I am a tenant in a shared flat with a friend of mine and we both share the tenancy contract.
During December we had a running series of disagreements and everything got pretty heated, and rather than run and run - we had a chat and agreed that he would take advantage of our break clause and move out from the 1st of Feb, and I would stay on and find a new housemate to live with.
We discussed the matter with our landlord and everything seems pretty much fine except how we handle the deposit - our landlord has advised us that the deposit will remain with herself and it will be up to me to refund my housemate his share. (and the person who moves in will transfer their share of the deposit into my account)
All of which seems fair enough and I've checked that I can afford everything before making the decision to part ways with my housemate - however my housemate has taken everything pretty badly and has not exactly been reliable in paying bills in past; often the case has been that he could not afford a particular bill and so I pay it off until he could pay me back.
All of which seemed sensible at the time, but now it leaves me in a strange position - when it comes to refunding the deposit, I am concerned about how I manage 'subtracting' money that I have effectively loaned him by paying these bills.
So say for our internet as example which is in my name and I've have paid for with my housemate saying he would pay me back but has not yet and now probably has no intention of paying - am I at liberty just to deduct the amount from his deposit. I have emails between the two of us when we setup the arrangement with O2 agreeing both to pay, but seems a bit dodgy beyond that. Obviously the internet is a fairly small amount, but we also have a similar issue over council tax (which is in both our names) and this is a larger amount.
I suppose the reason for all this, is that my housemate has taken things pretty badly and occasionally lashes out threatening legal action against me and some of his former friends for different reasons - and concerning the deposit, the legal position for me refunding his deposit seems wobbly at best for both of us.
My thought was to agree whatever deductions for any unsettled bills and try and get something in writing that we can both sign up to - but working on the basis that I doubt he will sign anything and probably try to fight for his full deposit back regardless of any previous or current bills, at what point does he have a case for taking things further.
If anyone has any advice on that - I would be very grateful as I really want to put an end to this and get on with my life at this point!