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I have been living in London for several years now and experienced issues with one of my last landlords (professional one). I'm looking for your legal advice on what actions to take.

To give you a bit of background: it was an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement within a shared house. I had many issues with this letting agency with them breaking into my room without any notice, stealing the keys for the garden (when it was more than 40°C in the house), and many other things I can detail if needed.

But the worst was that, at a time where I was spending 2 days abroad every week for work, they rented my room, not respecting the one month notice period on the contract (because they were unable to rent the room next to mine and at some point found a bunch of guys who were happy to rent the two rooms... the house had 4 rooms in total) two weeks before the end of the leaving date. So basically one night, I came back from my business trip and found almost all my stuff in packages downstairs, someone in my room, and was left with no other option then to sleep on the kitchen table where I got bitten by ants all night long.

On the next day, I checked my stuff and found out that more than £500 of goods had disapeared. I emailed them and they told me they did not steal anything... I went to see the police, who told me that without CCTV in the house they could not proceed with a charge against my landlord for them stealing my goods.

I would like to get your opinion on the kind of action I can take against them as they breached the law/agreement on several points.

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Usual disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. If you are serious about proceeding with this, talk to a lawyer who specialises in this kind of thing. I imagine that you will need to provide proof of the above incidents in order for any legal action to succeed.

Accessing a tenant's room without notice or permission, and without a very good reason (e.g. a gas leak) is likely to be classed as harassment; specifically, "acts calculated to interfere with the peace or comfort of the residential occupier".

Renting out your room and removing your belongings before the end of a tenancy is likely to be illegal eviction.

Both of these are criminal offences under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. Shelter mentions that it's normally local authorities, rather than the police or individuals, who carry out prosecutions under this act (see also: Shelter articles, Landlord Law Blog articles), so you might want to start there.

There is also the matter of civil action, including for breach of contract. For that, consider speaking to a lawyer.

  • Thank you for your time and advice. Would any kind of lawyer be fine? I have no idea where to start with? – soso23 Sep 23 '18 at 11:42
  • The Law Society has a "Find a solicitor" part of their website, so that's probably a good place to start. (Note that I have no direct experience with this.) – Steve Melnikoff Sep 23 '18 at 13:00

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