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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 29201
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We are looking to move flat and our current agency is:

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Hello, we are looking to move flat and our current agency is: -ignoring our calls - did not protect our depost - refuse to give references During our tenance, there were not responsive and we lived months without a working boiler. What legal actions can we take?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: E3 4NX London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: We called multiple times. We sent multiples mails. No answer from them. When we call the main landline for their company, the person answering can't help and don't know or have access to anything
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I think that is a good start.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Please continue the search.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine what a difficult position it must be. I will certainly try to clarify your options.

  1. May I confirm from what you say, that you have confirmed that your deposit either remains unprotected or at least was not protected within 30 days of you paying it please?
  2. You mention that you had a boiler that was not working for a period, do you have emails or other evidence showing that this matter was reported? If so, roughly how long we without hot water and heating?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
We contacted My Deposit's Scheme and they told us that the deposit is not protected. I sent an email to the agency yesterday to ask them about it as well as gathering the landlord's details. I am gonna call them at 10am to follow up on it.Yes we have emails as well as phone messages aboit the boiler issues.

thank you. May I confirm that you have also checked with the other two deposit protection services please? you can find all three services at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/deposit-protection-schemes-and-landlords

Approximately how long were you without a working boiler please?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
From my mails. From 27/02/2020 and was still not actioned on 15 April 2020.
From my messages, this year from 22 Feb 2021 to and was actioned mid April.
Our deposit certificates tells us that it is held by MyDeposit.
We checkde the other ones and they don't have records

thank you. Based upon what you describe, you will be able to claim the deposit back and also in about between one and three times the amount of the deposit as compensation. A court has discretion as regards ***** ***** to award but must award an amount in compensation between one and three times the amount of the deposit.

In regards ***** ***** the landlord has a statutory obligation under section 11 landlord and tenant act maintained among other things the boiler and heating system. From what you describe, the landlord took circa two months or more to repair the system and that would amount to a breach of contract during which time you can claim damages for loss of amenity by way of a rent reduction.

You can consider issuing proceedings against the landlord in the County Court. initially, need to make a claim in writing against the landlord which you can do either directly or via the agents setting out the amount you claim warning that you will be issuing proceedings in the County Court if you are unable to reach agreement. If you are not able to reach settlement, you can issue proceedings in the County Court and the simplest way to do so is by using the following link. You can also claim court fees and interest at 8% per year:

https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Okay Thanks. We will follow up on that.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Final question.
We called our Landlord and he was barely aware of all these issues. Is it possible to go against the agency for the heating instead of the landlord.

may I clarify, do you mean complain and claim directly against the agency rather than the landlord?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Against the agency. The landlord seemed nice and barely aware of the issues when we called him. The agency even lied to him about the amount we are paying.

from your point of view I cannot see that would be possible. The agents actions bind the landlord and therefore you can effectively regards ***** ***** as if they are the landlord as their actions are legally directly on behalf of the landlord. However, you should not be unduly concerned in regards ***** ***** landlord in this respect because if the landlord can demonstrate that the issues you have experienced the results of the agents negligence, then the landlord could seek a complaint or claim against the agent for any damages he ultimately has to pay to you as tenants so if he is not at fault, then he need not be out of pocket

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 29201
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Joshua and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you. We will see what we can do.

I'm glad the above answers all your questions. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me otherwise thank you very much for visiting JustAnswer and I hope we will see you again in the future.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
On another topic, we have a "Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement":
Contract Commence Day: 14 Month: 07 Year: 2020
Contract Length: 12
Months Break Clause: 06
Termination:
Tuesday 13th July 2021We are planning to move on 13th July and the agency is telling us that we should have given notice. Even to vacate on the termination date. From what I see online, we are not legally obliged to give notice if we vacate on the termination date.Who is right?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Otherwise in term of actions in justice. Would we need a solicitor like you? How much would it cost as well?

it is a common misunderstanding among lettings agents, indeed so common that I suspect in at least some cases, it may be a deliberate misunderstanding as it suits them that there is no requirement to give notice to end the tenancy in order for the tenant to leave on or before the end date given in the fixed term. Agents will often point a tenant to a provision in the tenancy agreement that states you must give two months notice to end the tenancy but this ignores the point that the tenancy expires on the last day of the fixed term and providing the tenant has moved out on or before that date, the tenancy ends automatically without any need to give a written notice.

The position is different if the tenant remains in occupation after the last day of the tenancy because if that happens, the housing act intervenes and creates what is known as a statutory periodic tenancy which runs month to month. To end a statutory periodic tenancy, the tenant must give one months written notice and the notice can only come to an end on the day before rent is payable because a statutory periodic tenancy cannot end partway through a rent.

Accordingly, if you wish to leave on or before the last day of the tenancy, you can submit do so without notice but if you wish to leave after the end of the fixed term, you will need to ensure that you serve a written notice and give at least one clear months notice which must only end the day before rent is payable

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
We have the following in our contract that the agency pointed at:
A: Landlord let out the property at;
1 Tenants(s) (individually and together if there is more than one) as well as the furniture, fixtures,
household belongings listed on the inventory the tenant(s) and landlord sign. The amount of rent
is shown on the previous page, tenant(s) and property owner must keep to the terms below.
1 (a) Tenant(s) must give 2 (two) consecutive month’s notice (from the rent payment date) to end
the contract. This notice must be given to expire a day before a rent payment date. If there is a
break clause, notice will have to be provided on or after the break clause date / month
commences.
If at the end of the tenancy tenant(s) want to continue the contract and tenant(s) have not
received from property owner 2 (two) months’ notice to end the tenancy, this will carry on from
month to month as a periodic tenancy.
1 (b) This agreement is an assured shorthold tenancy (as defined in section 19A of the Housing
Act 1988). The arrangement in section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 for the property owner to
repossess the property applies to this agreement. This means that tenant(s) cannot claim any
legal rights to stay on once the tenancy has ended and a court order stating tenant(s) must leave.
Will serve a section 21 notice giving 2 (two) months’ notice, in writing. Further information can be
found should a tenant(s) consult a Housing Advice Centre, solicitor or Citizens’ Advice Bureau
who can advise tenant(s) accordingly.Is that applicable?And from the previous message as well in case you missed it:
Otherwise in term of actions in justice. Would we need a solicitor like you? How much would it cost as well?Thanks

it is not at all relevant for the precise reason we discussed above that providing you leave on or before the last day of the fixed tenancy period, the tenancy agreement comes to an end - that is what the fixed period of the contract is it is the term of the contract. If you stay after the last day of the term of the contract, the above rules apply instead.

I can't see any reason you would need a solicitor and it would likely be uneconomic to retain one

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
What would be our best course of actions.
From what you told me, we can claim for the time we had boiler issues.
We also had water leaks in the kitchen for a long time.
We are also preparing for them to tell us that we won't get our deposit.
They also refused to give reference for our new flat causing us a lot of trouble and stress. We even bought a title registry to get the landlord details and communicated with him to make him aware of what is happening.We have phone recordings and I can save my emails to prepare a folder.From what I understand,
1. We write a claim
2. If there is no agreement we issue proceedings in the County Court using the link you gave us.What do you think we would be able to claim?
How should we prepare for the deposit?

I would suggest you consider a claim, for 30-40% rent reduction for the period you were without heating and hot water, a slightly lesser amount for the period of water leak, and for your deposit less any damage you may accept that you caused on check out.

Simplest to deal with the whole matter as a county court claim rather than part county court part deposit dispute with the protection scheme most likely:

https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

Would be small claims so easy to undertake yourself

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Many thanks.
For the deposit, we requested the agency to send us the certificate for the protection scheme.
To prepare in the case that they do not have it or/and they will not send us back the deposit, we should wait right. So that we put all the things we claim at once.

there is no specific need to wait for the agency to provide certificates of protection in respect of the deposit if you believe that the deposit has not been protected. You can relatively easily establish the position yourself by carrying out online searches using links to the three protection companies that can be reached from the above link and base any claim upon the results of those searches

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thanks.
When I joined the flat, I didn’t sign any inventory. Therefore they cannot claim anything for the deposit right ?

There is no need to sign the inventory in order to bind you to it. They would ideally need to show that it was sent to you allowing you an opportunity to comment. If they could then silence in your part following receipt could amount to implied acceptance though it would be for a judge to decide what degree of inference he draws in this respect

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I did not sign nor receive any inventory when I moved in. What are my risk for the deposit?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks a lot for all the information. My partner and I have spent the day gathering all the mails and messages we have been exchanging with the agency.
For the last 3 years, we had 4 main issues: Boiler issue, broken bed, fridge and another boiler issue.We attached the sheet we prepared. The calculus are on the right of the first page. We think it will be our base for the claim we will sent first by mail, then by post if no answer, then go to County Court if we do not get answer.Do that sound fair to you? Looking at the amount, if we go to county court it might go over 10 000 depending on the result. As we claim below 10 000, we should still claim for that amount with the "If you need help claiming less than £10,000" option, correct?Thanks again
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
It seems that I cannot tip you again. Would you like to create a new conversation for us to tip you again or give you a call?

Many thanks for the above. Under £10k will almost always be heard in the small claims court where neither party can claim legal costs at least of any substance. If you elect to seek damages in the county court, as you suggest, you would first need to issue a letter before action giving the landlord an opportunity to settle the matter and warning the landlord of your intention to issue proceedings in the county court if they do not. You should ideally give 14 days notice before issuing proceedings

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Many thanks for everything.

I'm glad the above answers all your questions. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me otherwise thank you very much for visiting JustAnswer and I hope we will see you again in the future.