Buying a house (and renting)

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Moggy
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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:14 am

Some good news, the Ombudsman has replied and has found in my favour. As they don’t have a lot of power, they can’t force the landlord to actually do anything which sucks, but have detailed all of the failings, the misinformation and have basically called them robbing bastards (in more professional language ;) ). They have awarded £250 compensation but I am a little wary of accepting it.

They have stated “The Complainant may, therefore, if he wishes, accept my decision and award, but continue to dispute his service charge liability”. Which sounds good, take the money and continue to fight. But they also say “I will clarify, though, that acceptance of my decision and award will bring the Complainant’s complaint to an end in full and final settlement”.

strawberry float that, I am not accepting £250 but then be forced to pay £6k!

I queried this with the Ombudsman and they replied with (I have altered the property management company name ;) ):

You asked whether accepting the award would affect the service charge dispute.

In the review I have explained that your complaint against the Landlord and the service charge dispute are two entirely separate matters. Your service charge dispute is between you and the landlord (with ThievingCunts acting as the landlord's agent), but your complaint is directly against ThievingCunts.

Therefore, if you accept the decision it will bring an end to your complaint, but it will have no bearing on the service charge dispute with the landlord. It would, though, prevent you from seeking any further compensation directly from ThievingCunts.


I was still a little wary, the last thing I want is the landlord to start claiming that everything was sorted and that I have nothing left to complain about, so I queried it with the Ombudsman again asking if there would be any issues if I accepted the compensation but also wanted to take the case to a tribunal/court. They replied with:

I can confirm that if you accept the decision/award you would not be able to seek any further compensation from ThievingCunts for misleading you. You would therefore not be able to seek compensation from them equal to the amount of reduction you thought had been agreed (i.e around £5,000).

However, it would not affect your ability to argue that the landlord (via ThievingCunts) had actually agreed to reduce your service charge by this amount, nor would it affect your ability to argue that you are not liable for the service charge/major works on the basis that notices were not served correctly and so on. I do not know whether these arguments hold water, legally, and in any event they are not matters that we can consider. You would therefore need to seek independent legal advice on this.

You have raised concerns that ThievingCunts may try to argue that the service charge issue is settled if you accept the decision and award on the complaint. Please note that I tried to make it absolutely clear in the review decision that the two issues are completely separate, to avoid any confusion.


The Ombudsman mentioned it will not affect my ability to argue that I am not liable because notices etc were not served correctly, but I am not sure that is even the issue anymore. The issue is that we reached a settlement agreement that ThievingCunts broke. I think that the Ombudsman is saying that it just brings to an end the compaint with the Ombudsman, but I am not sure why he is saying that I will not be able to seek compensation? I am not all that fussed by compensation, I just want them to honour the bloody agreement we made almost 1 year ago!

I am so paranoid about all this. Do you think I am safe to accept the £250, or should I reject it to ensure that acceptance can’t be used against me?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Victor Mildew » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:17 am

Sounds like you just need to work harder tbh

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Oblomov Boblomov » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:04 am

Not sure sorry Moggy, and I don't want to risk giving you bad advice!

Laga, don't do it. Firstly, unless you can buy outright, any gains you do eventually make will be fairly insignificant (at least relative to what you might expect for such a substantial outlay) and spread out over a very long period of time, probably involving quite a bit of stress along the way.

Secondly, private landlords are banana splits. Don't be a banana split.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Victor Mildew » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:07 am

DBTLL

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Jenuall » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:16 am

Personal circumstances obviously need to be factored into this but I would think accepting a compensation sum as low (relatively) as £250 that may potentially risk your ability to challenge things further would be a silly move?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:19 am

Jenuall wrote:Personal circumstances obviously need to be factored into this but I would think accepting a compensation sum as low (relatively) as £250 that may potentially risk your ability to challenge things further would be a silly move?


That's my thought. But he also seems to be saying that I can still go to court?

The review and decision are great as it's all in my favour, but I think accepting it would be a bad move, unless I'm misreading it?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Drumstick » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:21 am

Definitely do no accept £250 (at least not yet).

Can you explain the relationship between the landlord and ThievingCunts? Do they just act on his wishes, ergo the landlord has instructed them to break the agreement?

One man should not have this much power in this game. Luckily I'm not an ordinary man.
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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Jenuall » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:22 am

Moggy wrote:
Jenuall wrote:Personal circumstances obviously need to be factored into this but I would think accepting a compensation sum as low (relatively) as £250 that may potentially risk your ability to challenge things further would be a silly move?


That's my thought. But he also seems to be saying that I can still go to court?

The review and decision are great as it's all in my favour, but I think accepting it would be a bad move, unless I'm misreading it?

I'm no legal expert (or any kind of expert for that matter :lol: ) so this is all just my layman's view on it.

The thing I would worry about is the impression it gives of accepting/settling the matter by claiming the compensation - the ThievingCunts are going to see this as an indicator that a line has been drawn under things and move back to their default position which is that you still owe them thousands?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:29 am

Drumstick wrote:Definitely do no accept £250 (at least not yet).

Can you explain the relationship between the landlord and ThievingCunts? Do they just act on his wishes, ergo the landlord has instructed them to break the agreement?


The landlord and ThievingCunts are the same people really. The landlord is one company, ThievingCunts are another, but they are all owned by the same person.

The Property Ombudsman is viewing them as different entities, but really they are the same people.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Tomous » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:33 am

Moggy, have you considered posting your issue on somewhere like https://www.reddit.com/r/LegalAdviceUK/?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:48 am

Tomous wrote:Moggy, have you considered posting your issue on somewhere like https://www.reddit.com/r/LegalAdviceUK/?


I've not used Reddit but it's a good idea to get advice from people with legal expertise. I was hoping somebody here would be able to make sense of it!

£250 would be nice, but not at the risk of losing any rights. At the moment I'm thinking I'll reject it, but use the decision to go to ThievingCunts will a proper threat. They've lost with the Ombudsman, do they want to risk losing in court where I'll demand proper compensation and that they pay my legal fees?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Victor Mildew » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:51 am

In a serious answer, that £250 isn't 250 at all by the sounds of it, it's like accepting a pretend cheque in the agreement that you'll then pay someone £6k for having it.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Rocsteady » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:53 am

Lagamorph wrote:I may be looking to become "that guy" next year and investing some of my savings in a deposit on a Buy-to-let Mortgage and buying a flat to rent out.

Decent 2 bedroom flats can be picked up for about £50,000 around here and would probably rent for £250-350/month.

Jfc, is it in Gaza? I'm in Poland and you're looking at least double that for a basic respectable neighbourhood. In Warsaw admittedly, but still.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Drumstick » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:57 am

North East IIRC

Gaza :lol:

One man should not have this much power in this game. Luckily I'm not an ordinary man.
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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Lagamorph » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:06 am

Yeah I'm in the North East.

A few miles away in Middlesbrough and prices drop even more.

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Corazon de Leon
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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Corazon de Leon » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:09 am

Moggy wrote:Some good news, the Ombudsman has replied and has found in my favour. As they don’t have a lot of power, they can’t force the landlord to actually do anything which sucks, but have detailed all of the failings, the misinformation and have basically called them robbing bastards (in more professional language ;) ). They have awarded £250 compensation but I am a little wary of accepting it.

They have stated “The Complainant may, therefore, if he wishes, accept my decision and award, but continue to dispute his service charge liability”. Which sounds good, take the money and continue to fight. But they also say “I will clarify, though, that acceptance of my decision and award will bring the Complainant’s complaint to an end in full and final settlement”.

strawberry float that, I am not accepting £250 but then be forced to pay £6k!

I queried this with the Ombudsman and they replied with (I have altered the property management company name ;) ):

You asked whether accepting the award would affect the service charge dispute.

In the review I have explained that your complaint against the Landlord and the service charge dispute are two entirely separate matters. Your service charge dispute is between you and the landlord (with ThievingCunts acting as the landlord's agent), but your complaint is directly against ThievingCunts.

Therefore, if you accept the decision it will bring an end to your complaint, but it will have no bearing on the service charge dispute with the landlord. It would, though, prevent you from seeking any further compensation directly from ThievingCunts.


I was still a little wary, the last thing I want is the landlord to start claiming that everything was sorted and that I have nothing left to complain about, so I queried it with the Ombudsman again asking if there would be any issues if I accepted the compensation but also wanted to take the case to a tribunal/court. They replied with:

I can confirm that if you accept the decision/award you would not be able to seek any further compensation from ThievingCunts for misleading you. You would therefore not be able to seek compensation from them equal to the amount of reduction you thought had been agreed (i.e around £5,000).

However, it would not affect your ability to argue that the landlord (via ThievingCunts) had actually agreed to reduce your service charge by this amount, nor would it affect your ability to argue that you are not liable for the service charge/major works on the basis that notices were not served correctly and so on. I do not know whether these arguments hold water, legally, and in any event they are not matters that we can consider. You would therefore need to seek independent legal advice on this.

You have raised concerns that ThievingCunts may try to argue that the service charge issue is settled if you accept the decision and award on the complaint. Please note that I tried to make it absolutely clear in the review decision that the two issues are completely separate, to avoid any confusion.


The Ombudsman mentioned it will not affect my ability to argue that I am not liable because notices etc were not served correctly, but I am not sure that is even the issue anymore. The issue is that we reached a settlement agreement that ThievingCunts broke. I think that the Ombudsman is saying that it just brings to an end the compaint with the Ombudsman, but I am not sure why he is saying that I will not be able to seek compensation? I am not all that fussed by compensation, I just want them to honour the bloody agreement we made almost 1 year ago!

I am so paranoid about all this. Do you think I am safe to accept the £250, or should I reject it to ensure that acceptance can’t be used against me?


The legal stuff is most likely outside the jurisdiction of the FOS(is it the FOS you're dealing with?) but to be on the safe side I wouldn't accept compensation until you have a cast-iron guarantee that it won't affect any future legal claims.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Corazon de Leon » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:10 am

Drumstick wrote:North East IIRC

Gaza :lol:


More like Gazza, am I right?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Victor Mildew » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:12 am

Lagamorph wrote:Yeah I'm in the North East.

A few miles away in Middlesbrough and prices drop even more.


:dread:

My wife's side of the family is from there and the last time we visited, we drove through an area with miles of housing estates, with every single house boarded up.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:20 am

Corazon de Leon wrote:
The legal stuff is most likely outside the jurisdiction of the FOS(is it the FOS you're dealing with?) but to be on the safe side I wouldn't accept compensation until you have a cast-iron guarantee that it won't affect any future legal claims.


I've no idea what the FOS is. I'm dealing with the Property Ombudsman.

It's fine they can't make legal rulings but the wording sounds like accepting £250 will end things as a full and final settlement. Which is strawberry floating stupid (as Ad7 said) as the dispute is over £6k. :lol:

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by That's not a growth » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:27 am

Is it worth just saying something like

"Look, I know you deal with this all the time so used to it, but I'm finding the way you're answering my questions as bit difficult to fully understand as it feels you're trying to give full context rather than specifically answer my queries in a way a layman can understand the implications. If I lay out my concerns below point by point would it be possible to answer each one in turn, to help me understand how my choices might reduce my options in the future a bit clearer."

And then break down every query you have as a simple bullet point question.


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