I need advice to where I stand with my old landlord; the situation is not straightforward so I’ll try my best to explain. I lived in his property for 2 and a half years, and moved out last June. He was my landlord and my boss for this time. We both left his old company and started a new one, it didn’t work out and now it feels like he’s harassing me over the property I used to live in – 4 months after I moved out.
The initial tenancy agreement was for 12 months; after this I moved out for 5 and then back in to the same property – the original agreement still stood because a new one was never provided. It stated there would be an inventory check carried out – there wasn’t. It was also signed by the landlord on behalf of the old company to be the guarantor for me and asked for no deposit (I was a student at the time). It also states that the landlord has to provide a check-out inventory within 21 days – he sent it 109 days later.
He’s now inspected the property and sent me a list of faults and charges, and is demanding for me to pay within 7 days. Whilst I acknowledge that there was a couple of things I should have sorted before I left (a stain on the carpet, a couple of pinholes to fill and a lightbulb to change), he’s trying to enforce I pay £300+. I’m currently unemployed (which he knows because I no longer work for him) and I’ve had to move back home into my parents because I have no money whatsoever.
He’s also demanding I pay outstanding utility bills – the rent for the property was £450 and included water rates and electricity, and I would pay the council tax. The contract stated that if the allowance for the bills (£50 a month) was exceeded, then it would be reflected in the rent due. The whole time I was there, the rent never changed and the landlord never mentioned an increase to be paid – he was my boss and I saw him 3-4 times a week in the office – it never came up once. To note – I have never paid the rent late, always reported problems and repairs in the property, always paid the council tax and other bills on time, and kept the property to a good, clean standard (albeit one accident with a bottle of wine and a couple of pictures on the wall).
Basically, I need advice on where I stand legally with all this? He knows I’m not in a financial position to pay anything, and he’s also at fault with parts of the contract he signed also. I’ve drawn up a response to his request, and have offered to pay for the products and a professional carpet clean, the sum of which comes to £65. If he doesn’t accept, will he be able to take me to court? The guarantor clause states that they would be liable for all unpaid rent, utility bills, damages, etc. so surely because I’m not in a position to pay, the responsibility falls to them? Which in turn is the landlord (him). Could he still proceed to sue me? This is a mess – please help!!