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LA or LL didn't put deposit into TDS - Advice Urgently Needed


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Hi,

 

New here but have read some great advice so far.

 

Our previous landlord has not yet returned our security deposit, but we are close to receiving this. The main sticking point I have is a deduction they are calculating for gas usage.

 

The flat we rented didn't have a gas meter. We never received a gas bill, but they say we owe them money for gas.

 

They are due to get back to us on Monday with the amount we owe. I have only the following to go on as to how they plan to calculate this amount:

 

- The flat next door had a gas meter which measures usage of both flats.

- There was also a sub-meter in the flat next door which measure gas usage to our flat.

- They plan to use these two meters to calculate our usage.

 

Now, I have no idea whether any of this is legal, but it definitely sounds wrong to me. I have no idea how they will measure the meter readings of both said meters. We moved out over 6 months ago, and never saw either meter as they were in the flat next door.

 

As we have been pushing for the deposit for some time, it turns out that the deposit was never protected. In my understanding, they have breached the law here. Not only this, but in order to charge us for what they think we have used in gas - they should apply to TDS to claim this, and then they would have to ropovide evidence of what we owe would they not?

 

I wrote to them last week giving them 7 days to either repay our deposit in full, and/or provide me with evidence that they have secured our deposit.

 

They have since been in touch and advised that they have been gathering paperwork on the gas payment, and will post this to us on monday.

 

My questions are:

 

- Can they charge us for gas, if we never had a bill/meter or meter readings at the start and end of tenancy?

- If they can, how can they resaonably calculate this?

- If they can, is this not a moot point by the fact that they have not secured our deposit?

- Should I make a claim to the small claims court for the full amount claiming I feel it's unfair to pay for the gas without evidence to state exactly how much we used?

- Should I take this further, ie the 3x amount?

 

I'm completely pi$$ed off with them for dragging this out. And think they are being a bit daft in even trying to charge us for this payment, when they have clearly broken the law.

 

Any/all advice welcome.

 

Thanks,

 

KJPM.

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Answers to your questions

1, I wouldnt have thought so, give british gas a call and ask about sub-meters (i dont think there is any such thing) ive never heard of them

2, If you've had no readings then they can't calculate a bill accurately (gas meters are read by agencies, not landlords)

3, Yes

4, Yes definitely

I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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callumsgran - many thanks for your reply.

 

So I received a cheque from the LA, for £349. Deposit of £595 minus £246 for Gas.

 

Along with the cheque, there were three photocopies of the back of gas bills (no copies of the front, so no evidence that these bills are even for the flat we rented) and a plain sheet of a4 that the LA had hand written some arithmatic, with x amount of killojoules = £x... added these figures up and then divided them by 2 to signify the bill was split between 2 flats.

 

Now I'm not an expert, but this seems ridiculous as evidence of what we owe them for gas.

 

Subsequently, I have contacted all 3 tenancy deposit schemes and none of them ever received our deposit.

 

We are now left in a position where we feel cheated, but the system is not in place to help us. Basically, if they had protected our deposit and tried to charge us £246 for gas, the deposit scheme would require evidence to prove this would it not?

 

I'm not saying we shouldn't pay anything for gas that we used, but if the landlord/LA is happy to have 2 flats running off one gas meter how can they expect us to know what we owe?

 

Because they have not protected the deposit, and have simply returned a cheque for the difference, we have no easy way to appeal their estimated sums.

 

Does anyone have any advice on this?

 

Should I write to them first asking for clarification of how they have worked this out, or simply charge them at the small claims court for the difference? My fear of this is the fact that we owe them something but neither parties can prove exactly what!

 

They seem to be charging too much, and I'd have been happy to drop the whole thing if they would have given us a fairer amount to pay - or could prove that we actually owe this amount.

 

Should I just ignore the cheque and claim the full deposit back (ignoring the gas bill) because they never protected the deposit?

 

I'd really appreciate some help with this.

 

Thanks in advance, kjpm

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Yes ignore the cheque, infact post it back to them with the rejection letter and tell them you are going for the 3x the deposit back.

Refuse to pay the bill until they can substantiate which portion of the gas bill is yours

Did you ring british gas?

In my opinion if the landlord is supplying gas to two flats off the same meter (i'm no expert but it may well be illegal to do so) the gas should be inclusive in the rent (which its not)

Please ring british gas and get their advice on this and let us know how you get on

I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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It IS legal for a landlord to "re-sell" utilities, but there are strict rules governing this.

 

What does the contract state regarding utilities and/or gas?

 

Just to clarify, non compliance with TDS does NOT remove your liability to pay for the gas costs incurred - it is just that the penalty will more than cover it. Moreover, they have to be able to prove the gas costs incurred by yourself, and there should (for this to be enforceable) be a clause in the contract regarding gas.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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