Recovering overpaid rent from private landlord

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Recovering overpaid rent from private landlord

    Hello

    We are seeking advice about what options are available to us to recover overpaid rent to our private landlord.

    We sought and gained permission verbally from the landlord to break our six month lease on the proviso that we would be responsible for rent until a new tenant was installed. We paid rent one month in advance and were advised that we would be refunded the amount from the date the new tenancy began. We vacated the premises on day two of the month, the keys were returned to the landlord on day six (at their request) and we were advised then that new tenants would be moving into the flat on day 9 or day 16.

    Since then the amicable relationship has become silent. The bond was transferred to our bank account and an amount that equates to 5.2 days was also deposited in the account. The landlord is screening calls and not responding to requests to discuss the matter.

    We have since established from the current tenants that they moved into the property on the 9th day of the month.

    There is no history of problems in the tenancy - the monthly rental was always paid on time and the landlords provided a glowing reference for our current tenancy agreement.

    What can we do to recover the outstanding rent which amounts to £526?
    hervey

    #2
    So, sounds like you are liable for 1 weeks' rent, plus you'd also be responsible for the landlords' costs incurred in reletting the property (adverts, admin costs etc) - agreed? However it's pretty unlikely that this can amount to £526 (where does the "5.6 days" come from?) so you'd be entirely justifed in going to the small claims court to recover the balance.

    Send the landlord a "Letter Before Action" stating that unless you receive the balance of the money due to you within 7 days you will instigate proceedings forthwith. And do just that. The landlord will be responsible for the court fees too (even if he finally coughs up after 8 days). (Assuming the details are as cut and dried as you describe).

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the advice. The details are indeed as cut and dried as described which makes the dispute all the more disappointing.

      I will be taking the matter to the small claims court - my only concern is the lack of anything in writing (which I didn't request because of the good relationship we had with the landlords).

      The only "written" evidence we have is a saved SMS message from the landlord on the 6th asking for confirmation of the key handover that evening and return of the bond (the bond was only returned last week). The SMS message also mentions the possibility of the new tenants taking on the property earlier hence the need for the early handover of the keys. Unfortunately no date is mentioned. Presumably the landlord and new tenants have a dated rental agreement but can the small claims court compel them to produce it?

      How does the small claims tribunal view "word of mouth" in such disputes?
      hervey

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by cathyvan View Post
        Thanks for the advice. The details are indeed as cut and dried as described which makes the dispute all the more disappointing.

        I will be taking the matter to the small claims court - my only concern is the lack of anything in writing (which I didn't request because of the good relationship we had with the landlords).

        The only "written" evidence we have is a saved SMS message from the landlord on the 6th asking for confirmation of the key handover that evening and return of the bond (the bond was only returned last week). The SMS message also mentions the possibility of the new tenants taking on the property earlier hence the need for the early handover of the keys. Unfortunately no date is mentioned. Presumably the landlord and new tenants have a dated rental agreement but can the small claims court compel them to produce it?

        How does the small claims tribunal view "word of mouth" in such disputes?
        All civil cases (except defamation) are judged on "balance of probabilities", ie whose evidence is more convincing.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by cathyvan View Post
          Unfortunately no date is mentioned. Presumably the landlord and new tenants have a dated rental agreement but can the small claims court compel them to produce it?
          So why don't you just knock on the new tenant's door with a "really sorry to bother you but would you mind just telling me when you moved in"?

          If the date matches up with what you already believe, just go ahead and put in your claim in that basis; you can mention in your claim that the current tenants (find out their name if you can) have told them they moved in on date X, hence your claim.

          I think it unlikely that the landlord would then blatantly lie about the date given those circumstances - because it would be the current tenants and your word against his, and even if the landlord would be willing to commit perjury, he would know perfectly well that his new tenants wouldn't, if it ever came to that.

          Comment


            #6
            Hello again


            We have finally heard from our landlord via email and apparently they negotiated a discounted rent for the current tenants who moved in on the 10/12. No amounts are specified in the email either for us or the new tenants however the landlord states the new tenants began paying "full rent" from the 23/12.

            The landlord further states that 150 pounds was deducted from the bond as penalty for breaking the lease early, and a further 50 pounds deducted for steam cleaning of carpets (there is no mention in the lease of a requirement to steam clean the carpets and the carpets were left in a good state)

            The landlord also offers to repay us a further 45 pounds after recalculating his sums.

            We were not aware of any of these arrangements until this latest communication and we have responded by requesting payment in full of the bond and overpaid rent from the 10/12 to the end of the month otherwise the matter will be taken to the Small Claims Court.

            Does our lease (and therefore our obligations to the landlord) end with the occupation of the new tenants on the 10th? Can the landlord withhold bond money for the matters he outlines? Has he breached the contract by entering the property and allowing others to enter the property (carpet cleaners) without our permission prior to the 10th?

            So much for cut and dried...regards.
            hervey

            Comment


              #7
              Do you have a signed inventory and if so, what does it say about the condition of the carpets? The reason I ask is that, in the event that you decide to take small claims court action to recover these deductions, an absence of this document will make your case stronger.

              As far as I am aware, landlords can't 'fine' tenants who have left their AST early with arbitrary penalties, only the period in time in which it is vacant before the new tenants move in and plus any re-advertising costs that are incurred.

              I don't see why the exiting tenant has to fund the difference with the lower rent negotiated by the incoming tenants.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Beeber View Post
                Do you have a signed inventory and if so, what does it say about the condition of the carpets? The reason I ask is that, in the event that you decide to take small claims court action to recover these deductions, an absence of this document will make your case stronger.

                As far as I am aware, landlords can't 'fine' tenants who have left their AST early with arbitrary penalties, only the period in time in which it is vacant before the new tenants move in and plus any re-advertising costs that are incurred.

                I don't see why the exiting tenant has to fund the difference with the lower rent negotiated by the incoming tenants.
                I suppose the landlord would justify funding the difference with the lower rent negotiated, by saying that if the exiting tenants had stayed, as per contract, he would have received the full rent from them. Similarly, if he had done nothing, he would have received the full rent.
                I've some sympathy for Cathyvans position, particularly if say 4 or 5 months of the six-month AST had been completed. However, I'm surprised that the Landlord in justifying himself, hasn't mentioned re-letting costs - these could be significant, particularly if an Agent was involved.

                Comment


                  #9
                  See my previous posts re L's duty to mitigate loss (which will not arise during a continuing lease/tenancy, only after it ends one way or another).
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment

                  Latest Activity

                  Collapse

                  • Ex tenant and arrears
                    by Perce
                    Hello All

                    I have issued multiple CCJs. Three of them are still unpaid.

                    I have also issued Third Party Debt Order which was successful.

                    But the ex T. still owes me money and more claims are to be issued .

                    I have asked for the deposit but the ex....
                    22-09-2021, 20:08 PM
                  • Reply to Another Sec 21 Notice
                    by theartfullodger
                    Thanks to Thatcher's 1988 Housing Act a tenancy continues, monthly periodic, if tenant remains in occupation.

                    Unless evicting tenants through court prior you / agent cannot (legally impossible to) prevent this.

                    Education?
                    22-09-2021, 19:51 PM
                  • Another Sec 21 Notice
                    by ispookie
                    We are a recent landlords after moving house. The house is a four bedroom in England, managed through a letting company, EPC, Rent protection, inventory etc were all done including the necessary checks on the tenants. The tenancy was setup for 12 months, ending in March 2021. Right from the start...
                    22-09-2021, 16:20 PM
                  • Reply to Utilities Account Manager
                    by Neelix
                    Just watch out as they seem to be falling like flies ATM
                    22-09-2021, 19:28 PM
                  • Utilities Account Manager
                    by michaelwgroves
                    I have a large portfolio, I got tired of spending ours on the phone each week managing utilities between tenancies. I found a utility company that gave me a dedicated account team. I simply email the tenancy change and it gets sorted. However, there are a few challenges they are struggling to overcome,...
                    22-09-2021, 07:15 AM
                  • Reply to Condensation/mould mid-tenancy
                    by mokka
                    I beg to differ. From experience it was slum landlords not sorting out the property by means of fixing penetrating damp along with missing roof tiles for years. Black mould covering a whole wall, damaged stairs that was just clipped back together under the stair case along with collapsing kitchen ceiling...
                    22-09-2021, 19:27 PM
                  • Condensation/mould mid-tenancy
                    by bethy
                    We have a nice couple living in our one bed flat. It's an old building with thick, uninsulated walls. We've owned it for 10 years, and in that time had 1 tenant who managed to cover the place with mould due to how she was living in it, everyone else since has been absolutely fine.

                    I visited...
                    20-09-2021, 12:42 PM
                  • Dispute deposit based on damage that landlord didn't repair?
                    by kankan
                    Hello everyone,

                    After signing the contract, but before moving in, the flat suffered some flood damage. 3 rooms needed repainting because of water stains and paint falling off.
                    We were promised that this will be taken care of after moving in. We followed up several times, but the repairs...
                    22-09-2021, 19:26 PM
                  • Reply to Condensation/mould mid-tenancy
                    by Hudson01
                    The above post just goes to prove that you cannot help some people.
                    22-09-2021, 19:13 PM
                  • Reply to Another Sec 21 Notice
                    by ispookie
                    This is why I think the current letting agents are not very good! All I asked the letting agents was to make sure the tenancy ends on the last day as per the contract and not to extend it....
                    22-09-2021, 18:55 PM
                  Working...
                  X