Now - on the one hand I have never lived there so arguably I am told I need to take legal advice on whether i have been "served"
BUT on the other hand I have seen it and can not simply ignore that it is there as if I pretended it never happened i could have a judgement issued against me which would cause much bigger issues.
So I am going to take legal advice Monday but I have a question about writing my defense.
the key facts are:
- Tenant signed a 90 day tenancy with no break clause permitted without agreement of landlord - me
- Day tenant moved in they realised they did not need it
- I said (will never do anything this idiotic again) IF i can find a replacement for the period that you were renting it and it does not cost me any money do you want me to find someone else? I was explicitly clear that at the end of 90 days I should not be worse off by 1 pound for the period that they had rented it
- they said yes
- I employed an agent to findsomeone
- they found a new tenant
- the 90 day tenant had to sign a document stating that they surrendered the lease - there were no clauses on it other than that the property would be handed back in the state it was let in
- we then told the tenant that they would get the balance of their 90 days back less our costs of finding a tenant
- they said that was unacceptable
- I said I told you that I would not lose a penny for that period
- they said I should reconsider and eat the cost as it was a cost I would bear anyway
- I said the property had been let for 5 years whilst I lived overseas and I had never paid a fee. were it not for the fact that they asked to move out on the day I was moving countries again I would have found the tenant myself
- A period of silence
- Claim form arrived
So I have a signed tenancy with no break clause
I have a surrender document where they gave up their rights to the property with no conditions listed
I have my correspondance to them stating that I was crystal clear that finding another tenant should not cost me a penny and that had I known that they thought I would eat the costs I would never have agreed to it in the first place. It would make no sense for me to have agreed to do so when I could have kept ALL their money
So I am now feeling unsettled. they are causing me to seek legal advice
Could I not only defend the claim as is, but now counter claim for the costs involved in obtaining legal advice?
in terms of writing this out. I obviously want to be crystal clear. I assume it should be short sentences, concise, factual, dates, times, values and I should include copies of lease, surrender document and email correspondence?