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Eviction for 15-Month-Old Playing.... Is It Legal?

(46 Posts)
maity101 Wed 01-May-13 08:47:09

Hello,

I've come to this forum, because I'm exhausted being fobbed off by all of the free government advice services who clearly either don't have enough expertise to answer my questions or judge me the moment I say the word "eviction." The background is quite extensive, and I don't want to bore you, so I'll be as brief as I can... feel free to ask for more details, however.

My husband and I rent through a letting agent. We have been served with a 2 month notice that the owner requires possession of the flat. Initially, we thought that the owner must either want to sell the place or live in it. Within a week, after speaking to the letting agent, we were informed that the owner just wants us out after receiving a letter of complaint written by the managers of the building (who are a registered as a limited company). This letter detailed a myriad of both utterly false and grossly exaggerated complaints against us that originated from the flat directly below us.

It's very important to mention that this person who has complained about us has been harassing us almost since we moved in. His harassment escalated to aggressive and frightening behaviour, and the police became involved. We reported His behaviour to our letting agent, but not to the managers of the building... we don't know whether the owner of the flat was made privy to this information by the letting agent and have no way of contacting her directly.

What our downstairs neighbour complains about varies, but the consistent thing is that he's completely unreasonable, both in the way he talks to us (or shouts) and in his requests. His most recent complaints have been that out son plays on the floor. His complaints to the managers of the building were never addressed to us. When the owner of the flat received this information (without the context of his abusive and agressive behaviour toward us) she decided without evidence (for example, bringing in sound measuring devices from the council) and based on hearsay that we were to be thrown out and new tenants found.

We just cannot believe that this is legal.... to throw a tenant out, because a 15-month-old plays! I am not a lawyer, but I have found in my research that it is a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children Article 31, which states, "All children have a right to relax and play."

I have so many questions... first and foremost.... is a private letting agent exempt from follow the proper procedures with regard to noise complaints? Second, is the managing group of this building (who are a registered limited company) responsible to follow a proper procedure when complaints are addressed. (Notifying the people who have been complained about BEFORE the owner of their flat, to give them an opportunity to rectify and/or explain the situation?) Third, are we entitled to see all of the documents and communications between the building managers, complaining tenants, letting agent and owner regarding us and our flat? Last, and most importantly.... is this a a violation of my son's human rights?

Thank you so much for reading this and all of your help!

Netguru Wed 01-May-13 08:48:48

If your contract permits your landlord to give you notice she does not need to have a reason you agree with.

LIZS Wed 01-May-13 08:54:13

Agree, a ll doesn't have to give a reason to issue notice within the contract as long as they follow correct procedure as regards timing and so on. You pushed for a reason. The owners' name should be on your tenancy agreement bit frankly the issues over noise, managing group etc won't really prove relevant . Why would you want to stay with such hostile neighbours anyway ? You should be more concerned that making a fuss will tarnish any reference you might need.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 01-May-13 08:55:01

From a legal perspective, this very much depends on what you are hoping to achieve.

If you have been served notice correctly, you will have to leave. It doesn't matter what the reasons for serving the notice are. If you don't make plans to leave, the landlord will take you to court to seek repossession.

UN article 31 isn't valid here. I can see where you've tried to go with that, but there is no chance that this would fall into that area.

Have you looked at the complaints procedure? Legally, I don't believe the tenant upstairs or the letting agent has to contact you with regards to complaints, although usually they would to try and sort it out. In this case, it appears they've decided not to bother.

Look through their complaints procedure, and see if they've followed it. There may well be a specific noise complaint procedure, too. If they haven't, you can complain to them.

At the end of the day, though, they are very unlikely to change their minds on your tenancy. It they've served it legally, you'll need to look for somewhere else to live.

Groovee Wed 01-May-13 08:57:09

The owner has given you the legal 2 months notice required for you to move out. She doesn't need to give a reason nor does she need to explain herself.

DeepRedBetty Wed 01-May-13 08:57:59

Not a lawyer... but while I feel the same sense of natural injustice about your story as you do, I fear Netguru is right.

My late father got tied up in a landlord tenant saga which lasted over 15 years (he was the tenant). He eventually won, but it was in retrospect a Pyrrhic victory which caused havoc with family life.

The upside...Your downstairs neighbour is clearly a total loon, he's not going to stop making his upstairs neighbour's lives a misery, whether it's you or the next unfortunate tenant, surely you and your family will be happier longterm away from this git?

maity101 Wed 01-May-13 09:00:08

We already have somewhere else to move, and no - we don't want to live here anymore. To be quite frank, I'm getting very upset that people keep missing the overall point.... THIS IS WRONG! We've been bullied into leaving, and everyone seems to condone this as a perfectly legal and acceptable thing to do. What example do I set for my son if I don't fight bullies? Simply leaving because it's the easy thing to do does not make it the right thing to do. Likewise.... what is done to be socially correct is not necessarily what is moral!

Greydog Wed 01-May-13 09:06:57

unfortunately what's legal, and what's morally correct are two different things. It is wrong that you have been bullied, but if they have acted within the law, then you won't win.

Longdistance Wed 01-May-13 09:06:59

I'd take take eviction notice, and see it as an opportunity to move on, and free yourselves from such an awful neighbour.

Go find yourselves somewhere nicer to live, and look upon it as a fresh start.

Netguru Wed 01-May-13 09:09:15

You are mistaking morally wrong or unjust with legally wrong. They are not the same.

You signed a shorthold not an assured tenancy. This means that the landlord can ask you to move out after a certain period of notice. Your contract is with her. The managing company's contract is with her. They do not have to speak to you about complaints.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 01-May-13 09:11:05

EVERYONE thinks this is wrong but that is an entirely separate issue from what your landlord can do legally. Your landlord doesn't have to take notice of what you say, can listen to the weirdo downstairs, do whatever they want as long as they evict/give you notice legally

If you want support repost on chat and a hundred people (including me) will come on and call them a bunch of cunts grin

They're fuckers, it's ridiculous - but life is sometimes unfair.

Next time get a ground floor flat, check out the neighbours, get a detached house if you can.

VERY sorry this has happened to you.

Netguru Wed 01-May-13 09:11:12

Note. This is a legal advice forum. You are getting legal advice based on fact, which probably concurs with all rest rest of the advice you have had elsewhere. If you want to bitch that your landlord is being unreasonable go for it - but in another forum.

maity101 Wed 01-May-13 09:15:53

Actually.... my initial questions were legal questions, which have been answered (and thank you for that)..... I didn't know what was and was not legal, so please don't be rude to me just because you know all the answers.

LIZS Wed 01-May-13 09:16:26

But that is the nature of renting, you can be asked to leave in the same way as you can move on at will. Try not to think you've been bullied out , if you have somewhere else to go, move and put it behind you. You are seriously overthinking the motivations of others and the implications for your ds, unpleasant though it sounds.

maity101 Wed 01-May-13 09:18:55

Trust me... it's not over thinking the motivations of others... I have not gone into details, but this man clearly hates us (it may even be racial), and has done some completely unhinged things... from petty to just plain terrifying.

Netguru Wed 01-May-13 09:19:17

Who is being rude to you?

Just because advice isn't dressed up in touchy geeky stuff doesn't mean the person is being rude. You asked advice. You then argued against it. I an others have pointed out that legally your landlord is entitled to act as they have and support is offered in other areas of this forum.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 01-May-13 09:22:54

If he has intimidated and threatened you or carried out a racially motivated attack on you then it is a separate thing again and you should consider making a complaint or calling the police.

It still doesn't stop your landlord from evicting you obviously.

Chopstheduck Wed 01-May-13 09:31:53

fwiw, children playing cannot constitute a legal noise disturbance. The council wouldn't even have considered coming out to investigate based on the noise of a child playing, because it cannot be classified as a statutory nuisance. I've had a lot of problems with my elderly neighbours who are incredibly noisy and did a fair bit of research.

But like everyone else has said, the LL is within his rights to evict you. Contact the housing department at the council and tell them you are being evicted and you have nowhere to go.

If you want to deal with the threatening behaviour and harassment that is a whole other issue, which you haven;t really given any details on. It won't stop you from being evicted though.

maity101 Wed 01-May-13 09:32:09

Netguru..... you suggested I was wasting your time with my post and that it didn't belong here. I think it does belong here, because I have legitimate legal questions. That I then responded with something you thought belonged in a different forum makes the whole thing invalid?

Perhaps I should mention... I'm not from this country. Where I am from, this would be a hand-picked law suit, and I would win. (I have read that several similar cases have been fought and won). I don't think it's unreasonable for me to want to know the fullest extent of my legal rights and abilities to do what I can. Nor do think that my desire to (in your opinions) waste my time pursuing a dead end based on my belief of what is right and moral is silly.

LaurieFairyCake.... thank you very much for your advice! The police have a full record of everything this man has ever done against us, and they have been very supportive. Unfortunately, we have no proof that it is racially motivated, but there was one instance where my husband was being shouted at and provoked and the guy started speaking in patois. Why he would have done so, we can only imagine he was trying to mask what he was saying, possibly because it was racial. But, of course, since we don't know what he said (nor could we ever recall it to find out what it means), we'll never know. However, that was the first time we thought that perhaps it could be a racial hatred. We never mentioned the racial angle to the police, however, because we don't want to blow it out of proportion when we have no evidence and couldn't possibly know such a thing.

Chopstheduck Wed 01-May-13 09:32:22

sorry x posted a bit, should have refreshed the page!

Chopstheduck Wed 01-May-13 09:35:10

It sounds like the country you come from has more security of tennure, but unfortunately that isn't the case in the UK

maity101 Wed 01-May-13 09:38:30

Yes, Chopstheduck, where I come from, it's far more difficult to get rid of a tenant. I should know... I use to be a landlord! It would take MONTHS to get rid of tenants who didn't pay their rent and were utterly destroying their apartments to the point where floors (not carpets) had to be ripped up and replaced and hazmat gear had to be worn.

SavoyCabbage Wed 01-May-13 09:39:03

We were evicted because my husband is black. (Not in the uk) they thought we were trying to keep if from them! . We were given the correct amount of notice so all legal.

flatmum Wed 01-May-13 09:39:42

BUt you are missing the point. This has nothing to do with the dikhed downstairs from a legal point of view. You have a contract with the landlady and she has given you 2 months notice which she is perfectly in her right to do. It may have happenned anyway without his complaints. And he will no doubt complain in a similar fashion about the next tenants. The landlady has years of hell ahead of her trying to rent out her investment with him around and the whole situation will be toxic and hideous.

Get your child out of this - that is the only imporant thing here. We rented for 5 years and the endless drama with the stupid women who owned it and the useless lettings agency was terrible - really gets you down and you feel constantly at the mercy of idiots talking rubbish about you (we apparently broke the garage wall and replaced it with a discoloured brick for example during our tenancy - the same brick that could be seen in the original particulars we had from when the house was first advertised for rent). THIS IS HOW IT IS WHEN YOU RENT - you must rememebr this. Do not get emotionally attached to rental properties - you are just a commodity to pay someone elses morotgage while it suits them. While you have to rent take pictures of everything before you move in. Document everything. Keep every email. And buy your own place as soon as you possibly can.

I can understand your desire for justice and vengeance but the most important thing is to rise above and move somewhere else so you can enjoy life without this crap. Your only other option is would seem to me if he is being openly abusive or rascist is to report him to the police. But that will be between you and him and have nothing to do with your tenancy of the landlady. Even if you got in touch with the landlady and told her how unfiar it was - would you really want her to change her mind and stay there having to deal with him and worry every time your child starts playing? (and he hasnt seen anything yet - 2/3 year olds are much nosier when they start running around, learning to jump and hop etc - as they should be able to)

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 09:46:36

Its not fair and it is pretty shit.

And if your tenancy did not allow for notice to be given and it was instead a assured tenancy ( you have to do something wrong to be asked to leave) legally it would be unlikely to work as children paying Normally is not considered to be grounds for eviction.

But it not that sort of tenancy so it is legal,they don't even have to tell you why and you have no rights at all to see third party information.

On the upside when you move you will no longer be funding people who believe that behaving in this way is ok.

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