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Go Back   Theoryland of the Wheel of Time Forums > THEORYLAND STEDDINGS > Forum Archives > Archived - Non Wot Discussion Boards > Archived: Non WoT Related Discussion 09/08 - 09/09
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  #1  
Old 03-10-2009, 09:29 AM
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so, our estate agents called a little while ago and asked why we hadn't adjusted our rent payments to meet the new amount. The new amount we had known nothing about. They said they sent a letter in August, and we were now several months overdue to up the payments. No problem, they will send another letter and then we can sort out the payments.

About a week later we received the letter, dated for august, with a january postal stamp. I made sure I kept both the letter and the envelope, went to the bank and adjusted the payments from Febuary.
But they want the money that they apparently asked for in August. They don't seem to be able to prove to us that they did send not just one letter that we didn't receive, but also a reminder letter in November. All we have is the one we got in January.
In my eyes, they messed up by not sending those letters recorded, requiring signature at delivery, if they sent them at all, and I don't feel obliged to pay them this amount of money that they are asking for.
It's not even a huge amount, just a couple of hundred pounds, but that makes a pushchair or about 25 packs of diapers or something else I might need.

The lovely woman keeps calling all the time and has mentioned legal action now, even though I demanded to see some sort of proof of postage.
I don't really have any experience in these matters, so I'm not sure how to react now.

Any clever advice? Words of wisdom?
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2009, 09:43 AM
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What's your renter's contract say?


You probably should email/PM Dorhinda who is a barrister over there.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:07 AM
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You did the right thing up until she mentioned legal action. At that point, it's time to talk to a fancy schmancy wig-wearing lawyer.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:06 PM
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Given the jurisdiction is outside the U.S., I've got nuttin. I have no clue about British landlord/tenant law.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:58 PM
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You know that latin that's all over court rooms?

It all translates to "Seek Local Representation."
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:40 PM
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In the U.S. (well Vermont anyway) you wouldn't have to pay the back payments...you also wouldn't have to pay for the first 60 days as its illegal to increase rent in the middle of a lease and if its a month-to-month its illegal to do so without giving 60 days actual (read: WRITTEN) notice of the increase.

That's in Vermont...that's all I've got.

Good Luck.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:54 PM
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That blows. Do you have any legistlation to look at? Something like our Landlords and Tenants Act? Or any idea whether rental properties are covered under municipal government? We have a Tribunal/ Commission that you can take these types of compliants to, saves all parties the legal costs. I'd look into that - maybe check your city's website and start there - or call the city?
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Last edited by Ishara; 03-13-2009 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:49 AM
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Property laws vary widely, but the first thing to keep in mind is that you have to wise yourself up on "the rules" really fast. No matter where the Court, the person with the least knowledge is most often the loser.

The threats of legal action are just that... for now. These types get by with intimidating people into capitulation all the time, and they use what works as often as possible. The cost of prosecuting a complaint should far outstrip what they might realize if they prevail, so it's doubtful they're really serious... yet. That could change at any time so every bit of preparation you can make before that happens is to the good.

Write them ("recorded" as you put it, in the U.S. it's called "Certified Mail -- Return Receipt Requested") with a request (never demand) that they provide you with a certified copy of any previous notification they claim to have sent with proof you recieved it. As part of your request provide them with a time limit within which they must respond (30 days is usually considered reasonable, at least in US courts -- but check your local rules) or you will construe their failure to perform as an admission that no such action occurred.

This is a form of "presumed close". With most western legal systems "the burden of proof is on the accuser." This is one of the things you need to "gat smart" about, fast. If this dictum holds true in your area, the people asking for the money must prove you were properly notified. Your request forces them to prove that you were or tacitly admit to a false claim. Such a roundabout admission will always put the adverse party in a bad light with the Court and just the correspondence itself will often back these kinds of people up and make them stop.

They know they can't prove it.
They know they're in trouble making their claim stick.
They know it will cost them more to prosecute than they will realize.
They think you know more than they thought you did... and are willing to fight it out.

More often than not, they will let it go.

But the key to everything is getting informed about all the relevant legal stuff first, otherwise you could be in big trouble. For example, what if the agreement specifically states that they are not required to provide written notice of increases... what if it puts the burden of keeping track of your payment amounts on you? That would mean they expect you to contact them regularly and ask if the payment is going up/has gone up, so you can adjust your payments.. it puts the burden on you, not on them. That would be impossible to defend in a Court action as the mere fact you missed any payments of the proper amount would automatically be a tacit admission of neglegence on your part. Beep! You lose! See what I mean? Get wise on the law while deciding whether the $ is worth the effort.

Good luck.
 


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