it back if they want it back. But sometimes you're in a crappy situation and it's not possible to just walk out.

HeCate - to be fair if it was a case of my tenant staying in my property or being on the streets then of course, I would fully expect them to stay and would totally understand.

However, if it just a case of the fact that my tenant could find somewhere else but is being picky over schools etc then that is when it becomes rocky ground.

But don't get me wrong, I do know there are some unscrupulous LL's out there but no, I wouldnt see my tenants on the streets.

brianhaddock Thu 10-Jan-13 12:08:09

in fairness OP i can't find anywhere that you say you have checked your tenancy documents and found no S21. Rather your posts do seem to be talking about not having been served one since December.

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 12:08:18

I wish you'd been my landlord! They were horrible about it.

I mean, I agree with you - it's the landlord's house and if they want it back - you have to leave.

but still, there is a procedure to follow and the section 21 is not the end of that process, it's the first step. If the tenant doesn't leave - for whatever reason - it's on to the court, then getting a bailiff and the landlord can't skip any of that. It's certainly morally rocky ground grin if they're playing about because they only want a house with a white door grin but legally there's no rocky ground because the process is very well set out.

milf90 Thu 10-Jan-13 12:09:01

he is well within his rights to do this, its just one of the issues that comes with renting. if you want stability for you and your family then you need to save for a deposit.

I wouldn't sleep if I put someone on the streets!

RyleDup Thu 10-Jan-13 12:09:32

Well, until he hands you your sec 21 and notice to leave I would stay put. He's got to do it legally too.

marchwillsoonbehere Thu 10-Jan-13 12:11:49

brian I have stated in several posts now, and I confirm, that NO section 21 notice has been given to us.

I think you are being terribly unfair and unkind to Brian here OP. The point is, as far as I can make out, not whether you have received it but whether one has been submitted to the agency...have you checked this?

Yes, I bet you the agency have it in their paperwork....will be amazed if they haven't!

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 12:14:28

It depends, brian on what the tenancy agreement says. It usually specifies what the deposit is actually for. If it just says for damage & non paid rent, then no, not automatically.

A judge, when awarding costs, could order it paid from the deposit and LL could raise this with the scheme. If the judge doesn't do this, and the tenancy agreement does not allow for the deposit to be used for court costs, then probably not. Or at least, not without great difficult - the schemes are very biased in favour of the tenants.

OrangeClub Thu 10-Jan-13 12:17:32

It doesn't matter if the notice has been served on the letting agents or not. Until it has been served on the tenant then it hasn't been served.

What is morally right is irrelevant. I have similar conversations with my mother over another area of the law (which I work in). She bangs on about how this isn't fair and that isn't right and blah blah blah.

The fact is the law is the law. You might not like it, you might not agree with it but to honest it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. The LL needs to comply with the law if he wants the tenant to leave. It really is that simple. There are crappy tenants, there are crappy landlords. This is why the law is there, to protect both sides.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 12:19:09

A Section 21 is invalid if it's given to anyone other than the actual tenants. The agents are not the tenants.

But do check you haven't got it, OP. Also check that you were given the prescribed information regarding your deposit and when it was protected. (Has to be within 30 days of the beginning of the tenancy. If it wasn't - even if it was 31 days - then legally they have to repay it to you before they can issue you with a Section 21).

It's a minefield. I wouldn't be a landlord if you paid me, quite frankly.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 12:21:10

Prescribed information = a lot of paperwork probably running into several sheets, btw. A bit of paper with the name of the scheme & your reference number will not do.

OrangeClub Thu 10-Jan-13 12:23:26

Isn't there also some new rules about the tenant being entitled to 3x the deposit back if the letting agent or LL has not put the deposit into a scheme?

I don't work in this particular area of the law but other people in my firm do. We had a case last week where the LL's agents had put their own office address on the Section 21 (as the property they wanted possession of) and the wrong dates. Funnily enough the LL now has to serve another notice with the correct details on, giving a further two months notice. I wouldn't be a LL either to be honest, but it's not much fun being a tenant either sometimes (I am one!).

YesOrange I think there is.

it is a minefield which is why I would never rent my place privately as I don't know enough about the law. I would rather pay my % everymonth to the letting agencies and put my trust in them. I have had some really shitty ones over the years but thankfully my current ones are ace and I don't have any problems.

Hard being LL or tenant I reckon but it's so bloody tough these days getting on the property ladder which is a real shame.

brianhaddock Thu 10-Jan-13 12:27:03

thanks Ellie, possibly the nuances of the deposit scheme ours was held in then. just checked and that is what we were told.

Marchwill thanks for your defence. i think the OP is only really interested in hearing that the LL is a b'stard, hence her request earlier for 'useful' posts? but this is AIBU not 'legal'

OP i have no reason to side with the LL, i know nothing about him but obviously we are only hearing things from your perspective, i am not a LL but have seen eviction from a LL's perspective and it is exceptionally stressful for all concerned, i would avoid this unless no other alternative is available.

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 12:32:45

Op I would check through all your paper work. I'll admit I've been guilty several times in the past of signing and accepting paperwork whilst mentally rearranging furniture etc rather than paying attention to the paperwork and legalities of stuff.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 12:35:30

Yes - if the LL fails to protect the deposit at all, then a judge could order him/her to repay it x3. But the tenant has to sue the LL to get this, and this cost quite a lot. The LL will probably have to pay costs if he loses, but that's no help if the tenant doesn't have the money in the first place.

More seriously, a LL cannot issue Section 21 if he hasn't protected the deposit.

Just to clarify, Brian - yes, a deposit can be used for costs. It can be used for any money that the tenant owes LL but it's considerably more complicated that the usual rent/damage situation & shouldn't be assumed by the LL.

TWvirgin Thu 10-Jan-13 12:35:54

You're not being made homeless, you are refusing to move! You have no idea what your landlord's personal and financial circumstances are but he has told you he needs his house back. To live in!! You are the one who is actually making him homeless. Sorry, I don't believe you really know his financial situation and whether he really does own another house. Maybe it's not his, maybe it's already rented out. All you know is he needs to move back into his home and you think which school your kid attends trumps that. Absolutely selfish and entitled OP!

Pandemoniaa Thu 10-Jan-13 12:39:33

Awful as it is to have to move house again when you expected a longer tenancy, it isn't any good trying to demonise the landlord. He's perfectly within his rights to want his house back and making assumptions about "drought-proofing (sic) or that he has no need for the property because he lives elsewhere is silly and unreasonable. He is within his rights so far as not extending the contract. Also, you can still apply for the school of your choice based on your current address.

However, as others have said, you do need to be served with the correct notice and I'd also advise you checking all your paperwork very carefully indeed. I'd be very surprised if an agent assumed that a telephone call is an adequate means of serving you notice to quit.

brianhaddock Thu 10-Jan-13 12:41:05

Pandemoniaa - 100% agree

oinkyoink Thu 10-Jan-13 12:45:58

I do check all my paper work carefully. I received the memorandum of agreement to extend until March 13. I have not received the section 21 notice.
However if I were to now approach agency and say I hadn't received it, couldn't they issue one back date it and say they sent one?? What evidence is there they didn't? I am assuming all notices to end tenancies are sent by registered post considering its a relatively important document??? So they would probably have this proof to confirm they sent it if they did?

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