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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have an 18 month tenancy agreement, 4 months has

Customer Question

I have an 18 month tenancy agreement, for which 4 months has already passed. Upon moving in I have had issues with the porter who has been harassing me and my partner and cleaner on numerous occasions to the point I would like to move out.
The agency who found me the flat are trying to charge me 10% of the remaining months rent which equates to some £3000, roughly equivalent to my deposit.
A negotiator has called me trying to ask me for half that, but I stated that I see no obligation to pay considering the only reason I am moving is because I am uncomfortable as a result of the porter.
I was told that it is the porters word against my word, and that if I decided to stay, and there were any more altercations I would be kicked out!
They are threatening me with legal action for leaving an ashtray on my windowsill, which is agains building regulations. And also for leaving a rubbish bag on the roof, which was left by my cleaner after he harassed her when I was not present.
I am not allowed animals in the building, but the porter saw me with a cat which my sister and her 5 year old daughter brought to me on the bank holiday weekend in an emergency situation as she is dealing with her divorce and could not make it back the same day. He interrogated my cleaner who does not speak English and misinformed the agency that I was keeping animals agains building regulations. This was not true as my sister took the cats the next day.
Ever since, this porter has been harassing me, including telling me not to smoke outside the building on public space, pavement.
I refused to pay any fees and my question is if I have any grounds to stand for not paying fees and receiving my deposit back.
I have not felt comfortable in the property for some time as the porter is constantly hounding outside my door looking for excuses for dialogue.
Otherwise, as they are asking for too much money for something which is clearly unfair, if I were to not pay rent, after what period of time would they be able to take legal action and physically kick me out.
Thank you in advance.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Do you have any other evidence about the porter, ie did you keep a diary please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have a written letter to the agents documenting all of the issues regarding the porter. The agents have acknowledged my letter and advised me to build bridges with the porter, which I have refused simply because I cannot handle any dialogue with him anymore.
Here is my letter.
Further to our recent discussion, whereby I brought to your attention the continued harassment I am receiving, I write to outline a few of the situations.
1. Upon moving into the flat, the building porter David, knowing that I had popped out was at my door and had complained to my pregnant fiancé 3 times that we could not leave anything in the hallway. There was not even a moments grace given despite the fact that we had literally moved in and needed to make space in the flat to get the furniture in.
2. Having been informed that one of the porters roles is to receive deliveries on behalf of tenants I am surprised to find that recently, David has missed mine on three consecutive occasions. My cleaner has been harassed while cleaning my flat. Again, the building porter David, knowing that I had popped out, was at my door whilst my cleaner was in and had complained to her for leaving a bin bag just outside of my front door. She does this weekly at the last moment just as she vacuums, so it is never there for very long.
3. The building porter has been busying himself by rummaging through my black bin bags. He justified himself in doing so as he claims they were smelly. I am not sure how to appease him in future as I do not know which smell he would like emanating from them.
4. The building porter interrogated my cleaner and she apparently told him that I have cats. I find this rather odd as she doesn’t speak English. Following this, he felt it necessary to report his misinformation to Annie Young who immediately called me stating that she needed to search my flat for cats.
I made immediate arrangements to take time off work and told her to come in the next day or so so that we could put this matter to rest. She did come, she noted the cleanliness and order in my flat, and in addition stated that she did not need to search the flat as it was apparent that there were no cats there. Ms Young further confirmed that it is not the building porters’ job to question my cleaner and that leaving rubbish outside the door while cleaning is completely acceptable.
5. I smoke outside the building on occasion, but on this particular occasion David confronted me outside and said I couldn’t smoke on the steps. Having witnessed others do this and as there are no signs, I thought it was ok, but fair enough if not. I moved to the pavement where he decided to follow me stating I couldn’t smoke there either!
6. Ms Annie Young asked me to give 3 copies of the key. One for her, one for the agent/landlord and the last copy for David the porter. I cannot see why David needs a copy of the key for my property, unless he and Annie Young intends to search my flat when I'm out.
Whilst it may seem trivial to highlight these points, they are becoming more frequent, and more antagonistic, resulting in me feeling uncomfortable and uneasy. These points demonstrate RACISM, HARASSMENT and INVASION OF PRIVACY. This Porter, Mr David is going above and beyond the call of duty.
I do not expect to be treated like this as a paying tenant, and I request that it stops immediately.
Ms Young had suggested I leave a copy of my key with the building porter – following the aforementioned points I am sure you can understand why I would rather not.
There is a buildings pest control being carried out this Thursday, for which I intend to be present. Ms Young, perhaps at an attempt to be helpful, suggested she could attend my property with a contractor, without my being present. I do not want the Property Management company or any other individuals, without prior arrangement entering my flat without me present.
I hope you can attend to these matters so they can be resolved amicably.
Kind regards
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
You need to get careful as its not the Landlord's fault regarding the porter. That is an issue between you and the management company. I can't see how that can be directly the Landlord's fault.
However on the other hand you want to be able to enjoy the property and you can not do this because of the documented harassment of the porter. It is a tricky one and there is no firm answer one way or another.
I think you have a case but equally I think the Landlord has a case.
You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund 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://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-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 2 years ago.
As i mentioned, i would like to leave; my interest is getting my deposit back and not paying fees for breaking the 18 month agreement on the grounds that I am keaving because of the harassment.
If i do not pay rent, what steps would be put in motion and in what amount of time would it take before i had bailiffs at my door. I refuse to pay these fees and 14 days of losses will not cut it for me. It is also very difficult for me to document how i loose business as a result of not networking.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
If you stop it has to be at least 2 months arrears. Then they need to serve a notice, then get it to Court which will take a further 4-6 weeks. Even when they get the order they need to get a bailiff, so that will take another 4-6 weeks
So probably around 4 months or so
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can they come into the flat or threaten me with anything i need to worry about?
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
No, they cant. If they do that is a criminal matter.
Alex
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So it appears that in my contract there is a notice which says if I do not pay my rent there after two weeks the landlord can enter my premises. Where do i stand with this?
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
He Can't enter. He must must must have a court order.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And how long does it take them to get a court order?
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
A month or so from when they issue proceedings.
Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hi

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.

Alex