Bonds withheld to meet arrears - can I include the late payment charges?

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Susan Smalley
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I had 4 tenants on an RLA Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement, version PEC-2000-9 from 1st Sept 04 - 31st Aug 05.
One tenant was persistantly in arrears &on the leaving date owed me
1282. He received a rent statement to this effect on 31/8/05. 70 of this was late payment charges.

He had received monthly statements up to that point showing the increasing arrears &I included a 10 a month late payment charge each month, which 'roughly' averaged out the same as the charges laid out in the RLA agreement.He had had numerous reminders &regular statements.

I had received, with difficulty, all the rent from the other tenants by the 31st Aug so I was holding 4 bonds of 280 each, totalling 1120.

I withheld the return of the bonds which the others reluctantly accepted. In the next few months I received payments totalling 400 from the tenant, which stopped in Jan06, as did all communication with him. I had returned 280 worth of bonds by Jan 06 as well. I sent an updated statement to ALL the tenants, &the owing tenant's parents in May 06 with the arrears now totalling 982, again including another 100 in late payment charges.

I still have 840 in bonds. Am I right to include the extra charges in the arrears total as far as returning bonds is concerned? I assume so.
regards
Susan Granville
PS The other tenants are thinking of suing him for there money.

04/01/2007 00:00

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