court injunction

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I had signed an AST with a lady on 26.06.2013 but cancelled it after 15 hours on 27.06.2013 when there was still 10 days left before the moving in date. Meanwhile I repeatedly wrote to her and asked her to meet so that I could return her deposit. But she refused to answer any of my texts, calls or email.

On 29.06.2013 the prospective tenant wrote and gave me three options:
1) pay 702 as a damage (i.e the difference between one month rent of her existing place and the 498 rent of the room that we had offered) or
2) pay 612 damage (i.e. equivalent of six months rent difference between another place that she had found for 600 per month and our rent), or
3) move in to the house.

She indicated that if I agreed to either option 1 or 2, she would be prepared to sign a "declaration of surrender". But if none of her options were accepted then she would take the case to the County Court and uplift her compensation requirement.

I wrote back on 02.07.2013 and emphasized that the cancellation of the contract stands as it is. However, I was prepared to pay her equivalent of one-day rent of her existing place plus some money for search cost as compensation. This is because the time difference between the signing of the contract and cancellation date was only one day. Therefore, I was prepared to pay 100, (i.e. 40 for the cost of one day rent of her current accommodation + 60 extra as a gesture of good will).

After three days she wrote back on 05.07.2013 rejecting my offer above. This time she asked for either 400 (i.e 10 days rent of her existing place), or move in to the house, or go to the County Court with an uplift on her damage claim.

I wrote back on the same day, i.e. on 05.07.2013 and sent her a list of at least 7 rooms that were advertised in the gumtree in the area as our property to show that if she really wanted to search for a room there were plenty of rooms available. I also emphasized that I would not go back on my cancellation, but this time, gave her 2 options:

1) Either pay her 200 (i.e. the cost of 5 days rent of her current accommodation provided she could show evidence of her tenancy agreement at 1200 per month and that she was the only tenant in that address paying that amount, or

2) pay 280 to her current landlord (i.e. equivalent of one week rent) rather than to her, subject to seeing the proof of her tenancy agreement at 1200 per month that showed she was the only tenant in that address paying that amount, and getting a receipt from her Landlord for the one week rent.

At 10.43pm on 05.07.2013 she wrote back and rejected my offer and said she wanted the 280 to be paid to her without any condition. Otherwise she would go to the County Court.

So eventually at 2.19 pm on 06.07.2013 I sent her an email and to put an end to the matter, & offered to pay 280 to her provided she signs a declaration of surrender in front of a witness and brings her passport as a proof of her identity.

Today (09.07.2013) I have receive an email from her in which she has demanded 560 for 2 weeks rent because she still has not found a place. Otherwise she would get a court injunction to move in to the house.

Having gone through all the above correspondence, I have no intension to let her move in to the house. I also have no intension to give in to black mail and am prepared to go to the County Court and defend my case if it gets to that point.

But meanwhile, I need to an answer to the following questions and would be grateful if you could guide me:
1) Can the court just issue an injunction and give her the right to move in without giving me any time or opportunity to explain my case?

2) Isn't this a case of extortion and blackmail after she had agreed to sign a declaration of surrender if we paid 280, and had indicated that her landlord had already agreed to extend her contract till 14/07/2013? Bearing in mind that she had 10 days to search for an alternative accommodation after I cancelled the contract on 27/06/2013?

3) In case she decides to get a court injunction, then how long does it take before the court makes a decision? And do I have to let her occupy the place?
09/07/2013 19:08

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