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stephen81

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Everything posted by stephen81

  1. The cleaning fee was on the same invoice as all the other fees and the main deposit. The landlord isn't taking over as such. Our tenancy agreement was directly with him in the first place. The letting agent doesn't manage the property, doesn't collect the rent, didn't provide the tenancy agreement, didn't provide the check-in. All of that was done by the landlord himself. That's the main reason I wanted the money back in the first place, the letting agency basically have nothing to do with the tenancy now, so there is no reason for them to be holding £250 of my money indefinitely. Had they refunded it when I asked then I'd have probably left it at that. Their arrogance makes me want to sue them for all I can though. I'm not overly concerned about causing problems with the tenancy, as the LA has no involvement any more and it's the LA I'm pursuing, not the landlord. The landlord also hasn't provided the prescribed info for the main deposit, so he can't issue a section 21 notice anyway, regardless of what happens with the £250 "cleaning fee".
  2. It doesn't mention it. It mentions a deposit of £2,396, although our invoice from the letting agent only included £2,146 deposit. I think it is just coincidence that the difference was £250, the same as the cleaning fee. I have found out from DPS (not TDS as I stated in my original post) that the protected amount is £2,146, which matches what we paid as the main deposit, not the extra £250 cleaning fee.
  3. Quick update...I note the regulations have been updated in various areas, including extending the deadline for registration from 14 to 30 days. I've also had further discussions with the letting agent this afternoon. Full email discussion below, but essentially: They have admitted they take the cleaning fee at the start of the tenancy and refund it at the end if the property has been left in the same level of cleanliness. They will do this on the landlord's advice. They have confirmed that they are holding the £250 as security in case we fail to fulfil our contractual obligation to leave the property as clean as we found it. They claim that as it's a cleaning fee and does not fall as part of the main deposit, it is not subject to deposit protection rules. The £250 cleaning fee is being held by the letting agency, not the landlord. I can't see how this can be seen as anything other than a deposit under chapter 4 of the Housing Act 2004 Do I have enough here to go forward with a Letter Before Action to the Letting Agency? Full email trail below (anonymised)
  4. I moved into a property in August last year. We paid 6 weeks deposit, which appears to have been registered with TDS although we have never received the prescribed information. In addition, the letting agency charged us (at the beginning of the tenancy) a £250 end of tenancy cleaning fee, returnable on end of tenancy. I didn't question this at the time although in hindsight I probably should. The agency is not managing the property, we signed the contract with the landlord directly. The agency didn't provide the inventory or check-in service. This was arranged by the landlord, and when we do leave, any check-out will also be directly with the landlord (although the inventory report was not worth the paper it was printed on as it didn't reflect the condition of the property at all. I raised this in writing with the landlord at the time, explaining all the issues, including the cleanliness of the house and have never signed a copy of the report, but that's another issue). Now that we've reached the end of our 12 month fixed term, we are going to remain in the property on a periodic tenancy. In my opinion, the involvement of the letting agents has now ceased as our contract was with the landlord directly. With this in mind, I have requested the £250 to be returned. The letting agent's response is that they will refund this when I vacate the property if the property has been left in the same level of cleanliness. Given this could be several years, I am not happy with this. In any case, I would expect that if extra cleaning is required after I vacate, this should be covered by the tenancy deposit so the extra cleaning fee is superfluous, but this got me wondering if the end-of-tenancy cleaning fee (taken at the start of the tenancy and to be refunded when I vacate, subject to the property being left in the same state of cleanliness) is in fact a further deposit, which should have been registered as such within 14 days. I have checked the registration with TDS and that only includes the 6 weeks deposit, not the further £250 cleaning fee. Can anyone more knowledgeable on the rules offer an opinion? Or can anyone point me towards any guidelines covering this? I have spent a considerable amount of time googling, but haven't found a similar situation so far. Thanks in advance!
  5. I received a summons earlier this year for non-payment of council tax in a property I rent out, as the tenants hadn't registered themselves for council tax. That's not a problem in itself, a quick call to the council and the summons was cancelled. However, when I looked at the summons, I noticed the signature looked very familiar. The magistrates clerk who's signature had been used on the summons apparently has exactly the same signature as the best man from my wedding. Needless to say, I checked this with my best man and he confirmed the signature was identical to his, and that he could think of no reason why his signature should appear on the summons having never worked for the court or the council, although he had lived in the area. Perhaps this is just a remarkable coincidence, but I'm wondering if a mistake may have been made at some point and the wrong signature is being used, or if something else has gone awry. Anyway, the LA in question have confirmed that around 12k summonses have been issued in 2014/15 with the signature in question (and I'm waiting for them to clarify if there were any in previous years) , so if there is some irregularity then it could have significant impact. Does anyone have any thoughts how I might find out a bit more about the clerk and whether the signature is likely to be genuine? Would the clerk's actual name (the signature only has 2 initials and a surname) be covered under DPA or should the court provide that on request? Any other ideas?
  6. I've had a PPI claim upheld on my Barclaycard which I'm pleased with. However, over the years I've had several default charges added for being over my credit limit. Does anyone know if anyone's been able to reclaim these default charges on the basis that the accumulated PPI is what has taken them over their limit? And following on from that getting the defaults removed from their credit report?
  7. Still doesn't appear to be any update on GLC's website. Anyone heard anything?
  8. Still heard nothing back from the court, but did send another e-mail to DG on Wednesday night to chivy them along. Today I got back from work to find (along with my front and back gardens flooded!!) an e-mail from DG offering to settle for the full amount (although just the 8% statutory instead of the 18.3% I had asked for). I'm going to accept this as I don't think it's worth going to court just to try and fight for the extra statutory interest. Sounds like perhaps my explanation did the trick. Just have to wait for the paperwork to arrive now.
  9. Why does it matter if they store info on microfiche? Barclaycard and Abbey were using that argument a year ago. The ICO investigated and decided it was still a structured filing system and therefore they still had to provide the information for a subject access request.
  10. Of course I don't mind. I hope it helps. I've not heard anything back from them yet, but I'll drop them a line tonight to chivy them along as that'll be a week since I sent it. Does anyone know how long it usually takes for the judge to issue a court date after the AQs have both been filed?
  11. Yes, I realise that. I understand the difference between the two different interests. Before I reject their offer outright, I thought I would e-mail to give it one last shot at explaining to them what I am claiming. How does this sound?
  12. OK, finally got through to County Court and have been advised that HSBC have now filed their AQ. I guess I'll just have to wait now for the court date to come through.
  13. I've today received an e-mail from amelia.oconnor@hsbc.co.uk (the girl that phoned me last week) saying her client has "confirmed they are unwilling to refund the portion of your [my] claim that relates to interest on penalties. They consider that the statutory interest rate of 8% (which is higher than the interest rate under normal savings accounts [how generous of them!!!!]) is adequate recompense in respect of the charges. They do not believe that you [me] are entitled to any further interest." I can't decide if they are just trying to drag it out or if they genuinely don't understand where we get the figure for the interest from despite having it spelt out to them several times. I'm just trying to get hold of the court to find out if they met their AQ deadline but no-one is answering at the moment!!!
  14. I e-mailed them last week asking them to phone me so I could discuss their letter. They did actually phone me back the next morning. Once I explained to the girl that the o/d interest I was claiming was only the interest on the charges part of my overdraft, not the interest on my genuine overdraft, she said she would go back to HSBC and get back in touch with me. I've heard nothing more though. Today was the deadline for them submitting their AQ so I will ring the court tomorrow if I get a chance to check if they have done so.
  15. Looking at that thread it appears the phone call to discuss their offer did the trick. I think I'll give that a try first and see what DG say.
  16. I'm currently at the AQ stage and have returned mine by the deadline of 18 June. I received a notice from the court saying the bank have until 10 July to return their's (see http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/hsbc-bank/31019-steve-hsbc.html#post965849) This morning I received an offer from DG of my £260 charges plus 8% statutory interest and my £50 court fee coming to £357.10. The offer doesn't include overdraft interest. After reading the more recent developments on contractual interest I would accept an offer with just the 8% statutory interest instead of the 18.3% I've requested but I obviously will not be accepting an offer unless it includes the overdraft interest too and will not accept the confidentiality clause. What should my next move be? I'm thinking I could maybe phone them, explain I will not be accepting the offer they've made but that if they make an offer including my overdraft interest then I will settle for the 8% statutory interest instead of the 18.3% I've requested? Does that seem like a sensible way forward to start with? Obviously I won't formally accept an offer unless it's made in writing but it may move things along a bit quicker? Or should I just reply in writing? If so is e-mail acceptable and does anyone have an e-mail address for them as there isn't one on the letter? Thanks in advance.
  17. Don't forget as well that although you need to tell them about your capital, it will only affect your claim if your capital exceeds the threshold (currently £6k if you are working age). Even if you do exceed the capital threshold, if I understand correctly (and I may well be wrong) the tariff income is only £1 for each £250 over the threshold. So for example, if your capital is currently £0, you could get a bank charges refund of £6500 and only have £2 less on your benefit. Like I say though, I could easily be wrong there. I do work in that area of a local authority but I'm not directly involved with Benefits so I'm certainly not an expert.
  18. OK, well I filed my AQ on 18th and I've been on holiday for a week. I got back to find 2 notices from the court. The first has a date 27 June 2007 and says... The second one has a date 28 June 2007 and says... What does this mean? Do the banks normally have to file an allocation questionnaire as well? I thought that was just something the claimant had to do? Why would they have set two different deadlines for the same thing?
  19. Defence arrived a few days later. Today is my AQ deadline so I'm taking that to the court at lunchtime.
  20. Yes, I am talking about your level of savings/capital. i.e. the balance of your bank account. The £6k threshold is not for income, it is for capital. I don't think a refund in bank charges would be classed as income (for benefits or tax purposes - although interest on it might?). The refund would only count as an increase in capital.
  21. I don't know whether it's fair or not really. But another way of looking at it is that if the charges over the last 6 years are legally your's, then any benefit claims over the last 6 years have ignored the money that you should have had. i.e. if the banks hadn't taken the charges, your capital would have been higher over the past 6 years and therefore you might not have been entitled to as much benefit. Claiming your charges back now simply means that your benefit should be adjusted to what it should have been already if the bank hadn't taken any charges from you. If anything you've maybe ended up with more benefit overall because your benefit has been assessed on a lower amount for the past 6 years? Hope that makes sense? In any case, I'm not saying what's right or wrong. I'm sure it's not the only thing that isn't fair about our benefits system, but then no system is perfect.
  22. Well, I went to the court yesterday to file my request for judgement and turns out HSBC filed their defence last Wednesday (the last day of the 28 days). Just waiting for it to arrive in the post. Nothing yesterday so hopefully might get it today.
  23. If I don't hear anything about a defence being entered after a couple more days though should I be applying for a judgement by default?
  24. My claim was issued on 2nd May which by my reckoning means my 28 days is now up (they acknowledged the claim). What should I do now? Should I now be making a request for a judgement in default? Or writing to HSBC again to give them another chance?
  25. Acknowledgement of Service received dated 4 May 2007.
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