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Guest magnoliawalls

Deposit & Final Bills

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Guest magnoliawalls

Our previous letting agency is withholding our deposit until we can provide proof that we do not owe any money for gas, electricity, telephone and council tax. The problem here is that the council are taking a long time to issue reciepts and until they do we cannot have our deposit processed.

Is this legal?

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The deposit is for damage to the property. It is up to the council/gas etc. to sue you if you owe them money, not the letting agent.

Send them a letter threatening to take them to the small claims court, and next time round withold the last month's rent.

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Every student place I lived in did that (when I was a student), but they could only hold it for so long. Some people never bothered showing the bills but still got their money back after 2-3 months. I just prefered to show mine and get the deposit back quicker.

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I have been told by my local council that if a tenant defaults on Council Tax they will come to the landlord for repayment putting the onus of collection onto the Landlord.

Tax collection is often collected by putting the responsibility onto a third part to collect.

I would therefore think this is correct, remember to get a rebate from the Council as you would be paying in advance.

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Guest magnoliawalls

Thanks for the advice!

Unfortunately it seems that Alba Residential they are within their rights to do this and can even keep the deposit for as long as they like - until they are satisfied that all bills have been paid.

This seems outrageous to me, it means that a landlord or letting agency can have a policy of just hanging on to deposits for as long as possible. I would certainly consider withholding the last months rent in future.

Laurejon - I don't understand why paying the council in advance would help. The agency are insisting on proof that there is no money owed. Surely only a final bill paid in full or a letter from the council would constitute proof?

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Check your contract, if they want to hold onto your desposit until proof of final bill payments then I have a suspision that they ought to specify this in the contract and also state what consitutes proof of payment -- though best to check with someone who knows rather than just suspects...

As for council tax if you are up to date with your monthly payments then you will have overpaid your council tax and will be due for a refund when you move out -- this refund should statisfy anyone that you have paid your fair share of the council tax.

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Guest magnoliawalls

Thanks again for the advice.

We spoke to the council's tenancy relations officer who adviced that the agency are within their rights to hold on to our deposit until they are satisfied that all bills have been paid. There was nothing about this in the lease - but it was in a letter that they sent us before moving out.

We have finally had a reply from the council so fingers crossed we do get the deposit back soon.

We are now renting through a private landlord and have already had a couple of maintenance issues, which to our surprise were dealt with immediately. I would be very reluctant to rent through an agency again - it seems that in the UK they add a layer of bureaucracy and expense with no added value for the tenant.

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I've always rented privately in 3 different places and all the landlords have been very good. I would always tend to avoid agents for the very reasons you describe.

Funny thing I've noticed about landlords is how tight they are. I was in one place and the hoover kept breaking. You can get them pretty cheap but the landlord was perfectly happy to spend hours mucking around repairing it. He did it with a fridge too. Eventually I broke the hoover so it was irrepairable and the fridge just gave up.

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We spoke to the council's tenancy relations officer who adviced that the agency are within their rights to hold on to our deposit until they are satisfied that all bills have been paid.  There was nothing about this in the lease - but it was in a letter that they sent us before moving out. 

That sounds very fishy, yes they have the right to put the term in the contract but to assume that it's an implied term?

Well it's a lesson learned, always withold the last month's rent.

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  • 338 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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