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Leeds students win case against landlord

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Clarion helped five students from the University of Leeds.

We helped the students to not only successfully defend themselves against a claim made against them in the small claims court by a local landlord, but also to win their own claim against the landlord and, unusually, to be awarded their legal costs too.

The five first year students, Angelica Pomroy, Tom Poole, Josephine Calvert-Briggs, Nataline Donkin and Zohaib Ali, agreed to rent a property in Hyde Park from a local lettings agency Avtar Properties and signed a 12 month lease. They were assured by the agent that it would be fully repaired, however, not only were they delayed from moving into the property on the agreed date, the house proved to be dirty and in a bad state of repair when they eventually moved in. Despite promises from the landlord, the work failed to be carried out and the students decided to find somewhere else to live.

Despite having paid £100 each as a deposit, plus three months rent, the landlord subsequently issued a claim against the five students and their parents who stood as guarantors, for the unpaid rent for the year. The students appointed a team at Clarion, led by partner Paul Burkinshaw and assisted by Jennifer Leithgoe, to issue a claim against the landlord for their deposits, rent and legal costs.

“This is a fantastic outcome for the students. Too often, unwary young people find themselves in a position where they are pressurised into signing a lease too quickly or for too long a period and later come to regret it,” comments Paul Burkinshaw of Clarion. “While the landlord claimed that the property was fit for purpose, we were able to prove that it was not. We also showed that he had exploited his position of power by purposely issuing his claim in a way that avoided the risk to him of legal costs.

“The claim against the students was struck out twice by the court and instead the landlord was ordered to pay back their rent and also to cover all of their legal costs – an unusual ruling for a small claims court.”

Terry Pomroy, parent of student Angelica Pomroy, added: “It goes without saying that we are all delighted with the service provided to us by Clarion – the team has been very effective and successful in the process of recovering a fair and just payment to us.

“It is gratifying that after the commercial and personal abuse heaped on these poor students by a rogue landlord that they have been compensated. We hope that our success in this case will help empower other students to not sit idly-by and accept unacceptable behaviour by abusive landlords.”

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For further press information, please contact:
Susan Reid on (01423) 56 99 99 or susan@appealpr.com