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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Rented business premises, early eviction - refund?

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I rented a business premises from a church to deliver a government funded project. Paid up until 30th June 2014. No contract signed, but have invoice with details. We have been kicked out with no notice due to what they judged to be an unsafe water leak - there was a leak but did not pose any risk.  We have undergone a traumatic experience. Our trainees are vulnerable adults. They told us the next day that we were allowed back in (after we had cleared all our furniture - and the plumber said he could not fix the burst pipe for at least a week).  We do not want to return under the circumstances. Are we allowed to leave and ask for a refund for the remaining time. We have had to remove all of our furniture etc.  The plugs from the electric heaters are also overheating - one of the deacon's husbands (retired electrician) wired wall heaters in for us a couple of months ago.  

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : How much is owing please?

I paid for rental from 30 August 2013 until 30 June 2014. We were vacated two weeks ago. After we had been vacated, I had sent a letter requesting that then confirm in letter when it was safe for us to return, if indeed they intended for us to return. We were being accused of having known about the water pipe leak in the kitchen for some time and hadn't reported it. We believed, on the day that we did see it the week earlier, that it was rain water, and we cleaned it up. That was the last time we were in the building before it was reported by somebody else. We had not signed any agreement on our responsibilities. The plumber came out with the Deacon, and the Deacon physically tried forcing me out of the premises, saying I needed to leave immediately else she would call the police, because the place is dangerous - the plumber had not told her this. She also tried to lock me in the building while she called the police - the deacon tried to snatch the phone off me. She would not let me leave with my belongings. I had to call my partner to help as a witness and remove all our belongings - two van loads in the rain. We were told to give the keys back (I did not do so).

Alex Watts : 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 recorded 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: or by completing form N1 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 matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

We still have not received a letter, and have had no confirmation from any professional plumber, electrician or foundations person to say that the place was so unsafe on the day that it was necessary to vacate immediately, or that in their professional opinion it was safe to return. We have targets to meet by the end of June for getting 20 unemployed back into a more employable position. This whole incident has affected our project, our vulnerable trainees and our business

Alex Watts : Yea I can understand. You can sue for loss and damage.
Alex Watts : Or seek a court order that they let you back in.
Alex Watts : But you need to quantify everything so it is all detailed down.
Alex Watts : Does this help?

We do not want to return now, because of the nature of our clients and the issues we have had. The Deacon lives just across the road from the Hall. If they say now that it's OK for us to return, do we have to return or can we ask for the remainder of the rent to be refunded, under the circumstances?

Alex Watts : Yes you would be entitled to a refund and damages,
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

This is fine, thanks Alex, you've been very helpful. I'll follow up with your advice. If, in the meantime, I receive a letter from them, I understand that under the circumstances I do not need to accept their invitation to return and can go forward with legal pursuit

Alex Watts : Yes indeed. All the best with this.
Alex Watts : Please do take a moment to leave feedback before you go today.

Thanks Alex. Have a great day.

Alex Watts : If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help:
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