Fraudulent tenancy agreement HELP!!!!!!! | The Tenants' Voice
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Fraudulent tenancy agreement HELP!!!!!!!

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834 views 1 replies latest reply: 10 October 2015

I wil apolygise for the lengthy post tis is but it quite long and complicated.  I began renting a property 31/2 years ago. The landlord was a neighbour of my mum and as I am registerd disabled and rely on my mum alot it seemed ideal. I signed a tenancy agreement paid 1mths rent plus 1 weeks. He also said that I could pay an extra £35 per month for a deposit until the deposit was paid off. On the tenancy agreement the landlord has listed his contact address as the property I am renting, he also had a locked post box attached to the front of the house so he could still have all of his and his ex partners post sent there.  He insisted that the rent was not paid by  so or dd but paid in cash to him or cash into his personal account.  After I had paid the deposit off he came to me and told me that it was all paid and the rent would go back down to the £600 agreed. He also informed me that the payment date would change so I had to pay a full months rent on the 29th and then he would want another full months payment on the 5th 6 daysafter the last full payment. Being on a tight budget I found this very difficult he also told me that I was to make the payment to his ex partner until further notice. I really struggled with finances from this change in payments and got into arrears but I did manage to catch up. 2 years later he came to see me and told me he would be evicting me as he needed the house back for his ex partner I asked him about my deposit he denied I had paid one. I checked my TA and in the deposit paid he had put nil.  I asked him about this and he said that at the time the tenancy agreement was signed I hadnt paid a deposit so I aske him about the extra £35 paid and the rentgoing down he said the rent  was £635 and he put it down to 600 because of the change in my circumtances which I told him had never changed. I asked him for a statement of payments and also for the gas safety certificates I had been asking for over the last 3 yrs. He became very agitated with me and refused them.  he served me with a section 21 I asked agian about the deposit and for the statements and gas safety certificates I also aske again for his address which he said was none of my business.  I told him that until i get the information I was asking for I would withold the rent.  He then served a section 8 the court papers were issued to me on the 2oth july, on the 27th july my partner saw him emptying the box and putting a letter back in it.  We tried to get the letter out but couldnt we shone a tourch into the box and could see the court stamp on it so my partner the following morning rang the court and they informed him that they had been issued. he explained what had happened and they told us to go in and pick another set up.  the landlord continued to empty the box and he finally put them through our letterbox on the 16th Aug 2 days before the court hearing.  At the hearing the court ordered me to put the money that I had set aside for the rent into a court bond which I did. I expalined the dispute that I had with the landlord aand she sent me out to the duty advisisor from the CAB who went back in and presented it the judge gave us another court date and the duty advisor told me to ring and make an appointment with her as she thought I would be enttled to legal aid.  It took me 2 weeks to get hold of them they just was not answering when I finally got hold of them they told me they were moving offices and gave me an appointment for the 8th September I gave her all the details at the meeting and she said she would get back to me the following day. no response from her so I tried ring her on the 10th she finally answered her phone she told me she had meant to ring and let me know i was not enttled to LA and i would hve to deal with the counterclaim my self. over the weekend I quickly put one together and put it into court on the Monday the court hearing was the following day.  At the beginning of the court hearing the landlords solicitor informed the judge that the counterclaim had not been put in on time and the court fee had not been paid and the possesion order was issued on a section 8.  I contacted Shelter who gave me the number for Civil legal aid and gues waht they said I was entitled to legal aid and they gave me a password for it and name of a solicitor who I rang and informed me that he doesnt do eviction cases on legal aid so back to square one. I have put in an appeal.  I might add that I had a letter from the LA stating my Top ups would be paid directly to the landlord his ex partner. But in court he confirmed he was the landlord evan though we have confirmation contarary to that.  I have also found out that the property has been purchased on a goverment funded shared ownership scheme through Sanctuary housing and he has not approached them for permission to sublet the property and they would not give it and they told me he had broke the terms of his contract with them.  Yesterday he approaced me in my daughters school playgound she is only 4 and he procceded to hurl foul mouthed abuse at me which I have made a statement to the police about. Any helpful advice in this wil be gratfully received .  I am at my wits end with this worry and beginning to think landlords can falut the law and are not accountable.

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Hi Jane

I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through this, it sounds very upsetting.

Do you have anything in writing about the extra £35 payments for the deposit? And were these made separately to the rent payments or at the same time? Also, what does the tenancy state that you rent payment should be per month?

If you have evidence that the £35 extra payment was not rent (for example the tenancy states the rent should be £600 only) or you have email correspondence that shows what the extra £35 was for then you might be able to start a claim against the landlord. I’m not a lawyer but if you can prove there was a deposit in existence then there is a legal responsibiliy for the landlord to protect it with a deposit protection scheme. Not protecting a deposit gives the tenant the right to make a claim via the courts for the return of the entire deposit, plus 1-3 times the amount in compensation. It might also support your case that the landlord tried to use the section 21 procedure as that cannot be used unless there is a deposit and it has been protected.

You are entitled to know the address of your landlord – that’s a legal right so the landlord is not correct. It should be on your tenancy or you can obtain it by doing a search at the Land Registry which will give you information on who owns the property.

The gas safety certificate is another legal requirement – you must be given one per year. You shouldn’t even have to ask for it. You can contact the Health and Safety Executive about this, to report the landlord who could be fined up to five figures.

I’m concerned here about how volatile the landlord seems. It sounds like he’s spent the deposit, he knows he should never have rented the house to you, he doesn’t really know what he’s doing and he’s in quite a lot of trouble and is feeling desperate enough about it to threaten you in public. So, be careful. You could write to him (keep a copy or send an email) and offer him a way out – i.e. repay the deposit and everything goes away. You have the option of threatening to make a claim for the unprotected deposit (if you can prove there was one) and you also have the option of threatening to report him to the HSE, both of which might motivate him to repay what he owes you. However, you need to decide whether that might trigger an even worse reaction in him. If you are scared at any point then go back to the police and tell them you’re worried he’s about to hurt you and/or your child (they can’t ignore that) and if he threatens you again it might be worth trying to get an injunction or something like that.

It might be worth looking into making a claim against the CAB for their poor advice and very poor response times. I don’t know if you’d actually succeed but you might be able to motivate them into helping you by making a loud complaint.

Speaking to a solicitor could be a good idea here as they could advise on how to protect yourself if the landlord responds badly, what the best tactical approach is and what claims you might be able to make. It’s worth asking if there’s any scope for  a discrimination claim on the basis of being treated disadvantageously as a result of your disability. Try a Law Centre first as they should be able to offer you advice for free. You could also make an appointment with a high street or online solicitor (find one via the Law Society to make sure they are genuine) as the first meeting should be free. If they think there’s a claim worth making you could go ahead on a no win no fee basis.

I don’t know if that helps but feel free to come back if you have further questions.


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