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Kentish Lass

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Kentish Lass last won the day on March 15 2010

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  1. I realise this will be seen as unusual, but as a Landlord I also believe that Tenants should only have to pay minimum agent's fees (e.g. referencing, check in) because the Landlord already pays the agents!!! The normal Landlord payment to the letting agent for a new letting is (at least) a month's rent - this should be quite enough to cover their costs and give a profit.
  2. The Land Registry document is probably the right one. The charge referred to is the charge against the property - when a mortgage is taken out, the mortgage company's interest is recorded as a charge against the property. This prevents the property from being sold without the mortgage company's charge being removed e.g. by paying off the mortgage. By the charge document, the solicitor may be looking for a copy of the actual mortgage document and I am not sure that would be available to you - this would show whether the mortgage document allowed for the property to be sublet by the owner. The land registry may have a copy in their records which you can get a copy of via their website - you will need the title number from the document you already have. If available, it costs about £8 I think. By the way, if you are not paying your rent to anyone, make sure you put it into a saving account so that you can pay it when required - which you will surely have to at some time.
  3. Contact your housing association. This notice is actually addressed to them, not to you. Ground rent is payable by a leaseholder to the freeholder. If you are living in a housing association property I would be very surprised if you were liable for ground rent - and if you were, it would say so in your tenancy agreement. It also talks about signing a document "admitting" you are liable for these payments - it all looks very dodgy to me. I have to say this looks remarkably like a [problem]. Talk to the housing association and then possibly contact the Police as it may be fraudulent.
  4. They are seriously ripping you off. You say you rented for 4.5 years - was your tenancy renewed during that period? If you signed a new AST after April 2007 they were legally required to protect your deposit in one of the 3 government-approved schemes. They may have had an inventory clerk do the check out, but without a proper check-in inventory - signed and agreed by you - they have wasted their time. Write to them firmly stating that their demands are ridiculous. You are expected to return the property in a similar condition to that at the beginning of the tenancy APART FROM FAIR WEAR AND TEAR - and after 4.5 years that is what you have done. Refute all their claims item by item - clearly and firmly and tell them you require the return of your deposit (less possibly a token amount) by a certain date or you will sue them through the small claims court. Of course, if you did sign an agreement after April 2007, you can also threaten to sue them for deposit + 3xdeposit for not protecting it.
  5. It might be worth you having someone (maybe a surveyor) round to assess the damage and it's possible cause. I don't think you should have to pay for this and anyway, it can probably be covered by insurance.
  6. Not sure why you have posted this twice. The property is in Scotland (where the landlord lives is irrelevant) and is therefore covered by Scottish law - and Scotland does not yet have deposit protection legislation in place, although I believe it is planned for the future.
  7. Deposit should have been protected - I assume it was - in which case ll/agent have to prove deductions are justified - was there a proper check-in and inventory done at the beginning of the tenancy (which your partner signed)? If not, damage cannot be proved. Don't forget when you move in, do notify the council and pay the extra council tax. You need to be squeaky clean!! By the way, I think Martin & Co are franchises. Regarding unresolved maintenance - put all in a letter and send. The washing machine problem may be a dodgy one. Does it say on the tenancy agreement that repairs of appliances are the responsibility of the Landlord? Also - if as you say it is "just something stuck in the pump" this would be seen as tenant's fault and tenant would be expected to pay. (Even washing machine warranties exclude this particular problem and owners are liable for charges in respect of dealing with it). The actual responsibility for reps and maint lies with the landlord. The agents may be having problems getting ll's agreement to necessary expenditure.
  8. Not sure how the different schemes work. TDS is fairly simple. I suggest you bone up on how the mydeposits works so you know where you stand. http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants/tenant.htm You should also ask the agent for details of how you recover the deposit - this should have been provided to you within 14 days of the deposit being taken! Reading the link, it doesn't sound as if the LL/agent has complied with the regulations. You might like to make the agent aware that you know what SHOULD happen. Hopefully, you won't get into an argument, but since there is no check-in inventory signed by you, how can they prove any damage! And it is up to the landlord to prove damage.
  9. Next time you share - make sure that everyone pays theirs!!! You have been too generous. This person is no longer your friend (money always breaks up friendships...) so - sit down with a calculator and work out exactly what he owes you. Itemise everything - his share of the rent, bills etc. less what he has paid - and make sure it is as accurate as you can possibly be - backing it up with copy bills if possible. Then send this to him with a letter before action. I suggest you do a moneyclaim online but don't send it off yet - just print it out and enclose it with your letter. All you need to say is that enclosed are details of his liabilities in relation to his share of the flat and that unless you receive the money in cleared funds within say 10 or 14 days you will issue a claim in the small claims court. You post this at a post office, getting a certificate of posting from the counter. You then post a copy of same either from the same post office the next day, or from another post office - once again getting a certificate of posting. A court is very unlikely to believe that two such letters might "go astray"! A letter sent Recorded or registered post can be refused by the potential recipient. If you don't get the money - send off the moneyclaim online.
  10. Ok - no check in inventory - SIGNED BY YOU - therefore landlord cannot cannot prove that the condition at the end of the tenancy is any different from the condition at the start. Secondly, if he WERE able to prove damage, he cannot charge for a new carpet -only a proportion of the cost commensurate with the damage claimed. Since the deposit is with the DPS you claim the deposit - he then has to object - and prove the damage with the check-in and check-out inventory which should both be signed by you - and without these he can prove nothing. The mechanics of the DPS are not perfect - favourite for you if he tries to deduct stuff is to go to arbitration but some landlords are realising that they can delay things indefinitely by doing nothing! He doesn't get the money, but then neither do you. Just have to see how things work out. By the way - is it only you that has moved out or have all your fellow tenants moved out too?
  11. Most estate agents bind you in to a specific term and notice period to terminate the contract. They usually also bind you to pay their fee if you sell within six months of that date to someone they have originally introduced. I think you will find that if you sell to someone else whilst the contract is still in force, you still have to pay their fee. As Aequitas says - you need to read your contract. Also, someone might come along and offer you more - but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - if you have a sale going through you might pull out and then the second buyer change their mind and you are back at square one with no buyer at all!!
  12. Letting agencies do not own properties - they are simply agents letting properties on behalf of private landlords so if you go to a letting agency - you will be renting through a private landlord! However, if you can go direct to a landlord it will be cheaper!! Your credit rating may well be a serious problem for you - do your parents own their home? would they be prepared to stand guarantor for you? this might help you. You will need to prove your income, and a lot more besides to rent a place. You will also need to find at least two and a half month's rent up front, plus any agency fees. Although you say you are paying off your debts - it sounds as if these debts are not being paid in full. Landlords are not charities and may well be nervous of letting to someone they think might default on the rent. It is hard when you are overcoming your problems, but I would not be helping by lying to you!
  13. It sounds as if the property is not fit for habitation and as such I think deducting £250 is a bit excessive. I would be tempted to say no. If you google scottish tenancy law, there are some very informative websites but I am not sure that your specific situation would be covered. In England and Wales, most councils have someone who helps private tenants - and there is also the Environmental Health department - you should see if your local council has these services. Considering the conditions you describe, I suspect the environmental health would be prepared to get in volved - and of course, it is quite possible that if you mention contacting them to the agent, their £250 demand might dwindle......
  14. I am assuming that your rent is not in excess of £25,000 per annum. The idea that the agent thinks you should "take this letter as one month's notice" is absolute nonsense. By law, you must be given at least two months notice in any case. Have you spoken to the agents about your situation? or are they not easy to deal with (despite not knowing the law....)?? You may be able to negotiate a deal with them to sign a 6 month AST to then roll over to a periodic tenancy thereafter - that would give the LL six months stability and should just about fit in with your timetable. You are entitled to know your landlord's name and address and if you write to the agent they must provide it - you could then perhaps contact the LL directly if you feel you are not getting anywhere with the agent.
  15. I am afraid it is in the small print in the first clause you have posted: "shall refund to the landlord by way of a credit" this is exactly what they have done. I must say - I would never let to a tenant for the first time for more than 6 months initially - I would certainly not pay any agency 18 months up front - in fact I would not pay agency fees upfront in this manner at all. They are such sharks and the bigger they are the sharper the teeth. They should deduct their percentage from the monthly rental. Wouldn't it be great if letting agents were regulated!!!
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