LEGAL ADVICE PLEASE

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gtcse8
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Post by gtcse8 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:53 pm

Right Chaps

I remember getting a few offers of advice last year when my "landlord" ordered me to remove all my cars etc from view in his yard.

Well to cut a long story short he turned up to day with a note to quit.

12 weeks is the deadline after 18 years putting up with excuses as to why the building was collapsing around me, and what he was going to do about it.

I moved in on an agreement that the roof would be replaced, this has not happened.
He has not spent a penny on the property in all this time.

We had a verbal agreement on cash in hand for rent and no written paperwork.

Any thoughts from better minds than me?.


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Post by rebel alliance » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:19 pm

Google...Verbal agreement on rented properties...lots of info came up



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Post by gtcse8 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:15 pm

rebel alliance wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:19 pm
Google...Verbal agreement on rented properties...lots of info came up
Already done it, cheers :lol:


Mark Wilson. Garage sale everything must go. :cry: SE5a`s, GTC, SE6b`s, Triumph Daytona, Honda CB750 K7. Also on YouTube :wink: lookup RELIANT SCIMITAR V8 CONVERSION & billy no mates, Single Rat

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Post by drcdb15 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:15 pm

Mark, I'm afraid your position may not be very strong on this. You can find a broad outline of your position on the official government web site here: https://www.gov.uk/private-renting-tena ... ur-tenancy

There are two sections to your position - the first is the on-going rental arrangement, and the second is the termination of the tenancy.

As to the first, you say you've been a tenant for 18 years, so clearly there are de facto terms agreed regarding rent payments and other obligations. The fact that he never fixed the roof is probably irrelevant, since by the same token you seem to have put up with a broken roof for 18 years. Unless you can show that you made repeated efforts to get him to honour his promise it is all now irrelevant. By not enforcing your rights you effectively lose them, and this works on both sides. Besides, now that he has served notice to quit those on-going rental terms are irrelevant, provided both sides kept to them and it seems that you and the landlord both did (as far as I can see on this minimal information).

The second part is the termination. As you can see from the gov.uk site, 12 weeks is more than generous as a notice period. So (and I assume you'd really like to stay on if you could) your only basis for not complying with his request to go is if he has not served notice properly for the type of tenancy you have. I can't comment on the formality compliance of the notice to quit since I haven't seen it and anyway I don't know the details of the tenancy, but even if it has not been properly formulated and/or served it will only delay things if you challenge it. You cannot stop it indefinitely.

At the end of the day, it is his property and sooner or later you as tenant must be prepared to hand it back to him.

As to any other options you might have, as far as I can see these are:

1. Offer to pay a higher rent. Presumably he has a commercial reason for evicting you, so if you can offer him more money than he thinks he can make by some other use of the property then commercially he should take your offer. A variant of this is to offer to buy the property from him.

2. Request more time to allow you to find a replacement property. This could include an element of paying a higher rent for the extra time requested.

3. Refuse to move. This is unwise as it is of course illegal, and could get not only messy with the courts and bailiffs, but also very expensive. At the end of the day, the police could evict you by force, and you'd not only end up with costs but also very likely a criminal record for resisting the police.

I suspect this will be little comfort to you, but I know of a house in my road where a family lived for 18 years (coincidentally), kids grown up and so on, suddenly out of the blue being given two months notice to quit. Made homeless what seems like overnight after it's been your family home for close on 20 years. That's the law, I'm afraid.


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Post by drcdb15 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:33 pm

gtcse8 wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:53 pm
... my "landlord" ...

We had a verbal agreement on cash in hand for rent and no written paperwork.
I wonder why you used quotes to describe your landlord? Is there some scope here for some horse trading? How much do you know about him?

You might have leverage against him if he is not complying with any local regulations, such as not being registered as a landlord (this is compulsory in Scotland and in a few English local authority areas).

You might have leverage if he is not properly declaring his rental income to the tax authorities. Certainly if you challenge the eviction and it goes to court then the financial details could become public. And of course if you personally become aware of any tax evasion you have a duty in law to inform HMRC.

You could get some seriously worthwhile revenge if he's trading above the VAT threshold and is not registered for VAT. HMRC has a hotline I believe to receive anonymous tip offs. Most traders really enjoy VAT inspections ... :w :w :w

It will be worth checking your local council for planning applications for the area around or even specifically for the property you rent - there might be scope to challenge the application, particularly if it involves change of use. Or... he might have some plans for the property that require planning permission where he has NOT sought it - naughty boy. In which case you might call the planning authority and ask if they know of anything planned for this property.

Know your enemy - do your homework :wink:


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Post by gtcse8 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:24 am

Hi Chris

Thanks for your thoughts.
This a long story, but I need to get it off my chest, stop reading now and delete it if you wish.

The building comprises of an old dairy which is Two and a half cars wide and Eight/Ten cars long.
The entrance is a sliding door just wide enough to get a Scim through.

When I moved in I had his permission to remove the milking stalls which were taking half the width of the building.
The first half of the building is an Ex Army wooden prefab with asbestos roof which I was told would be demolished and a high portal building erected as replacement, the last half of the building extend into an existing 110 year old stone barn.
This section has a solid wooden roof that was the hay loft for the stone barn when it was in use.
The stone barn is now occupied by my friend who is a registered Agricultural machinery repair business.
He pays his rent by standing order and I would assume this is put through the farms books.

The first prefab section was sagging and was held up with Two railway sleepers as vertical props, I have now added a Third sleeper and a steel prop as additional supports as the roof has collapsed.

I used to hand over the cash, but started to pay it by bank transfer when he last increased the rent Two years ago.
The last time he requested a rent increase my GF was in Intensive care after a stroke, which I thought was a bit nasty and upsetting.
He knows that I look after her full time and the Scimitar stuff is my wages.

He actually mentioned that he should be charging an extra 20% for the vat on the rent?.

I have repeatedly reminded him about his promises to repair the roof and Three years ago asked me to move the Scim that was parked outside because I could not get it inside because of the railway sleepers holding the roof up.
He said this was for his access to repair the roof.
After getting the car running I parked it in another part of the yard, where he told me to, then after a few weeks he told me to put it back as he didn`t have time to do the roof.

Last November he gave me Three days notice to remove all traces of my cars from the hard standing at the side of the building, this was when I made the request on scimweb to sell all my fleet.
I scrapped two cars that I was trying to repair to sell and sold the SST to make room inside the doorway for my other running Scim.

The week after I shifted everything a steel container was place at the side and a builder brought his trailer, jcb, stone etc and took up residence.

He complained about a Scim I had parked outside My door as he wanted to get some stuff out, to which I replied " why not just go round the car? there is enough room and the car is only here for 10 minutes while I take some stuff out of the rear hatch".
He was not amused and marched across the yard to talk to the landlord, while he was there the Scim was driven away. :roll:
My pal and I think this builder has asked about taking over this shithole and may have even offered to repair/replace the roof.
I will be putting my thoughts to the landlord when I see him next, if he doesn`t run off again. :x

Rant over :lol:

Regards Mark



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Post by derekoss » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:56 am

Mark, there's a situation called "tacit relocation" in commercial law. Essentially if you leased on the 1st Feb for example and no notice to quit was given 40 days before that date the lease continues for a further period. Usually a year. I have a cell phone mast lease which works on that basis.
Worth checking out.
Derek



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Post by drcdb15 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:08 pm

Note to mods: I did consider doing this as a PM but thought it may be of help more generally to any others facing any sort of dispute. Sorry if it's too long.

Thanks for that history, Mark. It is always useful to know the background to disputes as it does impact on the available resolution options. My understanding is that you and your friend rent the building (as two separate arrangements) but you do NOT rent the adjoining yard area – though I assume you must have a right of access over at least part of it to get to your property.

What you’ve described doesn’t change my view, namely that there are two parts to your situation – the past rental arrangements, and the recently received eviction notice.

However, you have added a couple of salient points. First, it seems that your landlord may not be a very pleasant person – no law against that I’m afraid, but it’s useful to know. Secondly, he has engaged a builder (apparently) to carry out work on the premises you rent.

You also refer to “the farm’s books” so I infer the former dairy is on a farm and your landlord is the farmer. As far as I know there is nothing special about a farm from the point of view of being VAT registered, and many farms are registered even though they trade below the threshold. However, his threat about VAT on your rent is probably hollow. This is from a farming accountancy website: “Where a farmer rents out their land then this would be an exempt supply and would have consequences for the amount of VAT that can be reclaimed. This is also relevant for farm buildings that are let for use as workshops etc.” (https://www.thomaswestcott.co.uk/news/4 ... -you-think). The question for you, is: is he falsely reclaiming VAT on your rent that you are not paying him? Might be worth a call to the taxman if things get nasty later on…

Now in what follows I am assuming you are squeaky clean – it’s no good invoking legal measures if you’re breaking the law yourself somewhere, as chickens like that have a habit of coming home to roost. So we assume you are a sole trader, not doing anything shady, rent paid up to date, public liability insurance in place, meeting all health and safety rules etc etc.

In any tenancy the tenant is entitled in law to what is called “Quiet Enjoyment” of the property. That is, he is entitled to go about his normal daily business (be that a domestic family living in a home, or a tradesman carrying out his daily business of repairing cars) without interference, harassment or any other sort of intrusion or obstruction from the landlord or any agent of the landlord (such as this ‘builder’).

The landlord is obliged to maintain the property, but he cannot just march in unannounced with the cement mixer and start doing things. He has to give you reasonable notice (usually 48 hours for a domestic property, may be a lot longer for a commercial one because of interruption of business) AND you have to agree to the work being carried out to his proposed schedule. (if you refuse access we are into a whole different area, so let’s not consider that). The law requires both sides to be “reasonable” in this.

It seems from what you’ve said that the builder arrived unannounced, and set up his container in the yard area. Since you don’t rent the yard area this is OK. However, it may well constitute breach of your quiet enjoyment if subsequently the builder’s activities materially interfere with yours, for example by noise, blocking access, leaving debris around the yard that obstructs you getting cars in and out etc.

So, as I understand it, that’s the present situation. Question is, what can you do about it?

Action Plan:

1. Protect and secure what you already have. Most important is the eviction notice. I presume this was handed to you as a sheet of paper. Make a copy of it. Photograph or scan it to your computer, then make a back up copy, then print out a duplicate. Keep the original in safe place. If you have a fire safe that’s ideal.

2. Plan to secure anything further that occurs. So, get a notebook or a page on your iPad or whatever, and make a note of as much as you can remember of what’s already happened. Your post above will make a nice start. Put in dates, and any specific words spoken by the landlord, such as threats or abuse or anything directly relevant – for example, if you recall a conversation where you asked for the roof repair and he said “F*** the roof”, make a note of it. If you use an electronic device for this, make sure you make backups regularly on some different device – a portable hard drive or memory stick would be ideal.

3. Keep this record up to date by adding anything and everything that occurs from now on – letters, phone calls, chance meeting in the street, when the ‘builder’ arrives, where he parks if he blocks you in, etc. !! Make the back up copy !!

4. Get together as much information as you can about your landlord and the builder. Any source of information is good – tradesmen often reveal useful information just from what they have on the side of their vans. For example, get his phone number, then google it – may be he’s in some other business too, using the same number. Does the landlord have any other farms? Or any other businesses? If the farm is a registered company, it should be listed at Companies House - http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk//wcfr ... ompanyInfo

5. Know your own position: you need to establish just exactly what sort of tenancy you have, and how the eviction notice applies to it. You need expert advice on this, from a local person who you can turn to, meet and phone easily. My advice is that the best place to start is the Citizens’ Advice Bureau – Alice Street in Keighley seems to be your nearest, tel 0844 499 4195 for an appointment, and ask for a recommendation for a commercial property solicitor. There are a couple in Keighley. Don’t be afraid to ask their charges (a commercial property solicitor should be around £230/hour) right at the outset, and DO expect them to say …”but we offer a free initial consultation” – If they don’t offer that, then ask for it. Most places will offer a first hour free, some only half an hour, but you can get a lot of useful help in that time if you go in fully prepared.

6. Prepare for the first meeting with the solicitor. You will need a printed copy of your record of “the story so far”, and a copy of the eviction notice. You will also need (again, written notes are best here) details of the landlord and the builder and all of the related information you collected under point 4. Before you go in, be very clear in your mind what exactly you want answers to. I suggest what I said above: What sort of tenancy do I have? Is this eviction notice valid for that type of tenancy?


7. Consider investing in membership of the Federation of Small Businesses, £177/year, legal and tax advice section here: https://www.fsb.org.uk/join-us/membersh ... cheme.html

After all this, you should have a clear idea of your options. I have no idea what the outcome might be – at one extreme you may find the eviction is invalid, and you can put the landlord on notice regarding loss of quiet enjoyment. At the other, unpleasant though he has been, he may well be within his legal rights and you have to leave.

My own advice would be (while you are secretly putting your Action Plan into practice) to try to have a reasonable conversation with the landlord, calm and polite, to see what exactly he wants to achieve with the builder and the property generally. People often let slip little gems of information in relaxed chatting, which might give ammunition to your solicitor, or more positively, might suggest some sort of compromise to keep everyone happy (up to a point!).


Chris
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Post by gtcse8 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:14 pm

Cheers Derek
Problem is I don`t have a lease, it`s a verbal agreement that I pay for the use of " storage", but he is fully aware that I have installed electricity to run my machines to make things.
I have even made/repaired/supplied things to him over the years.

Retaliatory Eviction seems to be the case, I asked and asked for the roof to be repaired, even though he promised to replace it when I moved in.

Chris your notes above arrived just as I got off the phone to 03442451282, the CA number at the Alice St branch, I dropped in there this morning and it was packed, so I called the number given and 5 mins later I had gone round in circles without actually speaking to anyone, let alone making an appointment.

The afor mentioned builder is not there to fix the roof, he is renting yard space I believe. in fact he has damaged it further by propping scaffold planks against it. :evil:

Chris I just called the number you give above, its a recorded message telling me I reached my tarrif and cannot continue unless I call another number, :bh


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Post by Dcrosby13 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:33 pm

Sorry man this does sound like a bad situation to be in. you might be better spending time looking for a new place as opposed to trying to fight him, let me know if there is anything I can do to help.


I break stuff...... :w

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Post by gtcse8 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:50 pm

Hi Darryl

My problem is looking after the disabled Girlfriend.

Can`t get a job full time and renting a 100 sq ft unit round here is circa 7.5k + business rates.

ATM I was paying his rent off the parts I sell, that has now come to an end.


Mark Wilson. Garage sale everything must go. :cry: SE5a`s, GTC, SE6b`s, Triumph Daytona, Honda CB750 K7. Also on YouTube :wink: lookup RELIANT SCIMITAR V8 CONVERSION & billy no mates, Single Rat

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Post by drcdb15 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:08 pm

derekoss wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:56 am
Mark, there's a situation called "tacit relocation" in commercial law. Essentially if you leased on the 1st Feb for example and no notice to quit was given 40 days before that date the lease continues for a further period. Usually a year. I have a cell phone mast lease which works on that basis.
Worth checking out.
Derek
Tacit relocation is a term in Scots Law, although it has equivalents in other jurisdictions. Essentially it boils down to, if neither side rocks the boat, then things carry on as they were before - same rent, same conditions etc. It doesn't apply here because one side *has* rocked the boat - in that the landlord has given notice.


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Post by drcdb15 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:27 pm

gtcse8 wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:14 pm
Cheers Derek
Problem is I don`t have a lease, it`s a verbal agreement that I pay for the use of " storage", but he is fully aware that I have installed electricity to run my machines to make things.
I have even made/repaired/supplied things to him over the years.

Retaliatory Eviction seems to be the case, I asked and asked for the roof to be repaired, even though he promised to replace it when I moved in.

Chris your notes above arrived just as I got off the phone to 03442451282, the CA number at the Alice St branch, I dropped in there this morning and it was packed, so I called the number given and 5 mins later I had gone round in circles without actually speaking to anyone, let alone making an appointment.

The afor mentioned builder is not there to fix the roof, he is renting yard space I believe. in fact he has damaged it further by propping scaffold planks against it. :evil:

Chris I just called the number you give above, its a recorded message telling me I reached my tarrif and cannot continue unless I call another number, :bh
Hey Mark, try to keep calm - I fully appreciate how intensely frustrating this can be, so don't be afraid to take a step back, have a cuppa, count to ten, whatever it takes.

First thing - if the builder is damaging your roof, that's breach of QE. Go and take some photos (make sure they're date/time stamped) - DISCREETLY! Then see if the builder is about. If he is, ask him politely to move the planks as they're damaging your roof. Introduce yourself, ask him his name, ask him what his plans are - treat it like a friendly, get-to-know-you chat like you would down the pub or with a new neighbour - who are you, where'd you come from, what do you do etc. It's all information about what's going on, and what the landlord has in mind. Apologise, say you're sorry you blocked him in last week, be humble. The aim is to get him relaxed and friendly (at least, not hostile) and to open up about what's going on. You never know, it might turn out he's only there for 6 months until he can find somewhere larger! All this information feeds in to what you can tell the solicitor, and it all informs what your options might be.

As for identifying a solicitor, don't worry - there *is* one in Keighley I'd suggest as a first port of call, but I think you'd be better off talking to CAB to get some local knowledge and insight. First thing Monday morning may not be the best time to approach them - as you found! but don't give up. Try calling again mid-morning and mid-afternoon until you get through. Wednesday might be a good day. Tuesday is the busiest weekday across all businesses. Wednesday and Thursdays are quieter. Friday busy again as folks try to clear their to-do list before the weekend.


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Post by gtcse8 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:59 pm

Cheers Chris

Already spoken to the builder just after he appeared.
He came over and asked me to weld his tipper tailgate back on when his lads broke it, which I did, good relations etc :roll:
Last week, on passing, he mentioned that he had heard I was complaining about his taking over the yard :shock: :o
My mate was stood with me so I have witness, :mrgreen:
I asked him what he was on about and he came up with a name I had never heard of. :w
I don`t know what he was on about and told him so. :twisted:
I have no intention of palling up to him now. :cloud:

Planning on calling at CAB 9.30 am tomorrow :idea:


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Post by gtcse8 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:44 pm

Outcome of CAB is they can`t advise or intervene as this is beyond their remit as its a rental of storage rather than a dwelling????. :?:
Have spoken calmly to the Landlord about what he expects me to do with the machines that are part owned by my mate in the next unit with Three Phase electricity, not his problem was the reply to every question. :cloud:
In light of the new Lockdown I will have to face the Runt again. :w


Mark Wilson. Garage sale everything must go. :cry: SE5a`s, GTC, SE6b`s, Triumph Daytona, Honda CB750 K7. Also on YouTube :wink: lookup RELIANT SCIMITAR V8 CONVERSION & billy no mates, Single Rat

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