Breach of terms
If your landlord fails to meet the obligations of your tenancy agreement, you can take action against them by issuing court proceedings, and in some cases, withhold service charge and rent payments.
Landlords are generally responsible for the maintenance and repair of the exterior and infrastructure of the building. If your landlord refuses to pay or repair the property as stated in the agreement, or the landlord is charging you more than what is reasonable for major works, it is important to seek legal representation immediately. When disputes can’t be resolved by negotiation, and if you are unsure what rights, responsibilities and obligations your landlord has, contact one of our property solicitors today to see if you can make a case for a breach of terms.
Issuing court proceedings can be a time-consuming and costly process, but if you believe you aren’t receiving what you are entitled to, or are being charged unfairly, call us today for legal advice and cost-effective payment solutions.
In severe circumstances, tenants may wish to make a harassment claim against their landlord. They have the right to do this if the landlord:
- Intentionally cuts off your gas, electricity or water supply
- Open your mail or remove your belongings
- Harasses you due to your gender, race, sexuality or religion
- Threatened you or acted violent
- Enter your home without your permission
- Send construction workers during unsociable hours
If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to contact a legal advisor at the earliest possible stage, so you can receive the right representation going forward. However, if you believe you are in immediate danger you need to contact the police immediately.
Deposit Protection/ recovery
New legislation in England and Wales was brought into force in 2012, requiring the landlord to secure deposits for Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) in a tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) within 30 days of receipt. This protects your deposit and ensures you get it back at the end of the agreement if you:
- Meet the terms of your Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST)
- Leave the property in the same condition as you found it
- Pay your rent and additional service charges
Your tenancy deposit should usually be refunded within 10 days at the end of the fixed term. If you have reason to believe that your deposit was not put in the protection scheme, contact the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDP) to find out. If you have met the terms of your agreement and your landlord is withholding your deposit unfairly, or can’t be contacted, seek legal advice as soon as you can. You may also find yourself in the situation where the landlord has not given reasonable explanations regarding any deductions they’ve made from your deposit. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Our legal experts ensure you receive what you are entitled to, and can help resolve deposit disputes with your landlord in the most efficient and convenient way possible. If you are concerned about the legal fees involved, we can also offer you affordable payment plans to help manage your costs throughout the whole process. Get in touch with our legal team today on 020 3376 1888.
Service charge disputes/recovery
Service charges mainly cover general maintenance and repair of the building. If your landlord starts major works on the building, they are required by law to consult you. The landlord must serve the tenant with ‘a notice of intention’ which explains the proposed works, and why the landlord considers it necessary. They will also need to provide estimations for time spent and costs of major works. During this time the tenant has 30 days to reply with observations. You may be able to contest your service charge if your landlord has:
- Not specified any major works in your tenancy agreement
- Not followed the correct procedures for starting major works
- Started major works without your consent
It is important to note that the tenant’s obligation to pay for service charges are solely dependent on the tenancy agreement. There is no obligation to pay for anything that is not specified in the lease. If you believe you are being charged unfairly, or want to seek legal advice because your landlord is starting major works, contact one of our property solicitors now.
Landlords are allowed to evict tenants if they have damaged the property, or have a significant amount of rent arrears. However, if you have evidence that your landlord has not followed the correct legal procedures, they could be charged with a criminal offence.
It can be classified as an illegal eviction if your landlord:
- forces you out of the property by threatening or harassing you
- Physically throws you out
- Stops you from getting into certain parts of your residence
- Changes the locks while you’re away
Your landlord must give you notice of leave of two months. After this they can ask the court for a ‘warrant of possession’, giving the tenants an eviction notice and set date to leave the property.
In these severe cases, you can ask a judge to ‘suspend the warrant for possession’, allowing you to stay in your residence if you are able to make your payments. If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. Property lawyers can help you make your case to the court and set up a hearing at short notice before your eviction date. if you’re unhappy with the result you can appeal the judge’s decision.
If you were served a notice of leave, and want to contest the decision of your landlord, call our team of legal experts today. We provide compassionate, tactical advice and cost-effective payment solutions to help you through every stage of the eviction process. To find out more information, call us today on 020 3376 1888.
We provide payment plans to cover your legal costs, so you can get the legal support you require – without the need for large up front payments.
Your legal process can involve negotiation, litigation or alternative dispute resolution (such as arbitration or mediation).
We will connect you with a lawyer who specialises in landlord and tenant matters and who is right for your individual circumstances. If you have already appointed a lawyer, we can still offer you a payment plan solution and will make all the necessary arrangements with your lawyer on your behalf.
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