Surprise charge for drain clearing

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  • Surprise charge for drain clearing

    Hi everyone,

    Recently had an email from my estate agent saying the following:

    "Your landlady came in to see me as the drains were blocked at [address] and had to be cleared professionally. As it is split into 3 flats and one commercial property, she is requesting that the bill be split four ways with the tenants. This will incur a charge of £50 to yourself."

    Now... I've never had a problem with the drains. Nobody told me the drains needed or were going to be unblocked. And now I'm presented with a bill for something I don't even know has actually happened.

    Not sure where I stand here: but I would have thought they needed to inform me before the work occurs that this is happening and that i am in someway responsible?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Cheeky - this is an expensive for the freeholder or leaseholders - not the tenants unless the landlady can prove that you put something down to block the drains.

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    • #3
      Thank them kindly but explain, calmly & politely, that you do not believe you are liable & could they please point you to what law or regulation justifies the charge to you. They can try & take it from your deposit, but you could challenge that & probably win.

      You appreciate clearly that Landlady can evict you for no reason at all?? Are you still in fixed term??
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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      • #4
        Yes I am still in a fixed term, however I am just about to hand in my 2 months notice to vacate so I would not be surprised to see them try and take it out of my deposit when the time comes.

        It just seems hugely unprofessional to email me asking for money without any evidence the work has even taken place and without any warning.

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        • #5
          what 2 months notice is that? is it under a break clause? when does the fixed term end?
          All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

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          • #6
            Fixed term ends mid february, but my understanding from the estate agent is that i need to give them 2 months notice.

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            • #7
              they tend to do that. You dont have to give them any notice to leave at the end of the fixed term. Its obviously courteous to do so. But you have no obligation to give 2 month's notice. That notice has no legal effect, so it is effectively a courtesy note
              All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

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              • #8
                Ah - I did wonder. Thanks for the heads up.

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                • #9
                  Tenants are responsible for clearing drains. Not sure how that would work when you are sharing them though.
                  Give "notice", but tell them that you understand that is has no effect, and that there is no obligation for you to do so.
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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