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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 823
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I am going to Court tomorrow against my landlord and agent.

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I am going to Court tomorrow against my landlord and agent. Many of the reports and invoices which back up my position, and I requested to be produced, have not been. No surprise I guess. Can I argue that in the absence of these and absence of evidence to dispute what I have said on those points, my position should be taken as the correct one?
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you. In order to do so I need you to tell me in general terms what the case is about, which court it is inand what you have done to try and get these documents?
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry I hit the wrong button! We had no information regarding who had carried out the reports because we were told we had no right to them. The deposit was withheld and a claim of an addtional £3500.00 was put to us. We said no and disputed the claim within 2 weeks of vacating. The agent failed to put it to arbitration with the deposit scheme and only mentioned this in January 2014. We requested copy invoices for purchase of the carpets before we moved in as they were worn and marked already; copy invoice for professional cleaning before we moved in (which wasnt done before we moved in and the inventory shows it was dirty) as they were claiming this; copy invoice for emptying of the septic tank before we moved in (this wasn't done and was claimed for at vacating); copies of all invoices for the 20 odd visits by plumbers to try to sort the water and taps; copy invoice for the oil tank seal repair as they now say we had "nobbled" the system on purpose and it wasnt the seal! I have also claimed £650 each(5 of us) for the stress, pain and exacerbation of existing health conditions due to the lack of heating and hot water. We were advised by the plumbers who visited to leave the system on constant and thermostats turned up full so that when the system worked we would get something in the way of heat and hot water. This resulted in a huge use of oil which my father helped us pay for. The landlord lived in the house on his own and said he had no problems with the water etc. He wasnt doing 12 washes a week, cooking for 5, in the house all day etc. He allowed our dogs in the tenancy and we also had horses. The property was in a very rural area and occasionally flooded up to the front door. They are claiming new carpets, complete repaint amongst the other things. I have claimed as above and also that the agents were negligent.

So this is a claim in the small claims court? I take it you haven't activated the deposit scheme arbitration either. The absence of supporting documents by your landlord will not stop you making any arguments you want to. Do you have other sources of evidence about the condition of things: eg photographs, other tenants as witnesses etc.
If you are bringing the case you need to remember that it is for you to prove your case but only on the balance of probabilities (not beyond reasonable doubt). Therefore you need your own evidence to prove your case which can be your own verbal evidence, evidence of others, photos, any receipts etc you have kept.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

All 5 of us have submitted statements. Also my parents who lived there with us for 3 months then came twice a week and experienced the problem along with my father (I was adopted as a baby so have two Dads!) who was a surveyor, letting agent and landlord have done statements.

Many years ago I was a conveyancer and one of my daughters is just completing a compressed two year law degree, so we have our wits about us, just not the full experience. It is small claims, yes. I tried to activate the arbitration once I had received responses to my letters, but it wasnt in time. I have included copies of the post-tenancy correspondence in my evidence to show the lack of co-operation I had to further the issue.

OK it sounds to me as if you we equipped to deal with things tomorrow. If you have complied with any directions from the court and have your witnesses ready it sounds as if you have pretty decent chance of success although obviously my knowledge of this is limited.
To go back to your original question, a failure by the landlord/agent to produce documents that would be helpful and that it would be reasonable for him to have kept is likely to help your case.