Here is a blog clinc query from Shiwani who is a tenant.
I am in bit of problem and need a bit of advice. I moved to Birmingham from Leeds in may 2010 and stayed in a property for about 10 months before moving to new place in Feb 2011. I only had verbal agreement with my landlord, when I left that house, I had nothing due with my landlord.
Infact, I had to get back my one week deposit which I left with him.
Now almost after 8 months, he sent me a letter saying I owe him some money, I did not inform him before leaving, so he could not inspect the property, which is completely false. He knew when I was about to leave, but he did not pay attention.
Now hes putting false accusation of broken bed, lost keys, and some more furniture damage (which is completely baseless)
He wants me to pay him the money, otherwise he will send court summon. He said he has got evidence and witness to prove the damage.
I left my room completely undamaged and keys as well. I dont know what false evidences he has.
I dont know what I should do now. I dont want to get into legal stuff, at the same time, I dont want to pay him for something that I have not done.
I want to know from you, can he really claim something almost after 8 months and what evidence he might have.
I had no written agreement with him, but everything was amicable before i left that house.
I would be really grateful if you can help me in this matter. I think he will have to prove the damage (which never happened, unless and until he himself done to get money) to get the things to court.
I don’t want to get into legal stuff for no reason, simply because I cant take off from my job and it will cost me financial loss as well.
What can I really do if he send the court summon, do I need to go to court?
I am not from Britain so not much aware of legal system here, I would be grateful if you can help.
Shirwani your landlord is probably ‘trying it on’. If he goes to court he will have to prove that the damage was done by you. He will find this very difficult.
Things which will go against him are the fact that he refunded your deposit (why should he do this if there was damage as he allges?) and the length of time it has taken him to write to you about this, which makes it very likley that the damage was done after you left.
I would suggest you write back to him saying that the damage was not done by you but, if it exists, must have been done by someone else after you vacated the property.
Say that if proceedings are started you will be vigorously defending them. If you can think of anything that was wrong about the property while you were there (for example if there was any disrepair), you could also add in your letter that you will be counterclaiming for damages for this.
Hopefully, once he realises he has a fight on his hands and that you are not just meekly going to pay up, he will leave you alone.