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Ask LondonlawyerJ Your Own Question
LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 803
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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I've been living in a 4 bed shared house, with lounge,

Customer Question

I've been living in a 4 bed shared house, with lounge, bathroom, kitchen, garden and ex as communal areas. After 2 years the landlord locked and rented the lounge without our consent so we all decided to pay £50 less as a compensation. The landlord offered to some a £20 reduction but me he sent me an s21 notice due the 07.01.15. To make things clear I am moving anyway, however I do not know the date it might be after the due notice. My real concern is that the landlord is acting abusive, sending me texts with court threats, making me pay for damages (there are none but I guess he wants the deposit) and more. I know that he has not secured my deposit as I think he should have since we've signed an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, and if I needed a couple of extra weeks f.ex to get the new apartment in moving in? Is there somehow I can do that legally? The landlord has as well threaten me to take his money back from my salary, I claim that I owe him no money since the value of the house is definitely less without a lounge that was included in the agreement. Can he block my salary like that?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Customer:

Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

Customer:

Do you have your own individual agreement for renting your own room or is a joint tenancy with the other occupiers?

Customer:

Are you still within your fixed tenancy period or are you outside it and therefore on a rolling (usually monthly) tenancy.

Customer:

When was the notice served, when is it dated, what date has he required you to leave by? When, roughly do you intend to leave?

JACUSTOMER-0c2x0dcb- : Hello,
Customer:

you are absolutley he has an obligation to put your deposit in a deposit guarantee scheme.

JACUSTOMER-0c2x0dcb- : it is a joint tenancy as I can see in the agreement, and I'm outside of the fix term and its rolling month by month as you say
JACUSTOMER-0c2x0dcb- : the notice was given the 14th of October
JACUSTOMER-0c2x0dcb- : And it requires me to leave the 07.01.15 and I have already let a property but it will become available polo ably the 24.01.15, however I cannot confirm this yet.
Customer:

Ok so he has given you a valid notice. However he cannot evict you without a court order. I will not be hard for him to get a court order and he can do this quite quickly using the accelerated possession proceedings route. There is rarely any defence that can be used in these proceedings but it will take him several extra weeks to get the order. You would end up liable for his legal costs though if he obtained such an order in addition to rent up until you actually leave.

Customer:

It is not something that is entirely right legally in contract law but if you think your landlord is going to rip you off over the deposit can you protect your position by using the traditional method of witholding rent.

JACUSTOMER-0c2x0dcb- : I have read that if the deposit is not secured the court would not provide the possession order and that I could actually claim a compensation
Customer:

As far as the law is concerned you must leave on or before 07.07.15 and if you don't he will have little difficulty obtaining a court order for possession + costs against you. Accelerated possession proceedings can not deal with rent and deposit issues.

JACUSTOMER-0c2x0dcb- : Ok, so that's clear! What about visiting the house next week to evaluate it when I'm offering the last days instead which make more sense.
Customer:

I don't quite understand that last question.

JACUSTOMER-0c2x0dcb- : He wants to do a "routine" visit next week to as per his words, evaluate the damage and make me pay, or he'll take it from my salary, I can assure you there are no damages whatsoever. How can I act?
JACUSTOMER-0c2x0dcb- : What are as well the consequences of not having secured my deposit?
Customer:

You can sue him for compensation amonting to, I think, up to 3 times the amount of the deposit.

Customer:

Here is an extract from a document published by Shelter on this point.

Customer:

Penalties when a deposit is not protected or
is protected late
Changes to the law in April 2012 allow courts to order landlords who
fail to comply with the law on tenancy deposit protection to pay
compensation to tenants. The penalties apply to deposits paid for
assured shorthold tenancies that started, or were renewed, on or
after 6 April 2007.
A court can order your landlord to pay you compensation of between
one to three times the value of your deposit, if s/he:
■ only protects your deposit after 30 days
■ fails to give you details of the scheme s/he’s using within 30 days
■ fails to protect your deposit.
A court can also order your landlord to protect your deposit by using
one of the schemes listed on page 12.
Use Shelter’s online checker tool to see if your deposit has been
protected: tinyurl.com/deposit-checker

Customer:

But don't get too excited by this awards of that level are virtually unheard of. It is a useful bargaining threat though.

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