witholding deposit due to final bills

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    witholding deposit due to final bills

    hi all ,
    i really hope someone can help me ,
    ive posted on moneysaving expert about this problem and ive been advised to come here too.

    My letting agent wont return my deposit which is in a deposit protection scheme until i have payed my final bills from all of my utillitys, even though i am continuing with the same service provider and have DD in place to pay the bills , and have left a forwarding address with them and contact number.
    ive had a lot of advice on this subject from the other forum all saying that the debt is between myself and swalec nothing to do with the landlord and it will always be me liable for it and never them , so in turn they will suffer no loss.
    So i put this to them and they told me in no uncertain terms that im not hving my money back until they have written proof that they are clear.

    i consulted a solicitor on the matter and he said that the LA can by law withold my deposit for this reason .

    Is this correct ??
    ive been told ot come here as someone might have a lil more knowlage on the subject .

    thanks in advance , em

    #2
    Why don't you believe what a solicitor has told you and why are you unwilling to pay the final accounts with the utilities companies, i.e. comply with the LL's request?

    In any case, you can't just transfer your debts/direct debit with the utilities companies to another property. You pay up to date on the current property, close the account, and start again at the next property.

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      #3
      i am more than willing to pay my bills thank you, i just cant afford to pay them upfront all in one whack.
      the energy suppiler has said that its not a problem to take our bills with us and pay over a payment plan , and restart our DD.

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        #4
        Whether you have paid your utility bills is none of the landlord's business.

        You can notify the deposit protection scheme administrator that you are in dispute or start a MoneyClaim Online.

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          #5
          When did the tenancy agreement start? Is the deposit protected in a scheme?

          I would doubt that this is a justifiable reason for LL to withhold repaying the deposit.
          PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

          Comment


            #6
            The previous agency i worked for did this, but it was written into the tenancy agreement that the bond would be returned within 21 days of the agency receiving proof of final payment of all utility bills, and any contractor bills as a result of any damages caused by the tenants.

            The TDS scheme they use okayed this, but an the bit about contractor bills obv had to be ammended to comply with the new TDS rules. Providing all the TDS regs had been followed, the agency is able to hold on to undisputed bond amounts until up to 21 days after receiving the proof of final payment of utility bills.

            Most of the other agents and private landlords in the area did this as it was shocking how many tenants did not register with utility companies (or the most common was automatically thinking that water rates were included with no reasoning for this), and had therefore not paid any bills for their entire tenancy.

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              #7
              I do understand the reason LL's would want to ensure that rates and other bills are paid, however, I do not see any legal reason why T must show this evidence to LL before deposit returned. As stated earlier LL has not suffered any loss, and does not become liable for any default.

              I suppose this covers the risk of a supplier cutting off the supply and LL's new T's having to pay a reconnection fee.
              PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by ems08 View Post
                i am more than willing to pay my bills thank you, i just cant afford to pay them upfront all in one whack.
                the energy suppiler has said that its not a problem to take our bills with us and pay over a payment plan , and restart our DD.
                Then surely the energy company can provide a letter showing that the account relating to the current address is closed, regardless of whether you are taking the debts to your new residence.

                I can see why the LL wants things finalized, evidence that you have carried out your responsibilities and a clear distinction made between your liabilities and LL's liabilities. As littlemisslettings says, sometimes tenants do not even register with utilities in the first place. This then leaves LL with a mess to clear up so seems reasonable for LL to demand that T show evidence.

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                  #9
                  Sensible, honest landlords take control of meter readings and tenant changes - they even put bills in their own names during voids.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by westminster View Post

                    I can see why the LL wants things finalized, evidence that you have carried out your responsibilities and a clear distinction made between your liabilities and LL's liabilities. As littlemisslettings says, sometimes tenants do not even register with utilities in the first place. This then leaves LL with a mess to clear up so seems reasonable for LL to demand that T show evidence.
                    Well, I can't. If LL was too disorganised to ensure utility account was in T's name from Day One, then the mess will be of his own making and he will have to deal with it.

                    If account is in Ts name, as Poppy says, it is a matter between T and energy provider and I think LL/A is on very shaky ground refusing to return deposit because of it.
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by westminster View Post
                      Then surely the energy company can provide a letter showing that the account relating to the current address is closed, regardless of whether you are taking the debts to your new residence.
                      Yes, of course they will.

                      I agree that the LL has no justification in witholding the deposit under these circumstances, it seems pretty ridiculous to get so wound up about it and starting down the road of legal action - for heaven's sake just do as he asks and get the deposit back. End of problem.

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