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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Dear Solicitor This question regards ***** ***** fees for

Resolved Question:

Dear Solicitor
This question regards ***** ***** fees for over due rent. Basically on January 28th, 2015, I received a late rent fine for £29.50. My rent of £372 was due a day before that on the 27th. I paid the £372 on the 28th of January, the same day I got the message about the fine through. I thought that I had seen on my bank statements that they has somehow taken the money out of my account for the fine, I consulted another tenant living with me in the accommodation and they said that they had done the same to them, but they has phoned up and got the money back. Anyway I did not phone them up because I was not that bothered and thought I had paid it and that was it, I'll forget about it. But now as I have called them today about leaving the property, they have told me I have incurred a massive fine which If I have calculated right will cost me over £800 because apparently I never paid the late payment fee on top of the rent. On the late payment slip which they emailed me it says a charge of £5 a day will be incurred until payment of late fee is received. All this time I did not even realize this was adding up. In the 5 months I never received any message, phone call or email about the amounting fees. Is this even legal what they are doing, It is probably somewhere in the tenancy agreement but still, can they enforce such immoral laws.
Kind Regards *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

What they are trying to do is impose an unreasonable penalty charge on you and they are not allowed to do this in law.

You should dispute the charges and tell them to take you to court if they wish to, my opinion is that it is unlikely they will take you to court and even if they do so, theywill lose if you point out to the court that penalty charges are unenforceable, see here for further information:

http://www.olswang.com/articles/2013/02/ocq-winter-1213-penalty-clauses

All the best
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok thank you, ***** ***** am in a bit of rut with them, they have a £500 deposit of mine and they are saying they will take the charges off of that. How am I supposed to get my deposit back, it is a lot of money and I should be getting the whole amount back providing the property is not damaged which it is not, at least me and the other tenants have agreed that they would pay for the damages they have caused. Also isn't there a minimum amount they can charge everyday after the rent was due such as 3-6% over the interest rate of the Bank of England or something like that, and is it not against some sort of housing act for them to enforce this. I would be really grateful if you could just give me some pointers so when I talk to them they understand that I know what is going on and how the law works so hopefully they will not take me to court and waste everyone's time.

Kind Regards

Alex Dawson

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 1 year ago.
If they withhold your deposit, you may file a court claim against them online at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
They may then counterclaim for their penalty charge but you may defend it on the basis of it being unreasonable.
Outside of court action, you may continue negotiating with them amicably if possible but I am afraid sometimes court is inevitable.
All the best
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Again thank you for your assistants. When you say court, does that entail a court as in the place you go in front of a judge and jury and where you have to present your case in person against the defendant or plaintiff. That might be a really stupid question, sorry for my lack of knowledge. Also would all of the penalty charges be scrapped or become void of any meaning after the tenancy contract for the property ends anyway? The contract ends in a few weeks.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 1 year ago.
There is no jury in this case but yes, there is a judge.
In most cases like this, the court can have a paper hearing so that parties do not have to physically attend court in person.
Any charges which arose when the contract was valid may still be payable even after the contract has ended, however, there is a 6 year limitation period for enforcing contractual charges.
All the best
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok Brilliant and one last question, if it does go to court would I need to hire a solicitor, lawyer or attorney in person, and if so which one would I hire and would it be expensive because I'm only a student with a part time job at a pub, would I have to get my family involved?

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 1 year ago.
It is not mandatory to appoint a solicitor but you may do so if you need assistance.
You do not need to involve your family unless you wish to do so.
If you decide to appoint a solicitor, I suggest you contact the law society to find a suitable solicitor or you may ask around on the high street.
All the best
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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