Discussing UK law. Links: swarb.co.uk | law-index | Acts | Members Image galleries

Landlord's costs for tenancy deposit claim

Landlord's costs for tenancy deposit claim

Postby theycantdothat » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:51 am

A tenancy agreement contains the following clause:

"4.7 Landlord’s costs
4.7.1 To indemnify the Landlord against all reasonable costs and expenses arising from any breach of this Agreement by the Tenant.
4.7.2 To indemnify the Landlord in respect of all reasonable costs incurred by the Landlord in enforcing the terms of this Agreement against the Tenant.
4.7.3 To pay all reasonable expenses incurred by the Landlord in preparing and serving:
a) any notice under section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925 even if forfeiture is avoided without a court order;
b) a schedule of dilapidations recording the Tenant’s default as regards the state of the property at the end of the tenancy."

A TDS award allowed the landlord the sum of £690 in respect of rent. The amount was disputed, it being a classic case of the landlord agreeing early termination and then going back on his word, or at least a case of terms not having been clearly agreed and certainly not documented so as to be enforceable as a contract for surrender. Anyway, that is pretty much irrelevant as the award was what it was. The award made no decison about costs. Other claims by the landlord were dismissed or greatly reduced, so it was not a total victory for the landlord

The landlord is now asking for £1270 in respect of legal costs for advice on his dispute with the tenant. Can they be successfully claimed under the above clause?
theycantdothat
 
Posts: 1167
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:36 pm

Re: Landlord's costs for tenancy deposit claim

Postby dls » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:33 pm

Sadly, I would think so (if the amount is reasonable).
David Swarbrick (Admin) dswarb@gmail.com - 0795 457 9992
User avatar
dls
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12274
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:35 pm
Location: Brighouse, West Yorkshire

Re: Landlord's costs for tenancy deposit claim

Postby blig » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:09 pm

The tenant could consider an application to the First Tier Tribunal (Property) under Section 20C of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requesting an order that the landlord should not be allowed to recover such costs?
blig
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:42 pm

Re: Landlord's costs for tenancy deposit claim

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:56 pm

Are these service charges within the meaning of s. 18 of that Act? I suspect the tenant would be better advised to argue that the costs are not recoverable becayse they are not reasonable. After all, Parliament's intentions in setting up these schemes included diverting claims from the Courts, and making dispute resolution available to all. It would be perverse if the Landlord were able to recover costs under a scheme which he would not have been awarded in court.
Smouldering Stoat
 
Posts: 6378
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:31 pm
Location: Near the Creek.

Re: Landlord's costs for tenancy deposit claim

Postby Petergibbinson » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:15 pm

The OFT guide from sept 2005 On unfair terms in tenancy agreements specifically in 3.47 and 3.57 refers to indemnify and indemnity clauses as being unfair.
Also as commented on above a £1200 claim from a landlord for legal costs (he actually took legal advice.. Mostly because we informed the landlord he hadn't issued the prescribed information and warned him he was potentially liable to up to 3 times the deposit.. ) doesn't seem reasonable.
The whole point of tenancy deposits and adjudication is they shouldn't go to court.
If every time a landlord had a tenant deposit dispute they took substantial legal advice on the tenancy agreement and their position and the tenant was liable for those costs.. It would defeat the object of the schemes in the first place...
This case refers to a friend of mine hence my comments above.
Petergibbinson
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:55 pm

Re: Landlord's costs for tenancy deposit claim

Postby Petergibbinson » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:43 am

One quick query.. If the landlord is listed on the TA as a ltd company I presume this is still an AST and the deposit protection rules all apply? The tenants are listed as individuals.
Petergibbinson
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:55 pm

Re: Landlord's costs for tenancy deposit claim

Postby dls » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:57 am

There is no difficulty in a landlord of an AST being a company.
David Swarbrick (Admin) dswarb@gmail.com - 0795 457 9992
User avatar
dls
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12274
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:35 pm
Location: Brighouse, West Yorkshire


Return to Costs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest