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SECTION 21

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474 views 1 replies latest reply: 27 January 2015
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Tenant

HI THERE THIS IS A COMPLEX ONE.  WE HAVE HAD AN AWFUL 6 MONTHS WHERE MY HUSBANDS BUSINESS INVESTMENT DIDNT HAPPEN.  WE HAVE HAD SOME RENT ARREARS WHICH ARE NOW ALMOST UP TO DATE.  THE LANDLORD WAS FAIRLY SYMPATHETIC BUT HAS BEEN TRYING TO CHARGE US A LATE PAYMENT PENALTY WHICH IS NOT LEGAL.  DETAILS BELOW

  • LANDLORD IS TRYING TO CHARGE AN INFLATED RATE OF PENALTY CHARGES.  EG £2000 x 4.5% divided by 365 x the number of late days (27) = £6.66.  THE LANDLORD IS SAYING ACCORDING TO HIS FORMULA THE PENALTY WOULD BE £2430.  HE HAS OMITTED TO DO THE ALL IMPORTANT DIVIDE BY 365.  CLEARLY THE QUANTUM OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT WE OWE AND WHAT HE SAYS WE OWE IS MASSIVE.  HIS ANSWER IS THAT THE FORMULA CAN BE INTERPRETED IN ANY WAY HE LIKES.  IN TOTAL HE IS TRYING TO CHARGE US OVER £16,000 WORTH OF LATE PENALTIES WHEN ACCORDING TO OUR CALCULATIONS IT AMOUNTS TO JUST OVER £55.  DOES ANYBODY KNOW IF THE WAY WE HAVE CALCULATED IS CORRECT.
  • HE HAS ALSO FAILED TO REGISTER OUR DEPOSIT OF £3000.  AND IS DISMISSING THIS SAYING THAT WE AGREED FOR THE DEPOSIT TO BE USED TO OFFSET SOME OF THE ARREARS WHICH WE DID NOT.  WE HAVE TOLD HIM WE ARE ENTITLED TO CLAIM UP TO 3 X THE VALUE OF OUR DEPOSIT WHICH COULD MAKE A POSSIBLE PENATLY £9000.  HE WONT ACCEPT THIS AT ALL.
  • HE HAS ALSO SERVICED US A SECTION 21 WHICH WE HAVE TOLD HIM IS INVALID BECAUSE HE HASNT REGISTERED OUR DEPOSIT.  BUT AGAIN REFUSES TO ACCEPT THIS.
  • HE HAS DONE VIRTUALLY NO MAINTENANCE IN THE PROPERTY SINCE WE MOVED IN AND WE HAVE HAD TO MANAGE THE PROPERTY.
  • HE IS THREATENING TO COME ROUND ON 1ST FEB WHICH IS THE END OF OUR 2 YEAR FIXED TERM AND CHANGE THE LOCKS.  WE HAVE TOLD HIM HE CANT DO THIS BUT AGAIN HE WONT LISTEN.
  • HE IS TRYING TO BULLY US INTO UNREASONABLE NEW TERMS AS A MEANS TO KEEP US IN THE HOUSE.  WE DONT WANT TO LEAVE THE HOUSE BUT WONT BE BULLIED.

IN VIEW OF ALL OF THE ABOVE DOES ANYBODY HAVE ANY ADVICE?

THANKS

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Administrator

Hi A

There’s some info here on the fees landlords can charge for late rent payment and how to object to them. If they weren’t in the tenancy agreement when you signed it then normally the landlord can’t charge them.

As you rightly say the landlord must protect your deposit and, as the landlord won’t listen to you, it might be worth taking action on this before anything else. A court can order the landlord to:

– repay the deposit

– pay it into a tenancy deposit scheme within 14 days

– pay you up to x 3 compensation within 14 days

The court can also order that you can’t be forced to leave the property at the end of the tenancy. Given that you’ve already said most of this to the landlord and he’s just ignoring it (calling your bluff?) getting a court order might be the only next step. There is info here on this, including some sample letters you can use, what the process is and the form you’ll need to use to apply to the court.

In terms of whether he has the right to come round and change the locks, he may do as it’s the end of the fixed term (unless the court orders that you can’t be forced to leave, as above). It might be an idea to take some legal advice on this from a local law centre (free).

Alex

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