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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 778
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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Hi there, We are about to leave our current property by

Customer Question

Hi there,
We are about to leave our current property by the end of out tenancy contract. We have paid a deposit of £1800 before moving in and our monthly rent is £1560.
In the last months there has been an incident where someone hit and damaged our garage door. He left his contact details to us. We have informed our letting agency of the incident on time, they said that they would have it fixed by their own contractors. Then, we waited for more than 2 months for a quotation for a fix. When the agency sent it, the estimated cost was above £3000. But since then, we are unable to reach to the person who caused the damage.
The letting agency demands this £3000 from us, because we called the guy as our friend while informing the incident to the agency, which he isn't actually. In fact, we had sublet the garage to this person for a few hours, which the agency is not aware of.
In order not to make a loss, we decided not to pay last month's rent which we thought could be covered by the deposit. Now, the agency demands the rent, and we still cannot reach the person who caused the damage.
What should be our next step? Is there a way of suing the person who caused the damage? Do we have to pay the rent? Is there a way of making this issue being dealt directly between the agency and that person ? If the agency finds out that we had sublet our garage, what would be the impact/sanction on us?
Regards,
Ugras
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
Customer:

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

JACUSTOMER-5vm4fq44- :

Thanks, ***** ***** your response

Customer:

Not a simple situation I am afraid. I think the legal position is that if a third party had damaged your door as a guest/visitor/stranger then you might well not be responsible for the cost, he would. BUT you were subletting without authority and it was your illegal subtenant who caused the damage. The damage flows directly from your misuse of the garage for profit. Your respons re: the rent was sensible to protect your position. When are you leaving and is the deposit in a guarantee scheme.

Customer:

If the landlord pursues for the outstanding money then on the basis of what you have told me he is highly likely to win the case and get an order that you pay for the repairs to the garage door.

JACUSTOMER-5vm4fq44- :

in the contract it is stated "

21.4. To keep any garage, driveway, or parking space free of oil and to pay for the removal and cleaning of any spillage
caused by a vehicle of the Tenant, his family, contractors or visitors."

JACUSTOMER-5vm4fq44- :

that's why since he is "a friend" the agency demands the money from us

JACUSTOMER-5vm4fq44- :

we will be leaving out on 11th of January and it is not in a guarantee scheme

Customer:

They have a legal obligation to put your deposit in the guarantee scheme. If he has not done so he is in breach of the law and you can theoretically sue him for up to 3 times the value of the deposit. You would in reality have no chance of getting this much but it might be time to remind him of how he has flouted your rights and that if he brings an action against you then you will counterclaim using the aforementioned argument. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

JACUSTOMER-5vm4fq44- :

Can we sue the person who damaged to cause?

Customer:

How does a dent equate to a spillage? IT doesn't unless there is provision for accidents caused by friends or visitors his potential claim is not covered by this clause.

Customer:

Why would you want to do that and open up the illegal sublet can of worms. But no I don't think you would be able to enforce an illegal contract. Negligence would be hard to prove.

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