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Landlady withholding deposit because I claimed Council Tax discount

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Hi All,

 

My landlady told us in Feb that she was selling our house.

We moved out in April when a suitable property came up, but had to pay double rent and council tax on the two properties until the end of June when my tenancy ended :-(

 

I did however manage to get a one month discount on the old property as I wasn't living there.

 

Now that the landlady is renovating the house to sell, she too has applied for the council tax discount (as she's not living there) and has been declined as there needs to be a period of 6 weeks of someone living there since that last claim before she's entitled to it.

 

Because of this, she has told me that what I did was 'unacceptable' and that she will be taking the £119 (one month's council tax) out of my deposit.

 

We are going through the DPS, but but the email this morning told me that my request for repayment of my deposit has been declined and that that I to settle it with her - which is impossible as she is totally unreasonable.

 

Who is in the right here?

She is stating that it was my responsibility to pay all bills (which I have done), but in claiming the discount (which I was perfectly entitled to), I have breached this part of my contract.

 

Any advice much welcomed.

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Your renting the property, your entitled to any discounts. You pay the CT whilst under a lease, not the LL. Send a LBA to the LL, but only if you intend to pursue in the courts.

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Thanks sgtbush.

I'm not sure if I can afford to take her to court unfortunately.

 

---------

 

There are two clauses in my contract which relate to Council Tax:

 

2.5: To be responsible for payment of Council Tax during the tenancy in respect of the premises.

 

The Deposit has been taken for the following purposes:

4.4: Any unpaid accounts for utilities or other similar services or Council Tax incurred at the property for which the tenant is liable.

 

----------

 

So basically my question is:

Is claiming a discount (not having to pay it for a month) classed as non-payment?

 

Thanks again.

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Your entitled to the discount therefore it is not a non payment.

Non payments is where you owe the money and fail to pay.

Your entitled to a discount.

Your ll is just peeved Tha they cannot apply for a discount and now is maliciously taking it out on you.

 

I would write to the council, your MP and the landlord stating the unlawful deduction and going thru the appeals process

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the LL is moaning she cant claim a discount period whilst renovating because you have used it up. The duiscount for an empty prooperty is at the whim of the council anyway wheras yours was a right.

You say you cant afford to take it to court, how much do you think it costs? If you have a low income you can get a remission of the court fees anyway so it may cost you nothing. The small claims track is easy to use and quite informal most of the time. Unreasonable people tend to either become worse or suddenly switch and pay up and start being nice when they get a N1 and they know what it is about. either way, you stand to recover your monies

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We are going through the DPS, but but the email this morning told me that my request for repayment of my deposit has been declined and that that I to settle it with her - which is impossible as she is totally unreasonable.

 

Can you describe this in more detail? e.g. have they accepted landlady's deduction? If so it sounds like DPS have made a mistake and assumed that you have wrongly withheld the payments.

 

The cost of a claim of this amount would be £25 for initiating the claim online through moneyclaim online, then another £25 for hearing the case.

 

You would likely get these fees back if you win and you should be able to claim expenses and something for your time if you have to take time off work.

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I think you should also contact the council to explain the situation because they should not give her a discount under these circumstances.

 

If the landlady is claiming that you have withheld payment then she ought to pass the money to the council to cover the period during which you were the tenant, otherwise she is being explicitly dishonest.

 

If she does pay the money, you should simply insist that the council pass it back to you because it is your money and you were entitled to the discount.

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Thanks Steve_M

 

I'm currently going through the process with the DPS - I've got as far as 'not agreeing' with her deduction of funds.

Not sure what happens after this - I'm hoping that I at some point, get a chance to state my claim and hoping that the DPS will see what a ridiculous accusation this is.

 

And that's a good point about her using the money - thank you.

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Not sure what happens after this

 

Did you agree to use the Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure? I assume if the landlady does too then that procedure will begin - but precisely what happens is unclear to me from reading the DPS documentation.

 

If you have received no letters or emails soon I would suggest you phone them to ask.

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There are two clauses in my contract which relate to Council Tax:

 

2.5: To be responsible for payment of Council Tax during the tenancy in respect of the premises.

 

The Deposit has been taken for the following purposes:

4.4: Any unpaid accounts for utilities or other similar services or Council Tax incurred at the property for which the tenant is liable.

 

In over a decade of working in council tax I've never once known a landlord pass monies to the council in respect of a tenants liability.

 

Craig

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you were responsible for paying the council tax due so if you got a single persons duscount would the LL expect you to pay the full whack? No, this is about her not getting the remission for having the property empty because you have used up that allowance and she is seething. Basically all argument about how the payments are made are misleading. The LL wouldnt have automatically got the remission anyway regardless of your discount/remission

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