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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have rented my property out to two different tenants that

Customer Question

I have rented my property out to two different tenants that I have had problems with concerning the holding deposit. The first has entered a claim in court. I have subsequently defended said claim and also entered a counterclaim. Via discussions with the claiments solicitor, he has told me that the second tenant I mentioned earlier, has now become a client on their books, and will be taking me to court for the exact same scenario from the same property. Furthermore, they are giving substantial witness statements and information to help the claimant. My question therefore is, is this a conflict of interest. i.e. the Practise can knowingly or unknowingly coheres their second client, and cross contamination will take affect. A gain, therefore can be obtained for the Solicitors Practise and both their Clients
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I am not sure if I made it clear in my question, but these are two separate tenants at two separate times with two separate AST,s covering different occupancy's, and they are completely unrelated in any way shape or form
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Did you protect the deposit please?Alex
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
no
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
did they both provide a deposit?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
yes
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I basically protected both tenants deposits at a later date
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Because the Claimant's Solicitors is representing both parties and the second party/ex tenant is going to be used as a witness for the first Claimant, is there a conflict of interest
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
No, there is no conflict. It would only be a conflict if they acted for the tenant on one case and then if you sued the tenant for damage you used that same solicitor.It is only where they are using information gained in one case for uSe in another for which it was not intended.Here it is arising out of the same facts.So no, in these circumstances it is not a conflict of interest.Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Correct me if I am wrong, but because the Solicitors Practise has agreed to take on another ex tenant of mine in the same apartment, and disputing the same thing, i.e. The Holding Deposit, it would be in the vested interest of the Solicitors to win the first claim. This would support the second claim, and help his second client. It would also help the practise financially. It would also stand to reason that he could work with the second Client as a Witness, and ensure that they are all "Singing off the same Hymn-sheet". This would be collusion, which would be at the detriment of the Defendant, i.e. me.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
please reply
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
No. Because the Solicitor could be acting for both Claimants. If they wanted one Solicitor there is nothing stopping them. In fact its in your interest because it saves 2 lots of legal costs being racked up.There is nothing wrong with the Solicitor acting for 2 Claimants.Its not a conflict of interest. It only would be if the Solicitor then used the information in this case against his client in another case.That is when its a conflict.
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Can I clarify anything else for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I don't think I am explaining this properly. Lets say that Tenant 1, stayed at my property from the 1st January 2013 to December 31st 2013, then vacated. We then had a dispute concerning their holding deposit, and this is at court at the moment and they are the claimant and I am the defendant.
Tenant 2, stayed at my property from the 1st January 2014 to December 31st 2014 and vacated. They are no relation to Tenant 1.
Tenant 1 is a Client of a particular Solicitor. The same Solicitor has now told me via email that he has now agreed to represent Tenant 2, concerning their dispute with me, again, concerning the Holding Deposit.
Can you now look at my last reply to you.
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Yes I understand that.There is no issue whether Sols represent Tenant 1 or Tenant 2. There is no conflict of interest.
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I cannot see how that can be. Surely the Witness Statement would be unsafe. What would there be to stop the Solicitor for Tenant 2 to just write what he wanted. After all, it would benefit the two of them ?
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Because the Solicitors first duty to is to the Court, not to the client.You would have witness statements for both cases and then if they are the same could introduce it and bring it to the attention of the Judge.In any event it is the Claimant that signs a statement of truth saying they believe that the contents are true.If not, then the Claimant could be found guilty of perjury.
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
If there is no conflict of interests, how do I get the Witness Statement dismissed. It is obvious that between Tenant 1, Tenant 2 and the Solicitors, that they are working as a team
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
You need to make an application to court to have the statement struck out.You need to do this using form n244http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n244-eng.pdfThe court fee is £155 and a judge will decide whether to allow it.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Can I clairfy anything for you?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
In your opinion, do I have grounds to have it struck out ?
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
It's arguable I think
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can you perhaps give me an argument that I can use
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
sadly I can't be instructed so unable to do that for you. You would need to formally instruct a solicitor for that, as site rules prevent me.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
I think you have something that could be argued.Does that clairfy?Alex

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