Condensation claim and prescribed information question

by Readers Question

18:29 PM, 15th April 2013
About 7 years ago

Condensation claim and prescribed information question

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Condensation claim and prescribed information question

Condensation claim and prescribed informationA tenant sneaked out 2 months into a 6 month tenancy without paying for the rent. At the start I took a deposit, emailed them the certificate but didn’t send the prescribed information as I couldn’t find it and then forgot about it later.

The tenant complained about damp which I had previously stated was condensation due to drying clothes on radiators without good ventilation. I had bought a dehumidifier – that they didn’t use.

The second conversation I again told them “it’s condensation stop drying clothes – use the drier and ventilate better” but again they ignored me. I was concerned about the black mould and said I’d wallpaper the key areas to thermally insulate the cold walls from the warm damp air.

When they left they had not paid the 2 months rent – for all sorts of excuses… I wrote to them asking for the 2 months rent plus utilities or I’d claim the whole lot via the small claims court. After some abusive texts and phone calls I applied to small claims court. They are fighting the claim in full.

My first question is because I didn’t send them the prescribed info could this impact the case?. I’m pretty sure everything else is fine. Also I’m wanting to re-rent the property – so do I have to Section 21/ Section 8 the tenant even if they’ve already left?

Grateful for your help

Carol Wilson



Comments

Mary Latham

11:42 AM, 21st April 2013
About 7 years ago

The thing that is most important to realise is that Carol has already broken the law by not giving the tenant the Prescribed Information and this makes her very vulnerable. because the Courts are coming down hard on landlords who do not comply with Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation - this has been the subject of several discussions on here. She now needs to we squeaky clean. Just entering a property where you have not been given Possession by the tenant or the Court is dangerous for landlords - re-letting it is really asking for trouble. Getting the tenant to surrender the tenancy is, in this case, the safest option in my opinion

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Marie Smyth

14:33 PM, 21st April 2013
About 7 years ago

Every situation is different. My apologies to Carol as I certainly didn't want to mislead her. It just seems utterly unfair that given the tenants can claim against her in respect of the deposit insurance and that the tenant has 'sneaked' out (vacated?) the property that Carol cannot at least mitigate her loss without having to wait many months for a possession order? If the rent isn't being paid, the tenant has vacated, all possessions removed and the tenancy agreement has accommodated a clause that the LL can enter and take back possession if the property has been left vacant and rent unpaid for x amount of time then what is the point of actually having such s clause within the agreement if a LL can't action it?

Mary Latham

15:18 PM, 21st April 2013
About 7 years ago

Marie there is no point in having a clause like that because it is totally unenforceable and the OFT would say that it is an unfair term because it contradicts the law.

I agree with you 100% this is very unfair on landlords and encourages bad tenants to walk all over us but we are very vulnerable because the amount of money a tenant can claim is worth their while taking action against us - some of them can get legal aid and don't even need to pay the costs. It's a no brainer for bad tenants who want to make some cash. I spend most of my time warning landlords about the dangers of Deposit Protection legislation now.

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Mark Alexander

15:36 PM, 21st April 2013
About 7 years ago

I agree with Mary. It is unfair and the "nanny state" sadly supports rogue tenants to the same extent as the vulnerable. That's why I recommend all but the most experienced landlords to use a good letting agent and to purchase RGI these days.

Marie Smyth

15:52 PM, 21st April 2013
About 7 years ago

Mary, I've heard of a case where a student whose deposit hasn't been insured correctly intends to take the LL to court for X 3 the deposit to help clear his student debts. I can see this becoming a common thing, imagine tenants moving every six months hoping the next LL isn't on the ball with deposits and claiming the maximum fine through the courts. It may be that the courts will be busier than ever until we all get a firm grip on deposit protection? I will review my tenancy agreement in light of your comments and make sure I'm in line with the law. Thank you for your help and welcome advice. I think this site is wonderful for providing invaluable help and insights to being a LL especially as it is an area fraught with pitfalls......

Mary Latham

17:09 PM, 21st April 2013
About 7 years ago

Maria and there are many people who are living in HMO's knowing that the landlord is not licensed and should be. At the end of the year they will report him and ask the Court to give them a Rent Repayment Order to reclaim a years rent. There are even local authorities re-claiming LHA for the same reason. We cannot fail to meet all legislation and regulation because many tenants now know more than their landlords.

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Carol Wilson

7:59 AM, 22nd April 2013
About 7 years ago

Guys thanks for all the advice, I'm comfortable that I have legal possession and if they want to try it on for 4 * the deposit I can deal with that separately if they choose to go down that route. I won't allow the claim I'm making against them to be distracted. If I'm right reading through all the comments they can't offer not having the PI as a reason for leaving the tenancy so it brings it back to condensation and the monies for the two cases stack up enough to make it worthwhile to pursue. I'll let you know the outcome as it might help the collective wisdom of us all.

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