Overpaid Rent

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    Overpaid Rent


    I moved into a flat in mid feb 2012 and only paid a partial month rent to take it to the first of March and then started paying a full months rent so that the due date would always be on the 1st (This was at the landlords request).

    A months rent was 770 and we were asked to pay 385 for the remainder of february that was left. However we moved in on the 18th Feb so we should have only paid for 12 days (leap year) at £302.96 so we actually overpaid by £82.04

    We didn't bring this up at the time as we just wanted to move in (the landlord had on a threatened to let the flat to someone after she'd already agreed to let it to us because she thought we didn't earn enough money to afford it. We did by the way, and never paid rent late or missed any)

    Anyway, nearly four years later she asked gave us notice as she wished to take the property back. We agreed, have now moved out, we've done a handover but she is now withholding a part of the deposit for damage that we dispute was caused by us. She hasn't protected our deposit so can't use an ADR.

    We weren't going to bother about compensation for not using the DPS or anything as we didn't want a fuss, but we don't want to be out of pocket either.

    So ultimately, these are my questions:

    Are we entitled to ask/get the rent overpayment back at this stage?
    Is there a legal timelimit on getting compensation through the courts if it comes down to it?

    thanks :-)

    Yes you can ask for overpayment to be returned. If you need to go to court you have up to six years to make a claim.

    If you genuinely believe the damage was not down to yourselves, I would threaten the landlord with Court for not protecting the deposit etc. You will need to do it all in writing. If you still don't get what you are owed, you will have to do a correctly worded 'letter before action' giving her one last chance to pay you before proceeding to court. In Court, the minimum your landlord would get is return of full deposit plus one times the original deposit. She could be made to pay up to three times the original deposit. Also, you would get your overpaid rent back.


      Thanks so much, that's really helpful to know. :-)


        If you do intend to proceed to court, make sure you keep copies of all correspondence and obtain 'free proof of posting' from your post office. You will need this as part of your evidence in Court.


          Here's a step by step guide to follow to help.
          It has template letters as a start point.

          Your (ex) landlord would be daft to ignore the threat of legal action - as soon as they realise what they've done, they should pay the disputed amount straight away rather than risk being penalised.

          If you want the penalty as well, you'll probably have to actually go to court.
          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).


            The overpaid rent is carried forward, so the last time you paid rent, you overpaid by £82.04.
            THis doesn't make much difference in your case admittedly.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


              When rent is per calendar month there's no standard way to calculate a daily amount. In your case, it could be argued that the full month in question would have been 29 days, so you should have been expected to pay 12/29 of a full month (318.62). That would still leave you with an over payment but, as thesaint points out, it's insignificant next to the return of the full deposit plus a potential 1 to 3 x deposit for non compliance. You should certainly ask for the overpayment back in your lba, but really your focus should be on the return of the deposit and, if you are so inclined, the penalty for non compliance.


                I would argue that by accepting (and paying) the amount prior to moving in that you have agreed to it being a reasonable calculation of the partial months rent. If you had issue with it then you had the choice not to move in. As said above, there's no 'definative' way of calculating partial rent. Afterall, did you pay different amounts for the months that had 30 days compared to those with 31? Is extra rent paid in a leap year compared to the others?

                You have, however, been lucky with the deposit. It is so suprising that LLs are STILL getting this wrong. Request the deposit returned in full. If it is not then off to court you go for its return plus penalty.
                There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.


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