Reclaiming lost rent – Tenant perspective?

Reclaiming lost rent – Tenant perspective?

9:38 AM, 6th September 2021, About 2 months ago 14

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Hi, I’m a Landlord of 25 plus years. Registered under the Wales / Cymru scheme.

However, I’m here as a Dad of a full-time student. His property was not fully ready at the commencement of the contract, but no one was in a rush to move in a month ahead, although two others on the joint tenancy did so. His bed was broken and other fixtures. We’ve worked with the agent effectively to get broken things mended and to be fair they have responded well to my communications.

Basic point, he paid rent for six weeks, didn’t occupy the property and the property was not fully compliant with HMO and insurance legislation. Surely he should get his money back, or most of it. i.e. the lost month’s rent?

Small claims court?

It’s £450 for goodness sake. As landlord’s thinking of your own kind in rented accommodation. What would you recommend the course of action should be?

Thanks all.

Lloyd



Comments

by Eps

10:58 AM, 6th September 2021, About 2 months ago

Firstly, have you spoken to the agent about this on a friendly basis? I would put it in writing as well the points of rent paid and what was broken etc which resulted in your son moving in later. The simplest thing would be pursue it with the agent and hopefully the Landlord will agree at his discretion. However, the agent may come back with the excuse that others moved in before him and put it that it was his choice not to or whatever to avoid giving a refund obviously. I am not sure if the facts you've given are sufficient grounds for your son not occupying the property. Hope others will be clearer on that for you. As for the smalls claims, I would approach that as a last resort, it is time consuming and depends on concrete proof.

by Freda Blogs

11:37 AM, 6th September 2021, About 2 months ago

I suspect that as two of the other tenants on the joint tenancy moved in may have scuppered any legal argument you have with regard to rent, as all tenants are treated as a single entity, even though there may be moral justification. If you could demonstrate that your son’s failure to move in was as a direct result of his room not being ready, you may have more chance.

However the failure to comply with HMO and insurance sound more serious issues and could be used as a lever for negotiation. I don’t think an agent or LL would want to get caught up in any complaint on that basis as there could be more serious ramifications.

by land law

13:13 PM, 6th September 2021, About 2 months ago

Hi

Whether the tenant is physically one person or physically many, “the tenant” must be able to possess exclusively all of the property. So, if part of the property (ie a room) is not ready for possession, the landlord has broken the terms of the lease.

I agree entirely that friendly discussion is the way ahead. But, there is a liability.

A point of leverage is the HMO licence.

A responsible landlord - of which there are many - will recognise this and compensate for loss of use. If the landlord is difficult, likely they will be throughout and you may need to remind him/her of licensing obligations and small claims

by Pete England - PaTMa Property Management

14:50 PM, 6th September 2021, About 2 months ago

I don't understand why the complaint wasn't made on day one of the contract. If you have a bad meal at a Resturant you complain at the time. If you buy a car from a dealer, and it fails within the warranty then you return or inform them when the issue occurred. So reclaiming a previous 6 week rent if difficult for me to understand or reconcile. We must learn to do our checks in advance and do our due diligence. Both sides of tenancy should agree the contract and raise any faults at the time.As a landlord I expect the tenant to tell me immediately when there is something wrong, but I work within the rules and don't short cut.
I record any issues within PaTMa so both landlord and tenant are aware the issue is being dealt with, and a log is created of events.
Good luck on talking directly to the landlord and or presuing your claim via the agent.

by Blodwyn

15:20 PM, 6th September 2021, About 2 months ago

As a retired solicitor, I have to suggest write off to experience and the lesson is check better next time before handing over money? £450 is far less than it will cost you to pursue the matter through the Courts, think of time etc., physical and mental wear and tear etc.?

by Yvonne Francis

20:14 PM, 6th September 2021, About 2 months ago

You don't say how unready this property was, and yet you say the agent responded well to the issue of the broken bed. The property was lived in by two others so it looks as if your son made the choice not to join them? You do not explain exactly what was unready. Hick-ups like broken beds frequently happen in student houses. I know, I am a student Landlord, and my beds are now all reinforced!

Every year I experience some students taking up residence right from the start, and others delay their arrival. But if we did not let these houses for most of the year then we would let to professionals. I think you maybe put out for paying for a property which your son did not use for a period of time?

As for the insurance and HMO license why did you not look into this when your son signed the lease? You can always enquire about insurance, and see their policy, especially if there is a clause in the lease which forbids tenants to do anything against their landlord's insurance policy. As for HMO's as you probably know you only have to look up the Council records. I'm a bit worried you are using this for a stick to beat the Landlord.

However if you think you have really got a case, I would reason with the Landlord as I am sure, as I would myself, seriously consider your argument, rather than get high handed with court claims.

by land law

20:51 PM, 6th September 2021, About 2 months ago

I know most landlords are considerate and helpful. So I’m not generalising.
But some are really picky: rent a day late; two marks on the wall; small stain on a carpet tile, garden not immaculate and so on. And then, when tenants are picky - bed is broken, shower leaks, window won’t shut, they are being difficult and do not understand how stressful it is for landlords.
So - picky landlords get picky tenants.

by Lloyd

16:59 PM, 10th September 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Eps at 06/09/2021 - 10:58
thx. for the reply yes we get on well with the agent and we set a fire under their feet with a long list if other stuff too do. landlord too slow to act. on many things. just dragged on too long to be honest. if I'd received the list we handed over as a landlord i would have got on with it. thx again for your perspective. maybe a called to local trading standards would chivvy things along. operators like this only give us decent landlords a bad name. thx again

by Lloyd

17:02 PM, 10th September 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by land law at 06/09/2021 - 20:51
lol thx no sign of them being picky just too slow off the mark and some ridiculous fobbing off in the mix from the agent which seems to have come round a bit? so if the things we picked up aren't right at commencement I'm sure they'd log them as faults of the tenants further down the rd. thx again picky landlord dad.

by Lloyd

17:24 PM, 10th September 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 06/09/2021 - 11:37
thx Freda yes force majeure on the locks issue. ie landlords insurance compliance would require individual locks. i believe there was a test case Latham 2013 where students successfully challenged the 'living as a family unit' historical claim. bed has stopped him moving in though. brand new one was supposed to come this week but nowt! thx again

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