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Should I just shut up and put up?

(27 Posts)
spagblog Fri 17-Jun-05 11:18:16

Our Landlord sold our house that we were renting. He gave us sufficient notice, and we are aware that our neighbour bought our house.
We applied for a council house as were going to be made homeless (can't re-rent privately for many boring reasons) We have been offered a place, but we can't move in until 4th July.
Our tenancy ran out on 13th June.
We explained our circumstances to both the landlord and the neighbour.

They are slightly put out (rightly so) because they cannot complete on the house until we are out.
They asked us to sign a new contract for two months, but we couldn't afford to do this so we said no. The landlord who is a personal injury lawyer told us that he was going to take us to court and use our damage deposit to fast track us through the courts.

Yesterday we received a letter from his firm telling us that we would be paying rent pro rata while we were there and he would be using our damage deposit for court fees.

There is really no reason for him to be so mean to us. We are stuck until the council do up the new house. We don't intend to stay any longer than we have to. We would have gladly signed for a months extra rent, but not two.

Is there anything I can do about this, or should I just let him do what he likes to us?

Ps - how much does it cost to get someone officially evicted?

QueenFlounce Fri 17-Jun-05 11:21:44

Spagblog - Surely if the council new you were effectively being made homeless then they would have to organise temporary accomodation until the house is ready??!? Or offer you a house which is ready to move into??!

I mean.... what if they evicted you? The council would have to sort something then. If you explain that they are taking legal action then surely the council will step up a gear?

spagblog Fri 17-Jun-05 11:44:48

I explained that they were taking legal action and they said that it takes about a month to apply for an eviction order and another month to get you out, so they aren't really that concerned...Mind you it's not their money at stake is it.

essbee Fri 17-Jun-05 11:47:31

Message withdrawn

essbee Fri 17-Jun-05 11:51:19

Message withdrawn

spagblog Fri 17-Jun-05 11:52:39

No, just one months rent.
The landlord likes to flex his legal muscles though. It's not the first time he has threatened us with legal action - previously he sent us a letter after we opened a patio door that he claimed had been professionally sealed.
He is such a

essbee Fri 17-Jun-05 11:55:50

Message withdrawn

spagblog Fri 17-Jun-05 12:05:05

In his letter he has put...

As you are in adverse possession at XXXX Road, you will be responsible for rent on a pro rata basis until you leave as well as the court fees and costs associated with proceedings.

Definitely a knob.

starlover Fri 17-Jun-05 12:13:17

maybe it's just me... but if i was renting a house and my tenants refused to pay the rent even though they were going to be living there... and i couldn't complete the sale of the house because of this then i'd be bloody annoyed too!

aloha Fri 17-Jun-05 12:15:49

Why don't you just give him the rent you owe, or are you afraid he won't give you back your deposit whatever you do. I think if you keep paying your rent he will have a very hard job succeeding with legal action, but you must pay, I think.

spagblog Fri 17-Jun-05 12:28:36

I am not refusing anyone rent!

I said i was prepared to sign a contract for an extra month....just not two.

We are just annoyed that even though we have been honest and upfront with him about the council not being able to rehome us until 4th july he STILL wants to take us to court.

I just wanted to know if there was anything I could do.

starlover Fri 17-Jun-05 12:30:46

can you send him a cheque for one months rent. and tell him to keep your deposit? if he refuses the cheque then that's HIS problem imo

that means he has his 2 months worth already.

i very much doubt he would ACTUALLY take you to court over it... because it wouldn't be worth the money he would have to spend.

spagblog Fri 17-Jun-05 12:37:09

The whole reason we have to go into council accommodation is because we don't have enough money to privately rent.
The housing benefit only covers part of the rent so each month we have less and less money.

We is getting our rent while we are still in the house, he has our damage deposit too.

"i very much doubt he would ACTUALLY take you to court over it... because it wouldn't be worth the money he would have to spend. "

I very much believe he will take us to court...see previous posts.
He is going to use our money to do so.

spagblog Fri 17-Jun-05 12:39:19

He is getting...Not we is getting - duh

starlover Fri 17-Jun-05 12:42:08

but he could just be threatening that to try and scare you into paying?

you've said you can afford one months rent... so why not send it to him? if he keeps your deposit which you said was also a months rent then he's square!

if he's making you pay pro-rata already then if he takes you to court he won't have a leg to stand on surely?

Freckle Fri 17-Jun-05 12:46:47

You could always write back along the following lines.

Dear X,

Thank you for your letter. We are surprised that you are commencing legal action when we have already told you that we will be vacating the premises on..... and are willing to pay rent until that date. In view of the fact that we will have vacated the premises long before any court date can be obtained, we are of the view that commencing any legal action is an abuse of the court process. Should you choose to continue with your proposed course of action, then we reserve the right to bring this letter to the attention of the courts when the question of costs is being considered.

Yours.....

aloha Fri 17-Jun-05 12:47:53

Just because he says he will take you to court doesn't mean he will, Spagblog, and just because he takes you to court doesn't mean he will win either. You didn't initially say you were paying the rent, hence the confusion, you just said you refused to sign the new contract. Obviously I'm not psychic and neither is anyone else here, but I would have thought that it would be a total waste of his time and money to take you to court when a/you are leaving anyway, before he can possibly evict you and b/ you are paying rent until you leave and c/he has your deposit which would, I would have thought be more use to him in cash than spent on pointless legal fees. i am no expert but I would be very surprised if a judge would order costs against you if you were paying rent and planning to leave anyway!
Lots of people threaten legal action. Doesn't mean they are going to actually take it.
Have you written to him to explain that you are paying rent, are planning to leave on X date etc? And another thought, obviously your not leaving until the 4th is not causing terrible problems otherwise you wouldn't have been offered the option of another two month's contract.
BTW nobody's having a go at you! Sounds a horrible situation.

Freckle Fri 17-Jun-05 12:47:57

Oh and you could add that you are unaware of any law which entitles a landlord to retain a damage deposit to pay for unnecessary legal costs and if there is such a law perhaps he would be good enough to quote it.

spagblog Fri 17-Jun-05 12:48:25

Hmmmm, I guess I had better find the CAB and get an appointment.

spagblog Fri 17-Jun-05 12:49:17

Oooooh thats good Freckle!

aloha Fri 17-Jun-05 12:49:18

In short, I agree with Freckle. Excellent letter btw!

spagblog Fri 17-Jun-05 12:51:37

aloha I appreciate that no one was having a go at me, and I apologise Starlover if I came over snippy. Stressed out beyond belief at the moment

starlover Fri 17-Jun-05 12:53:53

oh don't worry! you must be very stressed about it... just hang in tight... and listen to freckle (she sounds like she knows what she's talking about!)..

you only have 2 and a bit weeks left now til you can move!

mysterygirl Fri 17-Jun-05 12:56:28

surely your damage deposit is to cover just damages incurred in his property. He cant just keep your money and call it Court fees and in any event Im pretty sure that the only fees he'd have to pay in a small claims action would be the issue fee and that is only about £80! Insist on your money back BEFORE you move out - he stands to lose more than just a bit of deposit!

spagblog Wed 22-Jun-05 10:54:13

Arghhh, just received the court documents this morning and the confirmation that we will have to cough up £220 for the expenses...grrrr.

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