Thursday, 18 February 2016

Open Letter to Our Landlords

Dear Marlon and Joana,

First, before I begin truly, I would like to highlight – once again, for the… 6th? …time – that, had to you talked to us politely, met with us in reasonable manner as I suggested, this whole mess can be avoided.

But no – you had to send nasty texts and messages to my partner, you had to be aggressive – you had to start pointing fingers, try to intimidate us – my partner in particular. This type of behaviour is that of bullies – I find your conduct to be the conduct of the worse, vile kind. You try to attack someone you perceive as weaker and less capable of you. It’s the very worst kind of abuse. 

You’ve also been incredibly childish. I knocked on your door and gave you my number and said:
“Please do call me some point later this week. I’m normally home after 6:30, so that would be a good time to call.”
You said: “why not talk now?”
I said: “Because it’s impolite to talk in the street.”
You then send my partner several text messages and 5 phone calls in around 20-30 minutes. OOOOO – SOMEONE GOT BUTTHURT! 

And then you have a go at my partner – “why didn’t you answer my calls?” Why the fuck would he? Why would he want to answer the phone to violent, egomaniacal harridan you become all because I dared to approach you myself?

Now, even with all this behaviour, let’s actually talk about what the problem is – and we’ll take it from both perspectives. 

And, I’ll end off with a handy guide of bullet points of the laws of the for you – since, not only do you not have any clue, but you seem to think they’re exactly the same as whatever back-water part of the Phillipines you crawled out of. I say back-water because you clearly demonstrate on a number of occasions that you can’t even behave in a reasonable manner – going so far as to wait 3 hours for my partner to leave the flat – after barging into our room uninvited – so you can accost him in the street. That’s more than a little be suspicious, and the act of savages.

The Problem As Perceived By You

You are upset because – according to you – I moved in with my partner over a year ago and neither of us told you. This has caused you an increase in bills, meaning less “profit” for you. In understand the predicament for you – but:
  • We did tell you. I was there when my partner called to tell you. You gave us permission. I asked my partner to get it in writing and, unfortunately, he never did
  • If I’ve been there as long as you’ve said – how the fuck have you not noticed? Landlords are meant to carry out periodic checks on the property – to make sure it’s secure, safe and sound for the tenant and to make sure the tenant’s behaving. You haven’t done this. Ever. You lost money because you didn’t know I was there? Get over it. It’s your loss. I’m sorry I’m being callous here – but, with how you’ve acted, I can’t really see how you expect me to care
  • You have a verbal agreement with my partner. It’s informal. Thereby, you should expect your tenant to take a relaxed view. You want it done properly? Get it in writing
  • You can’t prove anything – you haven’t performed checks. Any evidence you possibly have is way after the time you told us you’re increasing the rent to cover me being there – which implies that you agree to be there. And – seriously?! – you have a statement from the tenant across the hall from us that I’ve been here that long? You mean that other tenant we’ve got on so well with, right? It’s your word against ours. Let it go already

Neither I nor my partner are attempting to get something for nothing. We’re not trying to deceive you. 

Our Perspective
If anything, your behaviour shows it’s completely the other way around. We’ve never hidden anything from you – but now we’re talking about leaving, you’re trying to claim that “the rent should have been higher since the beginning” and “we said it’s for one person”, and want to claim “back pay”.

No. You want more money for whatever reason, and you’ve come up with an excuse. 

Practicably, we do understand that “bills have gone up” – but seriously, since it’s Multiple Occupancy Housing, there’s no way to show a significant increase in bills.

The very fact you’ve been pursuing my move in date with my partner show that actually, you can’t tell if there was an increase or not. So it’s clearly not about “increased bills” really is it? You know we’re thinking of moving out and you’re trying to get more out of us. 

However, we appreciate that there’s extra wear-and-tear and the like – and not being unreasonable people – we agree to a rent increase.

Which, you’ve already suggested.

And we paid.

The Law
  • As an informal agreement, my partner doesn’t actually need to tell you when I moved in, or even if we’re thinking about it, or I have. There’s you have no proof of anything that specifically exists to exclude:
    1. A partner in general
    2. Me in specific
  • The rent increase bears with it the implication that I’m allowed to be here. Thanks for that, by the way
  • You cannot legally evict me – I am not your tenant. My partner is. You need to speak to him
  • The number and manner of your messages and phone calls is constant enough that my partner and I could reasonably say it’s harassment. This is a criminal offence
  • You can’t legally charge back-pay. So I’m certainly not paying. If my partner does then he’s a gullible fool
  • My partner paid you a deposit. He’s never had anything in writing to say it’s in a protected scheme, so we assume it’s not. When we move out, we can legally start proceedings against you to get that money back. The Courts can also issue you with a fine of up to 3 times the amount of the deposit
  • My partner’s tenancy is legally classified as an “Assured Shorthold Tenancy” (AST). As an AST, because the deposit is not in the legally required scheme, you cannot evict my partner. At all
  • Also, as he didn’t receive a written agreement (the law says no longer than 2 months after he moves in) then the above ruling applies. So that’s 2 things to sort out
  • You’ve turned up to the flat many times and simply let yourself in. Last night, you forced your way into our room uninvited. Every single incidence of that is illegal. If you want to enter the property, you should give at least 24-hours written notice. Yeah. Bothersome, right?
  • You’ve never provided an energy efficiency document for the flat – nor have you ever provided a certificate to show the gas here is safe, or the electricity and wiring is safe. For all we know, we’re living on a time bomb
  • There’s multiple cases of repair in this flat – from the open-topped power shower, to the broken gas hobs, to the wires sticking out of the only working lighting fixture in the hallway, to the mould-covered, wood-worm infested bathroom because the extractor fan is too small. Guess who’s responsible for all this? Give you a clue – it’s not your tenant’s…

So there you have it. My statement.

I suggest you get yourself a solicitor if you want to do anything beyond shutting up and taking our money.