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Once again I’m coming here to see if the group can advise me on how best to help someone who’s dealing with an awful landlord.
My friend Nina rented a room in house in 2009. She is a cleaner on minimum wage. The house was not well maintained but London prices being what they are she made so. There were 4 other people living in the house.
She always paid her rent on time and looked after her room well. The poor quality of the accommodation was matched by the poor quality of people living there over the years (hard drug users etc).
She did complain to her landlord about both the condition of the house (cold and damp) and also the other tenants. Nothing was ever addressed.
Things came to a head in March when one of the other tenants tried to attack her with scissors.
Fearing for her safety she left the house immediately.
1) The landlord has only returned £250 of her £400 deposit which was never protected with an approved scheme as mandated.
2) In response to threats of legal action to recover the remaining deposit monies and sue for compensation for failure to protect and notify details of deposit, the landlord is threatening to sue her for breach of contract because she left without giving notice. (She literally feared for her life in the house.)
3) This is a terrible landlord. Operating 2 or 3 HMOs none of which are licensed as far as I can tell, all of which are in terrible condition and I would be surprised if there are even current gas safety certs.(No smoke alarms CO alarms etc)
I think the deposit protection case is a no brainer. I’m sure the court would award return of funds and probably the mandatory compensation (somewhere in the range. )
But are there grounds for countering the claim of breach of contract for leaving suddenly?
Could one make the case that the landlord was also in breach by not ensuring peaceful enjoyment of the property?
At the time she left the tenancy had reverted to a statutory periodic tenancy. (Rent paid monthly)
Really grateful for any advice as I’m furious that this horrible uncaring landlord thinks they can treat their tenants with such contempt on the assumption that they won’t have the know how or resources to stand up for their rights.
Breach of tenancy contract is a separate issue.
If the deposit isn't protected then the mandatory award could be achieved.
The LL would need to seek civil recovery of any rent or deposit etc.
Your tenant associate should report the location of these alleged HMO to the relevant councils.
The Private Rented Sector of the properties Local Authority should be the Tenants port of call.
Thank you for the links and advice!