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eviction, maintenance, tds

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754 views 1 replies latest reply: 30 January 2015


i really need some advice, if anyone could help i would be greatful. Basically cut a long story as short as i can …. we moved into our rented property in 2011 we fould the property through a letting agent the landlord decided to not obtain any further  advice or maintinence from the agent and decided to manage his property himself we all started off on great terms  few months later some repairs we told our landlord about were not always getting done we wre so happy about the house because we had previously just had a baby and moved due to nuisence neibours that we never really thought about where our deposit had gone now on contact signing the landlord agreeed that we paid £800 in bond and £200 for first month rent with paying remainder of £599 over 3 months. repairs did however keep building up over time and he did get quotes but work never took place as we needed new radiatiors or second hand as the ones we had were leaking,rusted or not working e informed our landlord about this 2 and a half years ago if not longer this has been an ongoing problem, we have never had gas or electrics cheaks in 4 years of us been in the property. unfortunately i have took very poorly over the last few years where i have been in and out of hospital for anything between 3-9 nights in on go some times on a regular basis we have 4 children and they needed looking after why i was in hospital which made us late on some payments or not beable to pay our rent we alwayed tried to make up for any arrears we owed. but recently as the repairs in the house became really bad as our heating was inconsistant and same with water, we had mould in bedrooms ,batrooms,down stairs boiler was plaing up and landlord was not willing to repair anything as we had accumilated rent arreas even with paying extra each month to try and cover them, we had to get environmantal health involved, he then issued us a notice to vacate followed with a section 21 i do know that as he has not protected our bond it is not valid and i do have good grounds to sue him his excuse for not doing so is he says that because we paid it over 4 payments it was not possible…even though i have it in wrighting that we paid a bond and the  rent in 4 month payments not the bond, not that that matters because once in full payments of a bond at the time it was 14 day now gone up to 30 day should they inform you which tds they have placed it. we have done lots of work on his property as he has not or where work has been done and ruiend wall paper etc yes some work we did on our own accord as to decor as he said we could we are not wanting to claime for that but sofas gone mouldy due to rising damp curtains and him not doing his job as a landlord  the environmantal health are now involved and hes told them that he will do no repairs untill he has seen his rent arrears in full. shes said untill the repairs are done if we vacate then he will not be able to rent the property out till they are done. hes emailed me every 2 days since  serving me with eviction we have tried to come to reasonable outcomes but yet hes refused i know feel that me and my family will be homeless iv bee ntold in my defence that i could sue him for breach of contract,not protecting deposit,breach of tenancy and landlord act and breach of deflectant tenancy act. what are my options?? please help if you can.

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Hi Vickie

Your landlord must protect your deposit, that is non-negotiable. There is also an obligation to notify you within 30 days of the scheme that the deposit is placed in. You can apply to court to get your deposit refunded to you if it has not been protected. You can also be compensated between 1 and 3 times the amount of the deposit. There’s more information on that here.

Gas safety checks are another obligation that the landlord cannot shirk. You should be given a copy of the gas safety record within 28 days of moving in by the landlord. You can take action to report your landlord to the Health and Safety Executive for this and they could prosectue. Prosecution could result in a criminal convinction and a fine of up to £20,000. It’s very unwise for landlords not to do this -if anything happened to you as a result of their laziness they could be responsible.

Finally, you can take legal action against your landlord for the disrepair in the property – there is information here on how to go about doing that, including the compensation you can claim for damage to health, property and for inconvenience.

So, you hold a lot of cards in terms of negotiation with the landlord but the issue is often with landlords who simply don’t understand their legal responsibilities, particularly if there is no managing agent involved. You could perhaps offer not to contact the HSE if he carries out the proper repairs and gets the gas appliances seen to – although I would recommend you get some legal advice from somewhere like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau on whether that would be a good idea.

The only thing to bear in mind is that when you are in rent arrears then you also are in breach of the tenancy agreement so, if possible, you need to clear those as soon as possible. It’s also worth considering whether it might be less stressful and expensive to find a different property with a better landlord? I know that’s not always an option but sometimes it’s easier than it might at first seem.


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