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Rent arrears dispute after leaving

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420 views 1 replies latest reply: 30 April 2015

hi, this is complicated so bear with me……….. Private renting for over 2.5 years, fixed term contract 12 monthly. Renguarly paid the rent without fail for nearly two years, missed one month in June last year. 

Landlord lives abroad (Singapore) never had a way to contact them. Part managed by a letting agent who would never get involved if there were maintenance issues, my only contact was her father in law who agreed I could dispose of old furniture as I had rented it on an unfurnished basis, repair and redecorate the house to make it nicer to live in (I have spent over 4,000£ doing this) I have never had a boiler service or safety check, the electrics were faulty , no maintenance of he roof, gut tinkering were carried out ever. 

The landlord is divorcing her husband (the husbands father was my contact) they decide to sell the house. So I start looking for somewhere else to live. I find somewhere and inform the landlord (woman) asking her to provide me a reference and that I will pay back the rent arrears , the council are helping me as I had been entitled to more money than I had been claiming. This covered the rent arrears ( 1 month at this time , 1550£) she then sent me an email stating she was giving me two months notice. 

I didn’t receive a section 21 until I had spoken to the council over 1 month later and they asked to see it, I said I hadn’t had one so I requested one via email to the letting agent who then sent me one via email, dated the day before I requested it, they also said they had served this previously by hand and put it through the door, I did NOT have one and believe they are making this up as they hadn’t served me one at all. 

I then failed to pay a second month rent due to an emergency I had no money that month, however the council were making this payment which covered this also, I was in constant contact with the landlady via email and she was aware of this, despite this she then took me to court for £7,000 rent arrears when the most it had ever been was £3,100. The council paid this the day before she had a judgement entered against me now leaving me with a CCJ 

i now couldn’t pass the referencing for my new property. 

She also wouldnt provide me with a reference 

however I was honest with the new landlord and letting agency I had the back up from the housing officer at the council to verify my story and with a good ref from work and a guarantor I passed ref and moved to my new property on the 8th March. 

My section 21 had expired in January and despite the landlady knowing I was leaving she went ahead and requested a repossession hearing. 

I moved out of the property on the 8th March and I have an email from the letting agent stating that if I left on the 8th March I would only owe £1,050 

i gave the keys to the father in law who was part managing the property (the landlady denied it was part managed) at the beginning of March and he was coming and going freely doing outside property maintenance such as fixing the roof and cleaning the gutters. (Which hadn’t been done for the 2.5 years I had been there).

i was emailing the letting agent for them to do check out and they ignored my requests , the landlady then went ahead with the repossession hearing anyway although I was not living thre and was awarded my deposit (2,400) and rent arrears, which is still disputed as being correct by myself. 

The letting agents are now trying to say I owe rent until they did check out in the 18th April, I had been left 6 weeks. 

So I would like to know

1. What can I do about this and how? 

2. What are my rights?

3. What am I leagaly responsible for in term of rent arrears? Do I have to pay rent for the days I didn’t live on the property just because the letting agent hadn’t arranged a check out? 

4. Can a repossession hearing go ahead if I wasn’t living at the address

5. No gas safety checks were carried out during my tenancy and I had to pay for the boiler to be fixed as no one did anything about me having no heating for 2 weeks near Xmas time 

6. No essential maintenance was carried out during my tenancy and I had to pay for repairs such as electrics, plumbing problems.


i currently have bailiffs trying to collect money from me, threats of removal of my possessions, and a CCJ

i have not had any correspondence about my deposit either. 

What do I do?


Hi Sarah

I think, as this is quite complicated and somewhat urgent, you should speak to a solicitor or some sort of legal adviser – there are law centres around the country where you might be able to get advice for free or it might be worth an initial consultation with a solicitor (which shouldn’t cost anything).

I’ve found this page on disputing a CCJ. I’m not sure why she was awarded the CCJ if the debt no longer existed, that seems odd. I’m also not sure how she could claim that amount of rent arrears.

I can tell you that if you haven’t had a gas safety check at all then you can report the landlord to the Health & Safety Executive. Landlords have been fined up to £20k for failing to fulfill this legal requirement so you could use this in your negotiations if necessary. Was your deposit properly protected? (you should have been given information on which scheme protected the deposit within 30 days of moving in). If it wasn’t protected then you can make a claim against the landlord for 1-3 times the deposit.

I’m not sure how all that works with the action currently being taken against you so, as I said, I would speak to someone with experience of landlord and tenant law who can work out how to get you back into a good position.


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