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  • FIRST POST
    • Manh28
    • By Manh28 16th May 18, 9:23 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Manh28
    Need help with potentially Illegal Eviction
    • #1
    • 16th May 18, 9:23 PM
    Need help with potentially Illegal Eviction 16th May 18 at 9:23 PM
    Hi all,
    Im new here so take it easy. Im a fateher of two girls aged 8 & 3. My wife and I were renting a privately rented unfinished flat. Initially weve had 6 months tenancy agreement and never got renewed however, weve lived in the same property for over 18 months before weve had to go to India to attend a medical emergency of a family member.

    We departed in the first week of July and had a return date of early September in mind. However, my father in laws medical condition was getting worse hence we failed to return. Our landlord was well aware of this, weve also left the keys with him and agreed an emergency access As well as permission to turn on the heater if needed.

    Then weve had an email from the landlord in October informing that he will take control of the property and our belongings which he will store for 90 days as best as he can in a garage shed! He also made it clear that were now being evicted. He did not issue any legal forms as all these being done over email.
    Naturally, I kept pledging him not to take this action as that flat contains our everything including clothing, furniture, electronics, sensitive documents, jewellery etc etc. Most importantly I tried not to be homeless and it wasnt possible for me to return and negotiate. I was in rent arrears at that time due to a struggling business venture which he knows. He also knows that Ive sold the business and waiting for the money to be paid and I will clear all arrears with him. At one email I even asked ARE YOU NOT BREAKING THE LAW? He replied saying that what he is doing is perfectly legitimate as we dont have never renewed the tenancy agreement!

    Anyway, we were evicted in November and our belongings were under his control as he emptied the flat. Weve been hit harder with another medical emergency in our family in industry a and the sale of my business was delayed and I had no fund to return. And being homeless with two daughters didnt help my mental state as well. After a long while a friend offered to accommodate us temporarily so we can rent again and be ourselves.

    Weve returned in late April and now renting again. As per our belongings, weve got most of our clothings in rotten state, found 1 out of 2 TV and our double bed without any fittings. All of our valuables including jewellery arent to be found. The landlord says he had to dispose most of our stuff!! He even boast himself saying some of the electronic items were donated to a lady who was going through rough time!!!

    Im a veteran and all of my military records were in the flat. Weve had personal computer, iPad Xbox one etc which contained our very personal data. None of them are to be accounted for or no evidence of disposal.

    Please help as this is really starting to hurt us as a family. Our current mental state is beyond ones imagination especially, our 8 year old daughter. Luckily, the 3 year old doesnt have a clue!

    Thanks in advance.
Page 2
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 16th May 18, 10:25 PM
    • 2,663 Posts
    • 7,131 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    No, should I? Is it not a civil matter? We did have all of our lifes belongings in the flat. Most of it are irreplaceable.
    Originally posted by Manh28
    Someone has stolen things that belong to you, valuable things, of course you should report it!
    • Manh28
    • By Manh28 16th May 18, 10:25 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Manh28
    A court isnt going to email you and the landlord wouldnt receive copies of any paperwork you were sent (if dont properly).

    As I suggested. Contact the court and see if they have awarded posession against you.

    If it helps, ask your former LL for the case reference # and a copy of the notice he served. Advise him at the same time that if they are not received for further investigation then you will be calling the police for theft.

    You sound like a bad tenant based on the usual definition , (rent arrears, all leaving the country for many months etc). However, that is no excuse to evict someone illegally. It's a very stupid landlord that would do this.

    You need to do some legwork to find out
    Originally posted by HampshireH
    Only thing he did is writing those emails. He did not use any of the legal frameworks you mentioned. And he emailed me this bit of information too!
    • GrumpyDil
    • By GrumpyDil 17th May 18, 6:57 AM
    • 154 Posts
    • 111 Thanks
    GrumpyDil
    Ok.

    You really need to speak to shelter or a solicitor.

    I sympathise with you but I would have struggled to have you as a tenant in arrears and not occupying the property for that long as that has issues around insurance. That said, if I had decided to go down the eviction route, I would have made sure to do it legally.I

    Speak to shelter making sure you have all the emails etc available as that will help piece the situation together and work out a plan going forward. Also if no eviction notice was issued them i would be raising the items that the landlord took with the police as, although you probably have a civil option to persue the landlord, if he had no legal right to enter the property and remove and dispose of the items then my view is that this also amounts to theft but expect some interesting discussion with the police over that.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 17th May 18, 8:55 AM
    • 37,217 Posts
    • 156,797 Thanks
    silvercar
    Have you paid all the rent due up to the date of eviction? Is this more or less than the value of goods that the landlord took?

    I'm not saying that the landlord's behaviour was correct, but going forward you may find that you still owe money.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th May 18, 9:20 AM
    • 17,362 Posts
    • 15,701 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Not enough information.

    You were away from the first week of July and were evicted in November. Given the rent arrears it could have been two weeks notice under section 8 and then possession order etc. There is time for that to go through especially if undefended.
    Originally posted by franklee
    This was my first thought, too.

    Then add in the extended absence, even after possession was gained, and there could well be a strong argument that the property had been abandoned.

    Timeline:
    July - tenant leaves the UK, in substantial rent arrears
    October - (departure + 3mo) - notified by landlord of forthcoming possession claim
    November - (departure + 4mo, notification + 1mo) - possession gained by landlord
    April - (departure + 9mo, possession + 5mo) - tenant returns to country, demands possessions back.

    OP - you say...
    it wasn't possible for me to return and negotiate
    Yes, it was possible. You chose not to.

    OP - can you please give a simple answer to these... By the time possession was gained by the landlord in November, how much (both in and months rent) did you owe? How much of those arrears did you pay between possession being gained and your return in April?
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 17th May 18, 12:40 PM
    • 2,663 Posts
    • 7,131 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    if he had no legal right to enter the property and remove and dispose of the items then my view is that this also amounts to theft but expect some interesting discussion with the police over that.
    Originally posted by GrumpyDil
    I can't imagine that he had any right to appropriate the OP's jewellery, important documents and electronic equipment, no matter how much rent was owed!
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 17th May 18, 12:50 PM
    • 4,363 Posts
    • 6,238 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    This was my first thought, too.

    Then add in the extended absence, even after possession was gained, and there could well be a strong argument that the property had been abandoned.

    Timeline:
    July - tenant leaves the UK, in substantial rent arrears
    October - (departure + 3mo) - notified by landlord of forthcoming possession claim
    November - (departure + 4mo, notification + 1mo) - possession gained by landlord
    April - (departure + 9mo, possession + 5mo) - tenant returns to country, demands possessions back.

    OP - you say...
    Yes, it was possible. You chose not to.

    OP - can you please give a simple answer to these... By the time possession was gained by the landlord in November, how much (both in and months rent) did you owe? How much of those arrears did you pay between possession being gained and your return in April?
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Also the possession documents S8 and S21 would have been sent to the UK property not where the OP was staying for the 9 months simply because the OP says that they were only in contact by email there so the landlord didn't have an address to serve the S8 or the S21 on.

    There is also another problem that I can see. Who leaves valuables in a property that they intend to leave vacant for several months? Not only that but the insurance would run out after about a month anyway. If you knew that you would be leaving the country for a while would you leave valuable gold in an empty house? I wouldn't I would do what my neighbour has done and put it into a bank vault. The other things I would rent storage for.

    Looking at it from the other side. We have tenant in serious rent arrears who leaves the country for 9 months leaving behind valuable items in the property.

    I don't think they have any claim against the landlord who probably stored their items free of charge for many months. (There were rent arrears.)
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 17th May 18, 2:11 PM
    • 15,716 Posts
    • 21,589 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    Thinking of it in another way...

    How much rent did you owe until you were evicted?

    What is the value of the possessions that were disposed of?

    Are these two values comparable? If yes, then it would probably best to just move on...

    On the other hand, if your possessions were worth more than the rent owed then you might want to put the wind up him a bit.

    Tell him that you have checked with the court and there is no record of the eviction, therefore this was illegal. Then state that he either needs to return all your missng possessions, or pay you X for your losses otherwise you will be taking him to court over the illegal eviction which can result in a maximum fine of X or a custodial sentence of X.

    (You will need to look at the maximum sentences and penalties)
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 17th May 18, 2:19 PM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 1,731 Thanks
    parkrunner
    Only thing he did is writing those emails. He did not use any of the legal frameworks you mentioned. And he emailed me this bit of information too!
    Originally posted by Manh28
    Are you saying he actually told you he hadn't done it legally ie used the proper forms etc?
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 17th May 18, 2:21 PM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 1,731 Thanks
    parkrunner
    Even ignoring any possible illegal eviction the police should be informed about all your missing items.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 17th May 18, 7:00 PM
    • 638 Posts
    • 644 Thanks
    HampshireH
    So OP what course of action did you take today?
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