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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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Since the last time I wrote, 4 weeks ago, my housemate and

Customer Question

Since the last time I wrote, 4 weeks ago, my housemate and I found a house, but today, we were due to sign the tenancy agreement, the landlady has changed her mind (even after we passed credit checks) and everything has fallen through. Also, we have been asked to leave the present property by 29 March 2014 (Section 21 notice) and it looks like we won't be able to achieve that and we are frantically seeking another property. Now my question is: If I explain the situation to the present letting agency, do they still have the power to change the locks after 29 March 2014? I ask as they have been looking at the front communal door lock and measuring it, so I suspect they may go that far and if we are forcibly locked out what is the best course of action please? Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name isXXXXX can help with this for you.

Customer:

Thanks

tdlawyer :

The agents/landlords do have the power to grant you an extension to allow you to find somwehere else.

tdlawyer :

However, even if they refuse, it will still take time to be able to force you out the property as they would need a court order. That takes about a further 5-6 weeks to obtain.

Customer:

How long would they grant an extestion, approximately?

tdlawyer :

That's up to them, but I would like to think they would give you an extra couple of weeks at least if they can see you're genuinely trying to move out.

Customer:

I see, so the best thing is to contact them now and let them know, which we will do. However, we have noticed they have been measuring the lock on the communal front door and have not informed us, contd

tdlawyer :

Well, if they change that and dont give you a key, it will be an illegal eviction as they're trying to force you out without a court order.

Customer:

so hypothetically speaking, if they choose to change the locks, say after we've gone out to work, and we can't get in, what would be the best course of action please?

tdlawyer :

I would contact the police -they will assist, as this is a criminal offence.

Customer:

Thanks for that. I also forgot to mention that the way the property is set up, is a former house split into flats and the downstaris neighbour has a leasehold on the flat and also 'owns' the communal front door - I'm not sure how this works with regards XXXXX XXXXX access upstairs. So what am asking is if the neighbour downstairs, chooses to change his locks then he is obliged to give us a key, in order that we have access to our flat?

tdlawyer :

He is obliged to give you a key, yes. If you experience any trouble with this, then I'd suggest the police to start with, and that will likely adress the issue, but altenratively, you always could issue a claim in the courty court although I seriously doubt that will be necessary.

Customer:

So just for clarification, we need to ensure we have to be given a key if not, to the point where we are deliberately locked out, to call the police. Now I'm going to ask a 'stupid' question: would that be a 101 or a 999 matter? As I don't want to get in trouble for wasting police time. Also if we get no joy out of getting the neighbour below to give us a key and we are homeless, what would be the next course of action? I don't fancy spending the night in a bus shelter, if I'm not let into the property.

Customer:

The county court action, would take some time to, set, up so I'm asking what to do in between then, please?

tdlawyer :

I would dial 101 for this, it's not an emergency. If you have to ultimately, you could break back in, but speaking to the police should do the trick.

Customer:

But if we break back in, could the neighbour claim for damages to the door?

tdlawyer :

Actions for damage etc. are based on others unlawful actions. If you retake possession due to them excluding you unlawfully, you are on the face of it doing nothing unlawful. It's not great to break back in, and that is why I say speak to the police, and they will no doubt sort it because they will threat to arrest people that unlawfully evict you.

Customer:

Just having a quick read, will get back to you in a minute - thanks

tdlawyer :

No problem.

Customer:

Many, many thanks for providing the advice, much obliged as you have put our minds at rest, especially, if one has no clue about Housing Law. That's it for my part.

tdlawyer :

No problem at all, pleased to have helped. Are you happy with the service this evening?

Customer:

Absolutely!!!

Customer:

Good bye and Thank you!!

tdlawyer :

Fabulous - thank you :)

tdlawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I almost forgot to ask: Because of the way the communal front door is in relation to the front doors of respective flats, in order to remove our belongings (furniture etc.) we would either have to remove the communal front door OR enter the neighbours flat and then out through the communal front door. (This is impracticable as some of the furniture is too large to enter his flat). Also, when we first entered the property, there was no problem in removing the front communal door, but recently the neighbour has become quite antagonistic and are finding it difficult to get in contact to let him know about our moving plans.



So the question is - Do we need permission to remove the communal front door, in order to remove our belongings out of the flat, or can we just remove the door when needed?

Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.
You should get permission to remove the communal door. That way, there is no issue, but if you can't get permission, then you may have no choice but to remove it anyway, but if you do, make sure you don't damage it and you put it back properly. With any luck, it won't even be noticed!

Tony
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks for that, really appreciate it!!


 


Tanya & Marcus

Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome! Thank you!