How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask tdlawyer Your Own Question
tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
73598664
Type Your Law Question Here...
tdlawyer is online now

Hi I am a Guarantor for my son, and his last landlord is threatening

Resolved Question:

Hi I am a Guarantor for my son, and his last landlord is threatening to take me to court for cleaning and painting the house that my son rented last year. The landlord used an agent called Frost & Co. my son moved out just over 6 months ago December 2013. My son gave 1 month's notice and we moved them out about 1 week before end of tenancy. We told the agent this also by e-mail and he was happy for us to move out early. The day we moved which was on a Thursday the agent Gary Trapp was in the office in the local town when we called him he agreed verbally that the house was fine for us to vacate and did not want to come and visit. Neither did he want to collect the keys, we had to drive down to the town to deliver them personally to Gary again he was happy for us to leave to house with no money owing apart from one month's rent my son did owe which he was paying off. The agent is now denying that he was in the office and received the keys of my son which is untrue. We now have a letter from the landlord wanting over £700 for repairs and cleaning. We left the house in a good state. were do we stand legally on this as guarantors ??
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name is***** can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

Okay, so this is not about the early leaving etc., it's about the alleged state of the property and whether repairs were necessary etc?

Customer:

yes it is about the repairs

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then do you have any reports/photos of the property in the state it was taken up/when vacated?

Customer:

no we don't and not sure if the landlord has either. The landlord is also disputing the way Daniel (my son) decorated the rooms. He did visit the property whilst my son was living there and said the decoration of the rooms were fine and he had no issues with anything at that time. Daniel did ask permission to decorate and was given the OK .

tdlawyer :

Okay. So it's a case of your word against theirs as to whether the repairs were necessary?

tdlawyer :

Or

tdlawyer :

Or do the repairs stem from the way in which the rooms were decorated?

Customer:

Yes it seems both the landlord is saying it cost £600 to redecorate, which seems a bit steep, £100 for removing rubbish and £40 for cleaning, we left two black bags in the yard by the bin and it was not in a bad state.

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then you can defend his claim on the basis that (a) consent was given to redecorate in the way he did, and hence, no complaint can be made and (b) the costs levied for removal of waste is unreasonable and/or excessive.

tdlawyer :

As guarantors, you are able to use the same defence as the tenant would have.

tdlawyer :

This is part of the law of guarantees - the landlord would be in no better position for suing you then suing the tenant.

Customer:

In his letter he has given me the opportunity to pay just £782.07 by 16th June, or he will take us to court and for the amount of £1450. Do you advise me to pay the £782.02 or take the risk and go to court, we have our own house would that be put in jeopardy at all?

tdlawyer :

This sound like a small claims court matter and as such, the general rule is they can't recover legal costs etc. against you in the small claims court. If the guarantee allows them to recover costs, that might be different, but if not, then your maximum liability if it goes against you would be the amount claiming plus cost fees of a few hundred pounds most likely.

tdlawyer :

If this is oral evidence etc., it comes down to who the court believes. If the court accepts what your sons says about being given permission, then I can't see that you should lose on the basis.

tdlawyer :

But you never know who a judge will believe, that's the problem when things are not in writing.

Customer:

Should we offer to pay for the cleaning and removal of rubbish as a gesture, but not the decorating and see if he will accept that.

tdlawyer :

You could do - that's usually what a lot of people do, try and do a deal, avoid the hassle etc. of going to court. It depends how you feel about it all really, some people love to litigate in court, others feel that have better things to do and would rather do a deal.

Customer:

Surely it would look favourably on us if we made a gesture to pay something rather than nothing, so that if he did take us to court would that go in our favour.

tdlawyer :

It doesn't really matter with small claims, as this is only really ever relevant to costs issues, which aren't really an issue on the small claims court track.

Customer:

The letter he has sent is saying £80 court costs in the county court is that a small claims court cost then ?

tdlawyer :

Yes, it would be. Any claim for less than £10k is usually a small claim.

Customer:

So I think the best way forward at this moment in time is to offer him something and hope that he agrees to what we offer ? Should we ask to see any photos if he has any.

tdlawyer :

Yes, that sounds reasonable.

tdlawyer :

Can I ask whether this answers your question today and whether you're happy with the service please?

Customer:

Great, thanks for your advice, fingers crossed we get a good result.

tdlawyer :

They're crossed! Good luck!

tdlawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you