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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.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 11:29:42

Can we be clear here please, because I think some people are being unfair to the OP.

Yes, the LL does have the right to his property back & he doesn't have to explain himself or give any reason. It probably is "nice" of him to give her an extra month.

But he must do it the right way. Any judge would take a very dim view of a landlord showing up to say "A Section 21? Just a bit of paper, innit?"

The OP has abided (I am assuming) by the terms of her tenancy agreement by paying the rent & keeping the place up. It's not unreasonable to expect that the LL also abides by the terms of the agreement by giving her the correct notice in the correct way as demanded both by the law AND the tenancy agreement that her LL signed.

LL is entitled to his property back. OP is entitled to expect this is done legally.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 11:31:44


Sorry. You're wrong. Please familiarise yourself with the law. Thank you.

LL is entitled to his property back. OP is entitled to expect this is done legally

I totally agree and like I said, if the agency is a well known, big company I would be amazed if they haven't done it legally. I think OP needs to call them up and find out exactly what paperwork has been filed.

What have I said which is wrong?

brianhaddock Thu 10-Jan-13 11:36:41

OK so are we saying that the advice to the OP is that, if the S21 has been properly served (if she's using a half decent agent i really would expect this to have been the case, quite possibly it was in the documents received at the start of the tenancy) she should move out as per the terms of the tenancy agreement she signed? Rather than staying put anyway and forcing him to begin eviction proceedings?

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 11:38:58

I really wish people who know fuck all about tenancy law would stop giving advice or criticising people who are trying to.

Yes, the LL has done something wrong. He's broken the law. If he compels OP to leave in the way that he's trying to now then he'll be guilty of illegal eviction and risks going to prison & paying a large fine & compensation.

It matters not one whit if you think it's unfair. The law is the law is the law.

Any tenant HAS THE RIGHT UNDER THE LAW to remain in the property until a court appointed bailiff shows up. Is this moral? Is this right? Irrelevant - THAT is the law.

And, Betty

2 months notice takes us to end of March
1 month for the case to go before a judge
OP (probably given 2 weeks to get out)
6-10 weeks for bailiff to show up (yes, it does take that long).

So, you're talking bollocks there too.

OrangeClub Thu 10-Jan-13 11:40:14

It's wrong because the LL has not served the correct notice. He can't just say he isn't renewing the tenancy and give her an extra month. He has to provide the correct paperwork, with the correct dates. If the tenant does not move out then the LL would have to go to court for an Order. Assuming that he has not yet served any notice, except verbally, which means nothing, any Judge would throw it out and make him serve the correct notice before any proceedings for possession can take place.

brianhaddock Thu 10-Jan-13 11:42:33

all fine except the OP isn't certain whether she has actually got a S21 is she?? she doesn't seem keen to check this up. once we know that we'll know whether he is attempting to do something that is against the law.

But do we know for sure the section 21 hasn't been served

when my tenants were evicted I can assure you it did not take 6 months to get them out so from my experience Elie you are in fact the one spouting a load of bollocks!

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 11:44:48

Brian No. Even when the tenancy is fixed term (as OP's currently is) then 2 months notice is still required if the LL wants to invoke his right to take back possession. The OP could move out at the end of the contract without notice, but the LL MUST still have given notice at some point if he wants her out when the contract ends. Some LLs issue Section 21s at the start of the tenancy so that they can start immediate proceedings if the tenant does not go when the contract ends.

A phone call saying "We're not renewing" is not notice.

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 11:44:50

Actually betty, you're wrong. She does have the right to stay until court ordered to leave.

In fact, that is what the local authority tell you to do

I know this because I have been in this situation. They tell you under no circumstances move out until you are physically evicted. Or they will - they told me - consider you made yourself homeless. And they won't help.

We were lucky and offered a HA place. But we acted in accordance with the strict instructions given by the housing dept at the council.

Pigsmummy Thu 10-Jan-13 11:46:13

I think that the landlord is being perfectly reasonable tbh. Start looking ASAP for somewhere new.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 11:47:23

5/6 months is not unlikely, Betty. It depends on the bailiffs who are busier in some places than others.

But sorry - of course, you having evicted ONE tenant ONE time are clearly an expert hmm

I have been involved in dozens - what do I know?

Work calls. Good luck OP.

Hecate I know this is what the local authority will tell you to do......still doesnt make it the tenants right to stay in the property though. the LA just tell you to stay put because it makes their life easier!

brianhaddock Thu 10-Jan-13 11:48:44

Ellie, that's exactly what i'm saying (See my 11.36 post) she doesn't know if she was given a S21 at the start of her tenancy and doesn't seem keen to check this up. If she was, then the landlord is not doing anything illegal.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 11:49:30

OP said that no Section 21 has been issued, so any advice is on that basis.

If she's wrong, and it has, then she doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

I never said I was an expert Ellie to be fair. You said I was talking bollocks and I just said that in my experience it had never taken that long - and I have had to sadly evict more than one tenant.

I do not claim to be an expert by any means, that is why I use a rental agency who are. However, I have been renting my property for over 20 years so I do know a little bit.

5dcsinneedofacleaner Thu 10-Jan-13 11:49:42

we had a similar situation, my dd was in year 1 not reception but there were no school places near any of the (few) suitable houses. We rented a teeny flat for 6 months in the right area and after 6 months we had managed to find a suitable house. We had to overlap the rent for two months and moving twice plus the overlap of rent cost us alot of money which we probably didnt have but at the time the most important thing was the school.

We probably could have stayed put and waited to be evicted but to what end we were getting kicked out and tbhI didnt want to go as far as it going to court etc. That doesnt really sound like the easy way out.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 11:51:12

X-Post, Brian. Yes, she needs to check. Not many private LLs do this generally, but lots of agents to as a matter of routine to prevent situations like this one.

Check your paperwork, OP, please. And start looking for a new home.

5dcsinneedofacleaner Thu 10-Jan-13 11:52:09

should add we are now in the situation again - but now with 3 to find places for. I think I have just learned to tune out the horror.

HecatePropolos Thu 10-Jan-13 11:52:59

It is the law though. There is a legal procedure for removing a tenant.

Are you saying that you don't have to go through the legal procedure? notice to get the hell out - tenant stays - landlord does what? If they show up with a couple of burly blokes they're breaking the law!

landlord goes to court.

gets the court to say get out

Tenant stays

What happens?

Physically evicted.

This is the legal procedure and it takes time.

At each stage the tenant can appeal.

It is their right to stay until court ordered to leave. This is well established in law.

the law

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 11:54:29

Op you need to do two things today.

1: contact admissions about dd's school place
2: ring your agency and find out of the relevant forms have been filled out etc and what dates are in them if they have.

If you are going to be renting again a good reference is often essential do I would be very cautious about staying past your notice ( unless he has not legally given it ) as you will fin it hard to get anywhere else without one.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 11:54:46

No, you didn't Betty. White flag. I shouldn't have snapped. Apologies.

No, I am saying if the LL has done things correctly then once the contract has expired the tenants should leave.

Of course, if the LL is on the cheap, cutting corners etc etc then the tenant can play on that.

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?

brianhaddock Thu 10-Jan-13 11:56:59

Also, Ellie as you clearly know plenty about this stuff, am i correct in warning the OP that depending on the agent (solicitor or letting agent) LL might use to undertake eviction process some of the costs of the process are recoverable from her deposit? I think we were advised that using a solicitor would allow us to reclaim some costs, but letting agent not?

I get the impression from OP's earlier posts that when she is talking about not having been served S21 she is talking about now and not that she has checked her tenancy documents etc. to check if it is in there.

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