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Landlord breaking covenant

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« on: August 17, 2020, 04:42:38 PM »

Does anyone no can a tenant sue for compensation if the landlord broke the covenant of peace
and enjoyment.

My landlord got me to sign a sham licence agreement.

My landlord has admitted in writing they made a mistake by giving the sham licence agreement, the blame the estate agent for wrong advice.

My landlord put a clause i must leave at least one space on the driveway for a motor vehicle to be parked by the Licensor. 

For one year the landlord parked one car on the driveway..

The landlord then made alterations to my driveway then started parking a second car bought for
 their spouse.

I objected to a second car, landlord said they can park as many cars as they like because the contract says 'i must make room for at least one motor vehicle. 

Before the alterations there was not room for 2 cars.

Before I knew i had been given a sham licence agreement my landlord said 'we are sharing the driveway as per your status as a lodger rather than a tenant, we need to park two cars there from now on there's nothing we can do about that.

The landlord lives in the property next door a separate address and they have plenty of parking available, its a 1.2 million home.

Now I've established the only reason for the parking clause was to create the illusuion of sharing the property as part of the sham licence agreement..

My argument is that the parking clause break the covenant of peace and enjoyment. Because now its been established I legally have a tenancy for the house I rent.

Landlords are not allowed to just turn up at the property when ever they feel like it and without good reason and notice.
 
The parking rule is contrary to this covenant, in the light of the sham licence agreement its my contention that the landlord and their third parties are trespassing by continuing to park on my driveway rather than their own driveway.
 
Can i sue them for breaching the covenant?


 
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2020, 05:00:49 PM »

You can sue anyone... the question is whether your case has legs... but, much more importantly, why on earth would someone normal want to start suing their a) Landlord and b) next door neighbour? That seems like a recipe for disaster and strive to me. Anyway... your question is best answered by a specialist, someone who can review your case in detail. Some of your assertions are indeed correct - like Landlords are not supposed to just turn up at a let property without notice (I guess good reason goes with that, but it's so subjective as to what a good reason is) - but it's not so clear whether your assertion that the clause of your agreement (whatever it is) isn't fair. You obviously think it isn't (and maybe it's entirely invalid)... but you also signed it after reading it and you seem to be directly quoting "at least one space"... trying to hold onto any parts of a let property (garage, loft, driveway) is never going to end well.
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2020, 10:11:51 PM »

I should have said my landlord is going to take me to court for eviction, and being that I have no money to leave currently, I'm left with no alternative but to put in a counter claim for the rent deposit and to fight the attempt at illegal eviction due to the sham licence agreement. Owners of letting agents have ended up with criminal records for sham licence agreements its an attempt to deny statutory rights.
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 07:44:53 AM »

Am I inferring correctly, then, that this response is more of a retaliation..? That you were happy enough with the situation for some time and it is only really coming to a head when eviction is raised? If so, I would always focus my efforts on the finding somewhere else to live part... that's important, as even the most inept Landlord will find some way to evict you in the end... you can't just stay somewhere you're not wanted forever, and why would you want to? It must be uncomfortable. Rather than going "all legal"... why not write up a formal-sounding letter... raising the points and suggesting a legal course of action, but leaving the door open for reasonable negotiation? If the Landlord gets a sense of what might be coming their way (that's undecided, of course) then it's possible they may make it easier for you to go... even offer some assistance, maybe? Stranger things have happened.
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2020, 09:52:24 AM »

You have the situation wrong. They were fine until they wanted me out for Coronavirus, I knew I had a right not to be evicted during this period.
Then they told me look at the agreement you are a lodger not a tenant and you signed it.

One is a barrister the other a NHS psychologist. They have moved the goal posts to put pressure on me to move since they have wanting out including trespass and gaslighting, threats of court action for frivillious claims and threats to use her position in the NHS to destroy my charchter saying I have not evidence of their behaviour. Then I told them I have been keeping evidence their tune changed. They admitted they are a mistake with the licence agreement. I didn't know I had  a licence agreement until they tried evicting me with 28 days notice and neither am I in a position to move right now.

They have breached my statuary rights, and I have no choice but to use my savings to move to counter claim. Firstly I i can't afford their legal fees and secondly I haven't saved enough to move out. I've been on a 3 day week for 2 months. I will win, because of Street v Mountford. So this is not about retaliation this is about not becoming homeless. I didn't even get such as an apology for the sham licence agreement. It makes me wonder why after admitting their wrong doing they would proceed.

My only concern is the breach of covenant, due to unfair terms of contract. I have the right to exclusive possession and to exclude all others including the landlord. I agreed they could park one car now they are parking two cars on my drive. By the landlords own admission they put the clause in because of the sham licence. I trusted what they were doing was legal because the husband is a senior barrister.

Yes they will get me out eventually but not until they have followed certain legal obligations, and lockdown restrictions have ended.
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2020, 10:26:04 AM »

I don't understand what you mean by "sham licence".Do you mean you have an AST,and that the landlord has broken the agreement on parking ? IDid they  serve you with 21 ? If you have savings with which to counterclaim,it makes more sense to use the money to find somewhere else to live.In the meantime you should contact CAB,Shelter and maybe your local M.P. Googling previous cases gives you no evidence to use in your particular situation,a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.Have you any reason to think they will withold your deposit,as you mention counterclaim,are you in rent arrears?  I can't help but wonder if there is something you have not mentioned,so if you seek legal help do be honest from the outset,to enable them to advise you.
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2020, 11:26:29 AM »

Basically a sham licence agreement is a creation of a licence agreement which us basically a lodger living with the landlord who has limited rights, they can be evicted with 28 days notice and no court order required can be removed with reasonable force.

A assured Shorthold tenancy(AST) is exclusive occupation, has the right to peace and enjoyment which includes the tenants right to exclude all others others including the landlord except in limited circumstances, the tenant can treat property as if he owns it, this is the covenant which is common law. The tennant also has the right to 3 months notice to quit, once certain legal obligations have been met, and an eviction is only legal via the court with a section 21 notice.  and currently the government have postponed all evictions.

A sham licence is when a landlord created a fictitious agreement, the effect of the agreement is to take away the tenants statutory rights by putting in a licence agreement that the tenant is just a lodger when in fact the reality of the situation is a tenancy.

Street V mountford

https://www.lawteacher.net/cases/street-v-mountford.php

If a letting agency creates a sham licence agreement then the owner can end up with a criminal offence under consumer law.

Private rented landlords that don't use a letting agent slip through the criminal net.
 


https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits/tenancy_deposit_compensation_claims

https://england.shelter.org.uk/legal/security_of_tenure/basic_principles_security_of_tenure/the_tenancy_agreement

https://www.housingrights.org.uk/news/another-landlord-fined-%C2%A320k-issuing-sham-licence-agreements




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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2020, 01:14:36 PM »

One question is whether your tenancy extends to the driveway outside the property. If it doesn't, then the fact that the landlord parks a car there doesn't materially affect your right to quiet enjoyment.

At the end of the day, your landlords want you out, and it doesn't sound like it's a barrel of laughs living there. If they've somehow messed up their chances of an easy Section 21, and they've no clear-cut grounds for a Section 8, then the simplest thing would be for them to give you a cheque for what they'd end up spending on legal costs, and point you in the direction of the nearest estate agency.
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2020, 01:49:43 PM »

One question is whether your tenancy extends to the driveway outside the property?

The parking space was advertised as part of the property.
The driveway was a private driveway as part of the agreement for previous tenants.
The previous tenants park a van and 2 cars on the driveway.


No certainly not a barrel of laughs, the landlord have said they will goto court to evict me under a licence agreement even though they have admitted they should have given me a tenancy.

They said i should sue the estate agent for giving them the wrong advice.

Minimum I will get is compensation for not putting my money in a rent dep scheme. They can't now evict me until after they given back the deposit, and given energy certificate and Governent rent guide.

The only reason I haven't left is I currently can't afford to move. If not I would have just gone.
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2020, 09:49:59 AM »

You don't sue the Estate Agent... the clue is in the name - the Estate Agent is the Agent of the Landlord - the Landlord has final say, they are the organ-grinder, not the monkey.

But I, too, would be looking for other (potentially more inventive) ways out of this scenario. I would be opening up a dialogue based on "pay me to go quietly and quickly"... it's not bribery, it's encouragement. You should be clever in your wording... possibly use terms like "goodwill gesture" and "compensation in full and final settlement"..? The objective I think you all should have is for you to move on... the blocker for you is related, not anything about principles or a feeling of injustice (although they may exist).
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2020, 06:14:03 PM »

Thanks for your words of encouragement, I have been a bit inventive by placing plant pots and garden furniture in the driveway to limit there space so they can only park on car. I sent an email telling them I have invoked one of the clauses for storing in the driveway.

I think you are right, I certainly entitled to compensation regarding the deposit, that's 1500. Also compensation when I win the sham licence case. That be about 1500. So 3000 they will save on legal fees and my legal fees.
I will defo have to word it correctly the husband is a senior barrister doing multimillion pounds litigation and breach of contract cases. He's the one incefldently drew up the sham licence agreement.

Thanks for the advice.
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2020, 08:57:32 AM »

I was suggesting you should do all you can to avoid a Case, or Cases..? I wasn't encouraging you to press-on regardless.
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