Thursday, 10 April 2008

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing...

A friend from uni, lovely girl, had some landlord problems recently which has resulted in her and her boyfriend being threatened by the landlord and he now wants them out.

They sent an email round seeking advice, and I responded that if they wanted to stay there then they should try and maintain amicable relations, maybe write him a letter explaining the situation (because in person wasn't working). It seems they disregarded this and responded with a letter written as if they were solicitors involved in an aggressive litigation. Which only put his back up even more.

I got two solicitor friends to advise them, and pretty much their advice boiled down to: assess what you want, look at your contract, if you want to stay, keep it amicable and don't go in guns blazing.

They seem to have completely disregarded this advice- from 3 separate people, and it's just not helping the situation.

I guess when you are able to use a tool like legal knowledge, it can be tempting to overuse it at first. However, being litigious isn't in anyone's interests in this kind of problem.

The sad result will probably be that they will continue to be hassled by the Landlord, who is now himself seeking legal advice in response to their (basiaclly amounting to) threats of litigation (he had some threats of his own) and they'll end up needing to find a new flat whilst in the middle of exams.

I feel really bad for them, but I've done my best and they seem to have disregarded my advice, and the advice of 2 professionals who kindly gave up their time to look at the issue.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mel,
Is your uni friend a law undergraduate?
Law is often about advice , as well as argument and opinion. You and your qualified friends have done your best and thats all you can do. If your friend wants to dig a hole for herself,against advice, then I'm afraid that's her choice.
Nearly Legal's blog has some interesting opinions, not merely on housing law, but also on those who wont take legal advice and become litigants in person - go and have a read!

Mel said...

Thanks minx, I will do.

Actually they both graduated in law last has an LLb and one has the LLb and an LLM!

The most senior lawyer I asked was surprised by this, given their approach. But then, I've been guilty of brandishing s13 of the Sale of Goods Act about a bit heavy-handedly.

Anonymous said...

.... O Dear. You are preaching to the converted, Mel, though the only trouble is that they haven't seen the light....!

Android said...

Oh well... At least you've tried!