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mikew
21-04-2006, 22:42 PM
We're currently in the process of vacating a rental property. The landlords agents want us to complete a Surrender Document asking us for our Gas, Electric & Council Tax references so that they can inform them of our forwarding address.

Are they legally entitled to do this ?

BTW we have every intention of notifying the relevant people ourselves (in fact the Council tax people have already been informed, Gas & Electric will follow when we give them final readings).

P.Pilcher
21-04-2006, 23:05 PM
No - if you want to keep your new address confidential for any reason, but you may find that the agent retains your deposit until he is satisfied that you have settled your final accounts with the various utility companies and the L.A. Some agents and landlords are under the impression that they will be held liable for outstanding tenant debts of this nature which is not in fact the case. Thus there is no need for the agent to do this but it is probably their "standard practice" which is religiously enforced by the office staff who have no knowledge of the actual situation or the intelligence to act on it!.

P.P.

mikew
21-04-2006, 23:44 PM
Cheers, ties in with what I thought in the back of my mind.

Problem is we know there's (probably) going to be a bit of a drawn out battle with our gas suppliers as, unless they get their figures sorted out, what they reckon we owe them compared to what we reckon we owe them differs by a substantial amount

Long story but involves 3 years of usage. We have the start reading (which they are in agreement with) & even if we owed all the units used at the current highest rate and not even taking into account any previous agreements with them over the first 2 years usage then there's around a £100 discrepancy.

Worldlife
22-04-2006, 03:59 AM
Wonder if mike has provided a forwarding address for for the return of his deposit or is expecting it to be paid directly into a bank account.

Did this surrender document make any reference to the Data Protection Act . Could it be in essence requiring the consent of the tenant to release information to the relevant authorities.

If I recall correctly on another thread it was decided that unless there were legal proceedings in hand a landlord could be in contravention of the Data Protection Act by passing information like this onto third parties.

Many tenancy agreements include clauses to the effect that the deposit will be returned only after the settlement of utility bills etc. If these are enforceable clauses then I wonder if others agree that either the tenant must supply this evidence to the landlord or give consent for the landlord to obtain the information directly.

Wonder what the effect of the new deposit legislation will be on the procedures and practices concerning utility bills.

From a practical point of view, regardless of whether I have a forwarding address, I will always send a letter to each of the utilities informing them of the date that our named tenant left the propert with meter readings for gas, water and electricity. This absolves the landlord for the debt incurred during the tenancy.

mikew
22-04-2006, 07:44 AM
We're expecting the deposit to be paid via cheque so will need to give the agents a forwarding address.

No direct reference made to the DPA on the document although there is a small l sentence saying that we agree that the agents can pass on the information.

Interestingly they haven't left any space for final readings.

Also, which is a little concerning, they have told us they don't want us present when they do their final inspection.

Worldlife
22-04-2006, 13:23 PM
We're expecting the deposit to be paid via cheque so will need to give the agents a forwarding address.

No direct reference made to the DPA on the document although there is a small l sentence saying that we agree that the agents can pass on the information.

this is intended to protect the agents from alleged offences against the DPA

Interestingly they haven't left any space for final readings.

suggest you notify the agent and the utilities of your final readings or get these agreed on the handover of keys- see you already intend to contact these authorities

Also, which is a little concerning, they have told us they don't want us present when they do their final inspection.

Insist that the condition of the property is accurately recorded in your presence and at the time of the handover of the keys. State should there be any claimes for alleged damages you would like to photograph their concerns or for the landlord's representative to otherwise endorse the incoming inventory as being satisfactory. After all if the inspection is delayed until after you have left the property who is to know when and by whom the alleged damage was caused


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