With-hold the last months rent? Advice needed please!

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    With-hold the last months rent? Advice needed please!

    Im afraid this is likely to be long, but ill start from the beginning.

    We began renting a 2bed house in may 08 under a AST. Deposit was £550 and it was not put into the scheme.

    All was ok until winter of 08, new year 09. When the central heating wouldnt work properly, and the house became over run with mould. It was dreadful. The landlords re-decorated and tried to get the heating working by doing a power flush. We had one day where they were a bit warmer then went back to normal. Nothing more was done.

    We asked about our deposit in March, and got a lot of abuse, so left it.

    Fast forward to now, and the damp is back, heating isnt working so we got in touch with environmental health - who has done an assessment, and there is a lot of work required to be done.
    Landlord came round last week, and made his own report - of which he sent us a copy, and a letter saying he was increasing our rent. He also wants us to replace the kitchen lino - which was accidently torn by us trying to pull the washing machine out - to get to the plug behind which stopped working due to the DAMP!
    He is a very rude and aggressive landlord and very intimidating.

    Yesterday the council contacts me to let me know they have a property to show me next week, when work on it has finished .

    TODAY - we get a letter saying our deposit has been put in the scheme - 18 months late!!!

    Now my question is:

    Im worried that because relationships are so strained due to environmental health being involved etc, that we wont get our deposit back. Im thinking of keeping the last months rent of £485 - and he can keep the £65 difference to get new lino.

    any opinions? Thanks

    #2
    As a lawyer I could not possibly condone such a thing. It happens a lot though and is perfectly understandable when it happens in circumstances such as yours.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks!

      Is there anything he can do? I mean take us to court, or will he just use the deposit?

      Could we threaten to take him to court for not putting our deposit in the scheme sooner?

      Comment


        #4
        My view is that if the only damage to the house (caused by you) is to a ripped lino, and your deposit is protected in an impatial scheme, then really, what is the most the scheme could fairly deduct for 'old' lino? - £25

        ...You could withhold the deposit, however the scheme is there to be impartial, so if your looking for a FAIR answer, then thats your only real answer.

        ...it is however easy to see the - don't pay rent then let LL chase you for it option. It depends upon YOUR morals & LL's ability to persue in court.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by CBrad View Post
          My view is that if the only damage to the house (caused by you) is to a ripped lino, and your deposit is protected in an impatial scheme, then really, what is the most the scheme could fairly deduct for 'old' lino? - £25

          ...You could withhold the deposit, however the scheme is there to be impartial, so if your looking for a FAIR answer, then thats your only real answer.

          ...it is however easy to see the - don't pay rent then let LL chase you for it option. It depends upon YOUR morals & LL's ability to persue in court.
          Thanks.

          Landlord reckons the lino was brand new when we moved in.

          Why would the landlord chase us for it, if they can take it from the bond? I thought the bond would be kept in lieu of un paid rent?

          Im just trying to work out our BEST option - and tbh im not interested in giving him an easy time, we have lived in a hell hole for the last year.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by FED-UP View Post
            TODAY - we get a letter saying our deposit has been put in the scheme - 18 months late!!!

            Now my question is:

            Im worried that because relationships are so strained due to environmental health being involved etc, that we wont get our deposit back. Im thinking of keeping the last months rent of £485 - and he can keep the £65 difference to get new lino.

            any opinions? Thanks
            Your deposit is protected so, if LL refuses to refund it, you can start a dispute with the scheme. The LL will then have to prove any deductions such as the lino, which means proving it was in good condition when you moved in. The dispute would be settled by the scheme's adjudication, if the LL agrees. Or, if he doesn't, then you'd have to issue a claim against him for return of the deposit. The main thing is, the disputed amount will be held by the scheme pending resolution of the dispute.

            Bad idea to withhold rent, especially when the deposit is protected.

            Could we threaten to take him to court for not putting our deposit in the scheme sooner?
            You could try, but there's a reasonable chance your claim would fail, since the deposit is protected. You'd risk being liable for your LL's legal costs if you lost the claim.

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