8:30 AM, 9th November 2018, About 5 years ago 7
I have a property which is let via an agent. The previous tenancy ended in March 2018 when the tenants decided to move out after the one year fixed term. Under the terms of the AST, I am liable to pay for the check out fee (the tenants paid the check in, I paid the inventory).
Before the end of the tenancy, the agents tenancy management team emailed me saying they would deduct the £144 check out fee from the final month’s rent. Everything went smoothly and following some redecoration new tenants were found via a different agent.
Last week I received a demand from the previous agent for £144 for the unpaid check out. I had to go back and find the old landlords statements and cross reference them against my bank account to discover they had in fact not taken this sum from the final rent as was originally agreed.
In fact during the whole tenancy, the tenancy management team were worse than useless. They collected the rent but failed to notice on two occasions that it hadn’t been paid until I contacted them to ask what was happening. Back in 2012 a similar thing also happened…
My question is, since the contract ended so long ago, am I still liable for the fee?
It’s taken several emails for them to finally apologise for their errors. I certainly won’t be using them again (despite the fact that their local branch is actually very good and finds good tenants – although they do charge handsomely for that… and the back office management of rent collection is part of that fee. I manage the maintenance of the property…)
I know to get a definitive answer I should consult a solicitor, but that would cost more than the £144 so part of me feels like I should just pay it and never use them again.
Thanks for your thoughts!
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