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seagulls
01-03-2007, 23:28 PM
Hi All,

I was hoping you would be able to provide some advice.

I wish to start a claim to get my deposit back from a recent rental. The landlord is holding the deposit until I pay all utility bills. I am having trouble getting the information from a utility company and hence they are holding the full amount.

If I start a claim and then the landlord subsequently pays back the deposit am I able to still continue to get back the additional costs of starting the claim and the interest etc.

Thanks in advance

tobylaura@btinternet.com
02-03-2007, 17:56 PM
hi,

the L.L has every right to hold on to an amount of the deposit if you don't pay the utilities. this should be finally paid up until the date you moved out.

chase the companies and tell them the situation - get the bills,pay them and ask for your deposit asap.

you cannot generally take the L.L to court for this query, or ask for costs or interest on a holding deposit. check your contract.

attilathelandlord
02-03-2007, 18:46 PM
Sorry tobylaura but you are totally incorrect. The landlord can only withhold the deposit in the case of damages to the property (backed up by an inventory).

The utility bills are non of the landlord's business and the deposit cannot be legally withheld for that reason.

Write to the Landlord stating that if the deposit is not returned in full (assuming no damage of course!) within 14 days then you will be issuing a county court claim for the deposit, costs and interest.

Paragon
02-03-2007, 19:20 PM
Hi All,

I was hoping you would be able to provide some advice.

I wish to start a claim to get my deposit back from a recent rental. The landlord is holding the deposit until I pay all utility bills. I am having trouble getting the information from a utility company and hence they are holding the full amount.

If I start a claim and then the landlord subsequently pays back the deposit am I able to still continue to get back the additional costs of starting the claim and the interest etc.

Thanks in advance

The utility companies should have been notified both by yourself and by the landlord that the person responsible for the bill has changed as of the date you moved out. A meter reading if gas or electric should have been read and agreed upon on the day you vacated the property. Was this done? The LL shouldn't have any interest if you owe money to the utility. Which one is it?

Bel
03-03-2007, 00:18 AM
If the OP is a lodger, then I guess it would be reasonable that he pays his share of the utlity bill; otherwise i agree it has nothing to do with LL.

What does the agreement say regarding what deposit can be used for, and is there any mention of paying utility bills off before it can be reclaimed?

tobylaura@btinternet.com
04-03-2007, 22:02 PM
hi,

am not totally wrong - it will be a condition in your t.a under deposit return.

you r obligated to settle utilities.

L

seagulls
05-03-2007, 02:11 AM
Thank you for your replies so far.

The TA mentions nothing about utility bills. Even if it did I believe this is an 'unfair term' and the deposit can still not be withheld for utility bills.

My question really relates to the Small Claims Process.

For example, if I was owed 1,000 deposit cheque back for the above circumstances.
Day 1 - issue claim for 1,300
Day 2 - receive cheque back for 1,000 before claim received by LL

What happens to remaing 300 - can this still be claimed.

Thanks

seagulls
05-03-2007, 02:14 AM
British Gas have been provided with all the information - opening readings, closing readings, forwarding address etc but there appears to be a problem with their Legacy system.

justaboutsane
05-03-2007, 07:47 AM
Seagulls you are correct in saying it is an unfair term for the utilities to be paid before the deposit is handed over.

With regards to the claim, I think you should call your local court and ask them, I think once the claim has been put in place that is what should be paid but please dont quote me!

Re British Gas: They are a bunch of ........ well input your own words here! THey are trying to sue my partner and I for monies that were paid to another utility company in error... the second company will not give us the money as it belongs to BG and BG will not claim it from them! THis has been ongoing for almost 6 months and we are saying "bring on court"!!!!!

Ericthelobster
05-03-2007, 07:48 AM
am not totally wrong - it will be a condition in your t.a under deposit return.Even if it does it would be viewed as an 'unfair term' and therefore legally unenforceable. I have the term in my AST agreements, because it makes life easier for me if I know the utility bills are all sorted, and normally it happens within 2-3 days of moving out - a perfectly acceptable timescale for refunding the deposit. My policy has never caused any problem for my or my outgoing tenants, but if there was some delay with utility co's outwith the tenant's control and the tenant was requesting their deposit back, I wouldn't hold back from refunding them.


you r obligated to settle utilities.Of course, but this should have no bearing on the deposit

Ericthelobster
05-03-2007, 08:38 AM
British Gas have been provided with all the information - opening readings, closing readings, forwarding address etc but there appears to be a problem with their Legacy system.Have they given you a timescale for sorting this? I'm just wondering:

- when you moved out
- when you gave them the readings
- when they are likely to produce a bill

and whether it's really worthwhile going to the aggravation of suing your LL for the deposit in the meantime?

justaboutsane
05-03-2007, 09:01 AM
With British Gas it could take an age so suing the LL could be the way forward! .. Also with the expense of moving etc it could be that the deposit monies will be used to settle the bills! .. Bet no-one thought of that one hehe!!!

Surrey
05-03-2007, 09:56 AM
on the matter of making a claim, is it the county court or small claims court that the claim has to be made to?

There is no such thing as a "small claims court". Claims are made in the County Court and the court decides what track it fits into - in this case it will be assigned to the Small Claims Track.

Fed up of saying it, but read the Civil Procedure Rules for full details.

Paragon
05-03-2007, 10:39 AM
Something is wrong here. BG should have issued a final bill to you at your forwarding address. BG should have issued a new account number to the LL, if the property is empty, or a new account number to the new tenants.

You, as the registered user, are responsible for the final bill to BG irregardless where you live now.

The LL should have no concern with this final bill and is withholding your deposit unnecessarily. When you explained this to him, does it not understand how it works.

I have always found BG extremely helpful when you call them and can change names immediately over the telephone. Don't understand why BG is having a problem over this.