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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70706
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have a dispute with our landlord and the estate agency that

Customer Question

We have a dispute with our landlord and the estate agency that acts for our landlord. A clause in our tenancy agreement states: "It is hereby understood that the costs for heating, hot water and water are included in the rental amount"

We have been issued with a water bill by Thames Water, but dispute that we have to pay it due to the clause in our tenancy agreement that states water is included. The landlord says he is not responsible, and the estate agency say they made a "clerical error". However, we and the landlord have signed the agreement in the belief that water was included in the rent. We are getting no satisfaction with either of the other parties and wonder how to proceed
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.

Are you asking if you have to pay?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

HI, thanks for your reply.


 


We believe we don't have to pay and that either the landlord, or the agent, should pay the water bill. Doesn't the clause I have quoted mean that we should be free of a water bill, and that as the "...water is included in the rental amount" that we should not have to pay extra for what we have believed all along to have been covered by our rent?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, I agree you don't have to pay.

The agreement is quite clear. If they have misdrafted it then that is down to them and they will have to bear the cost.

The landlord might well not have agreed to that and he may have a claim against his agents in negligence but thats not your problem.

Your agreement is perfectly clear and they are liable.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,


thank you for your reply. This confirms what we have always thought is the case. The only thing I would wish to clarify is what means should be use not to push them (agent and/or landlord) to make good in this clause? Do we have to sue?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, if he won't agree then ultimately you will.

You can issue here

www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

You might find a letter warning them of your intention to do so if they do not pay will achieve payment though.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do you recommend a formal written letter over email?


 


Is it problematic that a bill has been issued in my name? Thames Water has issued a Final Demand for this. Can I just keep ignoring it? I have been in contact with Thames Water, but as far as they are concerned they can't themselves up in tenant vs landlord disputes.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I was happy with the answers, but the answers stopped coming. I wasn't clear when it should end. Otherwise, very happy with the answers so far given. I just had one final query related to the answer thread which wasn't answered.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
The reason you are experiencing delay is that you relisted this which caused it to drop off my list.

Formal letters do tend to be better but they have no greater legal status then emails.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have edited this as I had a question about Thames Water in an earlier post which wasn't answered:

 

Is it problematic that a bill has been issued in my name? Thames Water has issued a Final Demand for this. Can I just keep ignoring it? I have been in contact with Thames Water, but as far as they are concerned they can't themselves up in tenant vs landlord disputes.

 

 

 

Hi Jo,

thanks for all your answers. Not quite sure how I re-listed, but it's all clear now. I had wondered about letters vs emails as several people have told me they think letters have greater legal import. Your answer clears that up for me.

 

Thank you for your help.

Best wishes

 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, you need to deal with the bill. Otherwise they will enforce against you.

But you can sue for the cost.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your help.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

No problem and all the best.

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