View Full Version : Tenants agreed not to pay for bills asked me for deposit back

15-05-2005, 08:02 AM
Please can you advice on this ?

My 4 tenants in the house have become very friendly to each other
and there4 have decided not to pay for the bills anymore, threatening me that if i don't pay for the bills they will all leave.
I said , i can pay for the bill, but will have then put a couple in the biggest room.
They have replied no !! At this point i prefer they leave then..

On top of that they said they would give me notice from today 15th and would like their deposit back on the first of June.
They pay each one on each first of the month, and if i give the deposit back on the first of June, that is not a month notice anymore...

I said i can give their deposit back in a month time ( the 15th of june ), but they'll have to pay for the remaining 15 days, or i'll keep half of the deposit, bec they have paid till the first of june .

Am i acting wisely and by the law ?

Thank you

15-05-2005, 15:58 PM
They must:
- give you one month notice to leave the property
- pay their rent until they leave
- pay their bills unless you have agreed that bills are included in the montly rent

You don't have to:
- accept anything they ask for just because they want to bully you into something
- give them their deposit back before they have moved, given the keys to the property back and you have checked the house is in good enough condition (this is if you had an inventory done when they moved in) not to retain any of the deposit.

So you could let them know nicely and in a letter that you will not pay for the utility bills as it was never agreed you would and that if they have decided not to pay their electricity bills etc. it's up to them but they will have to deal with the utility companies when they sue them.
Also they have to give you one month notice to leave and they have to pay their rent until they leave. If they don't pay their rent you will sue them in small claims court. And you will send them their deposit back within 28 days after they have left the property to make sure the house is in good enough condition.

If the utility bills are in the tenants' name, you have nothing to worry about as the companies will have to chase the tenants even after they've moved out, you've got nothing to do with it.

15-05-2005, 16:31 PM
More info needed:
Are the tenants on individual ASTs or are they lodgers?
Is there a written agreement?
Whose name are the bills in?
Deposits are returned AFTER the tenants have left and you have checked the place over for damage.
Lastly, it seems strange that the tenants did not appear to know each other before becoming tenants and they are now threatening to leave all together, are they taking you for a ride?

15-05-2005, 18:01 PM
Hi Jennifer and Mr Woof

Thanx for your answers :
The tenants are not speaking, since i have put everything in writing ready to go and accept their notice. I think that it is as you said : taking me for a ride...
I have comunicated to them what are the conditons of the end of tenancy, but they still don't five me an answer.
Regarding the type of contract : one of them has the AST and the three others have the licensee contract ( lodgers )
The one with the AST arrived one month and a half ago, and i had given her the AST cos i was ready to live into another place, but eventually the sale fell through; For the others i was ready to give them the AST when i had gone.
The lady with the AST has not paid me the rest of the Deposit after a month £ 200, i guess i was too kind.. about that !!

Yes, of course i will make them pay till the last day, for Bills and rent, but what about if they say : Okay we'll give you the NOTICE the day when we are supposed to pay the rent and they don't pay the rent and will use their deposit as the last month rent ?
There's nothing i can do at that point if they damage something into the property .
How to act against a tenant that uses the last month as a deposit ?


15-05-2005, 18:05 PM
sorry Mr Woof

forgot to answer your question : The bills are in my name
perhaps i should put the bills on the tenant's names at the next tenancy ..
how do you do that by the way ?
Assigning a different bill to each tenant ? that sounds complicated when sb leaves...

15-05-2005, 18:22 PM
Before those who replied dive in, think about what the poster has told you, or rather what he has not!

Firstly he didn't tell you when the tenancy bagan nor the term of the agreement - we since know it is only 6 weeks or so into a tenancy so it will be at least the end of September before the landlord can regain possession!
Only one occupant has a tenancy and the others are "licencees". I'm a bit concerned about this as the four of them have exclusive possession and could therefore all claim to be tenants; the only problem being that they appear to have taken up residence at different times to the first person.
The landlord has got himself into rather a mess and I think a little more needs to be known first!
With regard to the utility accounts it all depends what is stated within the AST as to whether the landlord or tenant is responsible; if the landlord has agreed to pay then he is being disingenous, not to mention a fool!

15-05-2005, 19:12 PM
Missel, if you learn nothing else from this forum, learn that when Paul F doesn't answer a question and doesn't specify what he needs to answer it, you have a problem! Sounds like you need legal advice. Best of luck.

15-05-2005, 19:19 PM
Yes! I definitely think that's a goods piece of advice!

16-05-2005, 09:48 AM
Mr Woof

I laughed a lot at what you said .. why is Paul such a bad man ? no, no, no,,, just joking Paul !!

Please could you let me knoe by the way what to do, ie: if a tenants wants to use his deposit to pay for the last month ??
every landlord will be worried... cos if any damage is caused , it's better to hold some money in our hands , rather than having to sue the tenants...
and wasting time and money.
Some people are difficult to be find, esp in London where they change name and nationality, at all the time

thanx that'll will be a good advice

16-05-2005, 10:23 AM
The tenant deposit can be used to cover damage or loss of rent, if you allow the tenant to use it for their last month's rent, what happens if you find damage? This is why many landlords now ask for more than one month's rent as deposit.

16-05-2005, 12:47 PM
Yes Woof

I got all that ! the question is : what happens if the tenant decides NOT to pay the last month and uses the deposit i am holding ?

I am saying you this because when i was renting i did that , and the landlord clearly told me that it was not right what i was doing, but still there was nothing he could do about it , and he decided to prosecute me it would have been just a waste of time and money esp if the property was not damaged..

he can do that, not legally of course, but i can't force him not to do so...
What's there to be done ? i have been advised to cut off the electricity or gas or call the police, but it seems to me this is not fair.

16-05-2005, 14:09 PM
I am saying you this because when i was renting i did that , and the landlord clearly told me that it was not right what i was doing, but still there was nothing he could do about it You have answered your own question, as for cutting off the services, don't even think about it.