Help For Tenants – NO FEES!

by Mark Alexander

16:20 PM, 11th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Help For Tenants – NO FEES!

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Help For Tenants – NO FEES!

Help For Tenants

Both landlords and tenants have rights.

At Property118 we provide FREE help for landlords and tenants in dispute. Perhaps more importantly though, our impartial mediation seeks win/win solutions for both landlords and tenants. Please don’t risk cutting off your nose to spite your face – read on.

Very few landlords are outright criminals but sadly, crooks can be found operating in every sector.

We want to help YOU!

To find out why and how please keep reading.

Coming from somebody like me, a landlord myself, the above probably sounds a bit strange or even far fetched. However, like most GOOD Landlords, I am frustrated at how landlords in general are so often demonised by media and propaganda organisations. Some of the worst offenders have been housing charities!

Worse still, I despise organisations who promote and relish in conflict, and profit off the backs of other peoples misery.

Neither landlords nor tenants want legal battles, so why do so many organisations strive to build a “them and us” culture?

Surely it’s better to be solution conscious?

No tenant deserves to be robbed of their deposit or illegally evicted, I think that’s a fair starting point for us all.

By the same token, no GOOD Landlord wants their hard work and investments to be governed by unnecessary additional red tape and bureaucracy.

Sadly, when extremist organisations get their way, and when more legislation is introduced, this results in rent rises to fund the additional costs of compliance. In extreme cases this can lead to less availability of quality rental property, e.g. landlords choosing not to invest further, or even disinvest in some areas (Newham in London is a classic example).

Tenants don’t want more red tape, bureaucracy and costs any more than landlords do, hence we must look for solutions together.

GOOD Landlords like me are happy to help tenants who have been unjustly victimised. Together we have an opportunity to put things right and perhaps even put some of the bad guys and the criminals out of business, and of course teach those who are naive and/or greedy their responsibilities.

Wherever possible, we prefer to help landlords and tenants to patch up their differences amicably. Only in the most extreme cases will we recommend legal action.

Here at Property118, landlords who subscribe to our forums have helped several tenants by providing them with free advice and, where appropriate, we have even introduced tenants to specialist solicitors, some of which will even consider taking on cases on a no-win-no-fee basis.

Property118 was created to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents. The GOOD Landlords Campaign was created to raise the necessary funding to pursue this mission.

So here’s my proposal …..

Tell me your story by completing the form below and I will personally look into your case and do all that I can to help you.

I ask just three things of you by way of return:-

1) That you give me permission to publish your story on a no names basis

2) That if I provide you with assistance you let me know how you get on

3) That you will consider making a donation to Property118. This will help us to continue to provide this service for others in your position – see >>> http://www.property118.com/donations/43590/

My complaint against my landlords is ....



Comments

Mark Alexander

11:10 AM, 15th December 2014
About 4 years ago

The first enquiry I received this weekend was from a lady (tenant) whose landlord had not protected her deposit. To a great extent trust had already been lost, hence she was surfing the web to see what could be done.

If it hadn't have been for this article she would have been exposed purely to people who would have advised her to sue her landlord. That would probably have resulted in her having to find a new home.

Fortunately though, for both herself and her landlord she found us. She wants to stay in her home and was relieved to have found somebody who could help her to resolve her concerns over the safety of her deposit without having to resort to litigation. She was more interested in resolving her concerns over her deposit and retaining her home than suing her landlord.

Both landlord and tenant are now much happier.

OK, it's the first one, but every little helps and this is proof to me that I was right to do what I have done.
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Mark Alexander

12:21 PM, 15th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Just the other day, we had a cry for help from a landlord who admitted himself that he'd been naive. He didn't have a tenancy agreement, he hadn't done inventory and he hadn't protected the deposit.

Apparently he was on good terms with his tenants until they decided to emigrate to Australia and basically fleece him for as much money as possible to fund their trip. Other than being naive in terms of his paperwork, the landlord had done absolutely nothing wrong! He fully intended to be fair with them. Now that's the sort of case I will not help tenants with and will do everything I can to help the landlord.

In instances such as the above (pre-tenancy end disputes) I think the maximum penalty should be refund of the deposit plus Court costs or an order to protect the deposit in the DPS custodial scheme plus pay Court costs. However, where a tenant has moved out and the deposit is withheld for more than the maximum allowed period, that's when I think compensation of between one and three times the deposit plus court costs should be awarded. This being subject to allowing the landlord to counter-claim for damage and rent arrears of course.

All of the above is theoretically achievable within the existing framework of the law. If both landlord and tenant are happy to stay in the property then an arrangement can be entered into whereby the landlord protects the deposit with DPS on the basis of starting a new tenancy and the tenant assigns the chose in action for the previous breach to the landlord (clearly no landlord would ever sue himself). If the tenant is not agreeable to this, then clearly there has been a greater breakdown in the relationship and the tenant can fully expect the landlord to want to recover possession of his property.

The above provides a realistic basis for negotiation, i.e. landlord has a commercial decision to face in terms of recovering possession of the property in terms of having to pay back the deposit plus one and three times the deposit as compensation. On the other hand, tenant also has a commercial decision to make in terms of whether they want to continue to live in the property.
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Mark Alexander

12:30 PM, 15th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Another enquiry this weekend was from a lady who just wanted a rant. From her perspective, the law is totally in favour of the landlord when it comes to refunding deposits because possession is 9/10ths of the law.

Here's what I explained ....

"If your deposit has been protected then any deductions made at the end of your tenancy can be challenged by you and I can assure you that the law is very much stacked in favour of tenants because the burden of proof of damage lies with the landlord. If he hasn’t got a good inventory on check in and check out the chances of him being allowed to retain the deposit are very low indeed.

As well as referencing my tenants I also offer my potential new tenants the opportunity to speak to my last tenant. Next time you look for a property ask the landlord or letting agent if they will put you in touch with the last tenant so that you can reference the landlord. If they refuse, find another property. Also, when you are looking at a property, make sure that you look for any possible faults. If you don’t like what you see or can’t live with what you find, keep looking.

I accept that it might be difficult to find your ideal home within a budget you can afford. We all want better for less money. However, in much the same way, both homeowners and tenants must, to a great extent, live with the choices they make and the budgets they have.

Wishing you well.
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Robert Mellors

16:49 PM, 15th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Mark

Fantastic progress, this now sounds like a service to be proud of.

I'm even going to send this link to some tenants who contacted me over the weekend.

AA Properties Wales

21:29 PM, 15th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Mark, with respect mate, why can't you do the same for Landlords when rent is not paid?? I know you're gonna say, county court etc. BUT, why can't this service be for both landlords and tenants? Also why put the word "crook" there?? You are associating landlording with illegal behaviour, and that's the job of law enforcement.
Why have you mentioned "illegal eviction" when we are supposed to fighting this proposed new law and especially when is it 2% that actually get illegally evicted?
Is the lure of "new business fighting landlords" more important than what we all thought was what this site is about " advising landlords". Maybe your heading should be "Help for Landlords and Tenants - no fee!"

AA Properties Wales

21:36 PM, 15th December 2014
About 4 years ago

I am not against the principle but against the timing and the headlining. Remember I used to work in Hollywood, so glitz it down, don't promise what you can't deliver. Oh, and by the way I have helped many many homeless off the streets of Wales and put them up in less than ready accommodation without a tenancy agreement for the weekend, and they've left the Monday after. If they contacted you maybe you can get a claim against me for the damp and mould in the hallways, take me to court, make me broke, and then I can become "the tenant on housing benefits" claiming off the next poor landlord. Sorry about the drama...it's my movie background lol!!

Robert Mellors

22:00 PM, 15th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "AA Properties Wales " at "15/12/2014 - 21:29":

A bit melodramatic, but I agree that if Mark is going to help tenants sue naive ("bad") landlords on a no win no fee basis, then perhaps he can do the same for landlords, i.e. help them sue bad tenants (and enforce the judgments) also on a no win no fee basis. That would even the playing field a little! - Mark, do you have solicitors willing to sue bad tenants on a no win no fee basis? or do they only go for the easy option of suing landlords?

Having said that, the offer is now more about mediation and finding a win/win situation, and to my mind that makes good sense and is something to be applauded (and supported) because it will mean that the landlord also benefits from the mediation process instead of having to proceed with legal action. At the end of the day, what we (well, me anyway) want is to provide a good standard of accommodation (and service) to good tenants who pay the rent and look after the property, and if Mark can help both landlords and tenants to achieve this then that's great.

Mark Alexander

22:24 PM, 15th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "15/12/2014 - 22:00":

You mean "no-win-no-fee" debt collection and tracing services?

I wrote about these over a year ago, see Debt Recovery in the legal section of this website or this discussion thread >>> http://www.property118.com/good-debt-recovery-agent/44679/
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Mark Alexander

22:28 PM, 15th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Also see this thread >>> http://www.property118.com/free-guide-enforcing-judgements/70013/

Learn about the powers of High Court Enforcement Officers. If you have a CCJ over £600 then for an extra £60 your can have Baliffs siezing a bad payers iPad, iPhone, watch, TV, computer consoles etc. etc.
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Mark Alexander

22:33 PM, 15th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "AA Properties Wales " at "15/12/2014 - 21:29":

2% illegally evicted? !!!

Where on earth did that figure come from?

If the figure was 0.2% that would be horrendous because that would equate to 2 in every 1,000 tenancies ending in illegal eviction.

Come on Kevin!
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