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After 3 years tenancy landlord suddenly claiming a payment didn't arrive -my bank says it did arrive

LANDLORD CLAIMING APRIL RENT DIDN’T EVER ARRIVE.  I’ve lived here three years and never missed or been late with a rental payment.


Hi everyone,


I’m hoping someone can advise.


I live in a privately rented flat and have lived here for coming up three years.  I pay my rent my Standing Order every month.  I have never been late with or missed a rent payment or caused any other problems in my entire time here.


Out of the blue in April I had a very rude email from the accountant at the estate agency (the block of flats is owned by a large corporation and managed by a very large estate agency chain) demanding that I pay my rent due 1st April.  I immediately contacted her to explain I’d paid my rent on due date as per usual and I attached a copy of my bank statement showing the payment.


After a bit of back and forth she said she’d spoken to a different department and that they couldn’t find the payment.  I spoke to my bank who were able to confirm that my payment reached the recipient, just as it has every other month.  None of their bank details have changed. 


My bank then put a “trace” on the payment and confirmed the day and time it arrived into the estate agents’ bank account.  They have provided a letter confirming this.


Since then I have of course also paid May and June rent and the estate agency confirms that those payments arrived successfully. 


They are harassing me regarding this alleged missing rent and I am not at all sure what to do.  My bank said they’ve already provided adequate proof that the payment arrived given that I have both their Payment Confirmation Letter and my bank statement and also given that nearly three years’ of previous rent payments between the same accounts arrived without any issue.


What should I do?


Everything I’ve said in this post I’ve already politely explained to the accountant at the estate agency and she’s stopped even sending replies to what I’ve actually send and instead just a few minutes ago sent me another demand that I pay this rental amount again and is still insisting they didn’t get it.  I’m also getting frequent texts from them demanding this money as well as emails from other members of staff at the same agency.

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Comments

  • TheJP
    TheJP Forumite Posts: 1,572
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    I would resend all evidence with a final letter outlining you have provided sufficient proof the payment reached the landlords account, that the landlord will have to evidence that the payment has not reached their account/or if the account you pay into is the LA then they need to provide evidence it wasn't paid. Make sure that you ask them to stop harassing you on the matter. Send the letter by email and signed delivery so you have 2 trails. 
  • Artemis23
    Artemis23 Forumite Posts: 18
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    TheJP said:
    I would resend all evidence with a final letter outlining you have provided sufficient proof the payment reached the landlords account, that the landlord will have to evidence that the payment has not reached their account/or if the account you pay into is the LA then they need to provide evidence it wasn't paid. Make sure that you ask them to stop harassing you on the matter. Send the letter by email and signed delivery so you have 2 trails. 
    Thank you.  I will do this.  I will keep it polite but be firm.  They've seen my bank statements, even intrusively asking for more recent bank statements to prove the payment hasn't ended up returned to me.  But what evidence have I seen that my payment didn't arrive and they're just overlooking it or something?
  • propertyrental
    propertyrental Forumite Posts: 1,663
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    Have you double checked your statement to ensure the payment was not returned to your account for some reason?

    April1st was a saturday (weekend) so was it sent on Monday 3rd? Maybe the recipient got it on 3rd, and is looking at 1st?

    But that aside, do as advised above, and stress the demand that they stop harassing you. Maybe even suggest to them that instead of harassing you they start court proceedings so that a judge can confirm to them based on your evidence, that you paid!
  • Artemis23
    Artemis23 Forumite Posts: 18
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    Have you double checked your statement to ensure the payment was not returned to your account for some reason?

    April1st was a saturday (weekend) so was it sent on Monday 3rd? Maybe the recipient got it on 3rd, and is looking at 1st?

    But that aside, do as advised above, and stress the demand that they stop harassing you. Maybe even suggest to them that instead of harassing you they start court proceedings so that a judge can confirm to them based on your evidence, that you paid!
    Would sending them an email like that result in them not wanting to renew my lease when it expires?  I do have to live somewhere.
  • propertyrental
    propertyrental Forumite Posts: 1,663
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    Good question.

    Of course you don't need to 'renew' your lease - provided you remain it will simply become periodi (rolling month by month) automatically.

    But yes, they could serve a S21. Whether they would is doubtful, but a calulated risk.
  • Marvel1
    Marvel1 Forumite Posts: 6,956
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    Keep copies yourself of the proof.
  • theartfullodger
    theartfullodger Forumite Posts: 14,035
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    The landlord is at liberty to take you to court for (what he perceives is) the debt.  Wait until that happens.

    Would you need/want a reference from landlord??  (life ain;t fair..)

    But yes, keep copies of your proof you paid.  

    Probably another stupid landlord (sadly there are some, just as there are e.g. some stupid agents).  To be a landlord or lettings agent in England requires no qualifications, no training, no criminal records check.  Come on England, catch up!

    Artful: Landlord since 2000: Probably stupid myself.
  • penners324
    penners324 Forumite Posts: 2,237
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    I wonder if they've missed allocated the payment in their systems....
  • housebuyer143
    housebuyer143 Forumite Posts: 2,601
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    edited 9 June at 4:08PM
    When I worked at a letting agent (owned by the connells group) all the chase letters and texts were automatically generated and sent to every person in arrears, even if they had a valid reason. Could this be what is happening?

    I would however email and write to them a formal complaint and ensure that the account is reflected to show payment received and also to show you your rental statement to show you are not in arrears. 
  • Artemis23
    Artemis23 Forumite Posts: 18
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    The landlord is at liberty to take you to court for (what he perceives is) the debt.  Wait until that happens.

    Would you need/want a reference from landlord??  (life ain;t fair..)

    But yes, keep copies of your proof you paid.  

    Probably another stupid landlord (sadly there are some, just as there are e.g. some stupid agents).  To be a landlord or lettings agent in England requires no qualifications, no training, no criminal records check.  Come on England, catch up!

    Artful: Landlord since 2000: Probably stupid myself.
    Yes I would potentially want a reference if I was renting somewhere else in future.  But I'm not going to pay the same £1400 or so twice just to bribe a reference out of them.  I've paid it and provided proof of doing so.

    It's a huge estate agents/letting agents chain and I think that doesn't help matters because the staff seem absolutely all over the place and not on top of things.  
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