Forgot to deduct rent after deposit was returned

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    Forgot to deduct rent after deposit was returned

    Hello all,

    I understand I won't make many friends with this post, but I'm after some advice.

    The landlord has returned our deposit in full (protected under a national scheme) at the end of our tenancy.
    We did not pay the final 20 days of the tenancy (about £1,000) as this was under dispute - we assumed the landlord forgot once our deposit was returned.. we said nothing and moved on.

    3 months later the landlord realized their mistake and demanded the remaining rent (still in dispute) by email.
    I asked for a hard-copy invoice to be sent to our new address as we do not check our emails hardly EVER (was a test) - landlord says they do no have a forwarding address and to please supply this. I have not replied.

    QUESTION - were do I stand legally knowing that the deposit was returned in full without making any deductions for unpaid rent?
    Keep in mind that we literally do not have the money as it was spent on the deposit in the new address and also keep in mind that the landlord has no forwarding address


    ADDITIONAL INFO
    -Landlord is a company (gambling giant) that went into bankruptcy at the time our tenancy started - so the landlord, legally does not exist anymore, just the receivers (law firm)
    -All rents were collected to a managing agency (national one) as well as all communications, repairs and invoices received.
    -Albeit legal, we were very frustrated to be kicked out after a few months under the break-clause; we had just finished furnishing the property and spent copious amounts of money.

    **The dispute over the last month rent were the following***

    1. Managing agent "adjusted" the payment timing of the invoice leaving us out of pocket by two days (basically we moved in on the 20th and per the AST we were to pay for every month on the 20th.. managing agent accounting system could not cope so an additional bill was calculated to move our billing to the 1st, which if you sum up the time we stayed there caused us an additional 2 days billing.. basically they combined daily rates to monthly rates mid-tenancy).. and normally I wouldn't argue about 2 days but we're talking 3 figure sums.

    2. Roof had a leak which went into the living room; this was notified on day 1 and at the end of the tenancy was not resolved - response from the managing agent was "it would take too much time", basically we know you're leaving soon, so not really worth it

    3. Shop downstairs was being refurbished, contractor accidentally cut all power lines and phone lines. this caused each tenant to receive an engineer call-out charge from their telephone provider (£50) - main problem though was that the power was linked to main entrance of the building which had no key, but it was an electronic key-pad opening - this was not fixed for 2 weeks meaning every day I got home I would be stuck outside, sometimes until 11pm, trying to get someone already in the building to open the door (to note we already called the managing agency numerous times about this and they ignored us throughout as they knew the building was going under the hammer and everyone was being kicked out - we even called their national emergency line, but unfortunately the property "did not exist on their system" so they couldn't send anyone out.. even though I sent them proof by way of invoices for rent.. its funny how much time you have on your hands when you're stuck outside your flat for 5 hours sitting in your car

    #2
    The issues that you raise in order to justify not paying the rent in full are interesting but they don't justify not paying the last 20 days rent.
    Had you said (at any of the three opportunities) to the landlord "I would regard 20 days rent abatement as compensation for this inconvenience" and they had agreed,
    you'd have no issue.
    But you can't simply unilaterally decide your own compensation package.
    The two days adjustment is your best shot, as they would need your agreement to change the rent due date.

    The rent being paid is one of the conditions of the tenancy and unless the tenancy fails totally, you owe the rent.

    The deposit is always yours in a tenancy, the landlord simply holds the money and returns it (less any agreed reductions for damage etc).
    Unless the deposit is returned with some kind of "and you owe us nothing further" statement, its return doesn't mean anything in terms of ending the landlords right to charge you for what you owe.

    So, my view is that you owe the money.
    Whether the company will pursue you sufficiently to find you and recover this will depend on how hard they want to try.
    If I were them, I'd add any recovery costs to the debt and simply take you through the small claims process.
    There are companies who will find people on a no find no fee basis for much less than a grand.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Where do you stand legally? You owe the outstanding rent.

      You could try to pursue other avenues for getting compensation you believe you are entitled to for those items you listed under additional info, but they are separate from you owing the rent.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks -
        no - we never assumed the 20 days as compensation, we asked for a nominal deduction in the rent at their discretion as a token (for all the crap), but was denied anything.

        Legally I agree, the money should be paid (minus the 2 days which they have actually agreed to settle on) - we are just trying to exploit any loophole (through advice of a friend), if there is any, to not pay - as for everything that the agents have dragged us through we thought it was almost karma that they would forget.. I suppose it's more of a moral stance. In fact, I don't mind at all paying, but I think there is a bit of a grudge on our side and I will make it as bureaucratic as possible (like the classic 'paying in coppers').

        From what you are saying though, I don't think there is a loophole.

        I would probably want to test how far the landlord would go - like any credit control process I suppose. I am willing to pay if they threaten legal action in writing - so far, nothing like this has been mentioned which is also strange.

        Recovery costs is very debatable - we have had no physical invoice about the final month's rent, and I would assume that the fact that no-one has actually asked for a forwarding address would mean that they would bear that cost. for we all they know, our argument is that we do not check our emails hardly ever - if we receive a demand for rent on our doorstep we will probably pay it.. if it ever arrives.

        How far would this go before affecting my credit rating.. if it would at all?

        Thanks again though for your thoughts.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by baccci View Post
          QUESTION - were do I stand legally knowing that the deposit was returned in full without making any deductions for unpaid rent?
          Originally posted by baccci View Post
          Legally I agree, the money should be paid
          Gotta love time-wasters.

          Originally posted by baccci View Post
          In fact, I don't mind at all paying
          How nice. So pay.

          Comment


            #6
            JJlandlord - it's not about knowing I have to pay; if the landlord doesn't make me pay I won't, simple. So far no mention of legal action has been mentioned so I want to know what are my options.

            Comment


              #7
              Rent is due whether demanded or not. If the landlord wants to make you pay what you owe, he'll take you to court. From what you've said he would very likely win, in which case you would have to pay the outstanding rent, interest, and costs. And you'd have a CCJ. If you don't mind paying what you owe, then really that would seem to be the best course of action.

              Comment


                #8
                Ok thanks - that makes more sense.
                pretty risky for me, a CCJ would end my career, lol, so would never really take it that far.
                I would be interested to see at least if they threatened court action - like I said, that is the point I am willing to pay at.. unless any of you have any bright ideas or legal loopholes which I could lean on.

                side note - I realize asking members of a Landlord forum is not likely to be on my side, so I appreciate the honesty guys

                Comment


                  #9
                  Also - on the CCJ; this would not be enforced if I paid within a month, I would still need to actually receive the notice from the court.
                  So the way I see it, they would need to make an application to the court, that would be mailed to me and I would still have 1 month to pay? so in theory if I paid within that month AFTER receiving the CCJ there would be no record on my credit rating or otherwise (per .gov website) so long as I request it to be removed.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Who is demanding the money ?? Surely only the receivers (or their agents - you having proof they are their agents) have a legal right to...
                    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...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If CCJ would end your career, I'd be careful.

                      You could avoid a CCJ by paying late in the process, before it goes to court.
                      It would become apparent that they weren't giving up and knew where you were.
                      But you'd have to give them your whereabouts.
                      They could simply serve the notices to your last known address and win by default.

                      You're not making a (positive) moral choice, you're being either vindictive/vengeful or wishing to avoid paying a grand you might not have to.
                      Either is understandable, but don't think you have any high ground.
                      You had a not very good landlord who went bust.
                      You're trying to not pay money you owe - that's not a moral position, that's stealing.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The money is being (informally) demanded by an admin girl who is part of the a national chain of estate agents - it is my belief that they act on behalf of another managing agent who act on behalf of the receivers who act on behalf of the creditors for the liquidating company.

                        This is actually no joke - it's on my AST, too many parties involved, created such a headache when anything needed to be done.

                        OFFICIALLY the money is owed to the landlord, who's name legally is "ABC LLP (law firm) acting as receivers for XYZ LTD (ex-company)"
                        however the invoices are raised on behalf by the estate agents who pass this on.

                        It is my belief that the admin girl hasn't let on her blunder to the law firm that she forgot to deduct the rent from the deposit and has left it a few months - keep in mind the liquidating company (ex-landlord) used to have over 150 stores nationwide and my final rent demand is probably buried under a million other demands from creditors.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Agreed -
                          I am indeed being vindictive, wouldn't you after being locked out of your flat for a few weeks and literally no one from the agent's office would care - all calls were screened, all pleas were ignored, simply because they knew it would all come to an end in a few months; we even resorted to calling the police and the local council after it came to 11pm because we literally had no place to go for the night - they managed to contact other residents in the middle of the night to open the door.
                          And we're not talking remote areas of the country, the property is in central Richmond, London - you would expect a bit more for the rent I was paying - that and the other two issues would, for me, justify "something" in return.
                          Yet despite all, we still paid full monthly rent -

                          To clarify, the final month was billed in full, even though we were given notice to leave mid-month; so of course we queried the invoice and said we cannot expect to pay for a full month.
                          The response was: "our accounting system can only bill in full months, please pay the entire amount and we will work out a refund later on" to which I was like no way.
                          The result of that dispute was "please don't pay until I've consulted my accounts department" ... and that was the very last we heard from her, until now, months after the deposit was refunded and we moved.

                          Stealing.. yes.. if you look at it that way. Robin Hood was a thief too.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Conclusion: There is no point to this thread.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              non need to be passive agressive JJ, it's a forum- people tend to discuss, that is the point.
                              If you don't see a point don't leave a reply (defeating your "point")

                              Comment

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