How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JimLawyer Your Own Question
JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6586
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
97337639
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

I have a 12 month fixed term accured shorthold tenancy in

This answer was rated:

Hello I have a 12 month fixed term accured shorthold tenancy in London started 1st Sept 2019. This has a 6 month break clause. Since the beginning of my tenancy I have been having issues with the property. The walls are too thin, as such when I am running on my threadmill I cause so much noise for them and also they make so much noise as they have children. My landlord was aware that the reason why I was renting a two bed flat as a single person was that I needed the extra room for my treadmill. The landlord did not tell me about the thin walls. After moving in I realised after talking to the neighbours how much nouse I was making. Since 15 th October I proposed to the landlord I move out to find more suitable accommodation that would allow me to use my treadmill he has refused and threatened illegal action to me for the rent owed and his lawyer fees. I also found out the previous tenant also moved out because of the noise levels. To make things worse, I have lost my job now and I ant afford to live in the accommodation any longer. Does he have a leg to stand on in court? If I were to be taken to court for the remaining 2 months what are the legal repercussions would I go to jail, what is the process.thanks
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.

Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

First of all there is no question of prison - this is a civil matter and the worst case scenario is the landlord takes you to a civil court and gets a CCJ against you (county court judgment) which stays on your credit record for up to 6 years.

I do not see a defence to not paying the rent - mainly because landlords must ensure the property is in good repair under S.11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. The thin walls is unlikely to trigger this law unless the noise was affecting neighbours to such an extent that the council serves a noise abatement order and a notice for the landlord to do works to the property (to ensure the noise is reduced).

If you do not pay the rent then the landlord has to serve a "section 8 notice" on you (section 8 under the above Act) requiring you to vacate the property due to breach of the tenancy. If you do not leave on the date specified then he will have to go to court to get an order for possession - which means court bailiffs evict you. He can also ask the court for an order for the rent arrears and the court fee. As such you could wait until he served you with the notice - the notice must give you at least 2 weeks to vacate the property so you could wait like I said before. Or you could sooner - the landlord would pursue you assuming they know your forwarding address.

I hope this helps – if you can please rate the answer by clicking the 5 stars (the top of your screen & then click “submit”), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

JimLawyer and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Hi Jim,

Many thanks for your prompt response. I have been living here since September and I will be moving out 15 December 2019. I have paid rent until 31st December as I thought I should pay rent as long as I live here. However I will not be paying rent for January and February as I wont be living in the accommodation. In this regards the landlord cant serve me section 8 notice as I have volunteered to leave the accommodation, is this correct? My plan is to give him a forwarding address when I move out and to ensure all bills are paid up to the day I move out, should I give him a forwarding address? Also under civil court can sue me for the last 2 months remaining of the break clause or the 8 months remaining of the fixed term contract? Thanks I will rate you.

Yes correct although they will need to know your forwarding address to be able to issue a county court claim for the 2 months' rent once you leave. He would sue for the last 2 months of the break clause (as this lets you leave the property early). You could ensure the bills are up to date and just pay them before you move out. Like I say he needs your forwarding address to sue in the small claims court - he wouldn't use a lawyer for this - it is easy to sue someone without a lawyer nowadays but like I say he needs to know your address to do this.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Many thanks. Should I obtain a lawyer myself for this or I can easily represent myself? Or wait until a country court claim is issued? thanks again

It's easy to defend a small claim. Also a lawyer wouldn't act on a no win no fee basis as they cant recover their costs - the court will send you a response pack to fill in which is easy. You can also come back to this site for ongoing help if needed.

Have a good evening.

Jim

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
thank you so much. good evening