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carfaxcat
04-03-2006, 13:12 PM
We have a problem considering our previous let in Oxford. We found this ongoing situation pretty stressful considering we decided to leave as other two tenants breached the agreement in several paragraphs (having illegal occupier, failing to clean the property regularly etc).
We left that address on the 28th of December 2005. On the 4th of March 2006 we received a short and pointed text message (!) from a current tenant at the Oxford address claiming we owe monies for outstanding consumption of gas and electricity from November to December of the old year. The tone of their correspondence is close to harassment and arrogance.
We were refunded the deposit at the end of January. We were liable to pay for the rent + utilities (as we were originally signed-up in assured short-hold tenancy agreement till end of July 2006) but we managed to find a tenant to replace us who signed a new joint tenancy agreement sometimes at the beginning of January. The old tenant (who returned our part of the deposit) threatens us with legal action if we do not pay. Are we still liable for payment as the old agreement in Oxford is not valid anymore and the deposit has been recovered?

Editor
04-03-2006, 13:35 PM
If you have incurred liabilities such as gas / electricity charges during the time of your stay then it seems only fair that you pay-up. The original tenants have been fair in returning your full deposit, even though the tenancy has not ended, and I would count yourself lucky here, so why not reciprocate by paying your share of the charges whilst you were there?
I would say that if they bring a claim against you, they will almost certainly win, and you will have court costs, expenses and possibly interest to pay on top. On top of this you will end up with a couty court judgement agaist you which will affect your credit rating and therefore your ability to obtain future tenancies, finance and insurance.

carfaxcat
04-03-2006, 15:53 PM
Thank you very much for your explanation. I understand but the text message says that they would not send the copy of the bills before receiving the payment. How can I pay for something if I do not know if the bill was split in a correct way?

Ericthelobster
04-03-2006, 17:00 PM
Thank you very much for your explanation. I understand but the text message says that they would not send the copy of the bills before receiving the payment. How can I pay for something if I do not know if the bill was split in a correct way?Ring them up and talk to them about it? Communication via texting is by its very nature terse, brief and a sure-fire way to bring about misunderstandings and ill-feeling.

Surely if you phone these current tenants back and express your willingness to pay for whatever you're due to pay, but that you'd like to see the bills and calculation of the proportions before doing so, then they would have to be very unreasonably not to agree to that. If they do, then write them a very politely-worded letter expressing the same sentiments, and send it recorded delivery. You'd be able to wave that at the judge if they did try to take you to the small claims court. Save those harrassing texts from them, too


(As an aside - I had a tenant recently who drove me to distraction due to the issue of texting - if ever I needed to contact her - always over something innoccuous such as organising a date for a gas inspection - her mobile would always divert to voicemail and she would never ring back. Instead, I'd get a text back (eg no sorry, can't make Wednesday). So, knowing full well she was definitely at the end of the phone, I'd call back with an alternative. Again, I'd reach voicemail followed by texted reply. So we'd end up having these conversations by text, 3 or 4 in each direction, in place of a quick 2-min phone call. I'd certainly never done anything to warrant the 'sending to Coventry' treatment, and it drove me nuts!!)

carfaxcat
04-03-2006, 17:09 PM
Thanks a lot, we will try to sort it out. :)