Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder Debt Girl Novitiate

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    Default Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    This hasn't actually happened to me but I was having a look at my lease and it states that if rent payment is over 3 days late then the landlord will start adding charges onto the sum owed. If it did actually happen would I be able to claim them back or argue the case for not paying the charges in a similar way to reclaiming bank charges?

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder western promise Novitiate

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Debt Girl
    This hasn't actually happened to me but I was having a look at my lease and it states that if rent payment is over 3 days late then the landlord will start adding charges onto the sum owed. If it did actually happen would I be able to claim them back or argue the case for not paying the charges in a similar way to reclaiming bank charges?
    I imagine you would, but the landlord perhaps has a better chance than a bank does of proving that he has incurred a cost.

    For example, if you paid him late and he incurred bank charges as a result, it would be cut and dried that he had incurred a cost, namely those charges.

    I doubt if you'd get anywhere in a small claimsicon court arguing that he should sue to get those charges back either....


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder Rich44 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Not only that if you were then successful the landlord would probably get the last laugh by giving you 2 months notice to get out.

    It really is very very hard to win with landlords, most of whom aint exactly nice people who give a monkeys about their tenants (there are exceptions but not many!)


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder western promise Novitiate

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich44
    Not only that if you were then successful the landlord would probably get the last laugh by giving you 2 months notice to get out.

    It really is very very hard to win with landlords, most of whom aint exactly nice people who give a monkeys about their tenants (there are exceptions but not many!)
    Seems like a sweeping generalisation. I am a landlord of 2 properties and I myself rent another one in which to live, and I am exceedingly nice to a fault both as a tenant and as a landlord

    If you were late paying rent and a landlord did start adding charges, I would challenge them immediately by asking for a breakdown of how they were arrived at. If any of the breakdown included things like 'management time' I would further ask to see the basis on which this time has been costed.

    Your deposit belongs to you and the presumption is that you get it all back unless the landlord can prove something has suffered from more than reasonable wear and tear. It's not, as I understand it, for you to prove that it hasn't, it's for him to prove that it has.

    The only time I've ever deducted anything from a tenant's deposit was when they had used a brillo pad on the stainless steel facia of an oven. In so doing, they had scoured off all the temperature and settings markings that told you what knob did what. This effectively made it unusable by anyone not familiar with the oven, so I knocked off 50 of the 80 replacement cost and explained why, enclosing a copy of the invoice.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    While it will more than likely sour the relationship with the landlord, you could do what I did. Tell the landlord that it is clearly not your responsibility to compensate them for the unlawful actions of the bank. Got mine off my back for long enough to put a package together.

    HSBC Lloyds TSB contractual interest New Tax Credits coming for you? NTL/Virgin Media

    Never give in ... Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Churchill, 1941

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    Basic Account Holder watccoe75 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Debt Girl
    This hasn't actually happened to me but I was having a look at my lease and it states that if rent payment is over 3 days late then the landlord will start adding charges onto the sum owed. If it did actually happen would I be able to claim them back or argue the case for not paying the charges in a similar way to reclaiming bank charges?
    As tenancy agreements are covered by the The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, such a clause may well be unenforceable. Only a court can decide whether a term is unfair or not though. If the charge was clearly a penalty, unrelated to the actual cost to the landlord of the late payment, then he probably hasn't got a leg to stand on.

    More info available from The Office of Fair Trading website:


    Unfair terms guidance

    Halifax plc

    LBA sent 11/01/06
    Rec'd fob off letter 21/01/06
    Last ditch attempt phone call to avoid court action 07/04/06
    Reply rec'd 07/04/06 'On this occasion we are unable to help you'
    Claim filed 19/04/06
    Claim acknowledged 28/04/06

    SETTLED IN FULL 11/05/06


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  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder Rich44 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Seems like a sweeping generalisation

    (there are exceptions but not many!)
    What part of there are exceptions did you not understand?

    Yes it was a sweeping generalisation but I have been renting properties for 12 years now and ive only ever had dealings with ONE agent/landlord who actually cared and did the job properly and that was Dakings and they were acting for an investment group.

    In the other 8 places ive lived the landlords have been quite frankly pants and all did their hardest to hold onto as much deposit as they could


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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Debtgirl in reply to your posting:

    1.Clauses as you have mentioned are introduced so that tenants pay their rent on time and not essentially to enforce them.

    2.As far as being enforceable are concerned if the delay in payment of rent has interesticon charged in favour of the landlord at a rate of the county courticon - 8%.This would not be unfair or excessive.

    3.Always use the "reasonability test" in this sort of scenario i.e.if it seems too too excessive in fees/costs/interest etc etc it is not enforceable.It is as simple as that!

    4.As has been posted,if you have a shorthold tenancy your rights are fairly limited and it is fairly easy to evict you - but of course only with a court order.
    So be careful how you approach this sort of problem should it arise.

    I hope you find this information useful.

    If you have any questions,just ask.

    All the best!


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder Debt Girl Novitiate

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Thanks very much for the info everyone, very interesting, I actually have a fantastic landlord but it is good to know where I stand should problems arise.

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  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder Debt Girl Novitiate

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Looks like I spoke too soon! My landlord just tried to enter the property without my permission

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  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder Rich44 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Oooh the flipper I hope you gave them an ear bashing!


  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder Odd Fellow Novitiate Odd Fellow Novitiate Odd Fellow's Avatar

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich44
    It really is very very hard to win with landlords, most of whom aint exactly nice people who give a monkeys about their tenants (there are exceptions but not many!)
    I am not terribly happy about this statement. I am a professional landlord - I have 7 properties. I would not dream of treating a tenant in anything other than a professional manner.

    Certainly, there are so bad landlords out there and there are some pretty terrible tennants too but attempting to tar us all with the same brush is not necessary.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Debtgirl,put a latch/bolt on your door to stop your landlord from entering the property when you are in it.

    If the landlord enters your property when you are out there is little you can do really.However,he should not enter your home without your permission because he would classed as a trespasser.

    Please read the other threads/posts within the Landlord & Tenant Section regarding problems of this nature and the rest! - to educate yourself further.

    I hope you find this information useful.

    If you have any questions,just ask.

    All the best!


  14. #14
    Basic Account Holder Rich44 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Fellow
    I am not terribly happy about this statement. I am a professional landlord - I have 7 properties. I would not dream of treating a tenant in anything other than a professional manner.

    Certainly, there are so bad landlords out there and there are some pretty terrible tennants too but attempting to tar us all with the same brush is not necessary.
    But thats exactly it what part of "There are exceptions" do you not understand I AM NOT TARRING YOU WITH THE SAME BRUSH thats what that qualifier means for goodness sake how many times do I have to repost that line?????

    Please read all of the post before whinging about it. It is my opinion and I am perfectly entitled to make it. In 12 years of renting as I have said I have had 1 landlord who I thought was great.

    Other than that I have not even alleged they havent acted professionally asking someone to leave who is causing problems as per above is still acting professionally providing it is done properly things like not providing timely repairs is not acting professionally which I have not actually accused anyone of on here (apart from current landlord).

    The other fact remains about renting is that you have little to no security sadly. What has tended to happen lately with the rise in house prices is that landlords have booted people out so they could jack up the rent by 150 pcm and rerent it to a new tenant for the new price.

    To be blunt and I dont mean to be rude but I couldnt give a monkeys whether I hurt your feelings with my statement above especially considering that it wasnt aimed at you personally and that it was qualified to say that NOT all landlords are bad unless you have a guilty conscience and feel you fall into the other category?

    PS that last sentance was a joke hence the smiley at the end just thought I better point that out seeing as you didnt get my exceptions line in the first place


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder BlueAndWhiteOwl Novitiate

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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    Hi,

    I have just received the deposit I originally paid for a year's lease on a student property, which I no longer reside in. They have charged me 35 for a late rent payment. The reason the payment was (three weeks, hardly excessive in my view) late was because my student loan had not cleared; had I written a cheque anyway, my bank would have charged me 30 as it would have bounced. I was expecting the loan to clear relatively quickly. so I could sent a cheque for rent. 35 is excessive - it does not cost that much to send a letter, which is what they did, addressed to three tenants in the same situation, and we explained the situation. Furthermore, we repeatedly requested a copy of their lease agreement during the tenancy, (the ownership of the property changed hands during the time I was there) and we were ignored, so we had no idea we would be charged for late payments. I am definitely going to claim - will focus on the disproportionate amount etc and I have read the tips on this fantastic website so here goes.........


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Penalty charges for late rent payment?

    BlueandWhiteOwl,

    In reply to your post:

    1.In the first instance,I would suggest that you have a "nice word" on behalf of all of you to reclaim the amounts taken off of you collectively.

    2.Failing that,obtain a copy of the agreement before you go ahead with any claim.

    3.Follow other threads on the process of claiming and if you get stuck,just ask.


    Keep us posted.

    All the best!



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