Housing Lawyers at Osbornes Win Unlawful Eviction Case20 Aug 2018
Specialist housing lawyer and partner at Osbornes Law, William Ford, has been successful in claiming compensation and damages for his client who was unlawfully evicted from his home.
The client, Mr Ryan Insalaco, had entered into an assured shorthold tenancy for a room in a shared house in London. The landlord was ‘One Room UK’ and the tenancy began in December 2016. Mr Insalaco agreed to terms which included a £30 fee for late payment and that the rent would be collected by an individual who came to the flat. As it transpired, if a tenant was not at home at this time, the landlord always refused to provide an office address where the rent could be dropped and always applied a late payment fee!
On the 4th February 2017 our client went on holiday for one week. As he knew that he would be away on the rent collection date, he left a note on his door and asked a flatmate to call the landlord and inform them. On his return from holiday on the 10th February 2017 he found that the lock to his room had been changed, the entry code to the building changed and he was informed that his belongings had been packed and removed from his room.
Mr Insalaco was left at the mercy of his friends who offered him their sofas from this time to October 2017. He instructed Osbornes to represent him on February 24th 2017. On contacting One Room UK, Osbornes spoke to an individual who refused to provide a postal address, but gave an e-mail address. A letter of claim was sent to this e-mail address along with further details the whereabouts of Mr Insalaco’s belongings.
Proceedings were issued in October 2017 the claim was served in December 2017. From this time up until the time of the hearing which took place in July 2018 there was no response from One Room UK.
The Court awarded Mr Insalaco a total of £36,557.36 in damages, which included compensation for general damages, harassment, special damages, damages for the seizure and lack of care to our clients belongings and exemplary damages. A costs order for £7,500 was also awarded.
William Ford, who represented Mr Insalaco comments:
“What happened to our client is every tenants nightmare, coming home to find they are denied access to their home and belongings. The fact that Mr Insalaco had to then essentially ‘sofa surf’ for the next 9 months, relying on the kindness of his friends added to the horror he experienced. This case highlights that tenants who enter into AST agreements in good faith are still being stung by rogue landlords, who lack any moral compass! In trying to track down who ‘One Room UK’ actually are it became very clear that they were not a legitimate company, but rather two individuals trading under this name. Our advice to tenants is to undertake appropriate due diligence on who your potential landlord is. Alarm bells in this case was the lack of a postal address and an office.”
This case and comments from William appeared on www.nearlylegal.co.uk
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