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Letting agent keeping deposit till all bills paid?

(40 Posts)
messofajess Mon 16-Apr-18 13:41:56

I moved out of a property 3 weeks ago, the letting agent is saying he will not release the deposit until he has seen that all the final bills have been paid. The bills are all in my name. There are 3 bills, 2 have come back in credit to me. The remaining bill I had to chase up today and they have said they need to track it down.

In the meantime I emailed the letting agent and said he isn't actually allowed to do this according to Shelter and he's replied: "we always need to see closing accounts with the correct readings to cross reference."

If it matters, we were excellent tenants and left the property in a much better condition than we found it. At the yearly inspection the letting agent even said that to us.

AIBU? I'm starting to get very annoyed...

TheQueenOfWands Mon 16-Apr-18 13:45:59

A letting agent will do/say anything to keep the deposit.

I used to not pay the last month's rent and tell them to keep the deposit. I know this is frowned upon but it's often the only way to keep hold of your money.

timeisnotaline Mon 16-Apr-18 13:48:02

It should be with the deposit scheme - can you contact them? There are ts and cs on keeping them

Travis1 Mon 16-Apr-18 13:48:19

What scheme is it in? Never mind the agent go straight to whoever is holding the deposit and request its release. I had an agent do this to me once. I sent him a big long letter quoting why he was incorrect and got my deposit back.

Dvg Mon 16-Apr-18 13:53:24

If the bills are in your name then no he doesn't need to keep it and cant keep it.

I would be writing to them explaining that you have legal aid and he is not aloud to withhold it from you and if you do not receive it back within 7 days then you will be taking further action.

Whether you do or not doesnt matter, he is legally wrong.

messofajess Mon 16-Apr-18 13:55:24

Thanks everyone! So he isn't allowed to do this "cross referencing meter reading" bullshit?

Deposit is with My Deposits...

I'm obviously going to pay the bills so I can send them to him but why should I have to if its not a legal requirement.

They didn't do an inventory check when we moved in so they can't really hold anything back surely? I reminded them they needed to do one as well!

Every single fucking landlord or letting agent I have dealt with has been a wanker.

ThymeLord Mon 16-Apr-18 13:55:37

They absolutely cannot do this to you. Tell them you are going to take action against them if they don't give you your money back.

FourFriedChickensDryWhiteToast Mon 16-Apr-18 13:55:50

you dont go to the agent you go to the deposit scheme..
There IS a deposit scheme right?

FourFriedChickensDryWhiteToast Mon 16-Apr-18 13:56:36

yes i see there is.

itallhappensforareason Mon 16-Apr-18 13:57:52

When we've rented the landlord/agent has always wanted the final meter readings but they don't need proof that you have settled any bills - that's none of their business.

specialsubject Mon 16-Apr-18 14:00:29

Raise a dispute.

When a tenant leaves, the landlord transfers the bills into their name. This action means that the landlord won't be liable before that date ( except council tax where the council takes the easy option). The utility companies will go after the tenant ( seen it done) so this excuse doesn't wash.

messofajess Mon 16-Apr-18 14:01:39

Ok thank you everyone. Can someone help me word something back to him? This is what I've drafted so far:

Dear Wanker,

"we always need to see closing accounts with the correct readings to cross reference." These are great words and everything but it means nothing to me as I don't legally have to do this so give me my money back please.

Fuck you,
Messofajess

specialsubject Mon 16-Apr-18 14:01:56

And with no inventory there is no comeback even if you had destroyed the place.

Read your how to rent guide for next time to help avoid crooks.

FourFriedChickensDryWhiteToast Mon 16-Apr-18 14:02:22

grin Jess we could be friends...

FourFriedChickensDryWhiteToast Mon 16-Apr-18 14:04:54

Dear Mr. Wanker,

I have contacted the Wanky Deposit Scheme and raised a dispute over your erroneous belief that you need to hold the deposit against my bills.

Hoping that we can resolve this issue quickly,

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Jess

welshmist Mon 16-Apr-18 14:05:30

Wow I am a landlord, your rates, energy bills are nothing to do with me whatsoever. We just agree a meter reading, check over the property and agree with the DPS the return of the deposit. It is not as if the agent personally holds the money, I cannot fathom why they are being so awkward.

jay55 Mon 16-Apr-18 14:08:17

Don’t reply just apply for the full deposit back.

araiwa Mon 16-Apr-18 14:09:13

Its to ensure npower or whoever dont come and install a prepay meter which the ll would then have to pay to change back.

I dont know if its right but thats why they do it

TroubledLichen Mon 16-Apr-18 14:09:18

They absolutely are not allowed to do this.

Contact them again, via email so you have written proof, saying that if they don’t release your deposit within a reasonable amount of time, say 48 hours then you’ll go to the tenancy deposit scheme.

messofajess Mon 16-Apr-18 14:09:41

fourfriedchickens

haha thank you that sounds like it needs a few more swear words though...

Before I raise a dispute though - with the meter readings - should he have been there when I took the photo of them and we all agreed together that they were what I would work off for the final bills? Surely its his fault again then.

I want to write back and say:

Wanker, this is the photo of the meter readings that I am working off. Hopefully you went on our day of departure and took a photo as well. This should be fitting for any cross reference you need. Our bills are none of your business?

messofajess Mon 16-Apr-18 14:12:00

@welshmist oh thank you! So do you think the problem is he wasn't there when we exited and he doesn't have his own meter readings?

Thats surely not my problem is it? I kept him very well informed of our exact leaving times etc

dandelion102017 Mon 16-Apr-18 14:12:13

I had this too! seriously annoying!!! They wanted my electricity and gas meter final bill to show I had paid it and my end of year council tax summery to show a £0 balance. Have never heard of this either!! To be honest I was the same as you- property in better condition so figured it was just another way of trying to keep money, didn't work. If its in one of the deposit schemes you can request to have the money returned and its up to the landlord to give a VALID reason as to why he/she is withholding it. None of the reasons you have been given are valid.

welshmist Mon 16-Apr-18 14:21:43

I had a tenant who had obtained, Sky, credit cards all under false names at the address. Did a flit without paying council, or energy bills. The post piled up. In the end I opened it contacted all the relevant people explaining they had done a flit, they were very understanding said it happened all the time. You sent photo evidence it was up to the landlord/agent to check it. Just go straight to the deposit scheme and ignore the rest of the blah blah you are getting.

welshmist Mon 16-Apr-18 14:22:37

It is my responsibility as the landlord to notify council and water when a tenant leaves so that there are no charges in an empty property.

messofajess Mon 16-Apr-18 14:39:55

@dandelion102017 did you send it to them then? Or just go straight for the dispute?

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