Landlord subtly threatening eviction

Hi Mrs T

There hasn’t been a GSC issued to me for 12 years. There’s been one Electric Safety Certificate issued during the same period.

I haven’t been reimbursed for any repairs or replacement white goods; any discussion was tossed aside with “Ah, we’ve experienced flooding ourselves”. I had to have emergency repairs during lockdown (as permitted by the tenancy agreement) to protect my belongings and also to protect the property. This includes having roof tiles fixed, gutters and gully’s cleared as water was pouring in through the ceilings, ruining belongings we had stored in the loft. Replacing all taps and valves in the boiler & toilet as they all blew due to high water pressure. Following groundwater flooding in the cellar, the washer, dryer and saniflo all needed replacing.

Historically, if a tap broke, as happened with the kitchen mixer tap, whilst my wife and I were away, I’d have to spend an hour on the phone, pleading with them to help my teenage daughter as she was home alone with water pouring everywhere. In the end, I sent my own plumber round and gave the LL the bill. It wasn’t paid until the plumber phoned me six months later, having not received payment for his services (which were mates rates to me). All hell would break loose in what were in fact easily remedied situation.

The caveat here is that the LL is one of the most senior people at the largest utility company in the U.K.

My grievance isn’t that we have to leave; it’s that they act so poorly with us even though we’ve never been late with payment; they haven’t carried out the standard safety checks potentially imperilling our safety (that’s what regs are for) and they treat us as if we’re the scum of the earth. My partner and I are both professional people and our children educated and wonderfully accomplished. It’s a small village and it’s sad to hear in the community that ‘they want you out’ and slander us.

The email that the LL sent this week is just as patronising - we intend to sell so can you let an agent in so we can market the property?

Is that how things work?

It suggests we have no rights whatsoever,

In 12 years, they’ve had to spend very little on the property since we became tenants, probably 1/80th of the total rent we’ve paid.

Equally, when the boiler expansion vessel broke during a very cold winter period, they didn’t know what to do. They arranged an emergency call out. When they explained it would cost £275 just for the call out, I said, look, let me call my plumber who is accredited and see when he might be able to come. Rather than them spend a huge amount haphazardly, once I confirmed my plumber could come in three days, I explained we’d brave the cold for a few days and save them money. We did this to help them minimise costs but such good deeds seemingly got us nowhere.

So, in conclusion, I feel we’ve been treated very badly plus, though they have every right to sell their property, I feel that the demand to have someone come value the property so they can ‘market it’ immediately (see email pasted in earlier thread) in the next fortnight is just incredible. The disruption to us is huge in a very tough market here where prices are sky high, properties scarce and links to schools etc hard to find.

It’s never nice to have someone scream in your face “get the FXXX out of my house”.

They haven’t issued any notice to leave - they just want the estate agent(s) to value the property so they can promptly market it.

It’s important to reiterate, they do not wish to sell the property as tenanted.

@Petefonda What do you actually want to happen? I think this boils down to you feel as though you have been unfairly treated over the years. Had the LL reimbursed you for the money you have put in would you feel any different about leaving? Personally I think you need to embrace the inevitable and commit to finding somewhere else asap. You cannot stop the train, only slow it down.

For the sake of your own sanity I would just let things happen without resistance. It takes a lot of effort to fight and it would be on your mind constantly. You do not want an eviction under your belt, you’ll have to declare this and it’s bad enough already renting. You want to keep the landlord on side, his reference may well be needed especially if you went into temporary accommodation as then he has no reason to give you a good one as you are already out.

Are you perhaps looking for valid reasons to justify digging your heals in? You don’t have any in my book, LL has a right to sell regardless. What LL owes you is a completely separate issue and should be dealt with as such, such as via small claims court or deduct from the rent if you are confident it is their responsibility, but agree this first. Is it really about the money or just the principle of that he’s been irresponsible?

1 Like

Mark

Yes, I have to buy or rent somewhere; I understand this.

However, I thought that a LL doesn’t have to consult a tenant when selling a property?

If he wants us out, why not just sit down and say this straight? That he’d rather sell the property without me in possession. Be clear about his intentions rather than dress it up in any other way?

Plus, as I have stated, they’ve treated us very poorly, as evidenced by the last of GSC’s … one can’t assume that me pointing out the LL’s avoidance of legal responsibilities is simply a case of me being awkward,

I would call or meet with LL and discuss it, to clarify his intentions and try to reach some kind of understanding.

He may be doing homework initially and not decided?

1 Like

It sounds like there have been a lot of issues for you to deal with over the years.

I was just asking, as around Post 95 you said you would “agree to any of their wishes as long as there was a level playing field”

So just wondered if you meant that if you were reimbursed you would be more inclined to do something in return?

When looking back I noted David122 mentioned that a GSC might not be needed in order to issue a S21, due to when your tenancy started.

You said LL offered to get one done, but that still hasn’t happened?

If you have not been served with a valid notice to leave, him getting a valuation does not change anything for you.

And if he doesn’t want to sell the property tenanted he will have to serve you a valid notice to quit (and make sure you have actually left before putting it on the market, to be sure of vacant possession).

But so far you have not received any notice to quit, so he either cannot sell the property in the way he would prefer i.e. vacant, or he will have to sell with you in-situ. Obviously if the new owners wanted possession they would still have to go through the correct procedure to get you out.

Of course you can refuse to let people in, but as Mark10 has said, what would you like to happen ideally?

If you want reimbursement (and I would!) then set up a meeting, (maybe in another place other than your residence if that would be better for you) and tell him straight that you want reimbursement etc. before you are going to let an estate agent in. I don’t see what you have to lose, even then he will still need to issue correct notice to quit.

Thanks Mark and Mr T

I have a couple of queries but have to rush to work. Thanks for your kindness in helping me figure this out.

I’ll be back if that’s ok?

1 Like

Mrs T, is this accurate?

“And if he doesn’t want to sell the property tenanted he will have to serve you a valid notice to quit (and make sure you have actually left before putting it on the market, to be sure of vacant possession).”

Does this mean that he has to wait until we’re gone before having photos done, placing on the market etc?

Sorry if it wasn’t clear.

You mentioned he doesn’t want to sell it tenanted, so if that’s the case he has to wait until you have gone surely?

He can put it on the market with you still in-situ, but if he’s marketing it as vacant possession then he’s taking a chance you will be gone by the time the sale needs to be finalised.

If you are still there when the new owners are expecting to complete, he’s opening himself up to a lot of legal problems.

And he still needs to issue you with a correct notice to leave, just because he says he’s selling that does not invalidate the need for this.

You can refuse to let estate agents in for photos etc. and for viewings, but as someone else here said, how will this affect you going forward?

Not very many landlords take much notice of a previous landlord reference as they could lie to off-load a bad tenant.

The fact you have been there for 12 years and have proof of paying rent etc. will speak for itself.

As Mark10 said perhaps he is just weighing up his options at the moment?

It would appear he had said a lot of rubbish over the years to whoever will listen.

Perhaps ask for a meeting with him and take a third party with you?

If you want to stay there could you buy it? Is there anything in your area like Shared Ownership that is geared towards families that you could help you buy a home?

Have you been to Shelter or the CAB? Perhaps Shelter could have a look at that weirdly worded Tenancy Agreement and give their opinion on your situation overall?

1 Like

Hi Mrs T

He’s got to follow procedures like everyone else; my fundamental belief is that the law serves both the tenant and the landlord.

A starting point is reimbursing my costs for all those leaks before, during and after lockdown.

Not only were they done in an emergency (permissible as per the tenancy agreement), my motivation was informed by the fact that any previous problems created such discord that there was also a priority of limiting drama.

Yes, I can sell my professional tools to fund a deposit to buy a house but at the moment, there’s nothing locally to buy in budget.

I know from this forum that most landlords put a huge effort into maintaining fantastic relationships with tenants; many landlords have responded to my queries. I’m super thankful.

This landlord is an example of someone who has been routinely poor. I am sore but understand the realties of being in the position of a tenant. This landlord isn’t thinking about his tenants when he ignores the law with regard to gas safety for 12 years but still takes the cash. And to think, in his professional role as the figurehead of a national utility company, he’s in the media preaching otherwise.

The can’t be one rule for one and not the other,

the law does not serve landlord and tenant equally.

Hi again.

What do you want to actually happen? As Colin has well said, the law does not serve tenant and landlord equally.

I think you are getting bogged down with principles, LL work position is irrelevant.

The law requires LL to provide an annual gas safe yes, but did you ever get one yourself in 12 years? You could have if you wanted if you felt that it was important. Most home owners never bother doing this.

Leaving your home of such a long time is not pleasant I realise, but if your landlord had been that terrible over the years why did you not move out?

Without a direct discussion with LL and without having professional legal advice from someone who has all the facts, it will be never ending conjecture which serves no purpose.

2 Likes

This blog started sept last year. two or three times Mark has said talk with the landlord, no good going on and on and on over the same points . .Do something positive .Now 9 months since September. You now realise rent at present is good value? Do not want to go? Understandable , but we all have disruption in life . and have to run with it

2 Likes

No they dont have to but it would be courteous to and sensible to. In your earlier post the LL actually offers to discuss on phone….

Yes, I got my own GSC in late 2021.