Landlord kept property left behind and acting maliciously?

by Readers Question

11:00 AM, 23rd March 2016
About 3 years ago

Landlord kept property left behind and acting maliciously?

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Landlord kept property left behind and acting maliciously?

I have now left my rental property where I was living and now moved to a new rental property, I discovered after leaving that I had left 5 valuable statues in a cupboard at the old property and have called and emailed my old landlords but they are not answering my calls or emails, I also gave them my mothers address as a forwarding address for any mail that got through the redirection and went to my old property and despite me being under MARAC which is a multi agency committee for people of high risk of domestic violence they are forwarding my mail to my ex husbands address, which I feel is being done maliciously and could put the children and I at serious risk.statue

For a background of my situation I was in a cottage for 17 months and in that time I had to live with penetrating damp and my landlord refused to fix the problem leaving me with only 2 of 3 bedrooms unusable and this meant I had to have two of my children sleep in my room, on leaving I paid my rent up to the 10th of the month (the day I left) and not to the end of the month as per my tenancy agreement. They also charged me £1200 for half a tank of oil a week after I moved in and would find ways of charging me more and more money with lawn cutting, hedge trimming etc etc none of which I asked them to do.

They were fully aware of my domestic situation and the need to keep my life private from my ex husband, so I feel they are doing this to somehow cause me upset and distress. Is there anything I can do about my statues and their behaviour regarding my post ?

HH



Comments

Mandy Thomson

12:05 PM, 23rd March 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi HH

Your former landlords sound delightful... Sorry to hear about your situation.

The former landlords are under an obligation to protect and make all reasonable effort to return your belongings as they are what is legally termed "involuntary bailee" http://www.nabarro.com/insight/briefings/2014/march/tenants-goods-can-i-chuck-them-out/ (same applies with lodgers). If they do not, you are within your rights to sue, except you might have a hard time proving you left those valuables behind, and you might not get the full value in compensation.

Where the disclosure of your details to your ex husband is concerned - as (presumably!) reasonable people they ought to have known that disclosing your details to a third party - especially one who could endanger you - is a violation of data confidentiality, even if they haven't registered as data information keepers - I would check this with someone from your MARAC team.

Where the additional service charges are concerned, these are only legitimate if they are properly set out in the AST - check it carefully. If the wording is vague, they may have violated fair contract legislation.

Where the penetrating damp is concerned, I've had this in properties I've lived in myself and rented to tenants. Where the rented properties are concerned, I've made every effort to get rid of it, but sometimes penetrating damp doesn't have an obvious cause, and isn't easy to fix. However, the landlords should have made every attempt to fix this and provided compensation if any rooms were genuinely uninhabitable - assuming you kept them properly warmed and ventilated, and no washing being left to dry on radiators. Expecting tenants, especially those who are more vulnerable such as children, to live with damp is a violation of landlord's repairing obligations under the housing health and safety rating system.


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