No tenancy agreement for 12 years – then evicted

by Readers Question

10:52 AM, 16th June 2015
About 3 years ago

No tenancy agreement for 12 years – then evicted

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No tenancy agreement for 12 years – then evicted

My elderly aunt and uncle have rented a property for 12 years with no tenancy agreement and paid the landlord £500 cash each month, no receipts. (£72,000!!)

He has now asked them to leave them with 2 months’ notice in order to sell the property. They asked for a reference in order to find alternative accommodation, which he has failed to provide. No tenancy agreement for 12 years - then evicted

She has misguidedly not paid the last 3 months rent to cover initial bond (£1,000) but do intend to pay the balance of £500. They have now moved form the property with much sadness.

Landlord has now issued CCJ for £1,500 for the 3 months’ rent and issued to each of them.

Any advice to avoid stress of court appearance appreciated.

Thanks

Gary



Comments

Mark Alexander

10:59 AM, 16th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Gary

Can your relatives prove that a deposit was paid?

If so, was it protected?

If a deposit was paid but wasn't protected then your relatives could make a counter-claim for three times the deposit. I appreciate they don't want to go to Court but the prospects of the counter-claim could be enough for their landlord to want to settle.

If the deposit was protected in an authorised scheme then your relatives should write to the court to accept that money is owed by them and pay £500 into Court and defend against the remaining £1,000 on the basis that that was the amount of the deposit.

Without knowing both sides of the story it is difficult to offer full advice because the landlord may also be claiming damages to the property, in which case the deposit and more money may be being claimed.

Nobody likes going to Court so if at all possible you should try to help them reach an out of Court settlement.
.

Gary Denman

11:45 AM, 16th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "16/06/2015 - 10:59":

Hi Mark

Thank you for your prompt reply.
The deposit was paid in cash - as per rent payments and it was not protected.
My relatives have maintained the apartment throughout tenancy, undertaking decoration and even took out a policy to cover boiler breakdown!
They have had a good relationship with the landlord throughout tenancy, which makes situation more upsetting for them.
I agree we need to open dialogue to prevent court.

Martin S

10:24 AM, 17th June 2015
About 3 years ago

If this Landlord has been dealing in purely cash throughout, and seems to be paying scant regard to other requirements, then there is a good chance that not all of the income has been declared to HMRC (The tax authorities).

If this is the case, then by creating unpleasantness at this stage, he's playing a high risk strategy. If the above is true, then, as a Landlord, I would take a broad view of the situation, and come to some amicable arrangement with the tenants, rather than push my luck.

Court case or not, I would have no qualms about speaking to HMRC with the information you talk about above. There is also a good chance that if he is carrying out his business in this way with your relatives, then he is also doing the same to others when the chance arises. If he's not, then he has nothing to lose.

David Price

11:29 AM, 17th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Martin S you stole my thunder. Cash payments with no receipts, no tenancy agreement and an unprotected deposit - makes playing with fire look positively benign.

Michael Barnes

9:47 AM, 19th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "16/06/2015 - 10:59":

If the deposit was taken 12 years ago, then there was and is no requirement to protect it.

Case law said that all deposits should be protected regardless of when taken, but I believe that has now been reversed by the Deregulation Act 2015 (I believe this was a provision that came in immediately).

With non-protected deposit, the S21 would be unenforceable, but as they have left that is of no concern now.

Puzzler

19:32 PM, 19th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "16/06/2015 - 10:59":

If the tenancy began 12 years ago, no deposit protection would have been required - although note that from about now (23rd of this month?), all deposits have to be protected even retrospectively.

How has the landlord issued a CCJ? That can only be issued by the court so do you mean he has applied for one?

It's a small claim (i.e. will be heard in the small claims court). Best go to CAB and your aunt and uncle get legal advice.

Michael Barnes

21:50 PM, 20th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Puzzler " at "19/06/2015 - 19:32":

[Deregulation Act 2015] There is no requirement to protect a deposit taken for a tenancy that started before 6 April 2007 where
a) that tenancy has not become a statutory periodic tenancy after 5 April 2007, and
b) there has been no renewal of the tenancy after 5 April 2007.

However, if such a deposit has not been protected, then any S21 notice issued is not valid.

Puzzler

9:57 AM, 1st July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "20/06/2015 - 21:50":

Michael, retrospective deposit protection is required as from 23/6/15

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/money/mortgages/article4428420.ece

Michael Barnes

15:22 PM, 1st July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Puzzler " at "01/07/2015 - 09:57":

That is what lots of commentators are saying, but it is not what the Deregulation Act says.

Puzzler

21:11 PM, 1st July 2015
About 3 years ago

Well, I have asked Mark and Neil to look at it. The Times and my agent seem to think it does.

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