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Harassment for Tenants

Whether you are a tenant whose landlord or agent are threatening to change the locks or entering your home without persmission and without the required notice, your landlord may be behaving in a way that amounts to harassment and you may have a valid claim. Our landlord and tenant solicitors in London have the specialist expertise and experience to represent you with advice and representation tailored to your individual circumstances.

It is important to remember that as a tenant, you have the implied right to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property and if your landlord is found to be in breach, this may constitute a form of harassment. Harassment in tenancies can take a number of forms ranging from persistent requests for rent, to pressuring you to leave when you are within your rights to remain in occupation.

No matter where you or your property are located in the UK, we can advise you on landlord and tenant law and your rights, offering support over the phone and via videoconferencing software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

OTS Solicitors offer a dedicated harassment litigation department, advising tenants on their rights and forms of redress if you suspect that your landlord is conducting themselves in one of the following ways:

  • Accessing the property and entering without permission
  • Pressuring you to move out mid-tenancy
  • Cutting off or withholding utilities such as electric and water
  • Intimidating threats and behaviour
  • Changing the locks or withholding keys
  • Persistently demanding rent or other payments
  • Discriminating under the Equality Act 2010

How can OTS Solicitors help?

Our specialised department can represent you in all stages of a harassment claim. We understand the sensitivity of these matters and aim to avoid complex and lengthy litigation processes and approach each case with a view to acting in the best interests for our clients. We will assist you with understanding your rights under your tenancy, including knowing what your landlord or letting agent can and cannot do in addition to resisting unlawful harassment forcing you to give up your tenancy.

If you feel directly threatened or intimated by your landlord or their representative’s behaviour, you should contact the police as soon as possible. The police will attend if you are involved in a violent or threatening situation where there is an immediate risk.

Fees for Harassment Services

To ensure our clients have a clear understanding of the hourly rates and fixed fees we quote per  case, we have set out below the costs of our services with a range of fees to accommodate work  that spans both straightforward and complex harassment cases.

Our consultation rate is £200 (+ VAT if applicable) for a 60-minute consultation. This meeting will take place in confidence between yourself and one of our qualified lawyers to establish the full details of your specific circumstances; taking down your full instruction; we will consider all the applicable legislation, policy and any case law that will need to be taken into account in to your case; we will finally have a detailed discussion to advise on your options and merits of success in your case.

This will involve the perusal of evidence such as communications between parties, agency contracts and detailed chronologies including photographic or video evidence of any harassment with a view to advising you on the best course of action.

A costs-benefit analysis and a full explanation of our duties towards you will be provided, with plenty of time for you to ask any further questions for clarification before the end of the consultation.

Following the initial consultation, the following fees may apply:

Drafting documentation to the landlord and/or representatives

On average, costs are between £150 - £200 per hour depending on the fee-earners hourly rate and complexity of the case. All figures exclude VAT unless specifically stated.

The work will involve (but is not limited to):

  • Discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming what, if any harassment laws the landlord has breached and advising on the best course of action in order to mitigate the situation
  • Providing you with detailed advice about the law applicable to harassment under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 including any criminal implications
  • Considering the supporting evidence you have provided, including personal statements, witnesses, video or photographic evidence and correspondence.
  • Where necessary, assisting with police and local authority liaison
  • Preparing cease and desist documentation and submitting it on your behalf to the concerned parties, reviewing and advising on responses and, if appropriate, helping you negotiate an early surrender so that you can exit the tenancy.
  • We will provide you with detailed advice and assessment about the outcome of each process and any further steps you need to take including any consequences for either party

These charges are reviewed annually and we will let you know if the rates increase.

All stated fees may be subject to VAT (Value Added Tax) where applicable and is usually charged at a rate of 20%. However, this may not apply for applicants applying from abroad depending on their individual visa/residency status. We will confirm whether VAT is payable when you instruct us and we can work out if VAT is properly chargeable.

Disbursements (not included in costs set out above):

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Some examples of disbursements are (but not limited to) the following:

  • Any court fees for making a claim for harassment under the act. You will pay this to the court directly as part of the disrepair claim process. The current court fee for this process is £355
  • Where the court has refused or dismissed the claim, advice and assistance in relation to any further work on the matter
  • Barrister fees which vary depending on complexity of matter, the seniority of barrister and time spent on matter. On average this may cost between £650 - £3000 excluding VAT however these fees may be significantly higher depending on the level of complexity of the case. 

Clients intending to instruct on a claim should note the following:

If you need legal advice about harassment  in relation to a residential property then the landlord and tenant team at OTS Solicitors can help you. Call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form for an appointment by video conference or telephone.

Your Questions and our answers about Harassment for Tenants

Thank you for your enquiry.

This would depend on the circumstances of your tenancy agreement and whether you are a tenant or licensee. Usually notices need to be served on a prescribed form such as section 8 or section 21 for the to be valid notices.

For more information, you can call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

You may be in a position to challenge the rent increase and your landlord may then be required to submit a section 13 notice. You should however note that your landlord may take steps to evict you if you do not agree to the increase.

For more detailed information, you can call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

Your landlord must get an HMO licence from the council if:

  • there are 5 or more unrelated people living in a shared house

  • there are 2 or more separate households

Your landlord can be fined and ordered to repay up to 12 months’ rent if you live in a HMO that should be licensed but does not have the necessary permissions from the council. There are remedies in the form of rent repayment orders. Our team can assist you with completing this application for rent repayment.

For more information you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

It appears that your contract has ended by way of either express or implied surrender. Usually this will be an express surrender if a document was signed agreeing the terms of leaving prior to the end of the tenancy. If both parties show intention to end the tenancy by way of certain actions, this is likely to be an implied surrender.

If you and the landlord have mutually agreed to end the tenancy this is likely to be an accepted surrender of the tenancy early. Depending on your agreement, your landlord may still claim for the outstanding rent.

For more information you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

If you had a Tenancy Agreement in place, your deposit should have been protected under a Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS). Any disputes in relation to the deposit should be resolved through this arrangement first.

Your agreement should explain the process and consequences for moving out after the agreed date or end of the tenancy. As any arrears are unrelated to the deposit itself, it is likely that it would only be taken from the deposit with the agreement of the landlord.

For more information you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

It appears that you may have a case under implied disrepair legislation and landlords’ duties during a tenancy. There may also be elements of misrepresentation if the landlord or agents omitted or provided misleading information on the condition of the property.

For more information you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.

In the meantime, you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.
In the meantime, you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.
In the meantime, you can also call us on 02039 599123 or contact us here

Thank you for your enquiry Ken. As you have mentioned, the legislation has changed in relation to evictions during this period and we suggest that you book a consultation with one of our team by calling 02039 599123 or emailing info@otssolicitors.co.uk

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Please contact us directly on 02039599123 to discuss this further or contact us here.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Please contact us directly on 02039599123 to discuss this further or contact us here.

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