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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10726
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Me and my husband used to rent a flat that was with constant

Customer Question

Hi,
Me and my husband used to rent a flat that was with constant problems like leaking ceiling, heat not working etc. We had really difficult time with the agent who was maintaining the building on behalf of the landlord. They were coming to acknowledge the problems and after that it was taking them ages to sort out if at all sorted. Finally we manage to come to an agreement to be moved to another flat in the same building and had a reduction of the rent. We have an email stating that we don't owe anything for the first flat after we pay a certain amount and we will be moved to another flat. We have agreed that the deposit for the old flat will be released to the landlord and he will deducted from the rent for the new flat. 5 months after we have started living in the new flat we received a bill for the old flat that we owe them rent for the last month and a half.During the last month and a half until we were waiting fro a flat to be emptied in the same building, they didn't fix any of the problems and continued to neglect us and left us living in very poor conditions. And even though we had the agreement that we won't owe anything for the old flat, they did change their mind. Now when the money from the deposit are released they said that the management changed their mind again and this money will be for the old flat. We have everything in written correspondence(emails). What can we do now to have the deposit for the old flat get for the new flat and the amount outstanding for the old flat to be cleared as was agreed with them.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 3 months ago.

Hello for clarification - when did you leave old flat and move into new flat?

you have all the correspondence on email?

where are you at moment?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
We left the old flat in September 2017 and we have all the correspondence on email.
At the moment we live and pay the rent for the new flat. So far this flat is in a normal living conditions and we had no issues with it.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 3 months ago.

What exactly is it that the landlord is claiming from the old flat? Rental in respect of the final part of the tenancy because you moved out 1.5 months early? Even though you moved into one of the landlords other properties?

Is the landlord a private individual or an association?

Bearing in mind that you have it in writing that they will write off the old flat payments, what excuse do they now have four chasing for it?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
We left earlier because the agency couldn't fix the problem. The flat that we used to live in is still not rented to other people As far as we know from the builders it needs a major repair. The landlord is a big company who has their agency(LSH) maintaining the properties. It is a new development. They don't give any excuse or explanation why they are claiming the money now. They just want the money. And they took this money misleading us that they are for rent for the new flat. We gave our permision to DPS to pay the money into the landlord account knowing that this money is for the rent for the new flat. Once they got the money we received an email saying that actually this money will be for the old flat and we still owe them the amount for the new rent.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 3 months ago.

Thank you. So are they just claiming this money or have they now got it and you would like it back?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
They got the money and now they are asking to pay them again. So this money that we released from DPS to go to the landlord account were supposed to be for rent for the new flat as everything with the old flat was paid according to our agreement and we were moved to a new flat. The money went to the landlord account and we received an email that now this money cover the outstanding balance for the old flat and we owe them the same amount for the new flat. We don't want this money back. We want them to keep the agreement we have for the old flat and keep on living in the new flat and paying rent for it. We have a very long history of problems with the old flat. And the worse part is that this flat was not suitable with the normal living conditions. We compromised when we made the agreement because with their neglectance they were in breach of the contract for the whole time while we were living in the old flat. We had a leaking ceiling for more than 10 months and they were only acknowledging the problem but not fixing it etc. It is a long story. Anyway, we had enough of the bad experience with the poor living conditions and we thought that everything is sorted out. But now it came back. SInce we moved in the first flat we are constantly living with their poor service and we had wasting so much time in trying to sort out their mistakes. We are still being overstressed with their mistakes and this is having a bad influence over our every day life.
At the moment we are not in a situation to look for another property as my husband is having serious illness. So we need to sort out everything with them ASAP as this is getting really unbearable.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 3 months ago.

It’s a great shame that you didn’t see solicitors about bringing a Landlord & Tenant Act section 11 claim in respect of the old property because that could have been worth a substantial amount of money but it’s too late to bring a claim now after you’ve moved out. You could have also gone to the Environmental Health Department at the local authority if the property was not fit for human habitation and they have the power to compel the landlord to do the work.

The situation here is relatively straightforward only in so much as you cannot beat the landlord with a stick until they agree that the money you paid was often new flat and not the old flat and in those circumstances, your remedy is to take them to court to recover any money which you have paid which they are not entitled to keep or which you have overpaid or paid under duress/mistake.

Fortunately, you have the email whereby they agreed to all this and which you accepted and now they have gone back on their word.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
how can we get them to court?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 3 months ago.

www.moneyclaim.gov.uk is small claims court to get back what you are owed or wait for them to sue you for what they are claiming and then defend their action