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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a flat in London, I was renovating the flat,

Customer Question

hello, I have a flat in London, I was renovating the flat, and someone asked if they could rent the flat from me during the renovation. I have always used a maangement agent but this time I agreed not to do so for a short term let. the agreement was as follows:
payment of 1100 during the bathroom refurb - payment receieved Sept 4 2015
payment of 1400 during the kitchen refurb - payment recieved Oct 5 2015
The payer of the cash then termniated the agreement via telephone threatening me and theatening the safety of the property stating he would not return the keys until all of his cash was returned to him and this took place on Oct 16th 2015
I have not worked outside a management company before, I did not put the deposit into any scheme as I was not aware that I needed to and I changed the locks on the flat on Sept 17th after the tenant thretened myself and the property the day before as he had taken all the keys plus the keys to the back door and the patio.
The Tenant then used the keys to enter the building where the flat is on Oct 22nd and I changed the keys to the front buidlign door.
I beleive the tenant rented the property from the first date of Sept 04 and I want to remove the cost of the locks and key and otehr costs from his deposit.
Howver am I am inbreach of the law? Can I be prosecuted becuasee I did not put the deposit into the deposit scheme and can I be prosecuted for changing the locks on the property even though the tenant threatenend me and the property.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have payment details from the individual all of which state RENT clearly in the Referance of teh payment - he paid 2000 in Sept 04 and then 700 in Oct 05 2015He terminate the contract verbally 16th of OctThere was no contract - I offered him a contract however he refused to work with my management comapny that I have worked with for over 10 years
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
You are in breach of the law. The law says you CAN"T Evict without a Court order AND using certified bailiffs. You had none of these and therefore it is an unlawful eviction. Further you are not entitled to take ANY step to seek possession unless a deposit has been protected.
The proper way to evict is:
1) protect deposit
2) send a notice to quit
3) if they dont leave issued a claim in the county court for possession
4) if the court grants the order then you can instruct bailiffs only to evict
So yes you can be protected for an unlawful eviction and the tenant can sue you direct for x3 of the deposit value which you failed to protect.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Ash and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Do you have a number which we can speak on?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can you call tonight please 0207(###) ###-####
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes ok.
ALex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can er perhaps have that discussion now?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
ok
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Alex can I get a second and third point of view on this website?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes of course but that would be an additional cost.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please remind me of the words I need from the other party to conclude this mess?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
In full and final settlement.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Alex, the payments paid to me reference RENT there is no reference to DEPOSIT - this in court would be clear that I have receieved rent and no deposit which in my head means that I would not have the issue of deposit law? is there any truth in thisbascially I am saying that I have not officialy received a deposit I have only received rent from this guyany thoughts on that?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If there was no deposit then he can't sue for x3 deposit. But he CAN still sue for an unlawful eviction. Either way you needed a Court order.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes this is true...this guy made two payments both of which reference RENT there is nothing in writing that states DEPOSIThe paid 2000 and then 700 both with teh reference of RENTare emails and whatsapp messages admissable please?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes they are admissable.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Alex remind me of the words I need in the termination contract with this guy please? just cant find it on this site...
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
In full and final settlement.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
does this need to be in letter form with a signature?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If you send him the payment with this in the letter and he cashes the cheque, its deemed accepted.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok so I write a letter attach a cheque, if he cashes the cheque then the letter has been accepted? Is there a template letter I can use online?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
There may be. Or you just can just write this.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Alex,
give me some rough guidelines of time framehow long will it take the ex tanent to bring a case against me? will it be civil or legal? and can they stop me from selling the flat? during the process?thanks man - what a mess!
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
They have 6 years to bring a civil claim
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok if this guy started a court case this week how long will it take for the case to come to fuition and i need to go into court to defend my case and in the meantime can they stop me from selling my flat?and if I sell my flat I can take the money out cash no?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
It would take around 4-6 months to get to Court.
If you sell the flat he cant take the money.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Alex,I have paid for a monthly subscription on this site therefore I assume I can continue to ask questions?I have ordered a cheque book from the bank to pay the tenant from my flat. He paid £2700 into my account with the reference RENT and he is asking me to pay him £3200.He is also asking me to pay him this in cash.I have told him that I am going to write a CHQ with a letter "in final and full settlement" and he is getting very upset saying that if I do not pay him cash today he is going to start legal proceedingsSo what are my options:1. pay him the cash
2. pay him with CHQ and letter
3. Dont pay him, sell the flat, and live in Spain with my kids which was always the plan anyway, I live more in spain than I do in London now as my kids are SpanishWhat are your thoughts?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes those are your options indeed. Don't pay in cash - he can't demand that.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if it goes to court and I do not attend what is the likely outcome?
if it goes to court and I do attend but I don't pay the fines what may happen?
a civil case would affect my credit rating but legally I would be free to come and go as I please is that correct?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If you lose then to get a ccj. It dies not prevent entry or exit from uk
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Alex,this guy is asking for his deposit backhe paid me £200 cash to secure the property there is no legal receipt for this I assume thar I can ignore this payment?then he made 2 payments to me into my account with the reference RENT
04 Sept £2000
05 Oct £700I have always stated he can have his deposit back which would total in my opinion £1350 - what is your opinion on this?And the rest of the payment is for the rent which is from the date he paid it to me - I can not be prosecuted for the fact that he did not use the property?Therefore if I send him an CHQ with the words "in full and final payment" and if he cashes that CHQ can he move forward with any further action?As an example can he ask the local council to chase me for locking him out of the property by changing the locks?Can he cash the CHQ and take me to court regardless saying it was not enough and only a partial payment?Is one position to do nothing from my perspctive and to see if he goes to court? For me to go to court I beleive I need to sign papers and I am not in the country at the moment? During this process can I rent the property out to someone else, infact I have someone moving in tomorrow via my normal channel and management agent so everything is covered?Should I sit on the issue let it go to court and make a decision further down the line, as I can always make a settlement outside of court if need be or I can take the judgment and leave the country and live in Spain with my kids as I am close to becoming a Spanish resident regardless?How long does a CCJ last for 6 years? I could just ride it out?In principal I have always stated that I would pay the deposit back however this guy is claiming that the entire Payment of 2700 was a deposit, and now he is claiming 3500 with his expenses.please respond.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I have always stated he can have his deposit back which would total in my opinion £1350 - what is your opinion on this?
Yes, but again this is subject to negotiation
And the rest of the payment is for the rent which is from the date he paid it to me - I can not be prosecuted for the fact that he did not use the property?
I still think you can.
Therefore if I send him an CHQ with the words "in full and final payment" and if he cashes that CHQ can he move forward with any further action?
No as I have already said several times
As an example can he ask the local council to chase me for locking him out of the property by changing the locks?
No
Can he cash the CHQ and take me to court regardless saying it was not enough and only a partial payment?
No
Is one position to do nothing from my perspctive and to see if he goes to court? For me to go to court I beleive I need to sign papers and I am not in the country at the moment? During this process can I rent the property out to someone else, infact I have someone moving in tomorrow via my normal channel and management agent so everything is covered?
You dont need to sign for the papers they simply need to be sent to your last known addreess
Should I sit on the issue let it go to court and make a decision further down the line, as I can always make a settlement outside of court if need be or I can take the judgment and leave the country and live in Spain with my kids as I am close to becoming a Spanish resident regardless?
Its up to you, but it would go to Court regardless of what you do
How long does a CCJ last for 6 years? I could just ride it out?
6 years
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what is your advice rerading this issue1. pay the guy the full amount he is asking for 3500
2. pay the guy the full amount he paid into my bank account 2700
3. pay the guy what I consider to be his deposit
4. do nothing walk away from the issue and live in Spain for a min of 6 years whilst the CCJ works itself off credit rating
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You risk prosecution so it really depends how much you want to avoid that.
I would only pay him what is negotiated between you and direct into his bank AFTER confirmation by him in writing its full and final settlement, or a cheque from you saying that.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what does prosecution mean? a fine and a CCJ? What is this in reality? How long will the local authority chase me for a fine? How large will the fine be? this is a civil case and not a legal case? Therefore what are the dangers?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Proseuction for unlawful eviction as we have discussed over the telephone.
You can be sued by both the tenant and the Local Authority. The fine is x3 the deposit as I have already said and the fine from the court is going to be a few thousand.
This is a civil case for the deposit and criminal case for the eviction. You should agree to pay up and negotiate an amount.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if it is a criminal case does this stop me from entering and leaving the UK? what does this mean in reality?would the local authority be taking on the criminal case? and the tenant the civial case?does the tenant recieve the fine of 3x the deposit - if he does then this will be his motivation?how long will these cases take to go to court?This guy says he will only take 3500 or else he will go to court - this is extorsion?I am in a quite tight spot - I am thinking that I can sell and go and live in Spain and jsut be done with itif I do that with a civil and criminal case over my head how long will those judgements last for?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
if it is a criminal case does this stop me from entering and leaving the UK? what does this mean in reality?
As UK citizen means nothing to do. You can come and go.
would the local authority be taking on the criminal case? and the tenant the civial case?
Yes
does the tenant recieve the fine of 3x the deposit - if he does then this will be his motivation?
I dont know what his motivation is.
how long will these cases take to go to court?
6 months
This guy says he will only take 3500 or else he will go to court - this is extorsion?
No.
I am in a quite tight spot - I am thinking that I can sell and go and live in Spain and jsut be done with it
Its up to you.
if I do that with a civil and criminal case over my head how long will those judgements last for?
CCJ 6 years, criminal case on your criminal record forever.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this means the tenant is complete control of this situation - I am really in a hole?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does having a set of keys give this guy the right to occupancy? He never moved in he never resided in the flat? Is he regarded as a legal tenant ?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes it does. It makes no difference whether he was there - he had a tenancy agreement.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was written contract
The only agreement we had was verbal
He terminated the contract the day before I changed the locks and at no point did he move into the property with any furniture or items he did not sleep in the property he paid me for a month and that month started on sept 04 he told me he was not moving in October 16th so his payment had run outHe never moved into the property
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
It makes no difference, however you try and dress this up - you broke the law.
You evicted him without a Court order.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He did not move into the propety and he rang me up and told me he was not moving into the propety and I changed the locks the following dayYou are saying that the local authority can bring a criminal case against me for this action?And if found guilty what is the likely sentence?A fine?And if I do not pay the fine what will happen next?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes the local authority can.
As we have discussed many times before you are likely to get a fine.
If you dont pay the they can send you to jail.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes Alex, but I need to be sure as I can't beleive this is the situation to be honest... this is a total mess... how likely will it be that the local authority will prosecute me?truly what are my options?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I dont know whether they will prosecute or not, I do not know. They may or may not.
We have discussed at length your options and these are:
1) Go and live in another country
2) Disappear in this country
3) Pay the tenant in full and final settlement
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can i get another opinion on this website?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes you have already asked for a second opinion but I dont think anyone else has responded yet. You will need to wait there for another expert.
Alex