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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70708
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good evening, My friend has served notice to his landlord

Resolved Question:

Good evening,
My friend has served notice to his landlord terminating his tenancy ( within his T&C's )after 6 months instead of 12.
Reasons:
1. Cold flat with gaps in windows + old boiler cutting out
2. Smelly waste in shower room with periodical blockages
3. He has a wife and 2 small kids and is concerned about their health & safety

No action on the above except the landlord sent a plumber twice for the boiler and after another failure of the system refuses to fix or replace the old boiler. In short she ,the landlord is negligent.
My friend has 2 weeks to vacate and asked the landlord for a reference for a new flat he has found and she sent him a bad one saying he is a trouble maker, resulting in him losing the flat he wanted to move to. He now suspects she may give him a hard time retrieving his deposit too.
She has also appointed a new letting agent instructing them to conduct viewings at short notice 24 hrs./ 7 days a week. Had she carried out the requested works satisfactorily he would stay on.
She has a contract showing the landlord's responsibilities so I suggested he email her the history of their dealings and back it up with a letter c.c. to a solicitor as time is short. Can you help with a letter please?
Any suggestions or observations will be much appreciated.
Many thanks,
Fred
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Are you asking us to write a letter to the landlord ourselves?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Jo,


As time is short I thought if you drafted a letter for him, he is from abroad, he would be taken more seriously

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thanks.

This is a question and answer site. I can give you general information about your position but I can't write to anybody.

If you want a solicitors' letter then you would need to see a high street solicitor.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK , in that case can you advise on his next move please

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Yes, I can do that.

What would you like to know about it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Should he write a letter or send her an email? Should he mark it "without prejudice". He wants to send her something tonight as solicitors offices are closed till monday. Is she not being negligent in her obligations as landlord? any suggestions about what to write?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thanks.

I'm not really sure what the point of sending her a letter would be?

Clearly there are disrepair issues here. It might well be that he has a claim for that. I'm not sure where that really takes you here though.

In relation to a reference, realistically after a dispute like this is quite unlike your letter get a good reference from the landlord. If she said something untrue then that might amount to a defamation but that is an expensive action that should not be undertaXXXXX XXXXXghtly.

In relation to viewings, she is entitled to access in the last month of the tenancy to show new prospective tenants around. He is entitled to refuse unless she has given at least 24 hours notice by received means.

In relation to the deposit, she has not withheld that yet and so it is difficult really to advise upon what to do if she does. If she withholds without justification then he can sue her at Small Claims Court for the return of the deposit or complain to the scheme where his deposit should be protected if this is an AST.

I'm not sure what you hope to achieve by writing to her now?

If you give more information upon that then I might be able to offer more.

Jo
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He feels that writing to her will help him put his case on record - better than just phone conversations - and later if she harasses him with agents' access or withholds his deposit in future

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
It doesn't do any harm to set things down in writing I suppose but I'm not sure it will serve any purpose in this particular situation.

A letter has to make a point. There's no point in just writing to her to tell her she is a disgraceful landlord.

If he is going to ask for the return of the deposit or for the work to be done or more notice to be given on the viewings then thats different. He can introduce all of that then.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok I will speak to him later and if he has a question can I write to you again later or tomorrow?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Yes, no problem. The question won't close from your side.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Many thanks

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

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