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  • #3934
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3181

    Heya all. <br>Thanks for reading this. <br>Just need some advice regarding housing and contracts. <br>I signed a housing contract (joint assured shorthold tenancy i think) for my final year at university in Sheffield (from 1st July 2005 to 30th June 2006) but have had a huge disagreement with one of my current housemates who IMO is a total prat/idiot etc. <br>I’ve been down to the University accomodation centre and had a word with the landlord on the phone who told me that he is under obligation to accept the first person who comes to him but my housemates aren’t. <br>Just asking really as i’m confused with regards what to do next, i am advertising it on the uni sites, aroudn the university and in the accomodation centre and would like to know if it would be possible for this particular person to reject every person (hopefully i will find someone) who wants to take over my room and if i find someone surely it isn’t fair on me to have to pay the rent on it if i’ve found someone but they don’t want him?

    Thanks in advance <br>Martin <br>ps. i know how stupid i’ve been with regards this.  My positive patch has officially ended :(

    #90672
    Matron
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5864

    Martin,

    Best port of call would be to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau of where you will get free legal advice over the phone – or meet somebody "face to face" by prior arrangement.

    Regards- Matron<br>:cool:

    #90673
    stevedvg
    Member
    • Total Posts 1137

    surely it isn’t fair on me to have to pay the rent on it if i’ve found someone but they don’t want him? <br>

    Surely it’s entirely fair?

    If you were staying and someone was leaving, would you be happy if they could simply give their place in the flat to some anti-social deadbeat?

    I doubt it.

    I reckon you’d want the right to decline anyone who was unsuitable.

    Why shouldn’t your flatmates have the same right?

    Nor would you want to be forced to pay extra rent if someone simply decided to up sticks.

    You don’t explain why you’re the one that’s leaving.

    Surely if this housemate is the dickhead you suggest, the other housemates would make sure that he’s the one going out the door?

    Steve

    #90674
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3181

    Heya Steve.<br>                    Sorry i didn’t explain why i was leaving, i’m leaving due to friction and to put it bluntly agression from one of my housemates.  Under the circumstances i would like someone to point out how it’s my fault he’s made threatening comments towards me?

    <br>As it happens Steve i discovered my other housemates happen to be spineless and despite supporting me in this have not got the bottle to do the same themselves.<br>Martin<br>

    #90675
    stevedvg
    Member
    • Total Posts 1137

    Hi Martin

    This housemate sounds like just the sort of person I was thinking about when I said they should have the right to veto someone who is an "anti-social deadbeat".  

    You’re obviously better off out of there and I hope you can find someone to take your place.

    As for the other housemates, I’ve looked into my crystal ball and I’ve seen that they are heading for a bad experience.

    Yours

    Mystic Steve

    #90676
    Meshaheer
    Member
    • Total Posts 486

    Sounds a difficult situation – but you haven’t stated the entire story i.e why this person has been threatening towards you. Surely it must have started somewhere and there must be a reason for him doing so. Plus there must also be a reason why the others aren’t supporting you. Is this aggressive person quite influential over them?

    Are your housemates willing to find someone else new? I’m sure if you advertise well enough around the campus etc you’ll find someone, and hopefully someone your housemates are willing to let move in. Until then though it sounds a bit tricky. This time last year I was uncomfortable with who I was living with (mainly a self absorbed couple and some weirdo I didn’t know) so we had a rearrangement of the group and re signed contracts. I’ve had plenty of trouble recently with one housemate in particular but I’m living with entirely different people next year which is looking a bit smoother.

    #90677
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3181

    There’s always been a bit of antagonism mainly as he nearly fractured my arm back in first year (November 2004 time) but it died down a bit until lately.

    Got to talk to SU about it but thanks to all for advice

    Best Wishes<br>Tired Martin

    #90678
    Meshaheer
    Member
    • Total Posts 486

    And you chose to live with someone who nearly fractured your arm??? :o

    #90679
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3181

    Quote: from Meshaheer on 3:06 pm on Mar. 9, 2005[br]And you chose to live with someone who nearly fractured your arm??? :o

    <br>Aye because i am daft.<br>I went to the SU who were really helpful and i’ve explained things to my mates i’m talking to and that there’s only really the one reason i’m moving out and it’s not them so i hope it doesn’t affect stuff that much – it might affect us if by July we haven’t found someone to take my place (which ive been told is extremely unlikely).

    Also my current room is on the market also as i can’t stand to live with this person so i’ll be working quadruple hours for the forseeable future to possibly if need be pay for 2 rooms :(

    Best wishes<br>Martin

    #90680
    hoofhearted
    Member
    • Total Posts 248

    Quote: from Ian Davies on 6:48 pm on Mar. 9, 2005[br]Btw, why do you seek advice on these problems on the internet?

    Perhaps because he (Irish Stamp) sees this place as a community of friends (or at least acquaintances) which he can tap-up for independent and impartial advice. Seems reasonable enough IMO. "Sometimes you can’t make it on your own"…………

    For what it’s worth, Stamp mate, I cannot see why you feel obliged to keep paying the rent when you are not an occupant anymore. As you’ve been forced out via intimidation and understandable discomfort resulting from an individual bully, then, cut all ties — and that includes rent payments.  F*** ’em, and move on with your life. If the landlord comes after you for "fulfillment of contract"– tell him you’ll have your day in court. Final year at Uni ……. you don’t need this grief!

    #90681
    Meshaheer
    Member
    • Total Posts 486

    Ian, while we all know how great things were in your "good old days", the internet can be a useful source for purely objective advice…so I don’t blame Martin for asking for help on this one. After all most forum members are well past their student days, and therefore older and theoretically wiser ;)

    #90682
    wit
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2155

    Irish Stamp

    These things tend to be very fact specific (eg at one point you seem to suggest  the tenancy expires in July, but at another you seem to suggest it may go beyond)-  so please take the following as no more than possible ideas and don’t let them override any specific advice you’ve had from anyone who’s actually seen your paperwork..

    First, I’m assuming you’ll have signed a pre-printed form like this:<br>http://www.regisdirect.co.uk/regisdirect/arlata.pdf

    Second, I’m assuming you signed no house rules or similar contract with your house-mates regulating the relationship as between yourselves.

    Third, if you are a joint tenant then, all things being equal (eg the landlord has not promised to the Uni authorities not to do this)  the landlord’s easiest reaction would be not to chase after you when you quit and stop paying, but to pursue your remaining co-signatories for the shortfall in overall rent you’ll have caused him.    

    Fourth, this would normally leave the remaining tenants to pursue you for your unpaid share of rent.  

    Fifth, as and when they do that then, for the amount of rent I’m assuming will be involved, it will be a small claim in the County Court before the registrar, who is used to parties showing up without legal representation.

    So, when you get the claim form from the County Court (assuming you can be found to be served in the first place),  you answer it by filing a defence and counterclaim on the basis of the aggressive behaviour against you, perpetrated by one character but acquiesced in by the other occupants, which left you in fear of your further physical safety (bearing in mind past broken limb).  

    While you had been prepared to put the first incident down to an accident, it has now become clear that as a matter of character this individual is volatile / unpredictable / menacing / violent and has developed a particular animus against you.  

    You had not wanted to leave but feared for your well-being. Through his behaviour and the other house-mates’ acquiescence in it, you were in effect evicted against your will  

    Having taken this action against you, and now benefited from their consequent increased enjoyment of less crowded premises, the individual and his accomplices should not be allowed to have their cake and eat it by reclaiming rent.     <br>  <br>All this depends on your stopping your current "nice guy" routine.    Looking just to your interests, I’m with Grasshopper’s PPS (ie not the fire and pitchfork bit).

    You’re better off being first out than the last one – use it to create pressure between the aggressor and the acquiescers.  

    Stop paying rent.  Reclaim from them (not the landlord – nothing to do with him) what you’ve paid since you left.  

    Get your paper trail in early –  write to your co-tenants carefully in measured, non-libellous, strictly factual-incident terms, stating the cumulative impact of events on you and not focusing on the aggressor – understated and non-accusatory reads more persuasively than rants and direct accusations.    

    Outline a case that will have a dispassionate reader – your real audience here is always the decision-maker at the Court – warm to your side as the mild-mannered, unassuming party put upon by unreasonable others.  Get the reader thinking "Nobody should have to put up with this – he’s been more restrained than I’d have been".

    The onus will be on your co-tenants, and from what you say who knows how the cracks will then come between them.

    IMHO you’re not playing the hand you’ve been dealt correctly at the moment – get tough, shake the tree and see what falls.  

    Worst case, you end up paying what you’re paying already anyway plus some minor-ish Court fees and scale costs for putting them through the wringer.  

    If your co-tenants come over to your side, you can try a deal with the landlord as suggested by Grasshopper.

    If you are sufficiently circumspect in writing a non-defamatory (ie factual and justifiable) account of events to the present, you might consider blind copying it to the landlord to let him know what’s happening – though don’t put anything on it that may help him chase you down if that’s what he’s promised the Uni authorities (that’s what I take to be behind his statement of  "I’ll  accept any replacement" .

    Just some ideas.

    Ultimately though you need to be or get comfortable with what  you do and how you do it.  However logical or "right" a course may be, I always reckon its not that   good if it ends up giving you sleepless nights.

    best regards

    wit<br>

    #90683
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3181

    Heya Wit.<br>             I’m a joint tenant from July to end of June 2006 but in my current house i’m on a single person contract thing.   Though at present i’m looking for somewhere else for the rest of the semester, if need be and i end up in court (hopefully i won’t) i’d have representation from the Students Union woman and hopefully you wouldn’t be the lawyer for my landlord lol.

    Thanks for all the advice though i hope i don’t need to take most of it.

    Martin

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