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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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, First let me give you the background information.I was

Resolved Question:

Hi, First let me give you the background information. I was working as Head Chef for a hotel for 4 years. As part of my salary accommodation was supplied. The hotel and accommodation were owned by the same person until the hotel was sold to another person. A tenancy agreement was drawn up and the new hotel owner was renting the accommodation from the landlord. during this time i was seeking alternate employment in a different field of work and had a verbal agreement with the landlord/owner of the accommodation that i could stay there while saving to buy a house. However before all this could happen the new hotel owner who held the tenancy of the property decided he didn't want to transfer the tenancy. There was a deal made where as i could stay in the property for the Month of October and then we would go from there. So upon terminating my employment i paid the sum of £600 to the owner of the hotel for the accommodation. My house purchase went much faster than expected and i was due to move in on the 14th of November. As i tried to pay fore the rent of £600 for November i was told your not allowed to be there and need to leave next week. I explained the situation and that i have a 4 year old daughter who lives with me as well my partner and that we had no where to go and it was agreed in email that i must vacate by the 28th November 2014. Also in this e-mail it states "no payment for rent shall be expected or received". I moved on the 27th of November and returned the keys to the rented accommodation. Now yesterday i got an e-mail from the hotel owners asking for rent from the month of November. This is the rent that i offered to pay and that was told it would not be "expected or received" twice. Now 2 months down the line they are asking for it. I have all e-mail correspondence. Just looking for advice on what to do.

This is one of the small emails which shows some of the contex

"


Dear *****

Further to our recent communications with regard to your occupation of the staff accommodation at the Oxfordshire Inn.

Houston Ramm has advised me that no such agreement between himself and yourself was put in place for the occupation to last 6 months.

It was only agreed as a gesture of goodwill  that you could remain in the staff accommodation until the 31st of October 2014 after you resigned as the Chef of the Oxfordshire Inn. I wish to confirm that no formal or verbal agreement is in place for your current occupation and as such no rent will be expected or received by the Oxfordshire Inn after the 31st October.

You have advised us that you are in the process of buying your own home and you expect to complete on the purchase before the end of November. Please confirm that you will be vacating the staff accommodation by no later than Friday the 28th November 2014. 

Grant Wilkins"
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know whether you have these exchanges in writing at all?

Alex Watts :

Did you occupy the property on your own, ie did the Landlord live in too?

Customer:

Hello

Customer:

All correspondence was via email and i have all of them. The only people that lived in the property was myself my partner and our daughter.

Alex Watts : So on the one hand they said they didn't want any rent and have now changed their minds? That's the crux of it?
Customer:

pretty much yes

Customer:

they are saying i was supposed to pay rent direct to the landlord yet they accepted the first rent cheque and it was never said to pay to the landlord

Alex Watts :

Ok - well I would not worry in that case.

Alex Watts :

At most this would be a small claim if they try and take you to Court. That means if you lose you dont have hefty legal costs to pay, only the direct Court costs to issue the claim and hear it

Alex Watts :

But based on the emails you have then you have a valid argument

Alex Watts :

You were not it was not expected and wont be accepted

Alex Watts :

That is a statement upon which you relied.

Alex Watts :

They can now not retrospectively retract from that

Alex Watts :

So on that basis of the emails saying you dont need to pay - they can not ask for it

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

would you like to see the e-mails then sent they are all very short

Customer:

as they already have a legal firm involved with this and have a long history with staff disputes.

Alex Watts :

I can, but I only need to see the email that says they dont want rent. Even then its only going to confirm my view.

Customer:
Dear *****

Your occupation of the staff accommodation at the Oxfordshire Inn was a part of your terms and conditions as an employee of the Hotel.

When you resigned from the hotel and as such were no longer an employee of the Oxfordshire Inn, your occupation of the staff accommodation was terminated.

Part of the sale of the Oxfordshire Inn to Graham Payne, included the staff accommodation.

When you resigned your position you made a private arrangement with Houston to continue to occupy the staff accommodation for one month until the end of October.

Houston agreed this arrangement with Graham Payne.

As of the 6th of November you are still occupying the accommodation and I therefore advise you that you are required to vacate the property by no later than Friday the 14th of November 2014.

I note that you have paid your rent for the October period, however as you should of vacated the property on the 31st October and there are no formal or verbal arrangements in place to continue your current occupation, no further rent will be expected or recieved.

I look forward to you confirming that you have received this email and that you will be vacating this property by the 14th of November 2014.

Grant Wilkins
Alex Watts :

Even if they have a legal firm involved and it goes to a small claim, if you lose they can only claim issue fee and hearing fee which is limited

Alex Watts :

They cant claim legal costs

Alex Watts :

Thanks.

Alex Watts :

They said that you were not to pay rent - they made that statement and you relied on it

Alex Watts :

They cant now change their mind

Customer:

this was my understanding

Customer:

but just wanted to get this confirmed

Alex Watts :

Yes indeed. Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

no that should be fine thanks very much

Alex Watts :

Great. Can I ask you to rate my answer before you go today, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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