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Chuckz

Admin fees etc deducted form deposit

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I have a problem with my deposit, and after some googling cant find definitive answers to my situation...can someone here help?

 

I recently moved out of a 2 bed property which was on a 12 month contract. There was a 6 month break clause in the contract, and since me and my flat mate are students, we used it to leave the contract early.

 

However today I got a letter stating that the deposit of about £1400 will only have £166 returned to us!!!!!!:mad:

 

Now the interesting thing is that no money has been deducted for damages (which should be right since we were perfect tenants), but the money deducted includes;

 

 

  • Inventory Clerk check in/out - £400 :shock:
  • Tenancy Agreement - £299
  • Termination of Tenancy admin - £295
  • Interest late rental payments x 2 days 11% per day - £219

 

I was stunned when I first read the letter since the charges are very high...especially reading other threads where some people occured check out fees of about £80. That first charge for inventory check is also a mystery since there was no Check-In Inventory done...well it was by the landlord himself but he never gave it to us to sign so I don't know why the estate agents got an external company who we didn't even meet!

 

The Tenancy agreement fee is a little bit confusing too since we thought we had already paid this when we first got the contract.

 

The Termination of Tenancy admin fee seems to also be invalid since we had a 6 months break clause which we used properly by giving one months notice. We specifically told the estate agents we will be using the break clause before we signed the contract but they never told us of any termination fees!

 

Finally, the Late Payment Interest Fee is also a mystery. The landlord actually had some problems with the estate agents as soon as we moved in and apparently was taking them to court, so he told us to pay the rent directly to him and to deal directly with him; the landlord apparently did not recieve the first months rent on time...but that was due to the estate agents as we paid on time and they delayed the payment onto the landlord (this is the reason why the landlord said to pay him straight, but apparently only one reason why he was taking them to court).

 

 

Me and my former flat mate are confused about these deductions since we thought that the deposit was used for any damages to the property, not admin fees which are normally given upfront when the contract is signed.

Our landlord seemed like a nice guy and always helped us out (we ended on good terms), so is the estate agents trying to con us out of money?

 

Please shed some light....What should we do?

 

P.S. When signing the contract we asked the estate agents if the deposit was going into a scheme and they said yes...however, we did not recieve any details for this after signing the contract.

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This has to be a rip off pure and simple.

 

Check your tenancy agreement to see if you are liable for these charges and come back and let us know what it says.

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Who is your deposit protected by?


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So you didnt receive any info on the deposit protection scheme?

 

Okay, first of all you need to check that it isnt protected

 

DPS 0870 707 1 707

TDSL 0871 703 0552

TDS 0845 226 7837

 

They will tell you if they have an account for your deposit.


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Halifax Bank Claim filed and settled

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Thanks for the help...it definately does look like a [problem] thats why I need to know how to approach it.

 

I don't have the agreement on me at the moment, but my flat mate does so I'll have a look at it tomorrow and post if I find anything.

 

So you didnt receive any info on the deposit protection scheme?

 

Okay, first of all you need to check that it isnt protected

 

DPS 0870 707 1 707

TDSL 0871 703 0552

TDS 0845 226 7837

 

They will tell you if they have an account for your deposit.

 

I will definately ring them up tomorrow, thanks for the numbers Natalie! What kind of details would I need to give to find out if there is an account...just so that I dont have hang up and ring back after rummaging around for them?

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The address of the property including postcode, the letting agent or landlord (which ever one you paid your deposit to) your name, and the date your tenancy began.

 

I found them to be incredibly helpful, tbh I think they are getting ****ed off with LL and LAs claiming to have protected deposits when they havent and will assist you if you need anything in writing for the court.

 

Basically the information the DPS provided for me was a major contribution to me winning my case.


If you find my post helpful please click on the scales at the top. Thank you

FAQ SECTION HERE

 

Halifax Bank Claim filed and settled

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CCA requests sent to

Halifax Credit Card

LLoyds TSB Credit Card

Capital One

Moorcroft (Argos)

NDR

18/06/09

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they can only charge fees if they are in the tenancy agreement, and they can only deduct these from the deposit if the tenancy agreement states that the deposit can be used in this way.

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UPDATE:

I tried to ring the 3 deposit schemes today but they were shut, their opening hours are only mon-fri so I guess I'm going to have to ring them on monday morning.

 

However...I did come across a letter which we previously overlooked and might complicate things.

 

In february we recieved a letter from 'myDeposits' (TDSL I think it is) stating that the agents we used are no longer a part of the scheme and hence the deposit held by them will be cancelled within 60 days (Note: my tenancy started in november and we moved out in june). It does also say that the landlord (or his agent) is responsible for re-protecting the deposit, but once again we didn't get any details about any further protection from the landlord or agent.

 

What happens if it is not in another scheme?

 

Check your tenancy agreement to see if you are liable for these charges and come back and let us know what it says.

 

I got my flat mate to read the tenancy agreement quickly, and she did find a statement about the deposit which said something like it can be used for any outstanding invoices by the agent or landlord.

 

But even then, there was no inventory carried out as we were not given anything to sign so this doesn't count as an outstanding invoice. We also paid for the tenancy agreement when we signed it, but even then we were told it was only £150. Any thoughts?

 

Also, are we liable for a termination fee? I thought the whole point of a break clause was that we could terminate the contract at a certain period without any penalties? or does that £295 refer to an admin fee in terminating?:confused:

Do the charges listed above seem too high (considering it was in london)?

 

Who knew renting could be such a hassle?!?:(

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Any outstanding invoices?

 

OK, getting in to the nitty gritty, but I'm understanding that you merely received a letter, after the event, to say that "we're" keeping a bucket load of your money with a breakdown of these charges, is that letter headed "invoice" or, prior to that letter, did you receive any invoices for these charges?

 

Check it out with a legal advisor, Citizens Advise Bureau or similar, but surely a landlord/agent cannot raise an invoice unless the charge the invoice relates to falls within the tenancy agreement, but then surely they must actually raise an invoice to provide you with an opportunity to pay, this is standard business practice, and only when you don't pay the invoice then they make the deduction from the deposit!

Edited by MartinPC

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Well if the deposit was cancelled then you need to find out if it was re-protected.


If you find my post helpful please click on the scales at the top. Thank you

FAQ SECTION HERE

 

Halifax Bank Claim filed and settled

Halifax Credit Card settled

Argos Store Card settled

 

CCA requests sent to

Halifax Credit Card

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Moorcroft (Argos)

NDR

18/06/09

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Oh, I'm in the wrong job here, £400 for an inventory? Do you know it takes me 30 minutes to do an in depth inventory of say a four bed house with garden and out buildings, that photo's, the lot. I am not an inventory clerk, and if i can do it thoroughly in that speed someone who

does nothing else but that can do it quicker!

 

You should have had the opportunity to talk through the inventory at sign in, and then only if you agree do you co=sign it. I take it this hasn't happened and by the sounds of it they did the checkout inventory and still you were not present? Well, thats the end of the matter really!

 

£299 for your tenancy agreement? Tosh. 15 mins top to produce this from a template, and to have it checked. Ask them to justify it.

 

£295 for termination of tenancy? Is that what your signature to a peice of paper is worth? The fact that they then have to check the property out (already covered in their inventory fees from what they say), and get it ready for relet (if you left it like a new pin, they have nothing other than safety checks to do, possible lock change, which they have to at every relet anyway) Not your problem.

 

You already know that the final fee is out of order.

 

I don't know much about this Deposit Protection thing, but I think you ought to be guided by those on here that do and get this into court as soon as you can. They are having a laugh, and you have a chance now to show them the error of their ways. Very satisfying and hopefully also very profitable for you.

 

Good luck with this!

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The more people I discuss this with and the more opinions I get...the more outragious the charges sound!!! lol

 

Well I rang up TDSL and even though the deposit was cancelled with them we are still covered for a period of 90 days afterwards. I guess we can probably open up a dispute with them but we need to send a copy of the agreement for them to send us the DPC number (they wouldn't give it over the phone or start a dispute over the phone either :confused:).....is this the right way to go though?

 

Anyone have any experience dealing with deposit disputes?;

What is their procedure?

What are my likely outcomes from the dispute from the info given previously?

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Okay so does the 60 + 90 days take you to the end of your tenancy?


If you find my post helpful please click on the scales at the top. Thank you

FAQ SECTION HERE

 

Halifax Bank Claim filed and settled

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CCA requests sent to

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NDR

18/06/09

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Also do you have your original tenancy agreement? Are any of these charges mentioned?


If you find my post helpful please click on the scales at the top. Thank you

FAQ SECTION HERE

 

Halifax Bank Claim filed and settled

Halifax Credit Card settled

Argos Store Card settled

 

CCA requests sent to

Halifax Credit Card

LLoyds TSB Credit Card

Capital One

Moorcroft (Argos)

NDR

18/06/09

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Okay so does the 60 + 90 days take you to the end of your tenancy?

 

Well when we rang up, they said the deposit was properly cancelled in may, but we are covered 90 days after this. So I think it was 'being cancelled' after 60 days, but still covered for 90 days when cancelled. I may have to confirm this again with someone else over the phone. If this is true, then we are covered until about august. However, if we had stayed the full 12 months we wouldn't be.

 

I do have the original tenancy agreement and have read it over numerous times...but there is no mention of termination charges, not even under the break clause. There is a statement under the deposit section saying it can be used for "Any outstanding invoives due to the landlord or the agent".

 

As for outstanding invoices, shouldn't they first be sent to us first i.e. notify us? Which deductions would you class as invoices owed to the agents? Would the inventory count as a true invoice....I don't think it does (as someone also said previously) since we were not present, there was nothing to sign and no one actually told us an inventory was done until we saw the deductions!! I could be wrong tho!

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Chuck,

 

I've just checked www.askoxford.com (Oxford English Dictionary) for a definition of "invoice" but it doesn't exactly go in your favour so suggest you check with a legal advisor for a definition of what an invoice is and if that letter itemising deductions constitutes an invoice.

 

But if those charges, the titles of those charges, are not itemised in the inventory then surely they cannot charge. "Any Outstanding Invoices"! Well if I were your landlord could I invoice you for my summer holiday costs or for the cost of putting my kid thru private school blah blah blah?

 

This, surely, can only relate to invoicing of charges itemised in the agreement.

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The whole purpose of the deposit scheme was that the LL couldnt just withold money. If its still protected then they have a duty to you to arbitrate between you and the LL.

 

In which case you can object to the charges being witheld from the deposit.

 

If they cant do that then the deposit obviously isnt protected by them.

 

You need to speak to them again and ask them how you object to the charges, if they say its nothing to do with them then the deposit isnt being protected by them.


If you find my post helpful please click on the scales at the top. Thank you

FAQ SECTION HERE

 

Halifax Bank Claim filed and settled

Halifax Credit Card settled

Argos Store Card settled

 

CCA requests sent to

Halifax Credit Card

LLoyds TSB Credit Card

Capital One

Moorcroft (Argos)

NDR

18/06/09

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