Wu v Chelmsford City Council - Hearing date 8 March 2023
Mr & Mrs Krishnamoorthy had a tenancy with Mrs Wu, which commenced on 1 February 2013 for 12 months and periodic thereafter
On 13 June 2018, Mrs Wu attended and entered the property with a set of keys with her husband and her builders without giving the tenant notice. Mrs Krishnamoorthy was present at the property at the time. Mrs Wu instructed the builders to change the locks on the main front door and to resolve a water leak. This resulted in the builders disconnecting the water supply and removing a section of the water pipes.
Mr Krishnamoorthy attended with Mrs Wu their local housing office for advice and support. Who informed him they had no emergency housing available and Mrs Wu would have to rehouse the tenants as she made the property uninhabitable. Both landlord and tenant went back to the property. When Mrs Wu left she failed to give the tenants a set of new keys and delivered a set after midnight of 14 June 2018.Chelmsford City Council.
Chelmsford City Council then brought a prosecution to Mrs Wu based on two counts of breaches from Protection from Eviction Act 1977 & two counts of breaches from Protection from the Harassment Act 1997
Counts 1 & 2 was due to Mrs Wu changing the locks. 1, when Mr Krishnamoorthy was absent from the property and 2, unlawfully depriving the tenants access by not providing a new set of keys.
Counts 3 & 4 was due to Mrs Wu interfering with the tenants right to quiet enjoyment by instructing the water supply to be cut off and not offering a reasonable time frame it would be reinstated or alternative accommodation. So the tenants did not have the use of the full of the property
Mrs Wu was convicted on both counts. Mrs Wu appealed both counts. The court found no merit on the appeal so it was dismissed
Mrs Wu was issued with a 12 month community order and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £14,000 and £1,000 compensation to the tenants.
See here for the full court case.
Lowe v Charterhouse
This is an interesting case where Mr Lowe (the tenant) made a deposit penalty claim for 10 penalties against Charterhouse (the landlord) as he had stated he had not been provided with the statutory prescribed information at the start of the tenancy. The amount the tenant was claiming for was £120,888.00
Mr Lowe was a tenant of the Governor of Sutton’s hospital in Charterhouse. The tenancy began on 4 January 2010, with a rent of £2,384 per calendar month on an Assured Tenancy. This was because the annual rent was at the time over the rent limit for the tenancy to be an Assured shorthold tenancy. This meant the security deposit did not need to be protected when the tenancy began. The rent limit increased in October 2010 to £100,000 per annum which deferred the Assured tenancy to an Assured Shorthold tenancy. At which point Charterhouse’s agent had protected the deposit beforehand and sent a letter enclosing the deposit certificate, scheme booklet and the prescribed information. It was unsigned and waiting for the tenants signature and return. Mr Lowe’s evidence was that he had not received the letter in September 2010, even though his witness statements stated he did not recall receiving the prescribed documents.
Mr Lowe had claimed there was a new tenancy after October 2015 as he started paying a higher rental amount, however this does not mean there is a new tenancy agreement. This then meant as there was no new tenancy agreement there wasn’t a further two tenancies. The Judge was confident there were only eight tenancies in total.
Charterhouse had attempted to return the security deposit in the way of a cheque, however . Mr Lowe who worked in the financial sector had stated he didn’t know how to deposit a cheque and did not provide bank details for a transfer.
Claim was dismissed.
For the full case please see here for the full case