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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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, i am a council (southway housing trust) tenant, and i have

Customer Question

Hi, i am a council (southway housing trust) tenant, and i have lived in my current property for the past 12 years we live in a two bedroom down stairs flat with my two Children girl aged 12 and son aged 5, my partner does not currently live with us as there is not enough room. i have been on the re-housing list for many years, but 6 weeks ago i was offered a 3 bedroom house which i have now been able to add my partner to the tenancy. The property was bought back by the council from a private owner, the property is in great need of repairs which the housing have said they would bring up to standard, the rent i was told would be around the £120 mark, this was then confirmed in a letter as being £111.95 per week, we were supposed to collect the keys yesterday so that we could start to strip the walls and ceilings, and then we would sign for the property on Monday morning and move in on 20th April, When we arrived at the housing, we were told they had made a mistake on the price of the rent and it would now be £134.02 per week, we were obviously devastated at this news and said we need time to re-think this. we have borrowed money from family to re-decorate, buy new furniture, dining table & chairs,cooker,fridge,beds carpets and laminate flooring all these are being stored at family houses, .
We are now in limbo as this is a big increase in rent as most council properties rental at around £90-£100 per week, but because ours was purchased privately by council we have been told that's why ours is more expensive??
Our question is - Is this legal, can they change the rental value ? and is there anything we can do regarding this, also what about compensation, this is causing us great stress, as although the council are supposedly bring it up to scratch there is still a lot wrong with it that we would have to fix ourselves.
please can you help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : Did you sign any form of new agreement for the property please?
JACUSTOMER-rqqnvvxk- :

no I have not signed the tenancy yet all this came up yesterday when I should have signed to get the keys. I have paid £111.95 deposit which would have been one weeks rent.

JACUSTOMER-rqqnvvxk- :

Hi we we have just had an email from Southway Housing Trust giving us until 12 noon Monday to either except or decline the offer of the property, we have therefore been to see our local MP as a matter of urgency he will now be taking over this case.

Alex Watts : So you have the keys but no signed agreement?
Alex Watts : but you formally accepted the offer.
Alex Watts : Did the offer say it was subject to contract?
JACUSTOMER-rqqnvvxk- :

Hi Alex, as stated above we have had to act quickly on this because we were given a deadline of 12 noon Monday to accept the rental of £134.02, we have therefore been to see our Local PM who is now acting on our behalf, therefore we don't think there is anything further you can do to help?

JACUSTOMER-rqqnvvxk- :

please close this chat/advise. I assume we will not be charged for this? as no conclusion was given by you.

Alex Watts : I am here online to help.
Alex Watts : Did the offer say subject to contract?
Alex Watts : How did you accept the offer, was it in writing?
JACUSTOMER-rqqnvvxk- :

Hi again, We have not had a contract as yet we were suppose to sign the agreement on Monday 13th April, but they were allowing us to collect the keys last Thursday 9th April.

Alex Watts : ok. Your MP is probably unlikely to do anything so quickly. But it is worth a try. Legally what you need to do is seek an injunction against the council to prevent them taking any step to enforce the new rent.
Alex Watts : If they made an offer and you accepted it, then unless they said it was subject to contract that is an offer and acceptance of that contract.
Alex Watts : However if they represented the rent was £111 and its. £134 and you accepted on that basis they can't change it.
Alex Watts : I would also suggest you speak to the chief officers office at the council and your local counsellor
Alex Watts : they are elected on your behalf.
Alex Watts : but you may need to get an injunction to stop the clock.
Alex Watts : For this you may need to go to court and get an injunction. Citizens advice will help you with this.
Alex Watts : but in short if you want to do it you need to complete forms n 1
Alex Watts :
Alex Watts : And n16a
Alex Watts :
JACUSTOMER-rqqnvvxk- :

we had in writing only the amount £111.95 as what the rent would be, we also paid one weeks rent which we have a receipt for.

Alex Watts : You can get this Monday morning and this will stop the council taking any further action
Alex Watts : indeed.
Alex Watts : See the steps above and that will halt things before anything else happens
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-rqqnvvxk- :

Our PM has already acted, he sent an urgent email to the head of the council yesterday afternoon because of our urgency.

Alex Watts : Ok. But that won't necessarily stop the council doing anything. But an injunction will. I would give it until 1030am Monday and if no action from the council to get an injunction
Alex Watts : However if you refuse to sign the council will need a court order to get you out. They can't just change the locks.
Alex Watts : so that may buy you some time.
Alex Watts : But clearly this is not ideal.
Alex Watts : So I would consider an injunction to put the brakes on.
Alex Watts : but I would try and see the CAB. They can assist in drafting an injunction
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-rqqnvvxk- :

no thank you.

Alex Watts : Great. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen
Alex Watts : if you need more help,please click reply.
Alex Watts : good luck with this and let me know how you get on
Alex Watts : Have a good weekend.
JACUSTOMER-rqqnvvxk- :

I rated this as poor, as the service was not quick enough and we had to take action with our MP, also i don;t think it wise to take out an in-junction against your local housing authority and potentially cause a greater fuss and possible eviction.

JACUSTOMER-rqqnvvxk- :

The advise was given too late.

Alex Watts :

You can't be evicted without grounds

Alex Watts :

They can only do that is you have breached your tenancy.

Alex Watts :

You have not.

Alex Watts :

They made an error not you.

Alex Watts :

It is not their fault.

Alex Watts :

But to stop and halt action you need to seek an injunction

Alex Watts :

Go and see the Citizens Advice, they will tell you exactly the same thing

Alex Watts :

An injunction pending review

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.

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