Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Ollyt
    • By Ollyt 13th Mar 17, 7:57 AM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Ollyt
    Private tenant, landlord trying to charge me unexpected bills.
    • #1
    • 13th Mar 17, 7:57 AM
    Private tenant, landlord trying to charge me unexpected bills. 13th Mar 17 at 7:57 AM
    So I'm renting privately on a flat in London. When i looked around the property last august I noticed there was a community heating scheme in the building i was looking at (quite common in London mansion blocks) so asked the letting agent if the heating and water are included in the rental cost, which they verbally confirmed with me. Now 6 months into my tenancy my landlady has emailed me demanding £300 in water bills which were sent to her private address not our rented flat. As we have no written record of the agreement that they were included. Does she have a legal right to demand the payment. The bill even has her name on it. But i don't want to create an upset and have her take it out of my deposit which was £3000!!
Page 1
    • SerialRenter
    • By SerialRenter 13th Mar 17, 8:00 AM
    • 572 Posts
    • 573 Thanks
    SerialRenter
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 17, 8:00 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 17, 8:00 AM
    What does the tenancy agreement say? I wouldn't trust whatever the letting agent have said if they haven't put it in writing.

    If it states that the landlord is responsible, then it won't come out of your deposit (assuming it's all properly protected). Then i'd try and find a non confrontational method of showing that clause to the landlord.

    If it states that you are responsible for all bills you'll need to contact suppliers and get the accounts put in your name, and pay the landlord.
    Last edited by SerialRenter; 13-03-2017 at 8:03 AM.
    *Assuming you're in England or Wales.
    • MyOnlyPost
    • By MyOnlyPost 13th Mar 17, 8:23 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 1,020 Thanks
    MyOnlyPost
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 17, 8:23 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 17, 8:23 AM
    Never believe the agents, they often say what they need to to get paid. When I bought my flat I was told that insurance was included within service charge by agent, but solicitor told me it wasn't.

    As said refer to your tenancy agreement, that is all you can rely on in a dispute.
    It may sometimes seem like I can't spell, I can, I just can't type
    • always_sunny
    • By always_sunny 13th Mar 17, 9:05 AM
    • 2,966 Posts
    • 3,142 Thanks
    always_sunny
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 17, 9:05 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 17, 9:05 AM
    What does the tenancy agreement say about it?
    Did you or did you not enjoy heating during the period you are renting?

    She won't be able to take your deposit unless of course, you cause enough damages to be charged!
    (Verba volant, scripta manent)
    Expat with an EU passport
    • martindow
    • By martindow 13th Mar 17, 10:14 AM
    • 7,038 Posts
    • 3,883 Thanks
    martindow
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 17, 10:14 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 17, 10:14 AM
    £300 for water is a huge bill. Even if you are liable for water you can't possibly have used that much unless you've been there for years. That sounds like a bill for the block - do you have an individual meter?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Mar 17, 10:35 AM
    • 39,699 Posts
    • 45,216 Thanks
    G_M
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 17, 10:35 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 17, 10:35 AM
    What did you agree when you signed the tenancy agreement? What does it say about utilities, heating etc?

    If you did not sign a written tenancy agreement, then your contract is verbal and depends on what was said. This of course is a problem as the LL/agent may deny ever saying heating was included in the rent, in which case it will depend who a court or arbitrator believes is telling the truth.
    • Ollyt
    • By Ollyt 13th Mar 17, 4:53 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Ollyt
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:53 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:53 PM
    Thanks for the replies all. The agreement says that we are liable for bills. But when we moved in we were only given the account number for the electricity, phone line, and council tax. Like i said the agreement with the water and heating was verbal, the heating is actually part of the building maintenance and lease which she pays as it's communal in the block, and she hasn't asked for a penny towards heating. There was never any mention of the water bill. It looks like my landlady has been secretly paying it (as the bill has her name on it and was sent to her private address) and has now slammed us for 6 months of usage. Also more interestingly the bill she sent to me is a fixed annual bill for April 2017-March 2018 which she has calculated pro rata for the remaining 6 months of my tenancy (the bill is actually £600!!!). It all seems a bit shady. If i had known 6 months ago i would have a) negotiated harder on the rent and b) set up a monthly direct debit to soften the blow a little.
    • Ollyt
    • By Ollyt 13th Mar 17, 4:55 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Ollyt
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:55 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:55 PM
    Lived there for 6 months. But it's not metered. So looks like Thames water have charged a fixed rate (£600 for 12 months) pro rata
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Mar 17, 5:02 PM
    • 39,699 Posts
    • 45,216 Thanks
    G_M
    • #9
    • 13th Mar 17, 5:02 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Mar 17, 5:02 PM
    Thanks for the replies all.

    The agreement says that we are liable for bills.

    Please quote the exact wording.

    But when we moved in we were only given the account number for the electricity, phone line, and council tax.
    Irrelevant. If you are responsible for bills it is up to you to sort this out. Giving you some or all of the account numbers is simply a curtesy (though a strange one, since you'll have to set up your own accounts anyway.)

    Like i said the agreement with the water and heating was verbal,
    then as I said above, you have a problem of evidence as to who said what.

    But you still need to qute the exact wording above.

    the heating is actually part of the building maintenance and lease which she pays as it's communal in the block,
    Irrelevant.
    and she hasn't asked for a penny towards heating.
    Irrelevant.
    There was never any mention of the water bill.
    Exact wording in the contract lease.
    It looks like my landlady has been secretly paying it (as the bill has her name on it and was sent to her private address) and has now slammedpassed us a bill for 6 months of usage. Also more interestingly the bill she sent to me is a fixed annual bill for April 2017-March 2018 which she has calculated pro rata for the remaining 6 months of my tenancy (the bill is actually £600!!!).
    Well depending on the wording of your contract, if you are due to pay this, I suggest you pay it monthly.
    It all seems a bit shady. If i had known 6 months ago i would have a) negotiated harder on the rent and b) set up a monthly direct debit to soften the blow a little.
    Originally posted by Ollyt
    What does the contract say?

    What were the exact words used in any relevant verbal discussion of the terms of the tenancy?
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,223Posts Today

7,406Users online

Martin's Twitter