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Letting Agents and Deposits

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scuzi, 27 Jul 2006.

  1. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,838

    Location: Екатеринбург

    I was renting a property which I moved out of 3 months ago. I was told that in order to get my deposit of £650 back, I had to produce my final bills for all utilities that were registered at the address. I've had all my bills except my water bill due to the fools at the water company messing up so I called the letting agent and explained. They refused to accept this and said I needed the water bill also.

    It's been 3 months and my final water bill has arrived. I dropped into the letting agents with all my final bills to collect my deposit cheque. I was told that all my bills need to show a balance of £0.00 before I can get my deposit back. How the hell do I get a bill for £0.00?

    My question is, can they legally withold my £650 in this situation. It's been three months and I need that money now. I get the impression that they use these technicalities to hold my money in their account gaining interest. All the bills are in my name so regardless of whether I have paid them or not (I have paid them) the landlord or new occupier surely won't be liable?

    Are they screwing me over?
     
  2. -westy-

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Nov 2002

    Posts: 12,348

    Location: UK

    Could you ask the water company etc to send you a reciept of payment? attach that to the bills?
     
  3. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,838

    Location: Екатеринбург

    I could, but that's going to take another bloody age going on my experience with them. Do I legally have to provide all these zero balance bills or is it a load of crap used to stall?
     
  4. PaulStat

    Soldato

    Joined: 1 Mar 2003

    Posts: 5,445

    Location: Cotham, Bristol

    All I had to do was take all the final bills into the bank, pay them and make sure they were stamped.

    So long as it shows the correct date on the bills I don't see the issue :confused:
     
  5. Samtheman1k

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Dec 2005

    Posts: 2,403

    I guess it depends on what it says in your contract...did the contract mention that you have to do it?
     
  6. sidthesexist

    Hitman

    Joined: 23 Jul 2006

    Posts: 937

    these people can be a total mare, my sister used to rent a flat which never had any hot water ect due to the boiler constantly breaking down, when she came to leave they deducted the vast majority of her deposit for some really petty things like tiny marks on the carpet ect claiming they needed proffesionaly cleaning even though we knew that they would never be done :mad:
     
  7. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,838

    Location: Екатеринбург

    The contract mentions nothing about final bills. I have said this to the numpties at the agents and they said that these procedures are 'standard among all letting agents' and as such don't need to be included in the contract. I quite plainly told her she was talking crap and demanded my money but she refused.
     
  8. Samtheman1k

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Dec 2005

    Posts: 2,403

    I've rented about 10 houses over the past 10 years or so, and have never had to do it...
     
  9. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,838

    Location: Екатеринбург

    Some am I right in saying that they cannot legally withold my money? Can I charge them the standard banks rate of interest on the £650 over the three months as well? If they're going to take the urine with me I'm going to sting them back :mad:
     
  10. Andr3w

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Oct 2004

    Posts: 19,740

    Location: England

    Tell them you will take them to court
     
  11. kitten_caboodle

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jul 2005

    Posts: 5,463

    Location: Frack off, nosey

    surely as the letting agent they can ring the utility people themselves and get the balance of the property. Get the name of a senior manager and speak to them directly, tell them you're going to charge them £10 interest a day for every day they withhold your money.
     
  12. Dave M

    Soldato

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,536

    file a money claim online? If your in the right about the contract I'd guess you'll get a cheque in the post a couple of days after they receive the documents.
     
  13. PaulStat

    Soldato

    Joined: 1 Mar 2003

    Posts: 5,445

    Location: Cotham, Bristol

    I know it's not the case here, but if a tenant buggers off without paying the bills and without leaving a forwarding address. Legally the utility firms who want the money can go straight to the landlord/letting agency and demand the money.

    Or at least that's what i've been told.
     
  14. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,838

    Location: Екатеринбург

    I told them to do that but they said they can't because of some restrictions due to the data protection act. I said I would call the utility companies from their office and authorise them to tell the letting agent that the account had a balance of zero and they said they hadn't got the time to do that.


    How do I go about doing that?
     
  15. Dave M

    Soldato

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,536

  16. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,838

    Location: Екатеринбург

    Thanks :)
     
  17. Surfer

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 Dec 2005

    Posts: 11,179

    Location: Glasgow

    Legally it has nothing to do with the landlord/letting agents. The contract is between the utility companies and the customer (ie the tenant)

    All the landlord/letting agents would get is a few phone calls from the sheriff officers asking where the tenant was.

    I was in exactly the same situation (except my landlord was a bit more lenient)

    I think as long as the tenant provides receipts that any outstanding bills are cleared OR has proof of agreements with the utility companies to pay off outstanding debt then the landlord MUST hand back the deposit.
     
  18. DB_SamX

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Feb 2006

    Posts: 8,272

    Location: Winchester

    I'm jsut sorting the same issue - handing in bills to get deposit back. As I owe BT nothing, I don't think I'm going to be getting a bill. What I did was sign up for their online billing system, and then it says there that my balance is £0.00 and that the account is closed. I did a print screen and emailed it to my landlord. She said it should be fine. Could you do that for your utility company?
     
  19. kitten_caboodle

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jul 2005

    Posts: 5,463

    Location: Frack off, nosey

    Ok, they sound like right *******.

    If your contract is with them, they have a care of duty. If you start bandying phrases around like 'neglect of duty' then anyone with half a brain will sit up and realise that telling you they 'haven't got time' to ring a utility office or two for you will get them some very bad press indeed were you to take them to court.

    you can go through small claims, but frankly, it would be quicker to ring each utility and ask them to send out a letter/0.00 bill confirming that you've paid up in full. if you ring today you'll have them by the end of the week.
     
  20. mcast123

    Hitman

    Joined: 8 Feb 2006

    Posts: 950

    You think that's bad...

    I paid £1500 deposit 12 months ago on a studio in London, I moved out 6 weeks ago.

    This is the bill (bear in mind, the flat only needed a minor dusting when I left and absolutely nothing was missing)

    Inventory £121
    Cleaning £300 (50ph x 3 cleaners for 2 hours) you're kidding right!!!??
    Carpet steam clean £230
    Missing items £369

    They advised me not to attend the final inventory as it wasn't necessary, that was my biggest mistake.