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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70510
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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have been invoiced for several years utilities by landlord,

Resolved Question:

have been invoiced for several years utilities by landlord, months after moving out of a commercial building and have had deposit refunded, do we have to pay?
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.

What was the agreement over who should pay?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

lease covered that we the tenant would reimburse costs relating to the premises - we did this for all costs charged to use during the lease.


 


this was a lease on a commercial property.


 


I am asking because we are very small company and owner is UK top 100 - amount is massive to us, tiny to them.


 


clearly you would normally expect charges to be made during the lease term.


 


the lease agreement is now over, and I wondered if in law, therefore anything we agreed to no longer applies.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
So the utilities were excluded under the contract?

Does it use the words 'costs relating to the premises?'
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The lease agreement is in my office, I don't have it to hand now. I do know that the wording is such that had they made the charges in question during the lease term, we would have paid them.


There must come a point when your ex landlord must stop firing invoices at you. My understanding is that the law of 6 years to recover a debt applies from the date of invoicing. But there must be surely a smaller window from providing services to invoicing them (I am aware of the VAT law here, again I think it is a separate issue).

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Its not that simple I'm afraid.

The Limitation Act 1980 does give him 6 years to sue from the date of last acknowledgement. However, the difficulty here is that this was an ongoing contract so the landlord has from the date upon which you last paid rent to sue. He is more than in time.

This will come down to whether or not utilities are included or not in the lease. 'All costs arising' could apply to utilities or not. It woud depend on the interpretation of the court. It must be said that if it was meant to apply to utilities then it is surprising the landlord didn't notice earlier that you weren't paying but it is will ultimately be for a court to determine if the landlord does in fact sue.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX it there for today.


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

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