Is something dodgy going on here? | The Tenants' Voice
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Is something dodgy going on here?

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695 views 1 replies latest reply: 11 November 2015

Hi, For the last 8 months i’ve been renting a room in tower hamlets.

I’ve been paying 759 pounds per months not including bills, since moving in i’ve seen some quite questionable things, and was wondering about the legality of the situation.

Here’s a few notes;

The landlord is still recieving mail here, and in the past has turned up unannounced walking around opening peoples doors.

Our contract is now out-of-date, but includes no name of a company even though i was told this was through an agency. 

We are not allowed to pay by bank transfer, therefore have to draw out large sums.

Generally we have to chase them up alot to get anything fixed.

Recently we were informed that there would be an inspection of the house, my boyfriend was in during the day working; and was asked to leave the property for some hours, he was unsure of the situation and din’t want to get involved. They told him that they needed to hide the bed; and any other furniture typical of a bedroom; as he was leaving they offered him £20 to go buy some lunch; an easy buyout for what seems like something quite dodgy and suspicious to me.

We also believe we are being seriously overcharged which is something else we want to consider moving forward; but adding up everything it seems like something quite illegal could be going on here, and we wondered what would be the best possible action to take in regards to the aforementioned issues, and are looking for these questions to be answered so we can follow the best route possible.

Thanks for your time and have a great day!

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That’s quite a lot of rent to pay for all these issues. In terms of your contract, once it came to an end then it would continue as a periodic tenancy and you still have the protection of the original contract. The contract doesn’t need the name of the agency, just the landlord. You can check at the Land Registry to see if the person on your contract actually owns the property (if not, they are not the landlord). The worrying thing is that you are paying rent in cash so, unless you’re getting receipts each time, you have no record that you have even made any payments. I’m not a lawyer but there’s a chance that you could be subletting or that whoever you are renting from isn’t the landlord but is renting you the room without the landlord’s knowledge – and so collecting rent from you that should go to the landlord. That might explain hiding the bed. If you’re subletting without the real landlord’s knowledge then you have almost zero rights so not a great position to stay in. It may also be – depending on what the rest of the circumstances are – that they are trying to avoid the property being defined as an HMO (house in multiple occupation) as that would bring extra responsibilities on the landlord.

Either way, this does not sound like a great place to stay – especially if they’re just showing up and letting themselves in (which – if you have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement – is not legal and counts as harassment and/or tresspass if done frequently). I’m pretty sure that for that rent you could find somewhere less unnerving.


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