Thursday, September 20th, 2012
One of our leading Housing Solicitors recently enjoyed success in the following published case from Croydon County Court. Claire Wiles advises and represents tenants as well as landlords across London in a variety of disputes. If you are a landlord or tenant in need of legal advice, you can contact Claire or one of our other Housing Law team, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more about the areas covered by our Housing Law team, please click here.
Oyzen v Bell-Gam
Mr Oyzen was the assured short-hold tenant of a one-bedroom flat. Before moving in, he viewed the premises and noted that they were dirty. The bed mattress was stained and there was animal hair all over the carpets. Despite being advertised as fully furnished, there was no furniture other than the dirty bed, a bamboo two-seater sofa, a coffee table, an old cooker and a fridge. He was assured by the landlady’s agent that they would attend to these issues but never did so. On arrival at the premises on 21 January 2011, there was no electricity or gas supply. The meters were in a part of the building controlled by the landlady, to which Mr Oyzen did not have access. The landlady returned on 23 January 2011 with £20 on the electric key and told Mr Oyzen that he would have to pay her back.
On 24 January 2011, Mr Oyzen tried to use the washing machine, but water poured out and he heard the sound of sparking. He contacted the fire brigade, which attended and was able to gain access to the part of the building where the meters were located in order to turn off the electricity supply. The landlady attended the following day with her son. She shouted at Mr Oyzen and accused him of having ‘wrecked her property’. She continued to shout and wave her arms about in an erratic manner, and refused to listen to him. She subsequently told him to get out. mr Oyzen was forced to sleep on the streets as he had no other accommodation available. Except for a period of three weeks when he was able to stay in a hostel arranged by St Mungo’s, he was living on the streets from 25 January 2011 until 4 April 2011.
District Judge Major award the following damages;
General damages following the unlawful eviction at the daily rate of £200 for 70 days (total £14,000)
Aggravated damages of £2,000
Exemplary damages of £1,500 and
Interest and costs