Small Claims Court against who?

by Readers Question

10 months ago

Small Claims Court against who?

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Small Claims Court against who?

Good morning everyone, my girl friend has a battle with her ex landlord’s agent after entering into a verbal contract to leave. small claims

She wanted out quickly and the agent said they’ve found someone and she should get packing quickly as new tenant wants to be in in 2 weeks.

She found somewhere and paid the deposit without getting it in writing….we are where we are!

Tenant fell through and now they still have her deposit with MyDeposits and want to take the one month rent owing from that. Second new tenant found and signed recently.

I’m thinking of a Small Claims Court action but is it against the agent or landlord and is that the right course of action?

Many thanks

Peter

Comments

Gary Nock

10 months ago

Sorry Peter it may be just me but I am confused. Is it her old property where tenancy fell through, or her new property where her tenancy fell through? We need to clarify this before the forum can offer you advice.

Peter Brown

10 months ago

Her old property is where the new tenant fell through. She's now in her new place and we're cleaned and made good the old place.

Thanks.

Steam Engine

10 months ago

I believe My Deposits has a mediation service if there is a dispute between landlord and tenant.

It might be worth approaching the problem via this route rather than wasting time and money through a very slow court service.

Gary Nock

10 months ago

Lets get back to basics Peter. On your girlfriends old property she gave notice. I note this was verbal.Should have been in writing. More of this later. If this was within the fixed tenancy period and there is no break clause then legally the landlord / agent can claim the one months rent. If it is outside the fixed period then your girlfriend should have given notice of at least 4 weeks, ending the day before a rent due date and dependent on what's in her tenancy agreement. Now to complicate matters verbal notice has been given. Should have been in writing but the landlord / agent accepted and acted on it and secured a tenant who did not move in. Not your girlfriends fault as her tenancy had ended. Provided there were no dilapidations to be taken out of the deposit then it should be returned to her in full. Within 10 days if it is agreed. If not agreed then as previously stated time to implement the disputes process with Mydeposits. Find out also if the Deposit Protection Prescribed Information paperwork was served correctly on your girlfriend in the first place. This should be a deposit protection certificate containing certain information that if not served can render the landlord liable to a penalty of 3 x the deposit. If you try and go to County Court before you have gone through the disputes process you may well damage your case with the Judge. And believe me its a lot easier and cheaper to go through the disputes process than County Court.

Peter Brown

10 months ago

Brilliant. Thanks gents. So appreciate your help.

She was 1 month into a freshly renewed 1 year AST, pushed into a year duration with no break as she needed to stay for a short while. She said this was unfair but as Xmas approached had no choice. Come January she had reduced income and needed to find cheaper. Explained to agent who then acted and found tenant...who subsequently withdrew.

Does her notice still stand as she was only a short while into a long AST?

Thanks much. 🙂

Gary Nock

10 months ago

Well Peter the new 12 month AST disclosure changes things somewhat. From a legal point of view as I said in my last post if there is a fixed period tenancy AST in place then strictly speaking your girlfriend is liable for that month - and if the agent / landlord wanted to push it -for the rest of the tenancy as well. But the agent/landlord accepted a verbal notice and sought to get a new tenant. They didn't have to. Normally in cases such as this where the tenant is within the fixed term, the fairest thing to do rather than insist on the full amount of the remaining tenancy is this. The tenant insitu pays for the re-let and the rent up until the date of occupation of the new tenant. In this case your girlfriend has been asked to pay for the months rent. Now looking at this objectively she could be liable for up to 11 months rent. If you sought to try a county court claim then the agent or landlord could counterclaim for the amount contractually owed. Which would be a lot more than a months rent. And I don't think the dispute process would help you either with the new AST in place. I know this isn't what you want to hear but I think if I was your girlfriend I would "cut my losses" on this and be thankful that I got out of it with one months rent.

Peter Brown

10 months ago

Thanks Gary your dissection was so useful. So easy to get caught in the red mist!
Best to you.

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