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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My son is a student in London (our family lives in Brussels)and

Customer Question

My son is a student in London (our family lives in Brussels)and is renting an appartment through a contract which is still valid and his rent is paid until the 26 of this month. He was home visiting our family for a couple of weeks. He went back to London last night and found people in his appartment cleaning it and getting rid of his personal belongings because they were preparing the appartment for the NEW tenant. The landord said that she called my son but he did not answer his phone and went ahead and rented the appartment. She said that he did NOT inform her that he was going on holidays. Could you please let me know what are our rights in this case, according to the UK Law? Thank you
Submitted: 7 years ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.



Has he actually permitted the new tenants to have occupation of the property yet?



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

No, he didn't even know that during his absence for holidays people were visiting the appartment without his permission.

He arrived at his appartment last night and there were workers in the appartment and wouldn't allow him to stay. They said that the new tenant was moving in TODAY. All his personal belongings were removed , he couldn't even get his things. I had to book a hotel for him which costed me GBP£491.12 for two nights.

Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.



Okay, firstly if your son has paid his rent until the end of his tenancy agreement then the landlord cannot permit occupation by another until the tenancy has expired and served a valid s21 Notice for Possession under Housing Act 1988 upon your son. He has a right to quiet enjoyment of the property until, at least, the end of the fixed term.


He will be able to sue the landlord to recover the loss suffered as a result of the landlord reaching his right to quiet enjoyment by permitted workers in and, if the tenant occupies today, a new tenant in the property. If the tenant does not occupy then your son should move back in for the remainder of the term of the tenancy.


You will be able to recover at least some of the money you have spent in arranging a hotel, although the amount for two nights does seem on the high side. After your son has recovered his possessions and moved back in (if he is able) then he should write a letter before action to the landlord giving the details of the issue and evidence of the loss you have suffered (receipt) and asking that he compensate him for the full amount within 7 days of the date of the letter. If the landlord suggests compromising on the figure then would negotiate - 1) to avoid the cost/stress of litigating and 2) because a court might very the amount you paid as on the high side and aware you less.


If he does not offer to pay then you will be force to issue in the small claims court,


If he cannot get back in to the property then you should move him in to cheaper accommodation until the term of the tenancy has expired and write as above but in respect of the additional money you have had to pay to house him until the term expires.


At the same times as writing to him ask for details of the tenancy deposit scheme in to which his deposit has been placed - if he is occupying the property under an assured shorthold tenancy then his deposit must have been put in to a scheme, if it has not your son will be able to sue the landlord for the return of all of the deposit and a fine payable from the landlord to him of three times the deposit amount.


If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.


Kind regards,




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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

First of all I would like to say that it took me three hours to find hotel accommodation for my son, and I had to book for him the only one I found, otherwise he would have to sleep in the streets of London. It was not by choice I book something expensive but is was due to NO choice at all.

Second, I am surprised that the landlord is not subject to criminal charges for violating the asylum of a dwelling house (for which she was paid). I would consider what she did as "tresspassing" and as unlawful entry. Just because my son went for holidays, and did not answer his phione, the landlord has the "right" to regain possession of the appartment for which the rent was paid and the contract was still valid?

And what about my son's belongings?

Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.



Thank you for your kind accept.

Sorry I didn't mean anything by suggesting the high price of the accomodation - I'm only making you aware of the potential view a Court might take, it's better that you are aware of these things than not.


If their was no choice at all and you son had an exam therefore increasing the emergency nature of the event then plainly this is the argument you would make in response to a suggestion that the hotel fees are excessive.


I suppose it's conceivable that it could be a form of trespass (which is not a crime, it is a civil wrong) but he would have a defence against this and there is no direct financial loss flowing from this which does not flow from his contractual breach of the tenancy agreement - this is therefore the more appropriate cause of action here.


I do sympathise - it's a very frustrating situation, but you can claim compensation from the landlord for the loss your son has suffered.


Kind regards,





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