Landlord's Rent Claim

(16 Posts)
LottieL Thu 15-Sep-16 20:30:57

I'm hoping someone can offer practical advice. This may be long as I want to provide all details.

My husband and I moved into a property towards the end of January 2015. We paid a weeks rent ahead so we could move in early, with the tenancy staring as of the start of February. We paid £1,451 which was £700 deposit, £600 rent (for Feb) and £151 for the week extra (I have an email from the letting agent to confirm this amount and that we wouldn't need to pay rent again until 1st March).

All of our rent has been paid at the end of the month once salary reached our account, so March 2015 rent was paid end of February, April rent was paid end of March, and so on. We have never been late or missed a payment.

We are due to move house at the end of this month due to landlords selling the property. No problem but the property that we found wanted us to move at the end of this month, effectively giving us only three weeks notice. I called the landlord (a company - not estate agent, family run agricultural business) and they agreed that they were happy to release us from the lease "so long as your rent is paid up". I confirmed that it was, that we paid September's rent at the end of August and they said this wasn't the case, and they were under the impression that we paid at the end of each month for the month previous, ie payment end of September for September rent.

I have to admit I'm confused - I have never known a landlord let you pay at the end of a month for the month previous as that would mean you had effectively got a month free at the end so I am certain it isn't the case here too (with the above mentioned email from estate agent we originally rented the property from confirming) but I fear from their insistence that this may become a bit of a fight.

What I'm asking is what proof do I need practically to confirm that we have paid up to date and also, if they try and take this further will this effect us in future? My husband and I have saved substantially and hope this is the last move to a rental before we are able to buy and I'm worried if they try and come after us for money in future that it will impact our credit ratings.

Advice would be gratefully received, and I hope I've made sense.

qwom Thu 15-Sep-16 20:38:57

Surely you just need to be able to demonstrate you're paid up? Going through your bank records and checking what payments were made when, double check what that email said.

Rent claims will not affect your credit rating though if you did get a court order against you I think that would....

But it does sound like you're all paid up. No landlord takes rent in arrears. That's just weird...

LottieL Thu 15-Sep-16 20:42:56

I've managed to find my bank statements online. I can see the payment we made end of January, and the next payment end of February. They've continued every month in time for the payment due date at the start of the next month.

If the landlord wishes to pursue the claim despite showing bank statements, etc would it be worth us providing our new address to save us finding out when trying to get a mortgage that we've got a surprise CCJ?

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Thu 15-Sep-16 20:57:42

You won't have a surprise CCJ because no court is going to judge against you. You'd only need to show your tenancy agreement, the email and bank records and that's clear proof that you don't owe the landlord anything.

CheeseCakeSunflowers Thu 15-Sep-16 21:04:59

I'm wondering if the confusion might be that your landlord is use to agricultural land rents which are often paid in arrears. Your tenancy agreement should make it clear that the rent is paid in advance, which is usual for residential properties, so check what it says. I would give them your new address so that if they did try to take it to court you would know and be able to prove that you have made all the due payments before a CCJ is issued but hopefully you will sort it out between yourselves.

specialsubject Thu 15-Sep-16 21:05:37

Nuts to them. Rent is paid in advance ( as you have been doing). You have to give a months notice , while you can move when you like it looks like you need to pay to end sept. Which you did with the end aug payment.no contest.

Deposit protected, i hope?

LottieL Thu 15-Sep-16 21:12:48

Deposit is protected, yes. I've got the paperwork for that.
I've had a look at the lease and it stipulates 'in cleared funds in advance' referring to rent.
Perhaps they are confused by the agricultural land rent.

caroldecker Thu 15-Sep-16 21:49:15

Even if a court accepted you paid in advance, they could argue you gave insufficient notice, so need to pay additional rent.
Have you given (or received) official notice on the property?

specialsubject Thu 15-Sep-16 22:01:25

Send them a simply worded letter listing the payments made, their dates and the period covered by each. Even the daftest hair-flicking agent should be.able to work it out.

LottieL Thu 15-Sep-16 22:32:23

I spoke to them on the telephone, asked that we be allowed to break the lease early and they confirmed yes, so long as our rent for September is paid. They didn't seem to have a problem with us leaving without giving proper notice as such, as they were already well aware we were seeking other rentals due to their selling the properties.
I'm not trying to say they are unreasonable - far from it - I'm grateful they are releasing us from the lease without giving the proper notice period but I was just concerned about the rent part of their query, which as I said was September rent, not October (which is what I would expect them to claim if they were charging us for breaking the lease without giving proper notice).

caroldecker Fri 16-Sep-16 01:09:44

They may be confused, but if it goes to court you will lose due to lack of official notice. Therefore play carefully.

LottieL Fri 16-Sep-16 07:09:10

Thank you. I will try and prove what I can in regards to rent payments and hope they agree, and that they honour letting us out of the lease without proper notice too 🙂
I don't want to cause them a problem of course, I just wasn't keen on the idea of paying over the odds for something I don't think I owe.

specialsubject Fri 16-Sep-16 09:39:03

I think (check) that what you need is called a deed of surrender, which documents agreed early termination.of the tenancy.

LottieL Wed 21-Sep-16 17:59:35

A quick update: we receiced the statement of our account today and it turns out the first payment we made to the letting agent was not credited to our account, and so because of this (as far as their accounts are concerned) we have been paying in arrears even though from our perspective we haven't.
I have spoken to the letting agent who confirmed that he will be able to provide us a statement to prove what we paid originally (as we don't have the receipt from way back then) and he's happy to speak to the management company and confirm for us. All good 🙂
Thanks for the help all!

specialsubject Wed 21-Sep-16 19:17:47

Aha - a good old fashioned cockup. Admin - so difficult...

Thanks for the update, good news!

LottieL Wed 21-Sep-16 20:30:41

Easily done! As someone up thread said some of these houses are rented by people who used to work the land, before it all went to machines, and these tenants all pay in arrears so I can totally understand why they thought we did too! 🙂

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