Law student sues landlord – But wait?

Law student sues landlord – But wait?

9:57 AM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago 23

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Reading an article on the BBC today about a Law student, who successfully sued his landlord for breach of contract. According to the article, the student moved into his accommodation only to find it in a sad state of disrepair, with workmen still on site. He was therefore in effect living on an active building site, with all that would entail. The accommodation not looking anything like the pictures used to advertise. The student took his landlord to court, was awarded costs and return of the deposit, rent to date etc.

My initial thoughts were, “well done him.”

But it got me thinking that for this tenant, he was just required to produce the evidence on his day in court and decided there and then. However reverse the roles for tenants who breach the tenancy agreement, and landlords, based on my one experience, have to go through section 21, attend court on several occasions, obtain a decision against the tenant who can’t be bothered to turn up. But then decides to object re-opening the case, have the landlord appear at several more court days, produce a statement of fact, final have a judgement against the tenant who is instructed to leave by a specific date.

Wait until the tenant ignores that date, (on the advice of the local council – which IMHO the council should be charged with contempt of court, but that’s an argument for another day) go back to court to obtain an eviction order.

Finally, have the tenant leave owning £11,000 in back rent, and on the day of the eviction have the same local council request the landlord that he provides the tenant with a glowing written reference so they can get another rental property and not be homeless.

Finally, coming to the conclusion that the law is rather one-sided, and asking the question why can’t landlords just require one day in court and any decision binding?


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Ron H-W

10:33 AM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago

Great article, and the arguments are very well put.
But there seems to be a typo in the penultimate paragraph: surely it should be "owing" not "owning"?

(Please feel free to delete this after dealing with the typo!)


10:45 AM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ron H-W at 15/12/2021 - 10:33Correct - hard trying to stop the red rage while typing my thoughts

John Parfett

10:46 AM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago

Spot on Ian.


11:05 AM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago

Interesting article and a really good point. The current system is fundamentally wrong and one sided.

Tim Rogers

11:16 AM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ron H-W at 15/12/2021 - 10:33
Just a thought, but "Owning" may not be such a typo. Who else is in possession of the rent not paid?


11:21 AM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Tim Rogers at 15/12/2021 - 11:16
Good point - considering they were in receipt of full housing benefit which:

a) the tenant informed me they were not receiving, but local authority letters stated otherwise
b) apparently some tenants do not consider rent as part of their housing costs, and so do not need to use it for that purpose

Freda Blogs

11:43 AM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago

I had similar thoughts when I first read the article about the student suing his landlord, and agree that there should be sanctions for breach of contract - that is what the law is about.
However, the government, the justice system, the police, councils and various other authorities and organisations such as Shelter et al seemingly have no regard whatsoever for breach of contract when it comes to tenants, and knowingly allow and facilitate such breaches against landlords to occur, such as non-payment of rent, trashing property etc with no consequences.
I’m sure I speak for many landlords that we just want to be treated fairly, with an even-handed system that acknowledges the rights of both parties to a tenancy agreement.
I am all for rooting out rogue landlords but also rooting out rogue tenants – the latter seldom seems to happen and meanwhile good landlords get thrashed with the ever increasing amounts of legislation, financial penalty etc and constant vilification in the media. Small wonder that so many of us are leaving the PRS.


11:55 AM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 15/12/2021 - 11:43
Well put.


12:07 PM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago

Excellent Ian.
The trick in life is to see the unseen, which you have done.

Unfortunately the BBC are short sighted and cannot (won't) see the full picture. The tenant is almost always painted as a victim, and a victim requires a villian.

The result of this mentality is laws are unbalanced and override the freedom to contract.

Landlords have to manage their properties with restricted ability to do so creating worse outcomes for honest participants.


12:08 PM, 15th December 2021, About 2 years ago

No wonder landlords are sell up.
Councils and government and tenant wins in short term. Eventually no houses for tenants and government , councils and tenants face higher cost . Landlords will not keep on letting if there is no return on their investment.the grave train won’t go on for ever

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