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I rented my home through a private letting agency for the past 10 years and have just moved out. Shortly after moving I received a letter from the agent saying that I owed them £109 in rent and they intended taking this from my bond. When I queried this, they explained that they transferred all accounts etc. to computer about three years ago and that the amount must originate from before that time, although at this stage they cannot tell me when it does originate from.

 

When I signed up for the house the rent was due on 16th of every month but I asked if it could be paid on 21st of the month, as that was when I got paid. They agreed to this and requested the additional 5 days be paid, which I did. The problem is that after 10 years I no longer have a receipt for the amount, so cannot prove that I paid it. I have tried to argue that if my rent had been in arrears for the past 10 years, I would have had reminders every month (the agent is really strict on late payment) for the amount owed.

 

They are now saying that I cannot have my bond back until I agree to their taking the £109 from it. I know I paid the amount originally but cannot prove it, other than to show that my rent had never been paid on the original due date and so my failure to pay the amount would have resulted in my rent being in arrears each month.

 

I really am stuck as to what to do next, as I object to paying something I do not owe but until I do, they will not release my bond.

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They have to specify exactly why deductions are being made from your deposit, and in the case of alleged rent arrears, they should specify when these began. Since they evidently can't, they have no right to make a deduction. Hopefully you won't have to argue this in Court but them saying 'we think you owe £109 but we don't know when' won't wash in front of a Judge. The onus is on them to prove that you owe them money, rather than on you to prove that you don't - it'd be chaos otherwise!

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They have just informed me that they are going to go through their archive to find when it happened. I will not dispute when it happened, rather I dispute that I did pay the amount when I changed my due date from 16 th to 21st of the month right at the beginning of my tenancy. I can provide them with a list of all direct debit payments which will show the dates rent payments were made, (never on the original due date) therefore, if I had not paid the £109 they would have contacted me every month saying my rent was late, which they did not.

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They should still refund the rest of the deposit and only hold the £109 that is in dispute.

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Most of my knowledge came from this site :-D:-D

 

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Exactly - if there were genuinely arrears then they should have reminded you about it periodically rather than leaving it right until the end to check the books. Once they get back to with whatever information they think they might have, it's probably worth putting it to them that you had always paid regularly, you never had any reminders about overdue rent, and that if they don't return your full deposit with 28 days, you'd be quite happy to argue these points in a County Court claim, using all the evidence that remains available. Since no Court would expect a tenant to keep 10 years of receipts, it's their problem to prove you owe it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just an update - the letting agent still insists that I owe an amount of rent. The amount is now £108.77. They have come up with a reason for the under payment which is that "at sometime in the past" I changed my due date from 16th of the month to 26th. I in-fact changed from 16th to 22nd and paid the additional amount. I then changed my due date to 1st, again paying an additional amount.

 

Also, I moved into the property on 16/05/2004 but when I use the TDS reference number they sent me, I notice the deposit was registered with them on 12/05/2010 with my tenancy starting on 30/04/2010 (I do not understand why those dates come up). The amount of deposit is also £25 more than I originally paid.

 

As it's now over 7 weeks since I moved out and I really do need the money, any comments or advice on speeding up the process would be appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

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did you in fact sign a new contract at that time or at any time subsequent to your oeiginal one in 2004.

If so then this would be new and the previous contract will be superseded, and dont think they can ask you now for rent owed on old contracats!

If no new contract then they probably put deposit into sceme just to be safe as they would not have to.

Raise a dispute with the scheme and they should refund/release money not in dispute.

If LL/Agent wont settle send a LBA to LL and tke to court. It is the LL you sue not the agent.

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Thanks for that. I don't know about a new contract. I was on an assured short term tenancy which started out as a six month affair but for the past five years I had taken a twelve month lease which was renewed every year. I had a clear out when I knew I was moving and disposed of anything over five years old, so do not have the receipt from the additional amount I paid, or any of my old agreements etc. It does concern me that the agents have got my rental due dates wrong i.e. 26th instead of 22nd. I have old bank statements which show I paid regularly on 22nd and of course they have deposited £475 with TDS, rather than the £450 I paid them originally.

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Sounds like you signed a new 12 month fixed term every year. LAs dates prob show when rent was received, yours when money left your account. Rent is deemed paid when received, not sent.

So they have credited you with £25 more than you say you paid, you allegedly owe them £109 so your loss is only £84.

Money owed can be pursued for 6 years, from the date the debt was last raised. So rent owed on previous contracts can be pursued for min 6yrs. OP may get a CCJ for £84!.

OP should ask for detailed rent statements to prove the debt.

When did OP vacate the T and when/how was Notice served? Who sent Notice LL or T?

We really need the date last T commenced and the specified rent due date.

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Agent would have to provide evidence for money owed, not just claim it!

If OP has bank statements to prove rent paid and the extra when dates changed, then suggest he sends details of those dates and amounts to Agent.

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