Landlord abuses students trust

by Readers Question

8 months ago

Landlord abuses students trust

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Landlord abuses students trust

I am a landlord who is trying to help 4 students one of whom is a family friend. Two of the students had been renting the property the previous year.

In June 2017 they took out a new tenancy for the house with two other students from 1st July 2017 to 30th June 2018. As is often the case they were asked to pay half rent for July and August 2017. They had already paid full rent for June 2017.

Being students they all left the second week in June to return home. The two students who had been there last year left their personal possessions in the property. They found out in August that their landlord had been renting the house out over the summer on Airbnb.

She had put some possessions in unlocked cupboards and some in an unlocked study. My contention is that she had no right to rent the property out on Airbnb, she admits she did it and doesn’t see it as an issue, “its her property”.

The girls tried to sort it out with their Landlord and she did return their rent and paid a meagre sum for distress of the two girls that had their possessions abused and left to be picked over by strangers, £500 between the two of them.

On returning they have found some possessions to be lost or damaged and she has refused to compensate them further. All discussions took place on email and were suffixed “without prejudice”.

Are they able to take her to court for what she has done?

What would be the correct grounds?

Where would they be able to get no win, no fee advice to help them? They are students and finances are tight.

Many thanks

Alison



Comments

Gary Dully

8 months ago

I’m not a legal boffin, but if there is a live tenancy and the landlord has air BNB’d it out, the landlord has broken in and has illegally deprived the tenants of quiet enjoyment and I would guess has committed a criminal offence.

The landlord may own it, but no longer has legal possession until surrendered or eviction via a bailiff has occurred.

So the landlord is in deep do doos!

A free half hour at a solicitor might be advisable, I’m sure they can cause mayhem in the landlords life, based on what you have described.

alison leivers

8 months ago

thanks i'll ring some solicitors about that.

Martin Roberts

8 months ago

Good advice above, and report stolen/damaged property to the police.

The landlord is indeed in big trouble.

Simon M

8 months ago

Half-rent over the summer for students is very common. There are often conditions that restrict use, e.g. allowing the students to leave possessions but not actively live in the property during July & August, and allowing access for repairs/refurbishment. These are practical arrangements that work for both parties. The landlord has resorted to "without prejudice" rather than pointing out any contract clauses, so it sounds as if the landlord knows they're in the wrong.

If the students want to continue living in the property, they want the landlord/agents to respond quickly to fix and problems until next June and without having to chase. Contact from a solicitor might make them even more defensive, so first option must be to ask the landlord to meet in person. If they won't agree, another no-cost alternative to consider would be to contact any college accommodation service. If the landlord is registered with them, they could make life difficult too, especially if the landlord has other properties registered with them.

alison leivers

8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon M at 20/10/2017 - 11:13
thank you. i will talk to the girls next week to see what they want to do. hopefully there will be more suggestions and help as well


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