Solicitors send letter with Rent Guide, GSC, EICR, Energy Performace

David

Firstly, I know you advise informally on here and I take it on that basis. I have such gratitude for your help and understand the premise of your advice.

I think the Solicitors were pitching for £275 per hour - I was just confounded that they said there’s no such thing as six months notice for a yearly tenancy. They said it was not possible to do this and the advice of Shelter, Justice for Tenants and Citizens Advice has no basis in law.

Bearing in mind that Shelter provided comprehensive advice, surely the basic on having a periodic tenancy which runs year to year would in fact mean a longer notice period than a month to month?

On Citizens Advice website, there is a section called ‘if you want to end your private tenancy’ which covers most of everything we have spoken about here.

Any thoughts?

Assuming everything you say is the truth ( you’ve already changed your story going from never being approached about a Gas safety check to it was in an e mail you ‘didnt check’ ) then if you having nothing to lose ( no savings to pay LLs legal costs and dont mind a CCJ ) id play hardball with what appears to be a slum LL . Dont pay any rent ,dont answer the phone or the door or texts or letters . Wait until the Bailiffs throw you out which may be over a year from now.
In the meantime save your rent as cash for when you get evicted it should be a tidy sum unless you have no discipline .
If you do have something to lose and dont want stress find somewhere else to live even if its moving in with parents or a friends sofa .
Im a LL but i hate slum LLs .

Section 21(4)(b) of the Housing Act 1988 says that a landlords notice cannot be of shorter length than its common law equivalent. This means that the common law requirement of 6 months notice for a 12 monthly tenancy applies. I’m not sure why the solicitor you spoke to doesn’t think this applies.

Hi David

I honestly do not know; perhaps they were keen to derive fees from taking on the case.

I spoke with a friend last night who works in the housing sector and though his expertise is not in law, he did say that the advice of Shelter, Citizens Advice and Justice for Tenants, along with the help here from people with real world experience, surely cannot be wrong.

There would be something institutionally wrong with these organisations if they gave out incorrect advice?

Equally, my partner has sought advice which is equally as confusing - we do not recall being given a GSC at the commencement of our tenancy and some people think this invalidates ANY S21.

My own understanding is that this requirement doesn’t apply in my case.

What all of this does illustrate is that this is a nightmare for tenants and landlords alike and the law needs some reform which will simplify the process going forward.

If only that were the case with the proposed Renters Reform Bill.

David

I very much appreciate your help - somehow we’ll get through this and in the meantime, I would appreciate your continued wise counsel

Hi

Sorry for a late reply.

I was never given a GSC when I moved into the property.

No further GSC were carried out between 2010 and 2021.

In late 2021, LL phoned me and asked me to buy the property which was impossible coming out of lockdown. He later proposed a GSC and I’d had my own done. He asked for the certificate but refused to pay.

Same in 2022 - I had my own done and he asked for certificate but refused to pay.

The house is not without problems but we have it looking great - LL never took care of anything and huge arguments would ensue if as much as a tap needed fixing. I’ve spend 2K on repairs (roof leaks into neighbouring property, hole in roof, flooding, replacing white goods) and LL refused to reimburse.

Looks like you’re there for life then.

If you’ve paid the new rent rate, then you’ll have to continue paying it. But if you are still paying the old rent, then you should take the S13 to a rent tribunal if you feel that the new rent rate is higher than market value. Likely result is that you’ll end up paying market value instead of an inflated rent. However, you should check how long you have after the S13 was issued to go to tribunal. There may be a time limit and you may have missed it by now.

Landlords can serve a copy of a GSC late, (as long as its before the s21), but if there was no GSC in place at all before you moved in, the landlord will likely never be able to serve a valid s21 notice.

There is a process outlined on the Shelter website which provided tenants follow it exactly, they can deduct from the rent the cost of essential maintenance which the landlord has refused to carry out.

I do not have a copy of the GSC from when we moved in or if there was one; I was certainly not given one.

David, what is the heading on the Shelter article about deducting the cost of essential repairs? I can’t find it.

Our notice expires today; I’m not happy being in limbo and my head is telling me to get in touch with the landlord. I don’t want to disclose anything other than seek out a remedy (I want to stay here whilst my son does his GCSE’s - moving would tremendously imperil his success - it’s the only home he’s ever known).

I also want to end the grief - I became ill in 2019 and can’t help but feel this was in part caused by the torment from the LL which began in 2016. Lockdown was the only period of quiet enjoyment as I recovered from a severe pneumonia and cavitation in my lung. Even then, one of the LL’s would occasionally call me and suggest I was a hypochondriac and mislead me about the hospital being closed (even though it wasn’t).

I simply want quiet enjoyment - here or elsewhere - and we, as a family, certainly haven’t had that since 2016.

I’m struggling to compose an email / text to the landlord proposing a meeting. It’s ridiculous really; my partner is in fear of being a pariah in this small village because people know what’s going on. It’s dehumanising and embarrassing. We have NEVER been late with rent … model tenants … absolutely taken advantage of with roof repairs, flooding, guttering etc and no GSC for ten years or more.

The LL didn’t approach about a GSC from 2010 to 2021 - it was only after the pandemic when they asked me to buy the property that it was ever mentioned. Sorry if I wasn’t clear about that; what they’ve done since 2016 is spoil our quiet enjoyment of the property. It’s been pretty uncomfortable as we live in a tiny village and the children were settled in school and thriving. If problems arose it would create such drama and bad blood, it became easier to fix things with our own tradesmen … any time we had a problem, this seemed like the best solution, especially if a leak in ours was affecting a neighbour or water was flooding the cellar or was pouring in the roof because of a broken roof slate or blocked guttering. Presenting the bills got me nowhere other than exacerbating an already difficult situation.

If you think you can be out in 6 months then you could, if you wish tell the landlord that he needs to give you a six month notice. When that expires he would still have to go to court to evict you and would probably fail due to the GSC and possibly other factors.