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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I rented a room in a transformed garage (two bedrooms, a kitchen,

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I rented a room in a transformed garage (two bedrooms, a kitchen, a toilet).
The landlord rented the whole thing to a girl and gave her permission to sublet.
She sublet a room to me (I've had no agreement with the landlord) and I paid £380 in advance for the first month and £380 as deposit.
She received £760.

There is no proper contract but a handwritten paper that she's written down and signed.
The paper states:
-Her Name and surname
-My name
-Receipt of part of the deposit £150
-That she is "subletting" the room to me.
-Address of the place
-Starting date
-Monthly cost
-Rest of the deposit to transfer through bank transfer
-Dated and signed by her.
Also I’ve moved the rest of the money trough bank transfer from my account to her one.

The room was unfit for 9 days and I haven’t used it.
Then I’had to leave hastily on my 19th day.
The girl that sublet the room won’t give me any money back.

What do you suggest? Is it illegal for her holding my money?

Detailed description of the events:
Day1: There was a leak in the poorly fitted heating sistem, but I've been abroad and I moved in nine days later. The leak was still there.

Day9: The first night it got worse and soaked half of my belongings with rusty water.

Day10: I've spent the following day mooving my wet things to allow the plumber to make the repair then cleanup and wash everything and put back in the room.

Day13: After three days I've been asked to stay away because an inspection of the council between 11:00 and 14:00.
The inspector told the landlord that it was illegal to rent that place, so I've been asked to move within six days. (by Day19)

Day14: I've been informed of the issue and as I complained that it was too early for me to find a place the girl subletting to me intimated me to leave in four days and started to behave in ways to make me feel uncomfortable, always looking for arguments, locking the door to preventing me to enter, entering in my room when I was outside (though I think she haven't touched anything as I often used video recording to protect important documents when I was outside for long time).

Day15: I've found a new place and a temporary accommodation for 24 days before to move in the new place. (to enter in Day18) It costed me £560.

Day18: Because of her voluntarily obstructing me I couldn't complete my moving in the day I've planned (anyway on time with the six days timeline of the landlord) and in the night she called the police lying about our agreement and telling that I only paid for five nights and I was due to go away, the police asked her to wait another day.
I accused her of being fascist, she reacted violently and only her boyfriend could hold her and I holding the door at the same time (that was a lesson for me, never argue with nut people). Then she started to pack my belongings against my will.
I called the police, the police advised me to seek for legal advice. (c'mon at least lend me a german shepherd)

Day19: I've spent further £30 to rent a minivan.
She locked me out again and she wouldn't open, I've had to jump the fence. Moving ended by midday.
In the afternoon she texted me that before she considers repaying my money I'll have to write down an apology letter for putting distress on her "when she was trying to be friendly" and for breaking things I've never broken and for overusing electricity (false) for the sake of increasing her bills! (???her contract is all included!!!)

For the sake of the truth I've being leaving a 13W bulb on for my recording device when I was out ONLY if there was no daylight. Totally no more than 5 hours.
13W x 5h = 65Wh = 0.065kWh
Average cost in the UK= Pence 13.52 x kWh
Final bill = 0.8788p It doesn't make 2 points on a nectar card.

Now I'm acting cool but I have to admit that the night of Day18 after the fight I was shaking and barely able to talk at the phone with the police.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

So, I'm short, you left without notice?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Jo,
Thanks for your answer.

I left with 6 days notice when we verbally agree in first place for one month of minimum notice.
But it is not mentioned in the written declaration she left me.

Ok. Thanks.

And this is a lodger's agreement? You lived with your landlord?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, the landlord lived in another place, the main house as the garage are split in independent rooms with locks for different tenants.

No, but isn't your landlord another tenant? The girl you rented from?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry for the confusion.

The girl lived in the same refurbished garage in the other room, we shared kitchen and toilet.


Sorry if I'm missing the point but I'm not sure on what basis you were expecting to reclaim? You seem to accept leaving without proper notice?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I didn't accept leaving without notice, for that reason she became violent etc.

Anyway she won't give me back the deposit and the part of the rent that I haven't spent

The fact is that she received £760 for one month rent plus deposit.
I've lived there 11 days and I've been chased away.

And now she doesn't give me back the deposit and the part of the rent that couldn't use as the place was falling apart before I've entered and because I've been asked to leave without notice.


Sorry but I don't understand. Sorry if I'm missing the point.

Did you leave without notice?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I've been forced to leave by the landlord and the tenant.
They gave me no proper notice (only 6 days)

How did the leaving come about? You said above you had to leave unexpectedly?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, the council forbid the Owner to rent, so the girl that sublet to me told me to leave in 6 days, I told that it would have been too early for me to find a new place and she chased me away, I have a ref.number with the police that 'mediated' as she went mad.

So I've found a temporary place and I've left.

So, this is an unlawfully let council house?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think the house is property of the landlord, but he can't let it for some reason, and the place is actually a detached building in the garden.


The point is, she signed that I would have paid £380 for one month and £380 for the deposit.
She chased me away after 11 days.

She is not giving me my money back.

If you are saying that the lanldlady didn't you adequate nothing to leave then you are entitled to your funds back proportionately under the contract.

You are liable to pay for anything up until the date of eciction. There afterw tough, the fact that your evidection has been affected does not mean you can claim a full refund for the days you were there.

You do ned to be careful to sue the right person - the person with whom you are in contract.

In principle though, you could well win.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for explaining,


so do you advice me to sue her?
Can't I just report her for illegally holding my money?

No, the police won't be interested. Its a civil matter.

The only way to recover is to sue her at the small claims court which is very easy to do here
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