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Landlord Told Us We Have 1 Month To Leave

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881 views 1 replies latest reply: 12 December 2014

Hi all,

I am private renting. We have been in this property for about 18 months. We was giving a 6 month AST, then a rolling contract after that. 

We’ve faced a number of problems in this house. The boiler hasn’t worked for 12 months. It works on and off. We have to put the radiators full blast just get warm water to come out of the tap, but can’t put the radiators on because we’re scared to turn the boiler on. I have asked her and asked her to look at this. Still not fixed. She sent someone out to replaster a damp patch in the living room ceiling. But she sent nobody out to fix the leaking radiator which was the cause of the problem. We have tiles falling off the roof, and bricks, which is a danger to my 7 year old. My next door neigbour was nearly hit by one.

She’s also trying to sell the house, and she asked if I can do a viewing next week. I said “Sorry, but until these issues are fixed I am refusing entry to the proerty”. 

She then emails me back saying it’s not working out etc, and that I have a month to leave.

So I emailed her back and asked why? It appears that because I’ve asked her to fix the issues fast, that she’s kicking me out. We’ve had no hot water for months, we have a £2000 electric bill because we’ve had to use electric heaters because we’re scared to put the boiler on. With a 7 year old I don’t want to risk carbon monixide or anything like that.

I informed her that the law is 2 months according to the Government site, and she told me I was lying. I asked if our deposit was in a secure depsoit scheme, and she said no it wasn’t.

So, we got into a row and I informed her I wouldn’t be leaving until a court evicts us, and that I’d like some compensation, at least for the rise in the electric bill due to not being able to use the radiators. She said I was trying to blackmail her.

So, now I’m stuck.

What can I do from here? I know she has the right to take back the property on a AST, that’s not the problem, but I will fight this through the courts because she’s neglected us as tenants.

Help? What rights do I have and what should I do from here?

Ps. She hasn’t served a notice. She’s just said “You have 1 or 2 months to leave, up to you”. She said this after I informed her that it’s 2 months, and not 1. So she hasn’t actually served a notice right?

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Hi Mrguvna

This sounds like an absolute nightmare for you, we’re sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad experience. There is a lot going on here in terms of problems – 

1. Your tenancy – if you’re on a ‘rolling tenancy’ then presumably this is a periodic tenancy. This is what an AST becomes after it finishes if the tenant remains. Like you say, this should normally be two months notice – there some more info on this here, including the fact that the notice should be in writing and must contain certain information to be a valid notice. it doesn’t sound like she has served you with a valid notice.

2. The deposit. It’s a legal requirement for your deposit to be held with a deposit protection scheme – this should have been done within a month of you moving in. You can make a claim to a local county court if the deposit hasn’t been protected – you could be awarded compensation of up to three times the deposit amount if you’re successful. It’s very silly for a landlord not to protect a deposit these days.  More information on how to make a claim here.

3. The problems with the building. This is difficult because we are not lawyers so we don’t know whether the landlord would be in breach of the tenancy agreement or not. However, here is some info on the obligation to provide heating and hot water and the obligations of a landlord when it comes to structural repair.

4. Getting evicted. Landlords cannot just throw people out without following specific procedures – Shelter has some useful information on evictions. It might be worth you talking to the Citizens Advice Bureau as there are so many issues here – for example, the fact that the landlord hasn’t protected your deposit might stop her being able to serve a section 21 notice, if that is the right notice to use here.  A section 21 notice is the one you need to use to evict a tenant without a reason.  

For your info, the process for eviction should be:

– landlord serves a notice stating the date on which tenant must leave (2 months later)

– if tenant does leave landlord has to apply to court for possession order

– if all the correct section 21 procedures have been followed the court will grant the possession order (according to this website it can take 6-10 weeks for a court to grant this order)

– if tenant does leave the court can send in the baliffs. Remember only court appointed bailiffs can remove you, the landlord cannot do it themselves.

It looks like it can take 4-6 months for a full eviction which is why most landlords try to avoid it.You might well be able to resist it but the question is whether you want to keep living there with such a terrible landlord. So, a lot to take in – is that helpful?


(ps Remember at The Tenant’s Voice we aren’t solicitors, these are just our thoughts, so please don’t rely on anything we say as having legal basis that can be relied on)

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