To not understand how we can be 2 months behind with the rent?(14 Posts)
Back story: we have numerous run-ins with letting agency due to leaks, damp, boiler not working, repairs not being done etc. Our gas safety check should have been done in April. I have been worried about the boiler as it seems a right botch up job and it turns out the person that fitted it did not have a Gas Care certificate as he turned up to do the check and I asked him to produce his card and he said he did not have one! So the letting agency sent someone else round and he also could not produce a card - apparently he had left it at home [hmmm].
So we still have not had one done. Anyway I took advice from the CAB about this and the outstanding repairs so they sent a letter to the agency about it. A week after this we received a letter from the agency stating that we are 7 weeks behind with the rent and unless we pay the balance, £1750, immediately, they would be able to evict us. I know that they can do this when we are 8 weeks behind.
Now we have never had rent receipts/statements (despite requests) from the agency and have been here for 18 months now. We usually pay in cash every two weeks as we are on a low income and standing orders take about 5 days to go through and we can't get the money together any earlier. We get receipts from the bank but unfortunately we don't have them all as the agency are saying we have been behind since last November! They have never contacted us about this and I do not believe we could have missed so many payments. I cannot believe they would not have chased us for it before now.
I have no proof that we have made every payment as I do not have all the receipts (they are tiny and could have gone anywhere) as we talking months back anyway. Also we put our address in the reference bit on the paying slip at the bank. I am wondering if the address was not typed in when the cashier paid the money in so money went into the agency's account but they did not know who from iyswim?
They sent us just a typed sheet with the payments and dates on, not their bank statements showing exactly how much has gone in. Can they do this? They seem to have us over a barrel.
I think it is going to be hard to prove if you do not have the receipts. They will only show you a typed incoming/outgoing type sheet and not their bank statements.
A typed sheet isn't proof that you're behind with the rent and I doubt a court would be impressed with that as evidence. Unless they can provide proper evidence then the chances of them being able to evict you are pretty slim.
Start gathering evidence that you have paid and make sure you keep evidence of all future payments. It may also be worth talking to CAB or Shelter.
Can you buy yourself a little notebook or file and stick everything into it from here on (and add any others you can find) so that you have everything from here on in?
Also do you have any sort of digital camera or camera on your phone? I've recently started taking pictures of important documents, forms, hospital appointment letters etc and it's a good back up for important things you don't want to lose. I'm reasonably organised about downloading and backing up my photos (one of the few areas of my life I manage, the rest is chaos!) but if I were in your situation I'd keep one copy in my originals directory and then have a copy in a rent receipts directory and keep a copy of that directory on a memory stick or friends computer or somewhere else safe. I'm assuming you have access at least to a computer as you're here on MN so sorry if I'm wrong about that.
If you have dates when money has been paid in that they are saying they haven't had can you get the bank to check where it went as it must have gone somewhere!
Good luck, hope you get it sorted. sounds a horrid worry to have hanging over you
Have you counted all the 5 weeks months .
This happend to me, I didn't take into account that some months are 5 weeks
Do your bank statements show you taking the rent money out to pay it? Might be better than nothing if it's consistent over the times you've got receipts for and the times you haven't.
First job would be to go through all the receipts you've got and check them carefully against the schedule of missed payments.
You need to get all your bank statements together, go through and highlight each withdrawal which is for the amount of your rent.
Then get together all of the paying in receipts from where you have paid in the rent to their account, if they try to evict you then you can give the courts all these and tell them that you have lost the others. No doubt the judge would demand them to provide their bank statements to prove you have not paid.
Another thing you could do is try get hold of the landlord, find out if he has had rent paid to him every month or not.
It might also do you good to point out to them that a court carries a £3000 fine for landlords who don't have a valid gas safe certificate.
Also get yourself on the phone to environmental health about the work that needs doing!
Without proof you paid you don't have a leg to stand on. However letting agents have to send quarterly statements bylaw, they also have to notify you of any shortfall within a short amount of time. Tell them that as they I'd not advise you when they were supposed to bylaw you do not agree with their assessment. You must pay via direct debit or take into agency and get a receipt.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Check with your bank - we had something a bit similar when our (extremely nice) landlord called up to ask why we hadn't paid rent for the last 3 months. The bank investigated and a dodgy member of staff had been making the transfers out of our account with the amounts we'd requested, and putting them into his own account instead of the landlord's.
fabbychic that is not true, the op has ways of dealing with it. she does have a leg to stand on!!
I'm sure if it goes to court they'll have to produce their bank statements as evidence to show whether or not you've paid. If you've paid in via the bank at the counter there must be a way you can prove it. Whenever I have paid in cash at the counter they seem to record it on a machine (well they trap lots of buttons anyway). Sign up for internet banking and then you can do the payments yourself. The cash gets there within 2 hours (unless you're with Santander) and you'll have a record of it on your statement.
I used to do rent possession hearings in a previous job. They don't have to produce their bank statements; a statement of account showing the build-up of arrears would be enough. If you can show that there's an issue to be looked into, though, as in that you've made payments that don't show up on that statement, the court would almost certainly refuse to make any order until the matter had been properly looked into.
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