Subletting- bills after vacating?

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    Subletting- bills after vacating?

    I am currently subletting a room from a tenant, who is renting from a landlord. The tenant also lives in the flat.

    I gave my 8 weeks notice in writing, but will be vacating the room 3 weeks early.

    I am happy to pay rent up to the end of the 8 week period. However, I'm wondering what my liability is in terms of the bills after I have vacated and returned the keys.

    I have informed the council of the date that I am vacating the property - so should I be liable for council tax until the end of my subtenancy? I am under the impression that I should not be paying council tax twice (obviously I will be paying once I move into the new property), is this correct?

    In terms of utility bills, should I be paying the tenant's bills whilst they are living alone?

    Should I be liable for paying for the tenant's internet and TV licence if I am no longer living there?


    #2
    It depends on exactly what your agreement with your landlord says.

    The council and utility companies won't consider you liable, but the agreement may make you responsible for paying for things.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Council tax - notify the council of the date you leave, on the date. The other person will get single person discount perhaps.

      Standing charge/line rental - you need to pay your share of these in my view until the date of 8 weeks notice

      Units used/calls made after the date you leave - not your concern in my view

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for your responses.

        I have notified the council, and they assured me my name is no longer on the account.

        I agree wfd, and I will pay the TV licence/internet until the end of the 8 weeks.

        I also contacted the energy supplier - my name is not on the account. It was agreed by email that the tenant would contact the energy provider to give a total amount owed/paid for 'the period I've been here'. There was nothing stated on the original agreement about this, just the breakdown of rent/bills cost. So would you say I am liable until my move out date only? It is also possible that she will find someone to move in before the end of my 'official' tenancy, so she could be claiming money from both of us. Where would I stand on this?

        Comment


          #5
          Unless your agreement says otherwise, I think your liability ends when you move out. You are a lodger and it is therefore already unusual to have to pay bill separately to rent.

          Comment


            #6
            Would appreciate further advice if possible!

            So, I have told her I will pay rent and the TV licence/internet bill up until the last day of my notice period.

            I have explained that I have informed the council that I have moved, and therefore they do not expect me to pay council tax for this property.

            She told me last week when I moved out that the next day, she would contact the energy supplier for a final bill up o the date I moved out.

            However, she has told me that I will still owe her money for ALL bills, including energy bills and council tax, up to the final date on my notice period. It was not stated on our original agreement that rent and bills would be paid up until the end of the 8 week notice period - I'm not sure if this is relevant, or if it is implied in the agreement and does not need to be stated explicitly?

            Rent and bills (with a breakdown) were listed separately on the 'original agreement'. Since our original agreement, she has also charged me another £70.50 on top of our original agreement for energy bills, which I dutifully paid without having access to the energy bills. I have also paid an additional £120 for council tax, as she had been fraudulently claiming single person discount which I was not aware of. I also paid her £55 when she renewed her own contract with her landlord, as I didn't want to cause any problems with her as she can (obviously) be very difficult. At that time she said if I wanted to stay that I should contribute to that charge.

            Any advice on what I should do? I have already paid her so much extra money on top of our original agreement, and really don't feel as though I'm liable for these bills now that I've given the key back and vacated the property, and informed the council.

            Comment


              #7
              I would simply decline to pay and if she is holding a deposit of yours tell her you will be expecting its full return. You hold plenty of cards with which to negotiate

              Comment


                #8
                Does the law about resale of gas and electricity apply in the situation of a 'landlord' tenant who pays the bills and a lodger who pays '50%' of the utility bills?

                I.E is it illegal to charge more than the used amount (our agreement of 50% each)?

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think there is a court case here. Trouble is if your landlady is a tenant herself then you have no assets to secure against. What age of car does she have?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks for replying wfd.

                    What part makes you think there's a court case?

                    I ended up paying the money as she said she wanted the money immediately and that 'failure to do so and any charges incurred as a result on my bills bank account will be deducted from your deposit'. (Direct quote from her email). I do understand that she can't really threaten this - so I was sort of blackmailed into it for an 'easy' life. She's a very unpleasant person.

                    She doesn't have a car- how could this be relevant? (Apologies, I'm no expert in all of this!)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Also, now that I have paid all the money that she says I owe her and have vacated the property and given keys back (12 days ago now), am I entitled to my deposit back now?

                      She is wanting to keep hold of it until 28h February (the end of my 'tenancy'). But I can't see any reason why she would need to do this.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I can't see a reason either. You should ask for it immediately

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you- I am going to ask for it back. I think she just wants to keep it for some element of control/to be petty....although most likely she has spent it and doesn't have the money.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            So, an update...

                            I emailed to request the deposit back over 2 weeks ago- she again said it would be returned to me on 28th. So I left it (wasn't worth the agro once I had in writing it would be returned on a certain date) and waited until 28th.

                            Unsurprisingly, she did not return my depisit on 28th as she had said she would.

                            So I emailed her today, 'formally' requesting the return of the deposit, on the grounds that I had paid all rent and bills up until 28th February, had returned the keys to her a month ago, had left the room in good order etc etc. I also told her that she cannot withhold any money from my deposit without my permission, and that if it was not returned by the end of this week I would be taking further action to get it back (i.e. I will be sending a LBA)

                            She has replied saying she still hasn't got the final energy bill from the supplier. Once she has it, she says will return my deposit.

                            She has had a month now to sort this and hasn't. As a lodger, I don't think any underpayment to the company is my responsibility anyway? Surely as the tenant, she should take any small underpayment to the energy company on the chin and deal with it herself.

                            Any opinions on what I should do now? My plan is to tell her the above (ie as the tenant, she is liable for sorting any underpayment, not both of us jointly), and to continue with the request for the deposit to be returned, as she can't withhold money without my permission anyway.

                            Does anyone have any advice?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              As DPT said many posts back -- Lodgers don't pay Council tax directly at all. So you should not have registered for Council tax directly at all and you have no liability. Your landlord (the main tenant) pays Council tax and factors that (or does not factor that) into your rent.

                              As far as utilities go it is a bad idea to have lodger agreements that factor in actual bills since these bear little relation to usage over the short term. Lodgers should be obliged to pay whatever proportion based on actual meter readings and the standing charge.

                              Comment

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