Has anyone taken another landlord to court for loss of rent due to their tenant?

by Readers Question

8:52 AM, 29th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Has anyone taken another landlord to court for loss of rent due to their tenant?

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Has anyone taken another landlord to court for loss of rent due to their tenant?

I got a problem with a landlord of a property next door to mine and I would like some advise on how to handle the situation please.bad neighbours

His ASB tenants have been making life hell for the decent people in the street and the street backing on to his property. Shouting, fighting, motor bikes and drugs all hours of the night and day. I struggle to let my property and when I get a decent tenant they only stay for a couple of months and then have to move because of the ASB and noise. I have told the LL about the situation and his response was, I am getting the rent direct from the council and I cannot afford to do the house up if I evict them. After five years of complaining to the police and the council we finally got a CPN on the tenants about two months ago but they are up to their old tricks again.

My question has anyone successfully taken a landlord to court and won damages for loss of rent, the costs of setting up tenancies and council tax in voids because of the ASB of his tenants living next door?

The council and the police don’t seem to be able to do anything and the local MP has tried to help but I still have got nowhere. I have even tried selling the property at a knock down price but the sale fell through because the buyer seen the ASB next door which I had to declare of the PIF.

Its been a nightmare for nearly Five years. Some owner occupiers have sold their homes just to get away from the area.

Thanks in advance for your help

Jack



Comments

Neil Patterson

9:00 AM, 29th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Jack,

I looked up previous articles articles of a similar nature and the advice has been.

Talking to the Landlord, Police, Environmental Health and the Council.

It sounds like you might have done all this, but no one has mentioned successfully taking the landlord to court so it will be interesting to see if anyone has gone down this route before.

Gary Dully

11:03 AM, 29th December 2016
About 2 years ago

Is this landlord in breach of local licensing rules, for poor tenant management?

Or have they never evicted before?

It's a pretty daunting process for the inexperienced landlord.

I was in court 2 weeks ago in Liverpool and I had mandatory grounds for eviction.
It's a nerve wracking procedure and I've done it loads of times.

I'm still trying to get the tenant out, without further costs, so I don't fancy your chances if your being polite.

(He's been advised to wait for a bailiff by the council).
But if I don't evict, I could lose my license for poor management.

I fancied using a couple of billiard balls in a sock to enforce the eviction notice, but I now have to escalate to a bailiff or HCEO so that I can remain a fit and proper person.

You might want to consider a slightly different approach.
My biggest concerns when trying to evict are the following.

1. The court costs £325 if I use PCOL, but the landlord can't use PCOL except for rent arrears, without breaching CPR rules for PCOL. So it's a direct to court application.
(Offer to split the costs and recover from his rents from the next tenants).

2. A spurious defence of disrepair.
You need to get in before a complaint against the landlord, prevents a section 21 notice being issued.

3. A threat to my license to operate, once gone I'm finished as a landlord in Liverpool.
Which puts one tenant vs 54 into sharp context.

Once these challenges are met, it becomes a lot easier.

If you can't get the landlord to perform his duties, report him or her to the council for bad management.

The council can threaten to fine the landlord, such documentation can only help the landlords case to evict, via the Section 8 notice route.

Offer the landlord a final opportunity to evict via a Section 21 notice or face the wrath of the council, but explain that you expect a change of tenant either way.

If the landlord uses the Section 8 route they will have to prove their case in court and that may prove to be difficult.

Monty Bodkin

10:29 AM, 30th December 2016
About 2 years ago

"My question has anyone successfully taken a landlord to court and won damages for loss of rent, the costs of setting up tenancies and council tax in voids because of the ASB of his tenants living next door?"

The short answer is no.
The long answer is;
http://swarb.co.uk/mowan-v-london-borough-of-wandsworth-and-another-ca-21-dec-2000/

Mandy Thomson

12:49 PM, 31st December 2016
About 2 years ago

The closest I can find is this blog by Tessa Shepperson (about suing landlords for failing to deal with their tenants’ anti social behaviour): http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2011/03/02/can-landlords-be-liable-to-neighbours-for-tenants-from-hell/

There is the option of getting an anti social behaviour order and/or an injunction (made by the neighbour(s)) against the tenant or a community protection order against the landlord. A CPN can be made by the local authority or the police against a landlord who has failed to take reasonable action to exercise their powers against a tenant breaching the nuisance clause in their tenancy agreement. See RLA “Guidance on Landlord Responsibilities to Tenant Nuisance” (you need to be a member to read the full article).

The issue with all of these is it takes a lot of persistence and accumulation of evidence before the local authority or police will take the matter seriously, let alone act.

Mandy Thomson

11:03 AM, 5th January 2017
About 2 years ago

This blog by Giles Peaker, in which he discusses how a leaseholder (an art gallery owner) successfully sued his landlord (under the lease) for loss of quiet enjoyment, might be of interest: https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2017/01/works-quiet-enjoyment/?utm_source=wysija&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mail+updates

While the landlord had every right to carry out the works, because the landlord FAILED TO MITIGATE THE NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE LEASEHOLDER WHEN HE REASONABLY COULD AND SHOULD HAVE DONE SO, the leaseholder was awarded damages.

Giles goes on to say that the leaseholder could also have sued for nuisance under general tort legislation, but by suing for breach of the freeholder's/head leasee's obligations, he was awarded more damages.

Giles Peaker

21:36 PM, 8th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "05/01/2017 - 11:03":

Hi - Afraid that simply isn't relevant to the original poster's situation. It was only because the relationship was landlord and tenant.

The general rule is that a landlord has no liability for their tenant's nuisance to others, unless they have actively endorsed or encouraged it. So I can't see any civil claim against the next door landlord.

Badger

16:59 PM, 15th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Giles Peaker" at "08/01/2017 - 21:36":

"The general rule is that a landlord has no liability for their tenant’s nuisance to others, unless they have actively endorsed or encouraged it."

Am I missing something here?

I mean, if that's the case, then how come we regularly hear about landlords who have not provided any such endorsement or encouragement being held responsible for the anti-social behaviour of their tenants?

Giles Peaker

17:05 PM, 15th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Badger " at "15/01/2017 - 16:59":

Whatever you have heard, it is not about the landlord's legal liability to a third party for their tenant's nuisance.

It may well be, of course, an issue under mandatory, selective or additional licensing schemes, so the council may require the landlord to take steps. But that still doesn't give rise to any legal duty to the neighbour.

Badger

18:03 PM, 15th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Ah, yes, that I can understand.

But I am also driven to observe that it is a very fine legal distinction that you are referring to that has little bearing on the practical day-to-day experience of the ordinary landlord, as you yourself note when mentioning council's and licensing schemes.

Giles Peaker

18:12 PM, 15th January 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Badger " at "15/01/2017 - 18:03":

It does answer the question raised in the original post, specifically - no, because you can't.


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