Using deposit to pay final month's rent

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    Using deposit to pay final month's rent

    Hi - I am guarantor for an AST, my son is tenant. He has been ripped off by 2 previous landlords keeping his deposit unfairly.

    His tenancy ends on 31st March. I've advised him not to pay the rent for the last month and tell the landlord's agent to take it out of the deposit. The flat is in excellent condition - no dilapidations, so the remainder of the deposit (£200) will be ample to cover any genuine deductions.

    Questions:

    1. Am I liable as guarantor to pay the rent on his behalf even though we're in the last month?
    2. Can the landlord force either of us to make up the deposit to what it was before the rent was taken out?
    3. Can I claim against the landlord if he tries to keep the deposit unfairly by inventing spurious fees for late payment of rent?

    Thanks

    Joe

    #2
    Originally posted by Joe Cool
    Hi - I am guarantor for an AST, my son is tenant. He has been ripped off by 2 previous landlords keeping his deposit unfairly. His tenancy ends on 31st March. I've advised him not to pay the rent for the last month and tell the landlord's agent to take it out of the deposit. The flat is in excellent condition - no dilapidations, so the remainder of the deposit (£200) will be ample to cover any genuine deductions.
    That's your opinion - if there's genuinely no dilapidation, there should be no deductions, full stop. Do you have any reason to suppose the current landlord will not play fair with the deposit, just because of previous bad experience? Fortunately the current landlord has had enough nous to set the deposit at more tham one month's rent, so that when your son breaks the terms of the AST by witholding the last months' rent payment, at least the landlord still has some come-back.

    Originally posted by Joe Cool
    1. Am I liable as guarantor to pay the rent on his behalf even though we're in the last month?
    Well, you know full well that your son is liable to pay the rent in the last month, so if you are his guarantor and he defaults, then I think you have the answer to your question?

    Originally posted by Joe Cool
    2. Can the landlord force either of us to make up the deposit to what it was before the rent was taken out?
    You mean legal action? Obviously there's no other recourse open to him, is there? Given that your son will be long gone before any such action could be taken, then legal action would be a non-starter (providing the £200 remaining deposit proves to be adequate to cover any delapidation). So basically, in reality there's nothing your current landlord can do, apart from say, refusing to provide a reference to a future prospective landlord.

    Originally posted by Joe Cool
    3. Can I claim against the landlord if he tries to keep the deposit unfairly by inventing spurious fees for late payment of rent?
    Depends what the contract says, doesn't it? I would suggest that your proposed behaviour will seriously get up the landlord's nose, and he will be very likely to charge any fees he is allowed to under the contract (whereas for a genuine one-off late payment, most landlords probably wouldn't worry about it.) You might also find that the landlord will be ultra-rigourous about checking the inventory and looking for any damage, compared to what he would do if you played by the rules.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Eric – I understand what you’re saying. But from my son’s previous experience and what I’ve read on this forum it would be naïve of us to trust the landlord to be fair and honest. I’m not overly concerned about getting up his nose. I’d rather go down this route and put £200 at risk than do nothing and put £850 at risk.

      Comment


        #4
        Please - be sensible!

        Joe Cool.
        1. If the landlord unfairly keeps your son's deposit then go the lawful route and issue a summons through your local small claims court.
        2. Walking away from past situations means you're easily fobbed off.
        3. I agree you should not deduct anything from the deposit in lieu of the last month's rent as it may forbid it in the AST and you could be in breach.
        4. You could be provoking the landlord into issuing proceedings against you in your capacity as guarantor and can assure you, you would probably lose!
        5. I would be very aggrieved to think because of previous adverse experiences you expect all landlordsto behave dishonourably.
        6. Make sure your son takes photos and any other good evidence of condition on the day he vacates to back-up any contentious issues.
        7. The onus of proof is on the landlord to show dilapidations - not on your son.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

        Comment


          #5
          like father like son?

          Joe Cool - So, because your son says he was "ripped off" by previous landlords you advise him to breach his obligations towards his current landlord. I don't know about your son, but I cannot imagine there would be many landlords who would want a tenant like you.
          Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

          Comment


            #6
            I would approach the LL,raise your concerns with him and arrange for him to inspect the premises a month early.As a LL myself I would be happy with this arrangement as long as I had a notice to quit for the day your son is leaving.In practice I would not sue for loss of last month's rent if the deposit covered the dilapidations as you could sue if I also kept the deposit (neither party gains by this).About 25% of LLs hang on to the deposit and this has been such a problem that it has necessitated a change in the law to protect tenants' monies.

            Comment


              #7
              Andy Parker

              A good suggestion, thanks.

              I'll try to arrange an inspection with the LL next week before the rent is due. I'll try to be there and discuss our concerns. When the LL sees the flat in good condition he might agree to take the rent out of the deposit.

              If not............




              Joe

              Comment


                #8
                Please get real!

                Andy you might as a landlord inspect a month before the end of an AST but it's not going to be any good as proof if the tenant has a rave with all his disreputable mates, and you're left with a trashed property after he moves out. Please don't tell me it's unlikely to happen, I know that. You wouldn't be able to do anything about it though if you had agreed with the tenant that everything was OK. Courts do not like sloppy procedures and that's exactly what you're advising Joe Cool to try and get away with. If the landlord has any sense he won't want to know!

                There's only one time to inspect and that is when the tenant leaves or has left! QED.

                The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Paul f

                  So you're saying that I should believe that the LL is honourable. i.e. not one of the 25% that Andy refers to.

                  But the LL should believe that I am dishonourable.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Joe Cool, if your son has done nothing that would justify his deposit not being given back then there's no reason to use the deposit as the last month rent.

                    If the LL is being unreasonable all you have to do is go to small claim courts and get the money back without having to breach any agreement.

                    You say previous LL took money without reason ? Why didn't you sue them ? If it was me, I'd sue !!
                    You say you can't trust the LL because of other LLs ? Why should the LL trust you then ? How would you like it if the LL acted badly with you and your son based on experience he's had with previous tenants ? Seems a bit unfair...

                    If you didn't have any other solution I'd understand but here you can sue IF the LL doesn't send the deposit back within a reasonable delay. So do things properly.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      25% LLs dodgy?

                      Originally posted by Andy Parker
                      About 25% of LLs hang on to the deposit and this has been such a problem that it has necessitated a change in the law to protect tenants' monies.
                      Is that 25% plucked out of the air, or is it real?
                      Also, what is the change in law which you mention? (this is a genuine question, I don't know!)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The 25% figure is taken from a BBC news item a few months ago outlining the changes.From the summer of 2006 LLs will have to hand over deposits to authorised schemes,which will be independent,within 14 days of receiving same.The Government will set up approved schemes.This system works well in other countries and allows the deposit to be used as the deposit for the property to which the tenant is moving.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          This is probably the one you're thinking of.


                          http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3701625.stm

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Joe

                            Pay heed to the excellent advice given by Paul f and Jennifer m. From what you say, your own lack of trust in landlords propels you into behaving in an untrustworthy way (and into recommending your son to do likewise) which, in turn, means that landlords will, quite rightly, not trust you or your son.

                            whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap
                            Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Joe
                              A National Tenant Deposit Scheme was included in the Housing Act 2004 so the changes are definitely coming into force.In your situation I would stick to my guns if your LL insists on full payment of the last month's rent (that's a bit dodgy in itself).If you owe your LL £600 and he owes you £800 who's taking whom to court?To use lawstudent's Biblical imagery there might be some gnashing of teeth on your LL's part but that's about all!

                              Comment

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