How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

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mercalia
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How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby mercalia » 23 Apr 2019, 11:24am

Generation Rent: 'I took my landlord to court and won £15,000'
How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord and went viral

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/ ... 596b0efeb1

I am probably on my own in this but I am not on the side of the renters who got their money back - they agree they were paying a fair rent in a decent place. Hard these days to find? Seems like the landlord made a mistake about not being registered for multiple occupancy - probably on oversight? The renters come out as greedy exploitative opportunists, capitalising on a situation that they had approved?

francovendee
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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby francovendee » 24 Apr 2019, 8:14am

Tend to agree, Good landlords need to be encouraged.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 24 Apr 2019, 8:46am

I too have mixed feelings. The rent was not unreasonable, the landlord maintained the property well and apparently treated the tenants decently, and the tenants enjoyed a period of decent housing at a fair price.

The landlord broke planning law, inadvertently or otherwise, and it is right that he be dealt with for that. However, the tenants still received 100% of the service for which they had paid, so I can see no logic that would morally entitle them to any level of refund, and gleefully crowing about it in the national media is completely distasteful in light of that.

Still, the law, logic and morals do not always coincide, it is what it is I suppose.
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mercalia
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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby mercalia » 24 Apr 2019, 9:14am

one of the 6 declined to take part in the legal action, sensible person. The other 5 with their faces plastered over the media now hopefully are blacklisted so no landlord will deal with them, serves them right. seems like the payment was reduced to £9000 as the landlord claimed he couldnt afford it - so it seems the landlord not one of those money grabbing mulitple proprty fill -them-up persons?

Postboxer
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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby Postboxer » 24 Apr 2019, 9:54am

I would hinge the decision on the state of the property, if the HMO licence had been applied for, would it have passed, if so, by all means fine the landlord for not having one but I see no reason for a full refund, maybe a small percentage, if the house was dangerous, which would have been picked up on if the HMO licence had been applied for, then maybe a full refund, probably only if the house was really life-threateningly dangerous. Some rules for let properties seem overkill, far more than what would be expected in an owned property. My sister once moved into a flat that had tiny little rooms between the main rooms, due to some weird fire rules.

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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby PH » 24 Apr 2019, 11:00am

I have no sympathy. I'm surprised it even got to court, I'd have thought the landlord would have been advised to settle. These regulations are not just a bit of administration, they relate to the safety of the tenants. The landlord is running a business, mercalia generously thinks it's probably an oversight - What like not having a MOT for your car and using it as a taxi? If the landlord was in ignorance of the regulations, then he should have spent some of that considerable income on professional advice, or if they were too busy/daft/greedy to do that then 30 sec on google would have told them what they needed to know. If they really didn't want to be bothered finding out what regulations they were required to follow, they could have engaged a management company or estate agent to do it all for them.
As always of course we just have the news story, the court has had all the facts and made the decision.

mercalia
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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby mercalia » 24 Apr 2019, 12:00pm

PH wrote:I have no sympathy. I'm surprised it even got to court, I'd have thought the landlord would have been advised to settle. These regulations are not just a bit of administration, they relate to the safety of the tenants. The landlord is running a business, mercalia generously thinks it's probably an oversight - What like not having a MOT for your car and using it as a taxi? If the landlord was in ignorance of the regulations, then he should have spent some of that considerable income on professional advice, or if they were too busy/daft/greedy to do that then 30 sec on google would have told them what they needed to know. If they really didn't want to be bothered finding out what regulations they were required to follow, they could have engaged a management company or estate agent to do it all for them.
As always of course we just have the news story, the court has had all the facts and made the decision.


well the article dont say much about the landlord just that he/she was supplying a good deal and the judge lowered the claim to £9000 rather than the original £15000, a sizeable reduction, due to the finances of the landlord. What ever the failures of the landlord doesnt excuse the greediness of the renters - only one of them decided not to pursue financial damages

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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby PH » 24 Apr 2019, 12:10pm

mercalia wrote:What ever the failures of the landlord doesnt excuse the greediness of the renters - only one of them decided not to pursue financial damages

The court disagrees with you and the idea of greediness seems to apply to the students but not to the landlord, who at best was incompetent. We don't know why one of them decided not to take part in this action, I make no assumptions. Your principle seems to be that it's OK for someone to break the law if you think they're a decent person, I disagree.
Would you start a business with at least a twenty grand a year turnover without looking at the regulations that governed it? Would you rent out a house without knowing what the safety requirement were?

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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby kwackers » 24 Apr 2019, 12:59pm

PH wrote:Would you start a business with at least a twenty grand a year turnover without looking at the regulations that governed it? Would you rent out a house without knowing what the safety requirement were?

You'd be surprised how little most business people know about running a business - their business.
If you told me the above applied to 75% of landlords my eyebrows wouldn't even twitch.

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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby Tangled Metal » 24 Apr 2019, 1:40pm

The landlord is breaking the relevant regulations resulting in the council taking action against them. That's not getting away with anything. The landlord will probably get the fine or other sanction that's due for such a case. The landlord didn't carry out due diligence or their solicitor didn't.

However what justification is there for return of the rent? The renters had a contract, decent accommodation and a fair rent. They did not carry out due diligence neither. I have rented a few times and carried out the checks relevant for the accommodation and regulations at the time. That's even before widespread internet use.

The only facts of this case are the landlord didn't get the right licence. The renters got accommodation at a fair price and neither party carried out due diligence. Anything other than that IS making assumptions.

As to safety? Well the lack of that certification doesn't automatically mean the property is unsafe. Renting doesn't automatically mean you're at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords or money grabbers. Renting, IMHO, at a fair price in a decent accommodation (with the proviso it's safe which you should learn enough about how to check that yourself) is a fair accommodation (excuse the pun) between two contractual parties. Did either side break the terms of their contract? So I don't understand the justification for the refund.

BTW does that now mean they've been squatting and preventing the landlord from getting his rent? In a just world, IMHO, the landlord would only get fined for the transgression of the regulations. Unless the property is dangerous. Whatever the case the punishment should reflect the actual situation. Lower if genuine mistake / oversight or higher of dangerous / deliberate.

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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby PH » 24 Apr 2019, 1:48pm

kwackers wrote:
PH wrote:Would you start a business with at least a twenty grand a year turnover without looking at the regulations that governed it? Would you rent out a house without knowing what the safety requirement were?

You'd be surprised how little most business people know about running a business - their business.
If you told me the above applied to 75% of landlords my eyebrows wouldn't even twitch.

That sounds like a good argument for this kind of action and the publicity it generates, maybe it'll make a few rouge landlords look at their obligations. I have nothing against landlords, or think that most of them are bad. I've rented on and off throughout my life and the only time I've had an issue it was with an agent rather than the owner.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 24 Apr 2019, 1:55pm

The landlord broke the law, of that there is no question. It is quite right he be dealt with for that, and be subject to a fine or sanction as prescribed by law.

The tenants actually received the service for which they had paid, and a decent quality service at that, so what is the justification for them receiving any sort of refund? And for them to smarm and gurn about their little windfall for the cameras is simply obscene.

For them it was nothing but an opportunity to earn some relatively easy money, not about any kind of "justice". Don't knock your bicycle into a car owned by any of this lot, because they're the sort who'll screw you for 'whiplash'...whether they're in the car or not! Aside from probably never being able to rent a house again (I'm a landlord, and I'd tell them to jog on if they wanted to rent from me) when one of this lot eventually applies for a job and the prospective employer Google's their name then they'll see the sort of people their candidates really are. I hope the profit (for that is exactly what it is) each one has made from this escapade is worthy compensation for the hassle and grief that having their names in the public domain in this way will bring them.

I'm pleased to see that at least one of them had some morals.
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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby PH » 24 Apr 2019, 2:29pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote:The tenants actually received the service for which they had paid,

Court says they did not. Part of the service they paid for was a property that had the correct documentation demonstrating it met the required regulations.
For them it was nothing but an opportunity to earn some relatively easy money, not about any kind of "justice".

The contract has nothing to do with justice. It's a civil not criminal matter, the landlord was in breach of the contract (Meeting the required regulations is part of the contract even if not written into it) there is no morality to it.

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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby mercalia » 24 Apr 2019, 3:32pm

PH wrote:
Lance Dopestrong wrote:The tenants actually received the service for which they had paid,

Court says they did not. Part of the service they paid for was a property that had the correct documentation demonstrating it met the required regulations.
For them it was nothing but an opportunity to earn some relatively easy money, not about any kind of "justice".

The contract has nothing to do with justice. It's a civil not criminal matter, the landlord was in breach of the contract (Meeting the required regulations is part of the contract even if not written into it) there is no morality to it.


codswallop
the immorality comes in the decision by the renters to ( legally) fleece the landlord - its not as if before this all happened they felt unsafe AND they stayed on until the end of the contract AFTERWARDS- how come that was allowed if the property didnt have the right certification :?: :!: :?:
I am surprised the landlord didnt give a 21 notice, is it, to get rid of them so he/she could do things properly?

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Re: How five Leeds renters triumphed over their landlord

Postby PH » 24 Apr 2019, 4:11pm

mercalia wrote:
PH wrote:
Lance Dopestrong wrote:The tenants actually received the service for which they had paid,

Court says they did not. Part of the service they paid for was a property that had the correct documentation demonstrating it met the required regulations.
For them it was nothing but an opportunity to earn some relatively easy money, not about any kind of "justice".

The contract has nothing to do with justice. It's a civil not criminal matter, the landlord was in breach of the contract (Meeting the required regulations is part of the contract even if not written into it) there is no morality to it.


codswallop
the immorality comes in the decision by the renters to ( legally) fleece the landlord - its not as if before this all happened they felt unsafe AND they stayed on until the end of the contract AFTERWARDS- how come that was allowed if the property didnt have the right certification :?: :!: :?:
I am surprised the landlord didnt give a 21 notice, is it, to get rid of them so he/she could do things properly?

Codswallop to you, it's a simple enough concept of regulatory obligation to me.