Small Claims for Deposit Refund

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  • Small Claims for Deposit Refund

    Hi All,

    I was hoping you would be able to provide some advice.

    I wish to start a claim to get my deposit back from a recent rental. The landlord is holding the deposit until I pay all utility bills. I am having trouble getting the information from a utility company and hence they are holding the full amount.

    If I start a claim and then the landlord subsequently pays back the deposit am I able to still continue to get back the additional costs of starting the claim and the interest etc.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    deposit prob

    hi,

    the L.L has every right to hold on to an amount of the deposit if you don't pay the utilities. this should be finally paid up until the date you moved out.

    chase the companies and tell them the situation - get the bills,pay them and ask for your deposit asap.

    you cannot generally take the L.L to court for this query, or ask for costs or interest on a holding deposit. check your contract.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sorry tobylaura but you are totally incorrect. The landlord can only withhold the deposit in the case of damages to the property (backed up by an inventory).

      The utility bills are non of the landlord's business and the deposit cannot be legally withheld for that reason.

      Write to the Landlord stating that if the deposit is not returned in full (assuming no damage of course!) within 14 days then you will be issuing a county court claim for the deposit, costs and interest.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by seagulls View Post
        Hi All,

        I was hoping you would be able to provide some advice.

        I wish to start a claim to get my deposit back from a recent rental. The landlord is holding the deposit until I pay all utility bills. I am having trouble getting the information from a utility company and hence they are holding the full amount.

        If I start a claim and then the landlord subsequently pays back the deposit am I able to still continue to get back the additional costs of starting the claim and the interest etc.

        Thanks in advance
        The utility companies should have been notified both by yourself and by the landlord that the person responsible for the bill has changed as of the date you moved out. A meter reading if gas or electric should have been read and agreed upon on the day you vacated the property. Was this done? The LL shouldn't have any interest if you owe money to the utility. Which one is it?
        ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

        Comment


        • #5
          If the OP is a lodger, then I guess it would be reasonable that he pays his share of the utlity bill; otherwise i agree it has nothing to do with LL.

          What does the agreement say regarding what deposit can be used for, and is there any mention of paying utility bills off before it can be reclaimed?
          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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          • #6
            hi,

            am not totally wrong - it will be a condition in your t.a under deposit return.

            you r obligated to settle utilities.

            L

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you for your replies so far.

              The TA mentions nothing about utility bills. Even if it did I believe this is an 'unfair term' and the deposit can still not be withheld for utility bills.

              My question really relates to the Small Claims Process.

              For example, if I was owed 1,000 deposit cheque back for the above circumstances.
              Day 1 - issue claim for 1,300
              Day 2 - receive cheque back for 1,000 before claim received by LL

              What happens to remaing 300 - can this still be claimed.

              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                British Gas have been provided with all the information - opening readings, closing readings, forwarding address etc but there appears to be a problem with their Legacy system.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Seagulls you are correct in saying it is an unfair term for the utilities to be paid before the deposit is handed over.

                  With regards to the claim, I think you should call your local court and ask them, I think once the claim has been put in place that is what should be paid but please dont quote me!

                  Re British Gas: They are a bunch of ........ well input your own words here! THey are trying to sue my partner and I for monies that were paid to another utility company in error... the second company will not give us the money as it belongs to BG and BG will not claim it from them! THis has been ongoing for almost 6 months and we are saying "bring on court"!!!!!
                  GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

                  Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tobylaura@btinternet.com View Post
                    am not totally wrong - it will be a condition in your t.a under deposit return.
                    Even if it does it would be viewed as an 'unfair term' and therefore legally unenforceable. I have the term in my AST agreements, because it makes life easier for me if I know the utility bills are all sorted, and normally it happens within 2-3 days of moving out - a perfectly acceptable timescale for refunding the deposit. My policy has never caused any problem for my or my outgoing tenants, but if there was some delay with utility co's outwith the tenant's control and the tenant was requesting their deposit back, I wouldn't hold back from refunding them.

                    Originally posted by tobylaura@btinternet.com View Post
                    you r obligated to settle utilities.
                    Of course, but this should have no bearing on the deposit

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seagulls View Post
                      British Gas have been provided with all the information - opening readings, closing readings, forwarding address etc but there appears to be a problem with their Legacy system.
                      Have they given you a timescale for sorting this? I'm just wondering:

                      - when you moved out
                      - when you gave them the readings
                      - when they are likely to produce a bill

                      and whether it's really worthwhile going to the aggravation of suing your LL for the deposit in the meantime?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        With British Gas it could take an age so suing the LL could be the way forward! .. Also with the expense of moving etc it could be that the deposit monies will be used to settle the bills! .. Bet no-one thought of that one hehe!!!
                        GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

                        Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rigsby99
                          on the matter of making a claim, is it the county court or small claims court that the claim has to be made to?
                          There is no such thing as a "small claims court". Claims are made in the County Court and the court decides what track it fits into - in this case it will be assigned to the Small Claims Track.

                          Fed up of saying it, but read the Civil Procedure Rules for full details.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Something is wrong here. BG should have issued a final bill to you at your forwarding address. BG should have issued a new account number to the LL, if the property is empty, or a new account number to the new tenants.

                            You, as the registered user, are responsible for the final bill to BG irregardless where you live now.

                            The LL should have no concern with this final bill and is withholding your deposit unnecessarily. When you explained this to him, does it not understand how it works.

                            I have always found BG extremely helpful when you call them and can change names immediately over the telephone. Don't understand why BG is having a problem over this.
                            ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

                            Comment

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