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Would really appreciate some help with the ex-landlord

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
This is a bit of a convoluted story, so many, many thanks to anyone who manages to read and understand it and can help.

My boyfriend lived in a 3 bed flat with his best friend for four years. For the last year, I moved in with them. The flat was let as a whole property rather than individual tenancies for each room, so an initial lump deposit was paid to the landlord right at the start of proceedings and then as people moved in and out, the incoming tenant paid their deposit to the outgoing one. Rent was £300pcm and the deposit was £350.

My boyfriend and I moved out in March of this year. The landlord said that I owed him some money because of a rent increase, and told the tenant who was left behind in the flat not to pay us our deposits back until the money had been paid. I paid him and my boyfriend rang him to confirm everything was balanced and get him to give the other tenant permission to give us our deposits.

Instead, the landlord has said that my boyfriend owes him two months worth of rent, one from 2007 and one from the month I moved in. This adds up to £592, and there is no way he can afford to pay that out while simultaneously paying rent on the place we're now living in. The landlord will also be witholding my deposit to make up for the extra money owed by my boyfriend.

Can the landlord really demand rent from 2007 now? What are our options? What would you do?!

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can the landlord / your boyfriend prove that money is / isn't owed? And if so, why has something only been said now?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yep - Dan has checked his bank statements and the payments did not go in as he thought they did.

    I have no idea why he's only flagging it up now. He's mega-rich (as in, banks with Coutts), and I can only assume that he doesn't check until he has to. I think if I asked he would say that while we are obliged to pay the rent, he's not obliged to ask for it.

    It is irresponsible of him though. I don't know if there's anything we can do about it; I just hate the situation because he's been such a pain in the bum in so many other ways.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yep - Dan has checked his bank statements and the payments did not go in as he thought they did.

    I have no idea why he's only flagging it up now. He's mega-rich (as in, banks with Coutts), and I can only assume that he doesn't check until he has to. I think if I asked he would say that while we are obliged to pay the rent, he's not obliged to ask for it.

    It is irresponsible of him though. I don't know if there's anything we can do about it; I just hate the situation because he's been such a pain in the bum in so many other ways.

    Well it means your a month or two behind on the rent, he has every right to ask for his money.

    So what if he is rich, it's still his money. Tbh I agree with the landlord, you've even said you didn't pay! and afaik he has every right to withhold the deposit. He probably only realised now because he'd be checking everything with you moving out. for example how many months you lived there by how much rent paid!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hellfire wrote: »
    Well it means your a month or two behind on the rent, he has every right to ask for his money.

    So what if he is rich, it's still his money. Tbh I agree with the landlord, you've even said you didn't pay!

    I'm not saying that I disagree with the fact that it's his money, I'm just really frustrated by the fact that he's only asking for the missing rent THREE years after the non-payment!

    My point about him being rich was not to say that he doesn't deserve the money, I just meant that if I were to have £300 less income in a month, I'd damn well notice it. For him though, it's pennies and he's clearly not as diligent in checking his accounts as he could be as a result. Which has now put us in a really difficult financial position, and I am frustrated by that.

    I'm not being a whingebag and looking for a total get-out clause, I just wanted to know what options were legally open to us: if we leave the deposit with him, despite the outstanding rent being more than the deposit, is that it over and done with or not? Is there an external body who can deal with it to help us set up a fair repayment plan? Am I able to get my deposit back or am I inextricably tied into the muddle because the property is let as a whole?

    I'm not a TOTAL idiot, Hellfire ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He can hold your deposit and take it as payment for the outstanding rent. anything over and above that he can theoretically take you to court over to get payment for. Whether he would is his choice or not but he is within his right to seek any legal way to reclaim the money owed to him

    What he can argue is that instead of missing a payment, the payment afterwards was just deferred so you were always a month behind. Yes, he "should" have told you it has not gone through but it was your boyfriends responsibility to check. Your saying he isn't diligent in checking his accounts but your boyfriend can't be either as he should have known.

    Best option is tell him to keep the deposit, and pay the outstanding. Legally I believe the landlord is in the right.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks, Hellfire. Guess we'll just have to suck it up.... What a pooper, eh?!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think he can keep the deposit for rent owed, bbut you'll still owe him the rent so it would be a difficult avenue to persue.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    I don't think he can keep the deposit for rent owed, bbut you'll still owe him the rent so it would be a difficult avenue to persue.

    They can I am afraid
    Your landlord can keep some or all of your deposit to pay for the following items:

    * Any damage you have caused to the property or to any furniture provided (but not including normal wear and tear)
    * Missing items
    * Cleaning (but not if needed due to normal wear and tear)
    * Unpaid rent.

    http://www.thesite.org/homelawandmoney/askthesiteqandas/housingqandas/depositdispute
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yeah, you're right. I thought it was wrong after I'd written it. Just let him keep the deposit and pay the rest of what you owe. It sucks to be skint but, there's not much you can do about it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there,

    Landlord problems can be frustrating, however it's great that your asking for help for ways to solve the problem rather than letting it escalate.

    It is the tenant's liability to pay rent, therefore if you missed a payment you are still liable for it. Therefore it is a good idea to pay any rent you have missed to your landlord.
    If you don't pay, your landlord can pursue you for the money by making an application to the courts. However, there doesn't seem any point in your landlord starting proceedings in court, as the court costs (and hassle) will probably outweigh what is owed.
    So try talking to him to come to some sort of agreement. Explain your financial situation. You could suggest paying in instalments or him keeping your deposit and not demanding the balance. Showing your landlord that you're willing to co-operate sometimes puts you in a better bargaining position.
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