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 SolicitorRM Your Own Question
SolicitorRM
SolicitorRM, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 4302
Experience:  Director and Principal Solicitor. UK
103094402
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
SolicitorRM is online now

Where can I check if my landlord is legally renting the

This answer was rated:

Where can I check if my landlord is legally renting the property I am in at the moment??
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: Is there a website ?
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Croydon CR0 1JN London
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: also, the landlord presented me with section 21, I didn’t pay rent for the first 2 months after the virus pandemic In March but then I started paying only half of the rent Cos I lost my job. I notified the estate agents that I will be starting to pay the full amount in September again. They just sent me section 21 letters and didn’t even try to engage with me.

Good evening. Thank you for contacting Justanswer. I am a solicitor in England and Wales and happy to assist you. If you are in a house of multiple occupants and it is not just you in the property then you could check with the local authority. However if they are a private landlord and you have an Assured Shorthold tenancy with exclusive use of your property, there is no database or register of landlords where you can check. Notice can validly be served during the pandemic and if they are relying on section 21 it would not be based solely on the failure to pay rent. If it was solely due to rent arrears they would have given you section 8 notice. Now if the notice was given after 29 August they should have given you 6 months notice not the usual 2 months. So if you have been given less than 6 months it would be an unlawful section 21 notice and they will not be able to enforce it. If I can clarify further please do not hesitate to send me your follow up message, I am happy to guide you. All the best.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Hi there, thank you so much for your response. So the tenancy agreement was for 2 tenants, me and my cousin. We did go through an agency so does that matter ?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Also they sent me the section 21 lettter on the 3’d of August
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I did email them at the end of July saying that I am slowly getting back to work and that I have paid half the rent for August. I also mentioned in the email that I will be paying the full amount of rent starting from September
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
They never offered me a plan to pay back the arrears and I never had direct contact with the landlord. Whenever I paid them half of the rent I always asked them to let me know what the landlord suggests or if he has a solution for the arrears
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
They never replied back

Hi, you are welcome. Two tenants would be a joint tenancy agreement and not an HMO so the council would not be able to confirm for you. If the notice was on 3rd August then they would have been entitled to give you 3 months notice to lapse when your fixed term tenancy agreement is due to terminate, not mid your tenancy agreement unless your agreement has a break clause. For rent arrears of equivalent to 2 months rent they would need to serve section 8 notice so from what you have said this is a landlord that does not want to extend your tenancy and not relying on the rent arrears only. Regrettably you are not able to force a private landlord to extend the tenancy agreement. I appreciate they did not reply you but I suspect its because they have not relied on the rent arrears so even if you were to be up to date they would still serve the notice. This notice is required even where all your rent is up to date, a landlord needs to serve it to end an AST. I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
what happened was: I paid March in full, then I wasn’t working so I didn’t pay April & May. I wasn’t eligible for the self employment scheme as I had only been self employed for 6 months not 2 years. I paid only half of the rent for June, July, August. Then I started working more so I emailed them to say I will be paying back the rent in full starting from September but there was no response at all. I came home 3-4 days after I sent that email to find out I have been sent a section 21. I have agreed to vacate the property and not go the court route. Based on the current climate and what is going on at the moment do you reckon if I went to court I would have a chance ? Thank you so much once again. Really appreciate it

What is your tenancy agreement period - March 2020 to March 2021?

And when have you been asked to leave by

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Tenancy was signed end of November 2019. It was until December 2020 I believe
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I have been asked to leave by November 6 2020
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
That is my last day
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I just checked now, it was a ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Signed on the 31’st of November 2019
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
It ends 29’th of November 2020
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Hi are you still here ? ��

Hi, you do not have to leave before 29 November as this is the end of your fixed term tenancy. If your AST does not have a break clause at 6 months and they have not given you the notice exercising the break clause their notice should have given you at least 3 months but date of leaving could not be before the end date of the tenancy agreement. They have no obligation to extend beyond 29 November though. You should have said their notice is invalid as it is asking you to leave before end of the tenancy and you will not consider any notice unless it is valid in which case they will have to issue a new notice and now past 29 August they have to give you 6 months notice. Hopefully you have no break clause in your agreement. All the best.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Hi there, do you have a email address where I can send you the tenancy agreement ? I will make sure your time is valued and paid for if you decide to have a look at the tenancy agreement. Please let me know. Thank you once again

The only facility to send a formal or legal document to me to review is via the premium service for document review and I could see if they can change the call offer to the document review offer for you. When accepted a link is created where you can send your confidential document and I will be able to pick it up, review and advise you through that link. Let me know if you want me to request that for you. I will be available a bot longer but if I do not respond after 01:30 do not worry as I will be back on from around 09:00hrs.

SolicitorRM and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Hi there, I will accept the premium service offer now. Just to let you know the tenancy agreement was sent via a link to my email but I can forward you the email and you should be able to access. If not I can copy and paste it into a word document and send it to you anyway.
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Hi, payment is complete
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I will send you the file now
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Sorry I asked another question and uploaded my document there instead of here.
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Are you still online ?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.

I am just logging off in a few minutes. Let me look for the other question but in the mean time try to send it through the contact into link here because then it remains confidential and not visible on the Q & A

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Hi, I wasn't able to send it earlier on here but now I can.
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Please have a look and let me know as soon as you can, really appreciate your help.

Hi your tenancy agreement does contain a break clause and this gives you and the landlord the right to give 2 months notice to terminate the agreement earlier than 29 November 2020. It says 2 months and this is to coincide with the 2 months notice required normally for the section 21 notice. Your landlord is therefore relying this schedule 5 to give you notice that ends earlier than 29 November and you have accepted it.

The clause is here:

1.1 Break Clause Notwithstanding the fixed term stated in Clause 1 of the Main Terms of the Tenancy, the Parties hereby agree that this Agreement may be terminated by either party giving to the other at least two months notice in writing, such notice not to expire until after six months of the start date of the Term. At the end of such notice the Tenancy shall end and all obligations and responsibilities shall cease; subject nevertheless to any claim by either Party against the other in respect of any breach of any of the terms and conditions of the Agreement Should the Tenancy be terminated on a date which is not the last day of a rental period then the Tenant’s obligation to pay rent shall cease on the termination date and the rent payment will be apportioned accordingly"

Were you given your deposit protection scheme certificate? I am not sure the way they have provided for the security here reads as should and therefore just want to make sure it was indeed protected with the right scheme because if it wasn't you may be able to claim compensation for up to 3 times value of deposit which would be grea

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I do have to move out on the 6'th of November then? I don't have a choice basically.
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I wasn't given a deposit scheme certificate, all they send me was that file there with the Tenancy Agreement.
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Around June-July I did ask them if I could use the deposit to lower the total of the arrears I owned and they said I couldn't.
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Sorry I replied on the wrong answer. My bad

Please reply on this thread only to ensure I do not miss your messages as I have asked for one to be closed and the other for the agreement to be removed.

You would have to move but if you did not they have to take you to Court and it is not a short process with the current pandemic they will be looking at February or March. If you have somewhere to go though I would say try to leave on the date you agreed and by the latest 29 November 2020.

Write to them to say may they send to you your deposit protection scheme certificate. If they have not protected it you are entitled to compensation. If they have protected it after 30 December 2019 they also are liable to compensate you.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Hi, yes I don’t really want to go to court. Do you know if my credit will be affected if I do not go to court ? Also what will happened regarding the arrears after I move out ? Will they send me bailiffs to try and recover the money I own them ?
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
I will send them a email and ask for the deposit protection scheme. If they haven’t protected it how much would I be able to claim back ? Baring in mind my deposit was £1300

Hi, your credit will be affected when you have a ccj but you do not have to let it get to that. If you leave before they have the possession order from court then you will be ok. They may however still pursue you for rent arrears and for this if not settled the court order will be registered on your credit file and bailiffs will be instructed to enforce.

If they did not protect your deposit then compensation would be £3,900 and they cannot defend this as it is a statutory penalty for breach of the provisions of the Housing Act.

Have a good night. If you have any further follow up questions I will be able to pick them up in the morning, All the best.

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
I don’t want to get a CCJ because I have a good credit score. Would the bailiffs only enforce if I refuse to pay the remaining arrears ? They sent me an email 2 days ago saying:
The landlord has asked if I have any intentions to pay any funds towards the rental arrears on account.I replied by saying I don’t have any money at the moment and I have to take a loan to be able to pay for a deposit for my new property. I haven’t heard back from them yet.
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Also would I be able to stay in the property until the 29’th of November as I moved in the property at the end of November last year not the beginning of November ?
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Also am I eligible to ask for my deposit back after I move out ? Is the £3900 including my deposit money or excluding the £1300 deposit ?

Good morning,a County Court Judgment (CCJ) is only secured when the landlord has taken you to court and won. The bailissf then get appointed to enforce the CCJ. IF you manage to settle the CCJ debt before 28 days after it is awarded it is not registered on your credit file and therefore your credit score does not get affected. You owe the rent arrears, so it is advisable that you advise the landlord of how you look to settle the arrears, this way they may not even take it to court they will accept the plan to save themselves from incurring costs in taking you to court, appointing bailiffs and chasing you for payment when they can see you do not have the money. So I would say give them a workable plan.

On your second question, I believe I have already answered you on this. The landlord was entitled to give you 2 months notice under the break clause. They gave you 3 in line with the covid regulations. With the break clause the time does not have to coincide with your rental month. The law provides that if the end of the notice is before the rental month then you are not to pay rent for the rest of the last month. So in your case the Landlord cannot claim rent for 7 Nov to 29 November. If you did not have a break clause then their notice would have been for you to leave on 29 Nov. You have a break clause so yes the end date should be 06 Nov.

On your third question, you cannot get your deposit back if you have rent arrears. They will apply your deposit to what you owe. The £3,900 is statutory penalty and it is defined as up to 3 times the value of your deposit. If you were all paid up and with no rent arrears then potentially you would get your deposit back plus maximum £3,900. This is only available as compensation if they did not protect your deposit at all or did not protect it within the first 30 days. You therefore need to ask for evidence of protection first and then you can decide if you are entitled to this compensation.

I hope this now resolves your queries. All the best.

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Good morning, first of all thank you for your help, really appreciate it. Sorry if some of my questions seem a bit silly but I have never gone through the process before and it was my first rented property with a estate agent. So if I move out before the 6’th of November which I am going to do, there won’t be a CCJ regarding the eviction. What you are saying is that they can take me to court regarding the rent arrears (CCJ debt) right ? Will they need to send me a separate letter regarding CCJ debt ? Or is it connected to eviction notice ? I don’t know how these things work hence all my questions.
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
I sent the estate agents an email earlier and asked them to send me my Deposit Protection Scheme certificate. I will send it to you once I receive it.

Hi, don't apologise, I totally understand, it's only that if we have covered some of the points you can refer to our previous messages for reassurance. I am happy to clarify where you remain unclear that is the service I am there to offer you.

If you leave by 6 Nov they will not need to file for possession order and therefore there will be no eviction proceedings and no judgment against you.

For the rent arrears they will have to send to you a letter before action for the rent arrears in line with the Civil Procedure Rules and requesting that you pay the arrears within 28 days failing which they will file the claim with the county court. So a ccj would only happen if the rent arrears are not paid and they take you to court and win and you do not settle the judgment debt (the sum stated on the CCJ) within 30 days.

On the deposit protection certificate that is fine, I will be notified when you have attached it and I will have a look and return to you with my view. Ask them too to send you evidence of giving you the government How to Rent Guide and the gas and electricity certificates at the time when you moved in. These are the 2 additional things that they ought to have done when you moved in and if they did not you can mention this when you apply for compensation if they did not protect your deposit in terms of the law.

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Hi, you have answered all my questions and I’m very grateful for the amazing service. Once they respond to my email about the Deposit Scheme certificate I will also ask them about the gas & electricity certificates and the How to rent guide. Regarding the arrears: they sent me a email this month and the total as it stands is: £6326. I don’t think it will increase as I am moving out next month. Not sure if the deposit is included in that total or if it will be deducted after I move out. Once I move out I will email them and offer them a payment plan of £300-£400 a month as it is all I can afford at the moment. If I do that then they won’t have to go to court again and my credit score will be the same and not get affected.

Hi, you are very welcome and thank you for the feedback. Yes your plan is good and as long as you agree with them how you will pay and you do not default they will not need to take you to court and your credit file will not be affected. All the best

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
You are most welcome, you’re an amazing lady. I think they will agree to anything I offer them as it is better than getting nothing and having to go to court, pay bailiffs, etc etc. I will message you again once they get back to me with the certificate.

No problem, thank you.

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Hi there, I was just wondering if you would be able to advise me regarding a project I am working on at the moment. Me and my brother are converting a Luton van into a mobile barbershop. The concept is that the barber goes to the client's house, parks outside and gives him a haircut inside the van. I would like to know all the legal procedures and if we need any special licenses, etc before we go live. Is this something you can assist with ? Thank you.

Hi, I am happy to guide you however Justanswer requires that unrelated legal questions are logged separately for ease of reference. If you log a new enquiry FAO Solicitor RM ONLY and copy what you have asked above it will be sent to me and I will respond.

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Which section of the law should I choose before asking the question? Also, how do I choose RM ONLY ?

Hi I am not sure how the sections are listed on the customer side of the platform. If there is a section for legal then select that. You just log the new enquiry exactly as I suggested above: FAO Solicitor RM ONLY. And then on the details of claim just copy and paste this: Me and my brother are converting a Luton van into a mobile barbershop. The concept is that the barber goes to the client's house, parks outside and gives him a haircut inside the van. I would like to know all the legal procedures and if we need any special licenses, etc before we go live. Is this something you can assist with ? Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Hi there I have posted it under the property section of the law questions, please have a look. Thank you

Hi, thanks for letting me know. It is not on my list yet but I will keep looking out for it.

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
I saw your response on the there. Thank you

You are welcome.

Customer: replied 21 hours ago.
File attached (35ZSL55)
Customer: replied 21 hours ago.
Hi there, they just sent me the certificate for the deposit scheme. Can you please have a quick look and let me know. Thank you.
Customer: replied 15 hours ago.
Hi there, what will happen if I decided to stay in the property and not leave before the 6’th of November but leave before the court date ? Will I still receive a CCJ if I vacate the property before the court date ? When I move out will I owe them money for the period until the court date or just the arrears I already own them ? Thank you.

Hi, thank you for getting back to me. They did protect it within the relevant period, so they would be able to defend a claim for compensation.

If you stay on they will have to evict you by following the possession proceedings route through the court. The section 21 notice would need to have been for 3 months, which they did as they gave the 3 months under the break clause.

If you move before the hearing date they would have no reason to carry on to the hearing and most landlords will withdraw the claim but some landlords will let the matter run its course especially if you leave after they have paid the hearing fee so that they have a judgment against you and this would make your ability to secure credit or new tenancy more difficult.

Customer: replied 9 hours ago.
Hi there, so if the landlord lets the matter run will I still get a CCJ even though I have left the property before the court date? I have been trying to find a new place but haven't found anything good so far so I am a bit concerned that I might not have a new place before the 6'th of November. I was thinking of emailing the estate agents and proposing to them a rent arrears payment plan of £300-£400 per month or even a one-off payment. also saying to them that I can't vacate the property because I haven't found a new place to move in to yet but as soon as I do I will let them know. In your personal experience, what do you think I should do?1- Move out and wait for them to send me a CCJ for the arrears and then pay immediately or agree for a payment plan within 30 days so my credit doesn't get affected.
2- Email them and ask them for a rent arrears payment plan and also say that I will be moving out when I find a new place.Thank you.