Landlords - Renters' Rights?

Posted on
Page
of 2
/ 2
Next
  • -note- this is long, i apologise, but if you have any knowledge of renting law, please do read on

    so i'm having a shit time with my landlord. my lease has a clause in it (i think it's fairly standard) that you can end the lease after eight months if you provide two months prior notice. i want to move. one of my mates used to live next door, and he spoke to the landlord and was allowed to give only 1 month's notice. so i hoped that they would do the same for me, as i've been a very good tenant, always paid on time, etc. so i emailed him a formal letter, asking if i could give one month's notice instead of two, and if so i'd like to give it. he replied saying yes that would be fine, and i also spoke (via phone) to his wife/business partner who also gave me the go ahead, sayng there was no problem and everything was fine. so i found a new flat, paid a holding deposit, and i'm going to sign the lease on saturday. that was a week ago. just this morning i got an email from the landlord, saying that he had looked over the contract and that i now actually had to stick to paying for two month's rent instead of the one that we had agreed upon. so now i have to pay for rent in two flats for two months, which will effectively bankrupt me.

    is there anything in this country like a verbal agreement, which is legally binding? is he allowed to go back on his word like this?

    the other thing is that he has been a shit landlord all along. i've been in this flat for almost two years, and when i moved in there were a few panes of broken glass. they never got fixed, even though i bugged him about it for months. there was also a leak from the flat above (while i was away) which caused the walls in the toilet and the kitchen to grow mould (which i am very allergic to) and to start peeling, which happened almost 6 months ago. no less than three contractors have ome by to assess the damage, but not one of them has done a thing about it. again, i have repeatedly asked the landlord to fix this, but to no avail. does this make the landlord in breach of contract? can i somehow use this to my advantage, to make him let me break lease one month early (as we had previously agreed)?

    thanks for reading this, sorry it was so long, but i'd really appreciate any insight.

    hassan

  • good luck

  • a verbal agreement is legally binding.
    the problem is proving it...
    i think he's just after your £££ tell him you're seeking legal advice and he'll probably back down.
    and tell him about the mould thing. he is in breach of contract on that one.

  • oh, and the other fun part is that he is a lawyer. wheee!

  • From http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/your_right­s/court.shtml

    Is a verbal agreement legally binding?
    What are my rights regarding a verbal contract made over the telephone - is it legally binding even if I wasn't given correct information? TW, Northampton

    A verbal contract will be binding.

    Generally, there are no formal requirements which have to be satisfied to create a binding contract. Limited exceptions include contracts for the sale of land and consumer credit agreements. Consequently, a verbal contract will be binding.

    The main problem with oral contracts is proving exactly what was said and agreed. Generally, it's one person's word against another's.

    However, if you can prove that you were given a false assurance and/or information on which you based your decision to enter into the contract, you may have an action for misrepresentation and/or breach of contract which would entitle you to damages.

    Also, contracts made purely at a distance, over the telephone, for example, may be cancellable under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000. It really depends on what was the subject matter of the particular contract. If the regulations do apply, a buyer has a cancellation period of at least seven days but it may be longer.

    From what I've been told at accommodation talks by the housing department at my uni, I'm pretty sure the landlord has a duty to repair anything that is damaged. Sorry I can't be any more help than that! Hope you sort it out.

    edit: aah beat me to it! should have refreshed the page before i replied.

  • hassanr oh, and the other fun part is that he is a lawyer. wheee!

    that's not cool!
    it's all about front. just let him know that you realise he just wants your money and that you won't back down.
    make it more hassle than it's worth for him to recover the money and i doubt he'll bother.
    he's a lawyer and a landlord so he can't be too strapped for cash.

  • These guys will help you....

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/home/index­.cfm

  • If he emailed you back saying it would be fine that you only have 1 months notice then you have it in writing no?

  • thanks very much guys, i kinda thought that a verbal agreement was binding. and i do have proof, he wrote it in an email.
    i've seen the building for shelter before, my wife works right by it, i wondered what it was. i'll go see them tomorrow.
    thanks again.

  • agree with rakan - it seems you have written proof, so don't worry :-)

  • hassanr thanks very much guys, i kinda thought that a verbal agreement was binding. and i do have proof, he wrote it in an email.
    i've seen the building for shelter before, my wife works right by it, i wondered what it was. i'll go see them tomorrow.
    thanks again.

    if you've got it in writing then it's not a verbal agreement. it's written, and much easier to prove.
    you should have no problems.
    good luck mate.

  • In many cases things get simplified to who has the power which, in rented accommodation disputes, reads how big a deposit is your landlord holding? The next question is if it all goes 'tits up' can you afford to lose the deposit? Dependent on the answers then you can plan the next move.

    Many tenants get round the landlord holding their deposit to ransom, even though they are now supposed to put it into an escrow account, by simply witholding the final month's rent. By the time the landlord gets round to threatening to evict you the lease is up.

    Hope that hels but as you now realise it is a pretty shitty situation and there are many bad landlords. Oh, I forgot to say that especially applies to lawyers!!!!

  • Don't pay the last months rent and hold a demolition party.

  • |³|MA3K Don't pay the last months rent and hold a demolition party.

    This is good advice which I would follow in the future (having been shafted out of a deposit once before)

  • |³|MA3K Don't pay the last months rent and hold a demolition party.
    or just invite you and give you a bottle of cheap whisky! :p

  • We'll set the place on fire, after a month of letting homeless crack-addicts live there.

  • I didn't pay my last month's rent with my last dodgy landlord and it worked out fine. Was a bit stressful but hey ho.
    If you leave the place in good nick there isn't a huge amount the landy can do in respect to taking you to court.
    Of course if your deposit is 2 months' rent then that changes things slightly and you should go down the 'i have this here in writing' route...

  • stupid question perhaps but isn't the deposit held by The Deposit Scheme or by some other insurance backed scheme as it should be these days? That means that the deposit must be released within 10 days of the end of the tenancy unless the Landlord can show good cause. Not like the good old days when landlords could hold on and make you sue them.

    If he's put the 1 month notice agreement in writing then you've got him.

  • Exactly, just hold the last months rent as your deposit back, assuming you pay via standing order, just stop it. Also, where does he live? I had an arse landlord once years ago that fucked around but lived abroad. I said I'd smash the place up and fuck off, he soon pulled his thumb out....
    Good luck!

  • 0808-800-4444 if in need of any legal housing stuff. Free from landlines. Set the redial on "auto", as its usually difficult getting through. National help number.

  • whens the party??

  • Oarsman stupid question perhaps but isn't the deposit held by The Deposit Scheme or by some other insurance backed scheme as it should be these days? That means that the deposit must be released within 10 days of the end of the tenancy unless the Landlord can show good cause. Not like the good old days when landlords could hold on and make you sue them.
    If he's put the 1 month notice agreement in writing then you've got him.

    Yeah, just in the last 6 months or so they changed the law so now a government org holds everyone's deposits. There shouldn't be this holding to ransom crap.

  • yeah, unfortunately i think my deposit is with the landlord, as we got this place almost two years ago...
    i think i'm gonna play nice for a bit, pay my extra month, collect info, talk to citizens advice/shelter, get a lawyer, and take him to court. anyone know a good civil lawyer? no one should be allowed to get away with shit like this.

  • If you've renewed your tenancy since 6 April 2007 then the deposit MUST be held in a govt approved scheme - google tenancy deposit scheme for more info. If not then I'd talk to Citizens advice etc before paying any more. Just because he's a lawyer doesn't mean that he knows this end of the law!

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview
About

Landlords - Renters' Rights?

Posted by Avatar for hassanr @hassanr

Actions