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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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2 years ago, my employer started to rent a lock-up shop to

Customer Question

2 years ago, my employer started to rent a lock-up shop to persue the occupation of a dog groomer. Myself and one other work for her. After a while it became apparent that my employer, Joanne was being charged for all the electicity, not only for our shop, but also for the electricity consumed by the occuppier of the flat above the above the shop who is our landlord's sister-in-law. The electricity supplier, British Gas, says that because both metres are on our property, we have to pay for it. The woman in the flat above refused at first .to pay any of the bill, saying it was at commercial rates. She then relented and was paying £30.00 per month, but this was unacceptable the ammount owing was over £2,000.00 and wasn't covering the monthly ammount she was using.
Joanne has told the landlord that she is not paying any more rental until there is some agreement to get the monies owing, repayed.
The landlord told Joanne on Friday that he was changing the lock to the shop, which he did today. We weren't there. We don't normally work on Mondays. Three people are now effectively out of work with customers bringing in their dogs for grooming. What can we do. Is the landlord legally entitled to lock us out of our workplace.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Is there a tenancy agreement or lease for the shop? Does it say to pay rent and not to set off or deduct any payments as a contract clause please?

Customer :

The first contract Joanne wouldn't sign as it was a domestic contract. The second one was a run of the mill one which the landlord had downloaded from the internet.Jjoanne was not provided with a copy and cannot remember any specific details. I went to the shop this morning to tell our customers arriving at the there of the problem and found that the lock had been changed back to the original. The landlord didn't tell us he had done/was going to do this. Ibelieve his intention is to evict us on 14th.

Alex Watts :

Sadly if it is the shop that has been locked the Landlord probably has the right. The tenant has no right generally to deduct or offset any payments whatsover and this is a normal clause in the contract.

Alex Watts :

What your employer needs to do is apply for relief to the Courts asap.

Alex Watts :

This needs to be submitted to the County Court to allow an Order for access back.

Alex Watts :

The correct way of what your employer should have done was serve notice as to the condition and the cost of repair and if the Landlord refused then issue County Court proceedings.

Alex Watts :

But your employer needs to do the above asap.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer :

As my employer is persueing other avenues as we speak, I will tell of your suggestions and see what she says. Thank you.

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

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