Unfair Section 21 Notice – Tenants Cry for HELP!

by Readers Question

9:31 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Unfair Section 21 Notice – Tenants Cry for HELP!

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Unfair Section 21 Notice – Tenants Cry for HELP!

My landlord has issued me with a section 21 because I have asked for certain information regarding where my deposit is and to see a copy of the gas safety certificate.

I am devasted with this as I have a chronically ill daughter whom is on full disability and the house is perfect for her.

Despite numerous requests and pleas he has enforced the section 21 that was in my tenancy agreement.

The landlord had a new boiler installed soon after I moved in. His friend was supposed to fit it but he sub contracted it out to someone who arrived in a car. My daughters safety is paramount and I thought the law protects me.

I went to citizens advice and they advised me to inform environmental health and to send a letter to say give me details of where my deposit is or return it within 14 days.  He has refused point blank saying it is in a scheme but will not give me any details.

I checked a couple of months ago with gas safe and they had no record of the Gas Safety Certificate. He is now sending documents to environmental health but I suspect that these documents will be back dated by his friend.

I am now receiving abusive emails from him telling me to leave the property by 31st August. I am distraught, I’m not eating or sleeping, my daughters health is bad due to the stress.

From what I gathered from my neighbours he did this to the last 2 tenants and they never received their deposits back because he found something wrong with the house.

No one seems to want to help me.

I’m a carer for my daughter 24/7 this is our first rental property after leaving the marital home.

Please can someone help?

LouiseUnfair Section 21 Notice - Tenants Cry for HELP!



Comments

Mark Alexander

9:40 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

I want to help Louise.

Good landlords hate bad landlords almost as much as they hate bad tenants. It is the rogues which legislation is created to drive out of business. They simply ignore it and good landlords pay the price!

That's why I created The GOOD Landlords Campaign

Now, here's what you can do and a bit about your rights.

1) First, your landlord can't make you move out, only a judge can sign a possession order. If your landlord did not protect your deposit within 21 days and issue you with prescribed information the judge will not grant possession under section 21.

2) If you believe you are being harassed you should call the Police. You should also contact your local Council and ask them who performs their TRO function, then request to speak to that person and point them to this article.

3) You may be entitled to compensation of up to three times your deposit if your landlord has not followed the proper procedures in terms of protecting it. I suggest you contact Tessa Shepperson at Landlord Law - see >>> http://www.property118.com/member/?id=273

4) There are far more qualified people who visit this website to advise you what to do about the Gas Safety Cetrtificate so I will leave that to them.

Tessa Shepperson

10:11 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

This situaion is known as retaliatory eviction. The CAB wrote a well known paper about it quite a few years ago and I wrote about it last year here http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2012/07/30/housing-law-the-bigger-picture-eliminating-retaliatory-eviction/

There is not a huge amount you can do about it if the Landlord gets his paperwork right, although you should be entitled to claim rehousing from the Local Authority - see here for guidance http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2010/09/06/tenants-legal-help-local-authority-re-housing/

As regards the tenancy deposit claim, this is not work that I do, but you should be able to find firms who will offer a no win no fee service on the internet.

Industry Observer

10:20 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Louise

All comments are spot on and are good advice. Your Landlord may be able to serve the notice on you, but all he achieves by doing that is terminate the agreement under which the tenancy is operated. As Mark says only a Judge can actually terminate a tenancy agreement by way of a Court Order.

In terms of what happens when the notice matures on 31st August your Landlord can demand all he likes that you vacate, but your legal right is to stay because the tenancy will go what is called periodic, and simply roll over a month at a time.

A firm you can contact that operate a no win no fee basis is Anthony Gold and Partners ask for Phillipa Graham at Anthony Gold and partners

Tel: 020 7940 4000
Email: Philippa.Graham@anthonygold.co.uk
Web: http://www.anthonygold.co.uk

Lloyds Bank Chambers
186 Streatham High Road
Streatham
SW16 1BG

They are VERY good.

I doubt by the sound of him that your Landlord has protected your deposit, but even if he has my guess is he will have made a mess of a form called Prescribed Information that he also has to serve on you within 30 days of handling your deposit money. Even if he has served it I'll bet he has made mistakes in it which will render him liable for the penalties correctly outlined by Mark.

You can check with the deposit schemes if a deposit is held on your property in the name of the landlord (I assume he does not use an agent) simply by contacting each of the Schemes in turn. Start with DPS

Mark Alexander

10:24 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tessa" at "09/07/2013 - 10:11":

I can't see how this landlord can possibly have got his paperwork right Tessa, can you? If he had, Louise would have received a copy of the deposit Protection Certificate and also the Prescribed Information.

If I were Louise, I be retaliating myself. Given that claims for failing to protect deposits can go back six years, if Louise knows the previous tenants perhaps she should be giving them the "heads up" on the potential for a nice little windfall too?

Word of caution to Louise - do watch out for ambulance chaser legal services forms offering "no win no fee". Always try to deal with a qualified solicitor who is recommended by somebody you know and trust wherever possible. The proper name for "no win no fee" is a Conditional fee agreement, also referred to by solicitors as a CFA. Citizens advice may be able to put you in touch with a local solicitor who does CFA's if you get stuck.

Adam Zeeblebum

10:31 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Louise

I agree with all of Mark's comments above.

It's very difficult to give reliable and accurate advice on a situation like this without seeing the tenancy agreement you have. However, based on what you have said, I would guess that the Section 21 notice isn't valid.

The law on the validity of Section 21 notices and how that is affected by whether or not deposits are protected, and whether or not the landlord has provided the tenant with information about that, is complicated. Case law on it is coming through thick and fast at the moment, so it is an area that is developing. So, whilst none of these are cast-iron reasons why the Section 21 notice isn't valid, there are three things in what you have said that make me question its validity:

- the Section 21 was served at the same time as you signed the tenancy, i.e. before you deposit could possibly have been protected
- there's a strong sense that the landlord hasn't protected your deposit at all
- even if the landlord has protected your deposit, it sounds like he hasn't given you any information about this

But on this particular point, I would strongly recommend re-visiting the CAB and taking with you your tenancy agreement and any other paperwork or correspondence you have received from your landlord. They should, on the basis of that, be able to come to a definitive answer on whether or not the notice is valid, and advise you on what your housing status and housing rights are. They would also be able to provide you with advice about the possible compensation claim that Mark mentioned in his third point above.

Regarding the harassment, I agree with Mark - contact the Police and the Council about this. I would also let the Council know about the gas safety certificate. In addition, keep a journal of all contact that you have with the landlord, and of all the problems that there have been with both the property and with the landlord's conduct and management of the property.

Unfortunately, although the short-term situation might be alleviated somewhat, along with the possibility of having to move out of the property fairly soon, from what you have said I doubt very much that this property will ever be a comfortable and enjoyable place for you and your daughter to live. I'm sorry to be pessimistic, and I hope that I am wrong. However, an approach to your Council's homelessness service might be in order to make a homelessness application, on the basis that it is not reasonable for you to remain in the property. I won't go into any more detail about that at the moment, but if you decide go ahead with that option, or even if you're just considering it, I'd be happy to provide more information about that and answer any questions that you might have.

Adam

Mark Alexander

10:33 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry" at "09/07/2013 - 10:20":

My old arch enemy do have some uses LOL

Louise should find this page on the shelter Housing charity website very useful to identify whther her property is registered >>> http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/paying_for_a_home/tenancy_deposits/deposit_protection_and_tenancy_deposit_schemes

Louise Mac

10:37 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry" at "09/07/2013 - 10:20":
Thanks for this advice. I have numerous emails asking for this information he has stated on one which does in say "the landlord retains the deposit" then in the next email he says it is with a dps scheme but again he refuses to give me the information. I am distraught as to how he can get away with this. If there is anyone whom can help me legally to take him to court I would be grateful the stress worry and anxiety he has bestowed on my daughter and myself is unbearable but I cannot let him get away with it he's made my life a complete living hell

Tessa Shepperson

10:38 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark" at "09/07/2013 - 10:24":

Sorry, yes, if the deposit has not been protected then the section 21 claim cannot succeed. To be able to serve a valid s21 notice the landlord will need to refund the deposit money first. This will not affect your rights to the penalty.

Mark Alexander

10:38 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

ONE MORE PIECE OF ADVISE FROM ME TO LOUISE

Continue to pay your rent, continue to respect the property and continue to respect your neighbours. If you do all of these things your landlord will find it VERY difficult to serve you notice under section 8. If you fail to do all of these things you may end up with two problems: 1) losing your home and 2) the council refusing to re-house you on the grounds that you have made yourself intentionally homeless.

Louise Mac

10:57 AM, 9th July 2013
About 5 years ago

Just spoken to Philippa unfortunately my deposit of 650 pounds does not give them enough scope.... It was worth a try as I will try anything to fight this rogue landlord. If anyone can help me prepare a civil court case I have numerous emails asking for the documentation and for repairs to be done. At my wits end now. He's going to get away with it once again

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