Lying tenant jailed

A landlord spoke of his “horrendous” three-year ordeal after a Leeds tenant who faked a statement to back up a county court claim against him was jailed.

 

Elaine’s Moxon’s false statement contributed to a judgement going against landlord Zareef Latif which left him facing county court fines and costs of more than £30,000.

Mr Latif was the landlord of a house in Leeds which was rented by Moxon and her husband from 2011 to 2015.

In 2016 Mr Latif sued Moxon for rent arrears of £4,200.

 

Moxon launched a counter claim for damages and claimed Mr Latif had dumped her property on the street before changing the locks after evicting her and her husband.

A judge subsequently ordered Mr Latif to pay £24,800 to the Moxons for damage to property in respect of her counter claim, plus court costs.

Mr Latif later discovered that Moxon had used her cousin’s name without her knowledge to put a false statement before the court.

Mr Latif reported his findings to police and applied to have the county court judgement against him removed.

Moxon, 52, admitted perverting the course of justice.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said, “It was a thoroughly dishonest and wicked thing to do.”

Mr Latif said, “This woman has put me through an absolutely horrendous ordeal for the last three years.

“It has been a nightmare. She is now where she belongs and I hope to be able to get on with my life.”

Landlord who crammed two tenants into one loft is given big fine

A landlord who crammed six tenants into one house, including two into one converted loft space, has been ordered to pay £15,000 in fines and costs.

 

Suresh Nathan Paramaswara, who owns a three-storey house in Totteridge, must pay £15,281 after failing to obtain a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) licence.

Paramaswara was convicted at Willesden Magistrates Court.

 

Barnet Council inspected the unlicensed property following a tip-off and found four separate lettings and four tenants in “unsatisfactory conditions.”

A Barnet Council spokesperson said “if Paramaswara had applied for a licence, the council would have identified these unsatisfactory conditions during the licensing inspection.”

Couples face record 59-week wait for a divorce

Separated couples are facing a record wait to get divorced as a result of regional divorce centres trying to process a backlog of older cases, according to The Law Gazette.

The Ministry of Justice published quarterly statistics covering January to March this year, showing the average time from petition to decree absolute is 59 weeks.

The ministry says the figures ‘represent the highest figures so far for the periods covered by this bulletin and is a result of divorce centres processing a backlog of older cases.’

The Law Gazette reported that Jo Edwards, head of family at Mayfair firm Forsters, said,

“For years we have been warning that the system is almost at breaking point. It is now clear that the effect of legal aid cuts, lack of funding for signposting alternatives to court and swaths of court closures across the country, has been profound. People are issuing applications in higher numbers than ever before and the courts soaking up the work of the hundreds that have been closed are swamped. As the president of the family division has recently said, the pressure on all those working in the system is immense and taking its toll.”

 

Not all landlords aware of impact of tenant fees

Not all landlords are aware of the impact of the tenant ban fees which came into force in England last month, as reported by insidecoveyancing.co.uk.

According to agents Chestertons, landlords are still unaware that the ban looks back as well as forwards. It says that as the legislation is enforceable on all Assured Shorthold tenancy agreements, landlords don’t just need to adjust, but they must become aware of the complexities involved with unravelling existing tenancies.

It is believed that many landlords are unaware that sections referring to extra costs on agreements drawn up before 01 June 2019 may not be binding when it comes to a tenant moving out of a property, or once the tenancy renews.

As reported by insidecoveyancing.co.uk, Donna Ingram, Head of Tenancy Services at Chestertons said,

“Many landlords are unaware that if a tenant moves out after 31 May 2020 costs cannot be charged to the tenant, even if these were written in to a tenancy agreement. Landlords could be in for a shock next June when services, such as an end of tenancy professional clean, cannot be charged to the tenant despite a clause in the contract. So the wording of tenancy agreements is more important than ever to ensure peace of mind and prevent landlords from being caught out.”