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Evicted due to no planning permission

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902 views 1 replies latest reply: 14 April 2016

late last year a nite was posted through my door from an anonymous neighbour telling me that the house I had rented for 18 months did not have planning permission. 

A week later, I received an notice from the landlord stating he was repossessing the propery, giving me notice to move out due to late payment of rent. 

The rent had been late only once in 18 months and that was by one week as the standing order expired after one year (without me realising) and needed to be renewed, which I did when I realised, but it meant the rent was a week late for that one month. I was not a bad payer. 

Imsubsequently had to move out on the date given and find a new home for my family. No 5 bedrooms were available so we had to move to a 4 bedroom and one of the kids is currently sleeping in a small room at the end of the lounge as there are not enough bedrooms and they can’t share due to ages etc. 

The Planning Department have been in touch with me and confirmed that the house did not have planning permission and should not have been rented to us. 

I would never have taken the house had I known it was not legal for us to live there. It is clear to me the landlord made us move out when a neighbour started to point out the situation and made up an excuse about late payment of rent. It has been very upsetting. 

My question is: It costs a lot of money to move to a new house, and I had to pay that just because a landlord got caught renting illegally. Would I have a basis for a small claim to get my moving costs repaid by the landlord?

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Hi Elfanta,

Probably the biggest error you made was to move out of the property. Late rental payment, in itself, is not cause for a termination or eviction. A tenant must be in 2 months arrears before legal proceedings can be started to regain vacant possession of a property and that process takes several weeks to conclude.

This is a very rare situation in the UK as unpermitted development is very hard to get away with. The only check I can think of for this, would be to purchase the title register of any property you are looking to rent from the Land Registry which you can do online for just £3 per property. If the property is not on there, it probably isnt legal.

Court claims are costly and slow- unless you can categorically prove that you incurred costs of over £1,000 I would advise against this and simply just chalk this up to learning a harsh lesson. Renting through professional and reputable agents would usually eliminate such issues.

Hope this helps.

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