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Please Help with totally unreasonable landlady!!

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376 views 1 replies latest reply: 05 August 2015
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Tenant

My student daughter has been renting a property with two college friends. They have  just given notice and the Landlady is furious as my daughter had hoped to stay on, Since receiving notice, her manner has worsened considerably and she has been sending emails with endless demands from repairing an electric hob which she knew was already broken, to professionally cleaning the cellar! Her emails are very long and that don’t make any sense, and are all written in capital letters.

I politely asked if she could please give 24 hours notice of agents coming to view, which  she responded to by sending a series of bizarre messages which are unpleasant, bullying and totally unreasonable. She said that  we’d had 11 months notice and that according to the contract she didnt have to.

She seems to be saying that having once given notice of the first Agent calling, that it covers any and all other visits from anyone else with or withou her.  She is now saying she can and will turn up as she wants up until 8pm.

In the contract it says agents need to be allowed to look round during last 2 months, with 24 hours notice, but she says shes given it ! Two of the girls are studying still and one doing shift work as shes training to be a nurse.

Does anyone know of a document I could give her which legally points out that she can;t now act as though we have not paid rent for the notice period.

She has also accused us of denying her legal right to enter on Friday,  because she says she called round when I was cleaning the flat, but i didn’t hear the bell go or anything and i didnt know she was coming!

The Letting agent isnt being much help, as they say they are not managing the flat. I thought it was the same thing, but it isn’t apparently.  Additonally the guy said he wont deal with her anymore as she was abusive to him.

Sorry to blurt all this out, but i feel like im going to have a panic attack every time we receive an email. I feel that she is looking for any possible reason to keep the deposit and I am so worried.

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Administrator

Hi Melissa

24 hours notice is ALWAYS required – each time a visit is planned. Not only that, but the tenants must consent to the entry to the property too. Without that consent, the landlady or her agents are committing trespass, which is something you can sue for. Most agents and landlords just bully their way in and say something like ‘I’m sorry but this is required and you must agree’ but legally they have to have consent. This is enshrined in landlord and tenant legislation, regardless of the tenancy agreement. Take a look at this (a blog aimed at landlords on the topic).

I’m not a lawyer but if she brings up the legal right to enter you could mention that her legal right to enter needs to be balanced with the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment, to live free from harassment and the right of exclusive possession that paying rent entitles you to – this balancing of rights is why notice and consent are required in all but a genuine emergency.

In terms of the deposit, again she has no right to keep any of it without tenant consent. Another popular misconception. Make sure a full inventory is done when they move out and document everything with photos etc. She can only claim for damage – not wear and tear – and she can’t claim anything that would put her in a better position than she was when they moved in (for example, claiming for cellar cleaning when the cellar has never been cleaned). The deposit should be held by a deposit protection scheme and if there is a dispute over the deductions the landlord wants to claim it’s the scheme’s dispute resolution service that makes the decision over what is fair. The landlord will have to provide proof of the right to make the deduction. If the deposit isn’t protected with a scheme then this is breaking the law and the tenants can claim the deposit back in its entirety, plus 1-3 times the amount of the deposit as compensation.

I’ve been in a similar situation and it’s absolutely horrible. But tenants have rights so there is plenty you can do.

Alex

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