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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Of a flat and never got round to taking out a TDS. I have

Customer Question

I am Landlord of a flat and never got round to taking out a TDS. I have been sued by the tenant to the amount of £3960 and the tenant has won. I will pay but there are quite a few landlords out there like myself that have been very good, always sorted problems, like the washing machine does not work, the spotlights are too high too change without buying a ladder, new shower hose etc., the tenant was not there to inspect the property with me at the end and left property at the property which I had to store.
But can I now claim for all the damage (documented, photographed and backed-up by receipts) the tenant did actually cause, the fact that the tenant took in another lodger without asking permission, and the loss of rent because the tenant would not allow me or an agent access to the property until they had left the property? In fact they left my keys with a cleaner? They then threatened my wife over the phone (the boyfriend who was the lodger and a PC) and visited my property to deliver a letter by hand to intimidate my wife.
All of this to me seems totally wrong or am I just living in a dream world that the English Justice system is actually there to support nasty people?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I confirm with you whether you had a professional inventory and condition report carried out at the beginning and end of the tenancy please? If not professionally carried out did you prepare a very detailed report yourself and have the tenant sign this at the beginning to agree the report?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
There was a professional inventory and report taken out at the beginning by an agent.
Expert:  Joshua replied 4 months ago.

My apologies for the delay in reverting to you. Thank you for the above information. The last point is just regarding the end of the tenancy - was an "end of tenancy" report carried out as well or was it just at the beginning? I note you refer to damage being documented and photographed.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry yes there was. Attached for your review. We are clear here that when I refused to repay all her deposit she just sued for the deposit and the no TDS and that no one even read our side of the story?
Expert:  Joshua replied 4 months ago.

Many thanks for this. Unfortunately the TDS regulations in their present form have the capacity to impact quite hard on otherwise well meaning landlords who have simply made an oversight. There was until a couple of years ago many a defence available to a landlord to such an extent that they rendered the TDS penalties all but toothless but these have now been closed off and a court has no choice but to award statutory compensation regardless of other arguments of merit.

However this does not prevent a landlord from seeking damages for damage caused to a property. Providing you have not already made a counterclaim as part of the tenants claim against you you can seek a claim for damage to the property. Such a claim would probably have been better as a counterclaim as it could have been dealt with at the same time and you could have sought to set off any damages awarded to you against the monies awarded to the tenant but nevertheless providing you have an agreed inventory of condition at the commencement of the tenancy and a detailed exit inventory which from what you say and post you do, you have the basis of a claim with merit.

The simplest way to issue a claim is online using the courts online issuing service:

https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/claim/home

If the tenant defends the claim you will need to provide the court with a copy of the tenancy agreement and all documentary you intend to rely upon in particular the inventories and any written correspondence.

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Can I claim for loss of rent because the tenant would not allow us access to market the flat until they had left the property? And what about taking a lodger without our permission?
Expert:  Joshua replied 4 months ago.

Sorry for the short delay in reverting to you. A tenant does not have to allow access for viewings even where there is a term providing that they must in the tenancy agreement. Such a term providing for access has been confirmed as being unenforceable under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations and unfortunately from a landlords perspective, a tenant is within their rights to refuse access for viewings.

Taking in a lodger will almost certainly be prohibited under the terms of the tenancy agreement. Providing there is a term in the tenancy agreement prohibiting taking in a lodger then it amounts to a breach of contract on their part and can be grounds for eviction and / or a claim for loss. The difficulty you may have is showing how you suffered financial loss by virtue of their likely breach of contract - if you can demonstrate that you suffered financial loss as a result of their taking in a lodger, such as damage caused to the property for example then you could make a claim for such loss.

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

Expert:  Joshua replied 4 months ago.

Is there anything above I can clarify for you on the above or have I been able to answer all your questions satisfactorily?

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 months ago.

Hello - I'm just following up on our above discussion. Was I able to answer all your questions satisfactorily? If you'd let me know either by dropping me a brief message or clicking to rate my service I'd be very grateful for any feedback. Many thanks for your time.