Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
I am looking for some advice in regards to overpaid rent and if the Landlord has a right to take deductions from this. Some background info which I will list in point form for ease of reading.
– We were tenants on the usual tenancy agreement.
– The rent increased which we were agreeable to, but forgot to adjust the Standing Order to make this up to the new amount.
– Just before the rent increase was to come into effect there were a number of issues with the property such as a leaking roof ( every time it rained water would enter into two of the bedrooms and living space) every time some one had a shower the water would pour into the downstairs loo, hole in a cavity wall etc and various other issues which we reported.
– We spoke to the managing agent who is employed by the LL and said we don’t think it’s reasonable to increase the rent whilst there is all these problems with the property.
– We did chase the agent and was repeatedly told the LL was away / on holiday / get back to us.
– Long story short the agent assumed we were purposely deferring on rent which is something we never said we were and the shortfall of rent built up for four months.
– We then received a letter asking for the shortfall which we responded to straight away asking why they didn’t bring this to our attention sooner? Why they let these monies build up over a period of four months? That it was an oversight on our side and can we put in place a payment plan.
– For each months shortfall there is a fee payable of £35.00 which was why I questioned why they would not have brought this to our attention sooner.
– The agent never responded to any of our question only that they assumed we were deferring on payment.
– We have had every intention of paying the monies and repeatedly asked in person, on the telephone and by email to put a payment plan in place and each time we never received a response.
– We ended our tenancy with the correct notice and are about to enter into the usual dilapidation report of their over charges and us disputing.
My question and real concern is.
– In the mean time we overpaid a months rent. The moment we realised this we brought it to the attention of the MA and was told the LL is on holiday and they would get back to us.
– We have had to chase a couple of times and after 3 weeks they reimbursed us some of the overpayment minus the arrears and their charges without our consent.
– Our view is as we are no longer tenants that this money should have been returned immediately and in full. The advice I have been is the Theft Act 1968 in that the LL has Dishonestly Retained a wrongful credit. Also, they can not keep rent from people who are no longer tenants nor did they secure this money in a DPS ( it has now been nearly 30 days)
– We have repeatedly requested to set up a payment plan and surely they should have entered into this discussion along with the dilapidation report as they hold a substantial deposit.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as we are in the view that on sending a letter before action to take this to the SCC to get this dispute settled.
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