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I have breached (probably) my tenancy agreement; what could happen?

(33 Posts)
navyeyelasH Sun 31-Aug-08 20:40:39

Ok to cut a long story short I have pi$$ed of the company I am letting my flat from (wholly justifiable reason for me to have pissed them off and they were in the wrong as far as my partner and I are concerned).

In retaliation (or so it seems) to making then cross we are having our flat inspected on Friday. Now I know we aren't supposed to have put up pictures etc on the walls but we have; we have 4 up all together (2 nails were already in wall as noted in inventory, we put 2 more up). We have also out up some small shelves (4 drilled holes).

Now I don't need a lecture about "damaging" landlords property (we are quite prepared to leave shelves up if landlord wants or we can take them out and fill the holes) and we know full well that if the landlord wants he can charge us for the "damage", that's all cool.

I am just wondering more about the fact that if they say we have breached the tenancy agreement (it explicitly states not to put stuff on walls etc) can they just kick us out? Or do they still have to give notice is usual way?

TIA x

Freckle Sun 31-Aug-08 20:51:41

Take down the pictures and fill in the holes. If you remedy the breach before the inspection, there won't be much they can do.

Flibbertyjibbet Sun 31-Aug-08 20:55:57

I don't really know whether something like that would consitute a breach big enough for them to boot you out - might have to be a 'material breach' of the contract.
But then my commercial property exam was a long time ago! So ignore me!
But in your favour, there are so many landlords who overstretched themselves doing buy to lets on low interest rates, and now people who cant sell in the current economic climate who are choosing to rent instead..

Its never been a better time for tenants, and your landlord if he has any sense will know that you might be hard to replace - especially at the same rent.

Btw why didn't you just buy a floor standing shelf unit? Thats what i did when I rented.

Overmydeadbody Sun 31-Aug-08 20:56:05

no they cannot just kick you out. Just tell them you will be leaving the property exactly as you found it and make sure you fill in all holes before leaving.

Alternatively, if you're really worried, fill in the holes now, paint over it so they'll never know the holes where there, and after the inspection put them back up again.

AvenaLife Sun 31-Aug-08 20:56:15

I don't get what you have done. Please explain why you have pissed them off.

They can give you 2 months.

I've put pictures up, painted, had a shelf put up (which fell down and left holes in the wall) and I'm still here (by the skin of my teeth, it's not paying the rent on time that's pissed them off). You can refuse to leave, then they will have to take you to court. No judge will see in their favour for putting up a shelf. A shelf can be an improvement to a property.

cheesesarnie Sun 31-Aug-08 20:57:36

what did you do?

i agree fix holes before inspection.

bran Sun 31-Aug-08 20:59:21

Is it the landlord doing the inspection or an agency person? If it's an agency person then don't worry, they probably wouldn't notice if you had taken down all the walls and installed a swimming pool, let alone two nails and a shelf..

Tortington Sun 31-Aug-08 21:01:04

if they dont like you , they can refuse to not renew the rental agreement and give you your notice - they can do this anyway

if i ere you i would phone SHELTER - its notjust for homeless people

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sun 31-Aug-08 21:03:12

I hate threads with only half information, I really do.

beanieb Sun 31-Aug-08 21:04:06

I think it depends completely on how you've pissed them off tbh. If they want an excuse to end the tenancy then they could use this as it seems from what you say that it is written in the agreement. I would put it right before they come.

LazyLinePainterJane Sun 31-Aug-08 21:25:17

WRT the holes, you have 5 days, why not just fill them in and cover them? End of issue.

What have you doe to piss them off? Suspect that this might be the real issue.

navyeyelasH Sun 31-Aug-08 21:30:08

Ok this is how I pissed them off: We moved in December 07 and every month since then till about May 08 I wrote to them asking to send me a key for our windows and also the code for the alarm. They have never responded so I just gave up and we simply don't use alarm (have to pay more insurance but less hassle!)

Anyway about 3 weeks ago at 12am the alarm starts going off, inside the flat and outside the flat really REALLY loud (had 3 year old nephew here asleep). Obviously couldn't disable the alarm so dug out tenancy agreement and called the out of hours number, no answer kept calling and took 30 minutes to get hold of them. During that time my partner had opened the alarm (he is an engineer by trade) and remove the wire that goes to the speak so although alarm was technically going off noone could hear it.

When eventually got through to out of hours number explained the situation the woman said, "but I can't hear the alarm" and I explained (in exactly the same way I have here) that partner had disconnected wire and this woman starts speaking to me in a tone I find completely unacceptable. "I can't believe you have vandalized a landlords property, just who do you think you are, people like you make me sick" etc. She was literally screaming at me, telling me 'off' in a manner neither of my parents nor most people would dream off, even if I had smashed the alarm off the wall he tone was still OTT IMO especially as I am paying them for a service not to be spoken to like a 3 year old!

I was so shocked that I listen to her for about 30 seconds then realised what was going on & piped up with, "hang on a second who the hell are you to talk to me like that, do you know the alarm code", she replied no and tried to carry on talking to me but I just talked over her and said something like "thank you for your help" and hung up.

She then left a voicemail (while I was on phone to alarm company who were most helpful and said all they would have done is disconnected alarm in exactly same way as partner had done and I'd saved the agency the cost of a call out fee!) saying she was the owner of the company and that I should call her back to resolve the issue; which I didn't. I called the landlord directly and told him directly. Still don't know the alarm code by the way!

We now have inspection (never had one before) and the letter is from the woman who owns the company, but do not know if she is doing the inspection.

Taking stuff off the wall, filling holes etc is hassle and TBH if they are going to be petty we would rather move and have a good relationship with out landlord/agent as we always have had in the past. Moving with one months notice is fine, being kicked out with no notice would of course be traumatic so just needed to check! Hopefully like some of you say nothing will come of it as landlord ultimately will decide and the flat is in much better condition than when we got it cleanliness wise (cleaned grout on wall and floor tiles with bleach and toothbrush, got an oven cleaning specialist out as it was grim, fixed dodgy shower fitting at own expense, got stain in carpet out that was here when moved in, removed mould from sealant in bathroom etc) and we have never been late with rent etc.

I just wanted to double check for my own peace of mind that they can't simply say "you've got 24 hours".

To answer the questions:

Flibbertyjibbet couldn't get any sort of unit. We have a utility "room", it's basically the same width as a washing machine and has a door that encloses the machine - we put two shelves up in here so that we could store our dirty laundry in light/darks/colours piles inside plastic containers. A standing unit would have vibrated off the machine.

BreeVanderCampLGJ I don't understand what you mean?

Thanks everyone for the advice!

LazyLinePainterJane Sun 31-Aug-08 21:45:12

But you haven't done anything wrong!

AvenaLife Sun 31-Aug-08 21:45:55

It's classed as an illegal eviction if they give you any less than 2 months notice. You can take them to court.

How I see this, you saved the landlord money by doing this yourself. The agent sounds like a complete PITA. Have you thought of contacting the owner directly and explaining that as tenants, you do not find this behaviour appropriate and you are reluctant to stay in the property, however, you are willing to reconsider if you can pay him directly and ditch the agency. It may cost money though, it depends on their contract. Send him rent reciepts to show you have paid the rent on time, also picture of what improvements you have made.

navyeyelasH Sun 31-Aug-08 21:48:18

I know that but this woman is still not very impressed! I think because she is the owner of some big company and I am just a 24 year old "nobody" that I shouldn't have spoken to her in a rude (but very warranted) way, shouldn't have hung up on her, shouldn't refuse to take her calls and ask her to send me anything in writing!

I'm not bothered if she has a grudge; so be it. I was just worried that we might be kicked out with no notice.

AvenaLife Sun 31-Aug-08 21:53:06

You don't have to speak to anyone you don't want to. She was probably pissed that you got her up at 3am. Just tell her you contacted the alarm company, dh/dp is an engineer anyway and this is what they would have done so you have saved them money. Don't worry about the shelf, there are alot worse things you could have done. They probably just want to check you are looking after the place, no pen on walls, no holes in doors, electrical appliances still there etc.

How long ago did you piss her off by the way? Has she contacted you since then?

Some are contrated to do 6month checks on properties by the way. Mine did 1 in 5 years. hmm

beanieb Sun 31-Aug-08 21:55:27

I think you need to write a letter detailing what happened. Do you have a record of the times you tried ti get the code? this would probably help you.

bran Sun 31-Aug-08 21:56:33

Give her a call and tell her that as she's coming anyway she should bring the window keys and the alarm code with her. She's already pissed off anyway, so you might as well get the things you want.

LazyLinePainterJane Sun 31-Aug-08 22:00:44

If it is the agency coming round, they will probably not even notice that you put some shelves up to be honest. They will be on the look out for the obvious, smelly carpets, signs that you are A Bad Lot. All they want is an easy life and they will probably not give a toss if you are keeping the place looking nice.

TillyScoutsmum Sun 31-Aug-08 22:05:30

No material breach of contract so they can't "kick you out"... They could refuse to renew when it expires (but still need to give 2 months notice)

I suspect she is expecting/hoping to find much worse things when she inspects If she mentions the pics/shelves, just say you intend to make good when you leave. Not much she can do about it

navyeyelasH Sun 31-Aug-08 22:38:16

TillyScoutsmum that's what I suspected, just needed reassurance!

I want to ask her/whoever else comes to bring code and key buy my DP insists that is rocking the boat. Also want a manual/someone to show/tell me on how our hot water works!

Each and every letter I have sent has been sent recoded delivery so I can prove I have sent a letter to them. I also wrote a letter immediately after the incident detailing what had happened, why I didn't like it and that I would prefer it if they only communicated with my in writing either by post/email and not to call unless emergency of some kind. This all happened 3 weeks ago and I got a letter saying having an inspection on Friday.

Been through tenancy agreement and no mention of regular / periodic inspections - just that they will give notice if they need to enter. The contract was for 6 months so it "ran out" in June (asked for another 6 month contract they said no) and is now just a monthly rolling contract (so think notice is a month not 2?) and our deposit is with one of those protection schemes & the inventory is done by an independent company - so not worried about them over inflating the cost of "repairs" when we leave.

ShinyPinkShoes Sun 31-Aug-08 22:40:46

When I lived in rented accom I asked for permission before drilling/assembling shelves etc

TillyScoutsmum Sun 31-Aug-08 22:42:54

even if your tenancy is "rolling over" - your LLD still needs to give you 2 months notice (you need to give one month). Housing Act 1988

No harm in asking for code/key/manual when they come but there's probably not much you can do about it if they can't/won't provide it (except move out obviously)

Flamesparrow Sun 31-Aug-08 22:43:37

What did the landlord say when you called?

The agency woman can own as many businesses as she likes - if the landlord is happy with you then that is all that matters.

I think Bree meant the lack of back story in your op btw

negril Sun 31-Aug-08 22:47:07

if the worse comes to it you have squaters rights but use that time to find some where quickly

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