View Full Version : Suspicious landlord, deposit as last month's rent?

06-03-2006, 10:18 AM
Dear all,

I'm approaching you for advise on how to deal with ending my tenancy in the best and hopefully legal manner.

I have been tenant at a property where the landlord has proved in many occasions to be most unreliable and unofficial in his dealings with me. My tenancy is about to end and I am considering of offering my deposit in place of the last months rent. I know a lot of landlords out there hate this approach as it leaves them nothing to fix the potential damages that may have risen from the tenancy. But, here's my case:

- The flat is in good order, minus reasonable wear and tear. I have been proactive in having things fixed myself when the landlord has been unreachable.

- The deposit is for 5 weeks rent, I owe him 4 weeks

- I was advised "off-the-record" by the estate agency who managed the property before and sold it to him to not pay the last months rent as they thought I may have trouble getting it back

I would really appreciate your views on this matter. What is the legal vs. practical standpoint? What happens if my LL refuses my proposed arrangement?

Kind Regards,

Poj McDodge
06-03-2006, 11:54 AM
If there are damages he will probebly chase you in the courts for payment.

06-03-2006, 11:58 AM
Legally, your deposit should not be used as rent unless both parties agree. If your landlord disagrees, or refuses to state either way, then of course you are at liberty to simply not pay the last months rent in the manner you suggest.

However, your landlord may come up with some reasons as to why he should hold onto your deposit/bond for repairs or damage in addition to the now outstanding rent of one months worth. He will be able to sue you - his chances of winning depend on if he is able to prove damage and liability which you must pay in addition to the rent - if he does - then the case will go against you in court.

If he cannot, or his claim is spurious, then that is likely to be the end of the matter - he will accept you have paid your dues and not pursue you for any more.

So, be ultra careful when you move out - have an inspection on the last day and either obtain a signed OK for the property condition, or if that is not possible, video/photograph how you left it so that you can counter any dubious claims.

06-03-2006, 12:48 PM
That's helpful davidjohnbutton and thanks for the warning Poj McDodge. There is no inventory made on the flat before we moved in so I can't see how he could prove any damage. But yes, I will make sure that once it has been cleaned and empty to video the flat throughly for evidence.


06-03-2006, 20:09 PM
Presumably the tenant doesn't want or need a good a reference from the landlord. :D

07-03-2006, 21:13 PM

Quite simply, stick to the Agreement. You must pay the landlord in advance on the agreed date, unless mutually agreed otherwise. Within a week or so from leaving the property, you should receive your deposit back.

07-03-2006, 21:47 PM
Oh andy. If only we lived in an ideal world. :(

07-03-2006, 21:56 PM
Not to mention if the tenant has no chance to get a reference what chance does the landlord have of getting a reference either. Tenants want to know who their landlord is nowadays. There are alot of rogues out there. By the way does anyone know a way we can also check landlords references?

07-03-2006, 21:59 PM
In 37 years as a landlord - I have never been asked by a TENANT to produce a reference for myself!!!!!

I suppose the day will come!

07-03-2006, 22:09 PM
The day sure has come! It's a competitive landlord market out there. Tenants have just as much a right to check landlord references. How many times do we see landlords stating they are legal owners of the property on rental agreements when actually they are not.... Who does the tenant turn to when these people do a runner. They are out there!!!!!

08-03-2006, 16:45 PM
Any person can check the registered owner of a property at the Land Registry for £2. Not new.

08-03-2006, 16:57 PM
I don't know anything about the legality, but I wish I had of witheld the last months rent on my last property.

Something to consider. It can cost £120 in court fees to sue someone to get your rent back. If you get sued (and don't want to counterclaim) it costs you nothing.

I would have worried less if I let my ex-landlay persue me through court for alleged "damages" and had my deposit in my pocket, than her having my deposit and me having to sue her (it has now been 8 months and we're still not in court).

That's my 2 pence worth - bear in mind I'm still bitter!

09-03-2006, 13:44 PM
<SNIP>Something to consider. It can cost £120 in court fees to sue someone to get your rent back. If you get sued (and don't want to counterclaim) it costs you nothing.<SNIP>

If the Landlord wins the case the £120 court fees, that should be included within the claim, will be payable by the tenant!!!!

13-03-2006, 12:54 PM
Out of interest, is that the same if only a partial amount of the damages claimed are awarded, for instance they have items that are not legitimate and get thrown out by the court?