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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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Hi, My daughter rented a house from a private landlord

Resolved Question:

Hi,
My daughter rented a house from a private landlord and I was the guarantor for the rent. She is DSS and in receipt of housing benefit. Unbeknown to me she did not pay Nov 13- Dec 13 and Jan 14 rent.
I received an email from the landlord informing me of this on about Jan 12th a Friday and within 12 hours I transferred the full amount to his account. My daughter had got into financial difficulties and had not paid.
She moved out of the property in Feb14 and the landlord is refusing to pay back the bond stating that she owes him a further £648 on top of the £425 bond for alleged damage/cleaning and costs for late payments...Can he do this and what recourse do we have. There was no inventory signed prior to moving in
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name isXXXXX can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

Has the landlord set out where the costs of £648 + £425 come from, for the repairs, as opposed to just stating "repairs etc."?

tdlawyer :

IN other words, can he justify the figures?

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then the landlord is entitled to recover back rent and costs attributable to the damage caused by the tenant.

Customer:

But we dispute all alleged damage/cleaning...

tdlawyer :

I note from the schedule you sent that not all of the cost relates to redecoration. It's about £200.

tdlawyer :

So if you dispute that, you have a couple of options.

tdlawyer :

You can pay it all now, and then claim back the £200 in the small claims court.

tdlawyer :

Or you can pay it without the £200 due, and allow him to sue her for that sum, the burden being on him to prove that the damage had been caused by your daughter.

Customer:

How can he prove anything without an inventory prior to her moving in? she left the house in a better state than when she moved in

tdlawyer :

Well, the lack of inventory is useful to your daughter because as I mentioned, the obligation is on him to prove she caused the damage.

tdlawyer :

However, an inventory is only one way to prove damage (although, in fairness, it's the most normal way of proving it). If he had a video tape of the state of the premises which he had the date and time on, for example, and showed that to the court as the state prior to her moving in, and the court accepted that, then this could be as good as an inventory.

Customer:

On the rent. .ALL the rent has been paid. I paid it within 12 hours of him notifying me that she had not paid.

tdlawyer :

Okay, then obviously he can't charge again for that!

Customer:

He is now trying to charge her for late payments

Customer:

Which is about £650

tdlawyer :

He can't do that - only "reasonable" fees could be charged, e.g. £20 for a later letter. Interest at 8% max could be chargeable, but I doubt that even gets to the £650 figure.

Customer:

He never sent any letter. All correspondence via e-mail which I have kept. He informed me in January that 3 months rent was not paid and 12 hours later I paid him in full. No phone calls....no lettsr

tdlawyer :

Then she might / you might, want to contest the £650 charges too then. He might be "trying it on" because you promptly paid up the overdue amounts on her behalf, he might think you will do the same again.

Customer:

He has no chance of that. Like I said I have been e-mailing him since 1st March when she moved out for the bond back.He has now come up with this rubbish. How do I contest this? I thought deposit of bonds were in a government fund so they could arbitrate between parties..Do I have to take a civil action out?

tdlawyer :

Yes, it would be down to a civil action now, and this would have to be in your daughter's name, not yours.

tdlawyer :

She can do it online too, which is easy and cheap to do, at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

tdlawyer :

As it's less than £10k, it's a small claim, so she shouldn't feel intimidated or worried about the court proceedings. It's all very informal indeed.

Customer:

I am the signed guarantor named on the tenancy.....so thereby am I not eligible to take out proceedings in my name but on her behalf?

tdlawyer :

What would you be suing for? If the deposit, then this belongs to your daughter, although you have a claim against her by way of indemnification for having paid the rent to the landlord already.

Customer:

If he were to go for a counter claim (which I doubt) would I not be the person he would try and claim off, as being the guarantor?

tdlawyer :

But the only claim agains the landlord at the moment is by her.

tdlawyer :

He wouldn't counterclaim against you - he would have to start a main claim against you - as being the main or second defendant.

Customer:

Yes....because she is named tenant and bond is hers

tdlawyer :

Yes, so it's her claim.

Customer:

even though we paid bond for her so its our money

tdlawyer :

Again, you would have a claim against her, having loaned the money to her to pay the landlord.

tdlawyer :

Do you want me to clarify anything about this for you?

Customer:

Haha..... don't think her Mum would like that....to be honest I am not bothered about the money.Its the principle. As soon as I knew she had not paid the rent I immediately paid him...He is being totally unreasonable in not returning the bond or even part thereof

Customer:

Ok thanks for your answers...So to re-cap......Without an inventory he cannot prove any alleged damage? The costs for the late payment are legally not justified to be that high??

tdlawyer :

:) Yea, suing the kids isn't usually the done thing ...!

tdlawyer :

He can prove the damage, but might find it hard to do without an inventory.

tdlawyer :

Costs seem excessively high to be justifiable to me.

Customer:

ok....with a civil action...would we be liable for any costs?

tdlawyer :

No, only court fees (probably no more than £250 or so), as this would be small claims for less than £10,000.

Customer:

ok thanks for your help....I am a little clearer now........

tdlawyer :

Fab. I there is anything more you need from me, let me know. Are you happy with tonight's service?

Customer:

yep no probs thanks

tdlawyer :

Thank you! Have a good evening!

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