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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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Hi, I have gotten into rent arrears with my landlord. They

Customer Question

Hi, I have gotten into rent arrears with my landlord. They issued a section 21 and I paid them some money and they didn't enforce it on the grounds that I was going to make a payment plan towards getting my arrears down. Before I could do that they sold the building to another company who chased me for money for a few weeks, and I told them that I could no longer afford the flat and that I would leave by the end of the month. They said they wanted me out by 18th not 30th and if I wanted to stay to the end of the month I had to pay them £500 or they'd take me to court. I agreed to leave by 18th because I can't afford that and have been removing my belongings (5 days to go) and today came home to find a N5B form issued and posted through my door. It states I will have to pay the costs of the claim. £280 which I can't afford.
I was under the impression that my Section 21 was no longer in force because of the arrangement I had with my previous landlord. If I vacate the property on the 18th as agreed is a court likely to make me pay the fees.
I'm leaving my home because I can't afford it, I'm trying to minimise stress and cost for everyone by doing what they ask and now I don't know what to do.
I just need to know where I stand. Am I likely to have to pay this even though I'm already leaving?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name is***** can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

You're probably right about the s.21 not being valid, because of the promise to treat it as withdrawn or not enforced due to the promise to put forward proposals for payment. The fact you may not have done that doesn't detract from the fact that you reached an agreement that you reached an agreement that you would do that in return for the s.21 having no effect. It does come down to what was actually agreed though and unless you have it in writing (and perhaps even if) there is scope for argument about that.

tdlawyer :

As for costs, there are the biggest problem area for lawyers to advise clients about, especially in cases like this, because the Court has an absolute discretion as to who should pay costs (if at all).

tdlawyer :

To be fair, the best thing in this type of case is to seek to agree with the landlord that, if you walk out on 18th, that they would not seek to recover the costs against you. If that is agreeable (and most landlords just want possession more than anything else) then it's sorts it.

tdlawyer :

however, I would say, if the court thinks you are right, it's likely not to order you to pay costs.

Customer:

I will do that, thank you. I will dig out all old emails from previous landlord regarding S.21 and payment plans. Hopefully I can come to some agreement about leaving and not paying the costs. If they don't agree to that, I guess I'll send in my defence form and hope a judge will look kindly on me! I did specifically tell them not to bother taking me to court when they threatened me as I would leave by their preferred date. I know they want me out so they can turn it around and rent it by the end of June and the N5B wouldn't get me out by then if I stayed and waited to be removed. Hopefully they will see reason! Is there a way I can prove to them I have vacated the property when I leave? Or prove to the court?

tdlawyer :

Handing the keys back to agents is the best way usually.

Customer:

Ok Thank you for your help. You've calmed me down and given me a way forward. Cheers!

tdlawyer :

Thank you :)

tdlawyer :

Can I ask whether you're happy with the service please?

Customer:

Yes I am! I'm about to hit "Excellent Service"!

Customer:

Thanks again. Have a nice weekend.

tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience: Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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