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Gas and electric prepayment credit owed.

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1055 views 2 replies latest reply: 22 November 2013
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Tenant

I moved to my new flat on August 23rd, (smaller, cheaper, same landlord and lettings agent, I have a dog and on HB so very limited choices). The landlord insisted I move within 2 days of being shown the new flat, and my tenancy agreement officially starts 10 days after I actually moved. I moved because I could not afford the rent top up on the old flat, but in the rush followed some wrong advice by the lettings agent.
I was told to leave the gas and electric prepayment keys for the new tenant, and they would get the money from her for me.
The lettings agents have not given me the money or my old prepayment keys so that I can claim back my money ( gas £66, electric £26) and keep finding excuses. The latest is that the new tenant had an infestation of fleas despite not having a pet ( which I did but never had an infestation of fleas!) so has not turned on the heating, although I assume she has used the water.
1 ) Can I force the prepayment keys to be returned to me?
2) Can they charge me retrospectively for fleas, although I deny there were any?
3) Can the tenant be forced to pay the money to me if I do not get the keys back?
4)Would an official letter sent to the landlord and lettings agent help?
5) Could I withold this money from the rent? ( My research suggests that this could get me evicted, especially as I am on HB, but I wonder if the threat would help?)
I would appreciate any help, as I need this money for heating my new flat.
Regards,
Alison

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Tenant

Hi Alison

1) Prepayment keys – the problem you have with this is that the money is not on the keys it is on the meters so you would have to contact the energy providers to reset the meters and claim the refund from them. The letting agent should do this since clearly the meters are not in your name.
2) Do you have proof that your pet didn’t have fleas? You could speak to your vet to see if he can help. Unless you can prove that your pet didn’t have fleas it will be hard to challenge the letting agents for the money they are requesting.
3) No the tenants can’t be forced to pay the money back but the letting agents should have had the meters reset before they moved in. Ask them if they did and tell them that you want a refund from the energy providers or that you want the requisite amount of money put on your existing meter.
4) A letter requesting that the landlord or letting agents refund the money will help and mention that you know they should have reset the meters.
5) You can’t withhold rent because as you have rightly identified this could lead to you being evicted.

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Tenant

Hi Alison, yes you can request proof of fleas and the bill for the alleged treatment.

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