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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.

LittleChimneyDroppings Mon 14-Jan-13 19:16:23

Dont feel sorry for LL.LLs in this county have it very very easy

No they bloody well don't. I had a tenant who completely trashed my house and didn't pay rent for months. It took months to get them evicted. Not bloody easy at all. Whilst I have every sympathy for the ops situation, and hope it works out for her, it's attitudes like yours rubberduck that really piss me off.

EllieArroway Mon 14-Jan-13 16:33:12

Cosmoism The OP still has to pay rent right up until the bailiffs evict.

Cosmosim Mon 14-Jan-13 16:30:27

My rubberduck, your post describes precisely how LLs don't have it easy in the UK. You should see how quickly she'd be locked out with the police called if she tried to stay without paying rent in the States.

myrubberduck Mon 14-Jan-13 14:06:41

Say nothing at all to LL apart from telling him that you intend to move out and that you are looking- do not alert him to the fact that he has has to serve a valid s21 notice.

Stay put if you have to until any valid s21 notice has expired and he starts court proceedings

If he starts proceedings tick the box indicating that you want another 6 weeks in the property due to exeptional circumstances

Dont worry about his legal costs. He cannot recover more than a few hundred pounds from you if he goes to court

Remember any s 21 notice has to be at least two months long. He cannot start proceedings until it has expired. It will take the court at least 6-8 weeks to process the matter and you can extend it by another 6 weeks by ticking that box.

Even if he serves avalid s21 notice now (and if its not valid then do not alert him to this either- check online for some common mistakes on s21 notices- simply say that its invalid when you return the forms to court and say why) he is unlikely to get a possession order for at least 4 months. It will take the court another 8 weeks to issue any warrants.

The bottom line is that if you really need to you could stay there until May/June.

Dont feel sorry for LL.LLs in this county have it very very easy. He is happy to rely on his legal rights; you should be happy to rely on yours.

Good luck.

tomverlaine Mon 14-Jan-13 12:12:25

I can see the tenants point of view here - we are renting and our last two places we have had to leave sooner than we'd like (landlord wanted to sell property in one case/move back in on another)- and although it would have been convenient to string it out we didn't. As a landlord I had to go through the whole eviction process simply to comply with the local authority requirements - as my tenant was paying rent this cost me a lot (yes the court does award arrears but the payback period is huge )- and it cost me a lot of time and stress- to me the fact she was told to wait to be evicted was just ridiculous- and was just the council's way of trying to delay their responsibility to house her.
I hadn't heard of serving the section 21 notice at the beginning of the tenancy - would have been irrelvent here- but will do so in future.
However i do think from the sounds of it that the communication between your landlord and agent has broken down and they don't know what he intends as you haven't had the right notice

FeistyLass Mon 14-Jan-13 11:41:50

^I'm living in China but I believe s21 notices exist here too.


Of course I'm in the UK.^

It's not valid in all parts of the UK. Scotland has different statutes and forms. However, please do continue to be rude to people trying to help. confused

oinkyoink Sun 13-Jan-13 21:27:16

And yes we could still be served a s21 notice... I am aware. Lets see how this life "adventure" unfolds. It's important to keep smiling through the tough times smile

oinkyoink Sun 13-Jan-13 21:24:38

I'm living in China but I believe s21 notices exist here too.


Of course I'm in the UK. But I'm not willing to disclose exact location as it doesn't make any difference and I value my privacy.
I've gone through my file and have not come across a s21 notice. For the record, we are searching for a new place. We aren't sitting doing nothing, we are just concerned we won't get mother house as market is slow.

cantspel Sun 13-Jan-13 19:00:31

I dont know why everyone is going on about there being no s21 notice as if he doesn't want them out until the end of march he still has plenty of time to serve the s21 as it is only 2 months notice he has to give and it is only the 13th of jan. The notice will probably be served within the next week or so.

DontmindifIdo Sun 13-Jan-13 18:50:31

Yes OP - put it simply, you are at a risk of not getting a good reference and you want to stay within a very small geographical area where there's not going to be a lot of landlords/letting agencies.

You might want to put all effort you possibly can into finding a new property, I repeat, ask around, you'd be surprised who will know someone who has a place to rent, or who's currently renting but planning on moving in the next couple of months etc. If you had to put your stuff in storage and go into a hotel /stay with family/friends for 2-3 weeks, that would be better than having to take a property to far away to be able to use that school anyway!

Also thinking further, the timing sounds like your landlord wants you out at the end of March as that's easter weekend, he probably wants to get the house on the market and April is a key time for a lot of people buying, I've always been told it's best to get a house on the market for the easter weekend. (Particulalry if you live near a good school, families often want to move over the school summer holidays and start the new school year in a new school)

SaraBellumHertz Sun 13-Jan-13 18:22:10

I know ellie has mentioned it but please don't underestimate the need for a reference.

No decent letting agent will touch you if you don't have one. Nor will a landlord.

Then what will you do?

FeistyLass Sun 13-Jan-13 17:32:10

pluCaChange your point about where people live is very relevant. Not least because the OP is being offered advice when no-one even knows which country she lives in and which housing law is relevant.
However, the post wasn't originally about housing law or the landlord not giving enough notice. It was about the poster complaining about having to move and the impact this would have on catchment areas. From that point of view, I'm with microserf . The op hasn't checked the position with the school, hasn't checked to see if she has a section 21, hasn't even confirmed if she is in a country that needs a section 21 . . .it's all absolute nonsense.

pluCaChange Sun 13-Jan-13 15:49:53

What you describe is lucky, MILF90, whether you recognise it or not. Not everyone is able to save after school/university, and this will increasingltbe the case.

Moreover, I don't think either you or the OP have said where in the country you live. The potential to save money, or have to spend a lot for everyday living, varies a great deal by region.

ShellyBoobs Sun 13-Jan-13 15:12:21

I'm not sure if this has already been discussed:

...the school info booklet states that "changes of address after 15 Feb will not be used for admissions purposes until after 17 April 2013, but can be used for correspondence" - i am slightly confused by this... 'until after 17 april 2013' - can someone explain?

But reading this carefully, it seems to mean that as long as you're at your current address until at least 15th Feb, your change of address after that won't affect the admissions process.

The dates they're stating are to prevent people changing address into the catchment area after 15th Feb and still being entitled to apply.

Anyone read it differently?

inabeautifulplace Sun 13-Jan-13 14:37:37

Can't believe how many people are trying to dismiss an S21 as a written technicality! It's the way things have to be done in specific situations. Similarly, as a Tenant there are laws defining what you can and can't do. Perhaps there are also letting agencies and Landlords who also ignore the law when a situation exists to take advantage of it. In my experience, not many!

Regarding the S21 being issued at start of Tenancy, does that mean that you'd enter into discussions 2 months before the start of the term end date to convert into a rolling periodic?

theowlworrier Sun 13-Jan-13 14:00:09

I am glad that you are getting good advice OP. Hope it works out for you. It does make me a little sad though- we rent our house out while we are away with work. I know our tenants would like to extend the contract for another couple of years. Unfortunately our circumstances dictate we will not be able to do this. I will of course ensure the agents do everything legally, and i intend to let them know well in advance so they can plan. Your comments about how nasty he is make me very nervous- I sincerely hope our tenants do not think the same of us. Of course he should be doing everythjng above board and legally, but I think that your attitude and assumptions about his reasons for wanting his house back are quite unreasonable, actually.

milf90 Sun 13-Jan-13 13:09:22

*" 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."

What a charmer you are, MILF [sic]. More likely just lucky. Did you know that the average afe of a first time buyer without parental help is 37?*

I don't see anything wrong with mu post, I'm just stating the truth! I also quite resent the f t you have assumed that I am lucky that my parents have chipped in to pay our deposit.... No I actually saved and was sensible with my money through my teens and early 20s, going without, not changing my car and saving - I got a house at 22, with a baby!

microserf Sun 13-Jan-13 12:55:30

Personally I think the entire thread is ridiculous and the op is being utterly hysterical. Call the council and confirm your position re school places. If you live in wandsworth and I suspect you might, they should tell you moving after the date should be ok. The key is the 15 jan date. The child has to be in that residence on that date.

I have been a tenant and not a landlord but I think what you are proposing to do is shameful. you can afford to rent another place. You aren't homeless. You are proposing to screw someone over by refusing to leave his property simply because you want the school place and you dont seem to have checked your position regarding the school. Also it's not that hard to rent with kids. W have 2 and we have not had a problem renting. Yes, the occasional landlord isn't keen. Big deal.

EllieArroway Sun 13-Jan-13 11:23:19

You're looking for ways to screw him because of a written technicality

I don't understand this attitude at all. It is not in the LLs best interests to continue on this path. If he compels in any way the OP to leave her home without having given her the proper notice then he risks a prison sentence and a very heavy fine. Illegal eviction (which this actually is) is a criminal offence and no judge would regard this as "a written technicality".

The laws exist for a reason. Sorry if you don't like that, but there it is.

FergusSingsTheBlues Sun 13-Jan-13 07:58:00

Im a LL who has been left in the shit before because of tenans giving me notice to leave. One time, I was on my honeymoon and could do nothing about getting replacement tenants in. It's the way it is. Your landlord has been fair. People arent automatically bastards just because they own a property and rent it out, and you live there.

TWvirgin Sun 13-Jan-13 07:44:01

You don't have a rouge LL, OP - no matter how much you try to paint him as such. From the facts you've given, your LL has been quite accommodating, he's given you both plenty of notice and an extension.

You're looking for ways to screw him because of a written technicality. I wouldn't want to become an LL either after reading your posts. Your poor LL.

JeeanieYuss Sat 12-Jan-13 23:16:31

OP did you check your paper work yet for the s21?

pluCaChange Sat 12-Jan-13 22:04:13

Oooh, bloody hell! terrible typo (Lardlord Zone). Apologies! blush grin

pluCaChange Sat 12-Jan-13 22:03:25

Thanks to another thread, I've just been over to the HousePriceCrash forum, and there was a rather interesting item I thought I;d ask about:
... *nytime negotiations are entered into regarding extending the lease, the s21 is invalidated and the LL must issue a new s21 notice giving you a further 2 months notice to evict you. (But in court, the onus of proof is on the tenant so get any negotiations in writing)

It looks something like this:

This is all above board when used within the spirit of the law and gives the tenant at least two months to find alternative accommodation.

Where the s21 becomes the Sword of Damocles is when the LL issues you with an s21 notice RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TENANCY, to expire at the end of your fixed term. This is even when you have taken the tenancy under the understanding that it is a long term arrangement.

If you question the notice, the LL will say something like "it's just for insurance purposes" or "its just paperwork don't worry about it" or "if we get on well together we'll just ignore it" or some soothing fob off like that.

But in reality, once the fixed term expires, you have no right to notice as YOU HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED IT. The landlord can go to court at anytime for an immediate eviction order. They rely on the tenant being either not aware of its implications or unaware they have even been served a possession notice.

There are two instance where this is invalidated
1/ when you sign another fixed term lease
2/ when you negotiate to extend the lease, even if it is to say the lease will lapse into a periodic tenancy.*

Can any housing gurus on this thread confirm that this is so?

There was also a link to Lardlord Zone about it:

MidniteScribbler Sat 12-Jan-13 21:51:13

Why don't you put your effort in to looking for a new house, rather than trying to screw over your landlord?

There is more than one school in the United Kingdom isn't there? You could go to all this effort to try and get a few months extra in a house (and ruin your chances for a decent reference) and end up miles away and having to find a new school anyway.

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