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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor
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I'm a tenant and I paid the deposit, and months upfront rent

Resolved Question:

Hi, I'm a tenant and I paid the deposit, and months upfront rent etc, as normal through an estate agency for a property. On the 20th August, at the estate agents request, we completed everything and I received the keys. I informed the agency that I wouldn't be moving in till the following weekend (Saturday 27th August). On the 27th, at around 2pm, I received a telephone call from the Landlord who said he was in the property and he wasn't going to allow me to move in as he was in dispute with the agency. He asked me, as the tenant, to mediate between himself and the agency. Am I correct, that this is complete breach of contract for refusing me access to the property and trespass by the landlord by gaining entry without permission? As I had a removals van which was ready to go, I incurred about £1,100 of additional charges, and I don't see why I should pay for the prior weeks rent. I can't seem to find any information online about tenants being refused access to the property by a landlord?
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

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

Have you both signed a tenancy agreement please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jamie, myself as the tenant signed a contract. I have no idea if the landlord has signed the contract as the estate agents were handling that part of the transaction. However, I've completed everything that has been asked of me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We received the keys to the above property after signing the tenancy agreement and paying the balance due on Saturday 20th August 2016 at Allan Fuller Estate Agents in Putney. On Saturday 20th August, we entered the flat and cleaned it throughly. Whilst we were there, the inventory was carried out and a cleaner had been organised to wipe down the surfaces. We didn't actually want to take the property on the Saturday 20th August, but were informed that was the date agree with the Landlord, and we accepted.In the following week we engaged a removal company (Nick's Removals) which was highly recommended by friends the week before. The moving company arrived on Saturday 27th August around 8am with the truck they had hired for the day and started loading. Lunch was at 1pm, and we scheduled the trip from East Dulwich to Putney for around 2pm. This would have provided plenty of time to unload and return the truck for the same day charge.On Saturday 27th August, at 12.54 I (Adrian) received a missed call from ***** ***** (Landlord) and a voicemail and text. At 14.06 I received a second call from Michael which I was able to answer stating that he was in the property and we would not be moving in that day, he was not going to allow it. He asked me to call Allan Fuller Estate Agents as he was in dispute with them about the contract which he stated he would not be signing. I explained that we had a fully loaded truck with our entire flat, having engaged a removal company and we were just about to leave for the property. He again stated that we would not be able to move into the property that day until he had agreed various details with Allan Fuller Estate Agents.After some discussion with the removal company to work out options, I called Che Masroh-Mcdowell (Allan Fuller Estate Agents) at 14.24 and explained the situation. He apologised and stated that he would talk to Michael immediately. I received a call from Che at 14.49 to state he had spoken to Michael and will be meeting him at the property to discuss the situation. I explained we had an empty flat and removal people waiting for an answer. He assured me that it would all be dealt with and we would be able to move in.At 16.00 we were discussing options with the removal company regarding the situation. We should have been in Putney unpacking at around 14.45, and at the current timescale there wasn't enough time to empty the vehicle in East Dulwich and return it the same day. We were now looking at overnight storage options as a 7.5 tonne truck can't be parked in either Putney or East Dulwich on the street.At 16.03 I received a further call from Che stating that he was heading to the property. I again explained that we would have no where to sleep as our bed was in the truck and that this situation had put myself and Vesna (my partner) in an incredibly difficult position. Che apologised again and stated that we shouldn't worry about the costs and that it would all be sorted. A number of phone calls went back and forth with no resolution.At 17.00 the removal company told me they had found a place to park the vehicle overnight. This would incur cost.At 17.10 I received a text message (please see attachment) that Che was at the property with Michael. There was still no resolution, and it states that we will be compensated.At 18.03 I received the last call of the day from Che. He stated that the situation had been resolved. I explained that the truck had gone for storage over night, that there would be substantial costs associated with this, and that both Vesna and I had no where to sleep that night. We were told it would be dealt with and everything would be sorted by the Estate agents.Embarrassingly, despite having active tenancies with two properties in London, but nowhere with a bed, we managed to stay with friends overnight. The move was completed on Sunday. The day charge is £200 a day. The removal company were unable to return the vehicle till Tuesday 30th.Overall, we were charged an additional £1,127.50. As it stands, it appears that no contract has been fully agreed yet by all parties. We have incurred substantial cost during what appears to be a dispute between ***** ***** and Allan Fuller Estate Agents which we have no interest in being part of.I feel that after commencing the tenancy, to be refused entry to the property a week later is an absolute and unequivocal breach of contract. In addition, the Landlord (***** *****) has committed trespass. Overall, we have fulfilled all obligations on time and exactly as requested by all parties. As stated above, we've incurred substantial costs as well as considerable inconvenience.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

But just to be clear have both you and the Landlord signed the agreement?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Apparently so. I'm waiting for the Estate Agents to send their copy over with the Landlords signature on. But, I've been assured it was signed.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. What is it you want to achieve as a result of this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ideally, I'd like the Landlord to be in clear terms that it is not acceptable to enter the property without permission. I'd like all costs I incurred to be paid in full and I'd like compensation as I had to find accommodation for the night, whilst have two active tenancies as neither had a bed. The whole episode was very upsetting for my partner.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

I agree. Unless the agreement says otherwise the Landlord can NOT enter without permission

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund and compensation within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n1-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did the landlord commit trespass by entering without permission? And if so, what is the penalty? Is it civil or criminal?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

No, its not criminal. Its a civil issue.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You've been really helpful.Thank you.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, otherwise the site does not pay me for the time spent with you today. Thank you in advance and good luck!

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