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nickyp99

Outrageous.... please please held us

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Hello All,

 

My first post here. The same old story, rental deposit, with some massive twists. I have drafted a 'Letter Before Action', but I would like some advice before Its sent.

 

I am doing this on behalf of my girlfriend and her two friends. Each signed Short Assured Tennancies which the landlord made himself. All of the terms were six months and the contract presumably went on to a rolling month-by-month basis.

 

The landlord bahaved quite badly when they were there (letting himself in without any notice whatsoever and then leaving doors open on his way out, not servicing boiler for x years, fixing everything that broke himself and not doing a proper job etc etc). He refused to make inventories when they moved in.

 

They gave written notice on 20th November and it was agreed in writing (a return letter) that they would all vacate on 21st December.

 

Problems:

They all paid rent on 1st of each month. Given that the final month was not a full 30/31 days they were verbally told to pay the landlord the amount for the full month and he would refund the difference. Because they did not trust him to do this, they worked out a pro-rata daily rate and made sure the last standing order were completely accurate to cover the last 21 days.

 

Now, two weeks after leaving, they have recieved letters stating that the remaining rent for the month of December (22nd-31st) has been deducted from their deposits along with hefty "late payment" fees. This totals over £400. Can he really take rent for days after the agreed termination date, just because they fall within the same month??!! There is no other justification because they gave adequate notice.

 

There were also large deductions for petty "problems" such as broken plastic toilet roll holders (£30!!!). Some of the damage they do not contest, some of it they do. Because there was no inventory taken, do they still have a chance of recovering anything? Do we have a right to demand to see invoices for the things he purchased?

 

Thanks for the replys in advance. Keep up the good work!!!

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I should also mention that the agreements they originally signed made no provisions in relation to final payments.

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Most of what you are looking for is in the agrrement, if your partner didnt sign an agreement when they moved in as to what was damaged and what wasnt then how can he claim anything, secondly he sounds a nightmare and as i am a registered gas fitter with corgi i would suggest you contact the landlord again insisting if he dosent return the money taken from your deposit immediately you will notify the local authorities who can and will ask for proof of servicing ie landlords certificate for the gas appliances and that he can be prosecuted or even jailed for a failure of this. Check corgi website, they have a special bit covering what a landlord is expected to carry out.

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Thanks George, I think your angle on the Corgi gas stuff is very interesting, im going to look at the website now. Hopefully it will provide some leverage.

 

Anyone got any ideas on the legality of him taking the £400 off quid for rent which they werent even due to pay?

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With regards to the rent if it was paid and due on a monthly basis then in your (OH's) case the rent due should have been up to and including the 31st of the month (the day before the rent was due). Regardless of whether the agreement was terminated mid-month. For instance if you had given a months notice to terminate on the 2nd (Nov) of the month, then the rent would still be due up until the 31st (Dec) almost two months! This is because the termination date has to fall either on the day or day before the rent is due.

 

I know this seems confusing but that is the rule, you can check this out on Shelter's website.

 

The landlord has to justify his late payment fees! Are they in the contract? He may be able to show the court that it has cost him because he missed a DD, etc due to your rent being late and so on. £400 seems excessive, he's probably taking you for a ride.

 

The landlord has to legally provide you with copies of invoices of any work he has had done - afterall it is your money not his. Although it will be difficult for him to prove that any damage, etc. without an ingoing and outgoing inventory. In this case you could defend everything, it is the landlords responsibility to provide the evidence. Although accepting some responsibility may put the judge in your favour.

 

You need to send him a prelim letter requesting copies of invoices, look through some more of the threads on this site particularly related to Unreturned Deposits there are some template letters. Follow this up after 14 days with an LBA letter, either accepting or rejecting any invoices he may have sent you. Then if you are still not satisfied take him to court.

 

Good luck, Joan.


First letter to halifax sent rec del 26/4

Data Protection Act letter to capital one sent rec del 26/4

Halifax 1st offer dated 5/5

Capital One ack Data Protection Act request rec 6/5

Request for repayment to Capital One 2/8

LBA sent 22/8

Court proceedings issued 13/10

Settled in Full 9/11

Donation made 14/11

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thanks for your help, Joan.

 

I looked at the Shelter website seems to imply that what you are saying is correct. However. OH and friends had lived at the property for a while. When they moved in they signed assured shorthold tenancy agreement for six month. The agreement clearly stated the contract was valid from BLA to BLA, a date which has long since expired. Therefore I assume the tenancy reverted or defaulted to a rolling month by month contract. Is there really a statute somewhere which says "tenant must give notice on rent due date... etc"!!?!?!?

 

The totals fees were £120 between the three of them. These were mentioned in the original AST agreements. He is a total cowboy. It makes me sick to think that he could take even a penny of their money.

 

The other points relating to things that he claims that they broke are going to be easy to prosecute.

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I was in a similar situation, I'd been in the property for two years on a six month tenancy agreement. I wasn't sure about the notice as the original agreement stated two months notice. I emailed Shelter and their response was that on a rollover tenancy the notice I needed to give was one month ending on the day before or date the rent was due.

 

You may wish to confirm this by contacting shelter by email or phone - they respond quite quickly.

 

The following link has a good template letter to use plus read through the Arla regulations link.

 

Unfair deposit deductions

 

Even if the charges for late payment are in the contract you may be able to claim they are unfair. The landlord needs to demonstrate that the charges are equal to what it has actually cost him for late rent payment.

 

Also, the rent is still late (unless he has confirmed he's made this deduction in writing) and he may continue to add on costs, interest (even though he has still got the deposit), etc. I would also check with Shelter whether you should pay this and then claim the deposit back.

 

Good luck, Joan.


First letter to halifax sent rec del 26/4

Data Protection Act letter to capital one sent rec del 26/4

Halifax 1st offer dated 5/5

Capital One ack Data Protection Act request rec 6/5

Request for repayment to Capital One 2/8

LBA sent 22/8

Court proceedings issued 13/10

Settled in Full 9/11

Donation made 14/11

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hmm... Im on the phone to Shelter now.

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right. Shelter say, as he put a note through the door confirming the end of the tenancy on 21st, and the note did not make referecne to payment until 31st, he is not able to claim rent until then. WAHHH WHOO!!! Ill see him in court.

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right. Shelter say, as he put a note through the door confirming the end of the tenancy on 21st, and the note did not make referecne to payment until 31st, he is not able to claim rent until then. WAHHH WHOO!!! Ill see him in court.

 

Thats good!

 

I was reading through your thread - when you say the fees were £120 between the three of them was it just the one fee? Or did he charge this fee to each of them making it up to £400? And I take it these fees were for breach of contract? Which now that Shelter has now confirmed the rent was not legally late so he can't charge them anyway.

 

When you write to him I would also mention he breached the contract on many occassions when he entered the property without giving notice (at least 24 hours). If you kept a diary of this or have any witnesses that's a plus.

 

Is there anyone else you can complain to? if it was student accom for instance you could get in touch with the accom section of the uni. You could advise him that you will be looking to take this type of action. Or even make a complaint to OFT regarding unfair terms of contract.

 

Good luck, Joan


First letter to halifax sent rec del 26/4

Data Protection Act letter to capital one sent rec del 26/4

Halifax 1st offer dated 5/5

Capital One ack Data Protection Act request rec 6/5

Request for repayment to Capital One 2/8

LBA sent 22/8

Court proceedings issued 13/10

Settled in Full 9/11

Donation made 14/11

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Ugh, that's my biggest fear - a visit-happy landlord who just strolls in... Thinking about it, couldn't they argue that he was in breach of contract due to this before any dispute over rent and deposits? You may want to mention this in their next letter to him...


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