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Late Payments and Re-Letting Fee Witheld from a Deposit

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Author Topic: Late Payments and Re-Letting Fee Witheld from a Deposit  (Read 145 times)
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Posts: 1

I like property

« on: October 02, 2019, 12:12:26 PM »

Hi All,

This is currently an active case in Northern Ireland that will be going to an adjudicator later this month. I have spent this morning preparing my evidence to submit, but wanted to get a second opinion from those online. Below is a breakdown of the situation and some key points.

  • Property was rented for just over 12 months
    One payment was missed in September 2018 due to administrative error
    Payments continued to be made early each proceeding month
    I was alerted to the missed payment in February 2019
    Rent arrears were paid immediately, also with one month in advance for each proceeding month to restore faith.
    Landlord claimed that the scenario would be put to bed once the arrears and advance payment were made.
    Landlord claims that each month after the missed payment in September were 'Late' now that the deposit is due to be returned.
    Landlord also wished to claim for a 'Re-listing fee' despite the agent confirming that the Landlord would be paying this in writing.

Thats the overall just of things, i have attached a copy of the "Late Payment" term in the contract. Also, below is some of the evidence I've supplied unfortunately without the screenshots, be great to see what you all think.



Reference : XXXXXXXXX

Details of Dispute
Total Deposit   £675
Amount Disputed   £570
Breakdown   
Other (Late Payments / Re-Listing Fee)   £570
   

Reason for Dispute

Late Payment Fees & Re – Listing Fee:

Breakdown of Rent Payments Made – (Date calculations given in working days only as standing orders do not process during weekends and bank holidays)

Rental Month   Date Payment Made
June 2018   4th June 2018 (On Time)
July 2018   5th July 2018 (3 Days Late)
August 2018   7th August 2018 (3 Days Late)
September 2018   11th February 2019 (4 Months Late, Missed Payment)
October 2018   26th September 2018 (4 Days Early)
November 2018   25th October 2018 (6 Days Early)
December 2018    26th November 2018 (5 Days Early)
January 2019   21st December 2018 (5 Days Early)
February 2019   8th February 2018 (5 Days Late)
March 2019   11th February 2019 (15 Days Early)
April 2019    11th February 2019 (35 Early)
May 2019   3rd May 2019 (On Time)
June 2019   30th May 2019 (3 Days Early)

I acknowledge that on some occasions rent payments may have been sent slightly later that was set out in the tenancy agreement, however this was only ever by a few days. I was never aware that this was happening, and it was not made aware to me by the agent or landlord. The one missed payment was due to a change of bank and I was totally unaware until informed by the agency. This was paid immediately on me being told.

I dispute that the terms of the tenancy agreement for late payment of rent is clear, or was ever made clear to me at the time, or throughout duration of the tenancy. I have attached the below clause in the tenancy agreement. It does not make clear that there is a charge for any late payment of rent. No rent was unpaid and no Standing Order or Direct Debit was ever cancelled.
 
I feel that any late payment penalties are therefore unfair and if any payment issues had been experienced by the landlord in regards to receiving funds, these should have been raised at the time. When this issue was eventually raised, it was resolved immediately in good faith.

When I was first alerted to a missed payment (January 2019) from the landlord and agent with threats of eviction, I immediately resolved this via a mutual agreement with the landlord. Ensuring that all funds owed were sent immediately, and also paying any future rent one month in advance. You can see these payments in the below evidence (Feb 2019). All of these payments were made to the Landlord in good faith that this matter was said to be resolved. To my understanding, this was the case until the dispute for the deposit was raised.

 As evidenced below the landlord offered to overlook the ‘whole episode’ of missed payment if I was to ensure that all payments for arrears and the rent going forward was paid one month in advance.  Future payments were made to him on this basis, and if I’d have known that these issues were to be raised at a later date, I would have paid any arrears and terminated the tenancy agreement there and then.

 I was never made aware of any late payment fees that were due throughout the duration of my tenancy, and these have only now only  been raised by the landlord because I have refused to allow the Landlord to withhold a portion of my deposit for a ‘re-letting fee’. The reason for my refusal is that at the time of settling my rent arrears with the landlord, the Estate Agent confirmed that the Landlord would be paying the ‘re-letting fee’ as evidenced below.

 






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