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Verbal tenancy bill dispute

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444 views 1 replies latest reply: 26 July 2016

Have just moved out of a property owned by a now former friend, this was a one bedroom tennament flat I shared with my fiance. 

There was no written agreement, no deposit, on a furnished basis, there was trust and never imagined there would be a problem, realising now how naive that was.

The agreement was set at £700 per month inclusive of bills, a figure set by the landlord that we agreed to, all bills would stay in her name and not ours. This increased by 10% in May due to rising council tax and higher gas and electric rates, this we agreed to and have text messages to prove it.

Last month she decided to put the property on the market and have now found a new home. We paid the agreed rent in full for the entire duration with no sign of issues, now she is hitting us with a £290 gas and electric bill, a ‘final bill’. 

We have never seen an actual bill and have not been involved with paying them the entire tenancy, as agreed the rent was inclusive to cover these bills.

Does anyone know how we would deal with this?

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Hi Mathew,

As there is no written agreement, verbal agreements are binding and this can be supported by your transactional history.

Based on what you state, as you have only ever paid an ‘inclusive’ monthly figure this proves that you are not liable for additional utility costs and that, really, is that.

That said, however, if you were sole occupants and they can support this with bills then maybe you should, at the least, offer a contribution to the bill- even a small amount as a goodwill gesture? Up to you.

Otherwise, you simply advise her that she mst take the matter to court if she wishes to pursue it further. The fact that she has all bills in her name makes it highly likely the property is on a residential mortgage (not a buy to let one) so she is possibly in breach of her mortgage terms so court action is highly unlikely.

Hope that helps.

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