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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello, I live in Kent. I had several problems with my landlord

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I live in Kent. I had several problems with my landlord and I have decided to move. I am not able to contact him.I don't have any inventory.Her sister is saying she will collect the keys and inspect the house at the end of the contract.I don't want more problems? Is my right to drop the keys somewhere?thanks for the support.
Is the contract an AST?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, it is.

When should the AST end?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It is 1 year contract. The contract started on 1st May, 2012. We received an eviction notice from the bank saying the landlord was not paying the mortgage. We were trying to contact him but he did not respond. The deposit wasn't protected and the only person we could contact was his partner. The tenancy agreement is only with him.
She respond saying this is nothing to do with me.
After that, We sent a letter to him saying we received an eviction notice and we will hold the deposit until we get some respond.
The bank gave us 2 months to search a new property and we are moving next week.
The problem is that his partner is saying she is going to come to collect the keys and inspect the house? Can she do that?


The fact that you are leaving cannot really be challenged then.

However, a landlord or his agents is entitled to inspect the property. He does have to give reasonable notice by some received means but this would seem to comply.

You do not have to be there when she does inspect but obviously its in your interests to do so.

I suppose you could refuse to hand the keys to her as long as you give them to somebody else that would return them to the landlord but it doesn't really deal with the issue. They will inspect at some point.

if they are going to make allegations then refusing them the keys will not stop that. Given their own conduct though they would be hard to maintain.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please remember to rate my service either OK SERVICE or above and then I will give you related information for free.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The thing is she is not the landlord and they refused to make an inventory when we started living here
No, but she will argue she is acting at his direction.

There should have been an inventory as indeed any deposit taken should have been protected.

There is a separate remedy for that. But it doesnt mean there cannot be an inspection.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. So we will meet her and get the flat inspected. In the past weeks the partner also threatened us with legal action in order to recover rent for the 2 months the bank awarded us as tenants. We replied that we will not acknowledge any correspondence unless its from the landlord. She threatened to withdraw the reference that she provided for our new tenancy.
So we would like to know if she can take legal action and can she withdraw reference. If she withdraws the reference will I affect our new tenancy agreement that we have already signed?
She is the landlord anyway so she shouldn't be writing references.

You cannot force your landlord to write a reference but if they say anything untrue then thats defamation.

If you have a tenancy anyway though then unless it depends on the reference it won't make any difference.

If the property has been repossessed then the reference of this landlord isn't going to be worth much anyway.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok what about the legal action she threatened us with? Can she do that? Take us to court to recover rent for the 2 months deferral to the eviction notice? If she does how do we tackle that?
I'm not sure what happened over that?

Did you effectively live there and not pay?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No. We held the rent for 1.5 months from Feb 1st and notified them via letter/email that we will vacate on 15 march. This way we give them the proper notice period and get our unprotected deposit back as well. The bank's solicitors sent us an eviction date for any day after 24 Feb. We then informed the solicitors that we are in notice period until 15 march. Hence under the tenancy act the solicitors gave us 2 months even though we asked only for a little over 2 weeks from the date mentioned in the eviction letter.
Due to this 2 months deferral under tenancy act, the partner said she will take legal action to get money from us for the period the bank allocated. Despite the fact that we will vacate on 15 march as we promised before this eviction date had been issued.
In that case, she does not have a claim against you.

She doesn't have a claim anyway as she is not the landlord.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks a lot for your support.It was very helpful.We are hoping we won't have any more problems. Regards
No problem.

All the best.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hello again. This question is related to the inspection date of the property will take next week.
This lady will come without she being the landlord, get the keys an inspect the house. Does not she need any documentation to show she is coming on behalf of him?
How can we justified she got the keys of the house and we left the property in a good condition?

No, she does not need documentation.

I'm not sure what you mean about the justification?

Its really as I've said on this point. The landlord and his agents are entitled to inspect.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Oh yes, I understood the landlord an his agents are entitled to inspect. Sorry if I have not explained myself properly.
The thing is this lady, who is his partner and the AST is not with her, she is coming to inspect the house and get the keys and I was not sure if she was entitled to do that.


If she is acting as the landlord's agent then she is. An agent can mean anybody instructed by the landlord to inspect.

it would be better if he had a formal agent or did it himself it must be said but there isn't really a reason that he cannot use the services of an intermediary.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. What sort of proof would you suggest we obtain? That is to prove we dutifully submitted the keys and left the property in good condition.
Proof of what?

If you mean that you submitted the keys then you cannot really do more than give oral evidence on that point. That isn't likely to be denied.

In terms of leaving it in a good state, you can always take photographs.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok thanks for your advice. Cheers
No problem.

All the best.