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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70709
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I failed to cancel my standing order with my letting agent

Resolved Question:

I failed to cancel my standing order with my letting agent after my contract ended and so overpaid by two months. Having contacted the company and showing them bank statements proving I overpaid, they said they'd refund the money. Only a fraction of the money was refunded however, and upon chasing them they said that what they paid me was the excess in their account, and they would not leave their account with a deficit. After several arguments over the phone and in person, and even after receiving a written i.o.u and once again showing proof that I overpaid, they're refusing to repay me the rest of the money. What should I do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Could you explain your siyuation a bit more please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What else specifically? I was a student in a student flat, though the landlord used a letting agent. At the time they where knights of bath, but are now chappell and mathews. I lived in the house with 6 other students, paying rent of 346 a month. The contract started in summer 2012, the months i overpaid where august and september 2013. I was refunded 406 pounds, leaving 286. Upon asking why i Hadn't been paid the full amount they said that I was paid the excess in the account, therefore another tennant must have underpaid by the missing 286 pounds, and so I wouldn't get my money back. despite having showed them a bank statement with each of my 14 instead of 12 payments, proving it wasn't me who had underpaid.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

I would not waste any longer as there is no point in exchanging more correspondence.

If it leaves their account in deficit, that is their problem not yours.

Issue joint small claims proceedings against the landlord and the agent for the refund of the money.

Here is the link to the Small Claims Court where you can do it quite easily and quickly

www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

I would hand deliver a letter and tell them that unless they give you a cheque by close of business tomorrow, you will issue Small Claims Court proceedings without further notice.

Before including the landlord in that, you do need to give the landlord the opportunity to reply because at this stage, he may not have that money although it may have been passed to him by the agent. The court will decide.
Of course, the landlord will not want to be embroiled in litigation and hopefully, he will put pressure to bear on the agent.

I would just issue. You will succeed.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't live particularly near to the agent, as I was at uni but have now graduated and moved home, so hand delivering a letter before proceeding isn't going to happen anytime soon. However the last time we spoke to them we did say that we'd pursue through small claims court if nothing happened (which it didn't) so could I just pursue immediately? That was a month ago.


 


The other problem is I've no way to contact the landlord, we where never given any info for him and always had to go through the agency for anything, could i proceed just against the agency?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Can you send it recorded delivery? It will slow things down a bit.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I can yeah, timescale not such a big deal as this has already been going on for months. So I do have to notify them in writing before I can proceed?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
You should send him a letter before action really before you do sue.

You can always use recorded delivery.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your help, one last thing. Should I just claim for the money itself, i.e 286 pounds, or can i also add cost of phone bills in trying to get it sorted, fuel bills for driving to try and sort in person, legal bills (either/or the cost of this advice and the claim on the gov website) and anything else?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
This is a small claims court sum. The practical reality is that you will only get the costs of actually issuing.

In legal theory you could reclaim the cost of phone calls and possibly petrol expenses but the chances are not high.
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