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Harris
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have had my property broken into by my landlord. He has

Customer Question

I have had my property broken into by my landlord. He has been absent/made no contct with me either by phone or letter/or in person for 10 years.
He rang the doorbell just before 11am this morning. I did not get to the door quick enough and thought he had gone. Then he entered the property via the back door ( which has been broken (it needs total replacement as it is nit secure.) and entered the property without invitation and made off with my house keys.
We had a brief argument over him telling me I should have vacated the property at the end of last month. I explained I had not found anywhere as I have a lot of personal furniture to move and I had not found somewhere. He told me I had to leave now.
He left the property but I had noted after her left the house he had taken my door keys. He ran off with them and said he would return after contacting the police in 5minutes.
He did not return until over an hour and posted my keys through my letter box.
I contacted the council offices to ask where I stood legally as to my personal rites. the lady I spoke to told me she had to converse with aa colleague and she would get the lady to ring me back.
I phoned the citizens advice bureau in Cosham Portsmouth byut got an recorded message saying they do not give advice over the phone.
My landlord wants me evicted as he is facing bankruptcy. He came to the house 5 weeks ago to tell me this. I would not let him in.
He has never contacted me in 10 yaears, maintained the property or paid any bills (possibly the mortgage that's all). I have lived here since 2005 paying council tax, all gas, electricity, water, sewage bills etc.
I was never furnished with a tenancy agreement. When I moved in. The landlord left no contact details with me or my fellow tenant. (He moved out almost four years ago. He spoke to this former tenant on two occasions but would not speak to me.
I have no way of contacting my landlord and when I had my bank account closed by the Royal Bank of Scotland some 6/7 years ago I could not get the RBS to give me my landlord's bank data to set up my rent payments by standing order/direct debit with my new bank. HSBC. (I had my new bank account closed as I was a few pounds overdrawn and I asked if I might have an advance of £10 to get to work. HSBC decided on advice from someone in their banking division to close my account!)
Despite going back to the RBS in Portsmouth (Commercial Road) to get the data to re-establish rent payments they refused to give it to me abd quote the data protection act. So consequently I could not pay my rent.
Any hope of contact from my landlord was doubtful until his arrival out of the blue 6 weeks ago telling me to move out.
I have contacted a local solicitor to seek advice but as I earn over £700 a month he cannot help me unless I pay for his services which would prove very expensive. I am on a low income. £1200 per month) I have been suspended from my job with Portsmouth Hospitals Health Care Trust since 10/2016. So I am currently losing £300-£400 a month not working as I have lost all pay enhancements and consequently some of my standing orders and direct debits go unpaid.
Where do I stand here. Has my landlord the right to enter the property at will or remove my possessions?
I did phone the police to tell them of his entering the property and the gist of the matter is the police say I am a lodger not a tenant as I have no tenancy agreement. So he can enter the house at anytime. The council told me he cannot do this. Yet my landlord said he spoke to the council and told him he did have the right to enter his property.
I feel very vulnerable now. I have health problems. high blood pressure, a large abdominal hernia (my abdominal muscle has split according to my GP but due to my weight he told me surgery would most likely kill me!) Though he did say surgery is most definitely needed.
I need help, but every way I turn I get told conflicting things and/or they cannot help me.
What can I do?
My name is ***** *****.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Firstly a tenancy agreement does not need to be in writing and given you have been im the property for quite some time, do not live in the same property as the landlord and pay rent it would be argued that you do have a tenancy agreement.
The landlord cannot enter the property without giving you formal notice and must follow strict legal routes to evict you which he does not appear to have done and forcing you out or harassing or intimidating yoi to leave is a criminal offence.
To provide you further information please confirm if he has given you a Section 21 Notice?

In the meantime I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Harris and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was billed a further £13 then another £58 to inform solicitor Harris I have not received the Section 21 notice, and that my landlord entered the property climbing over the neighbours garage demanding angrily that I leave the property immediately then ran off with my door keys. He held these for 70 minutes!
I phoned the police and the county council and the police said it is a civil matter. Though they have logged my complaint of forced entry, theft of my door keys. (They are back in my possession).So, I am getting conflicting advice from four different bodies, the police, the council, the solicitor and from my landlord.
I still do not know where I stand. And I am on a low income, I have been suspended from work since 10/02/2016 and so consequently some of my bills are not being paid (they are being returned unpaid by the bank and I am being charged by the bank. I am extremely stressed now because I feel I am not getting the full picture of where I stand.
All I know is my landlord is going to have me served with an eviction notice in the next few days.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Apologies for the delay in responding. The landlord is in breach of his duties and obligations as a landlord, as well as committing a criminal offence by entering the property and taking the keys.

You should not be worried as any eviction will not be immediate. The Section 21 notice must give you 2 clear months before expiring. Even after expiry, you have no obligation to move out and the landlord will have to apply to court for a possession order. Once a possession order is made, even then you have obligation to leave and the landlord will need to apply to court for an eviction notice which gives you the final date and time you must leave by. This process takes months and therefore you are not at immediate risk of being evicted.