Questions Of Cash: 'Why hasn't my £450 bond been returned?'

Q. I left my London apartment nine weeks ago and I am still awaiting the return of my £450 bond from Red Hot Properties. I am now back in Australia and my e-mails and phone calls have been ignored. I will be in London again next week and would like to get it sorted out for then. JH, Australia.

A. Red Hot Properties are lettings agents and the problem arose when your landlord inadvertently failed to reduce your first month's rent by the amount of your holding deposit that had been forwarded to them. That failure – which Red Hot was unaware of – appears not to have been spotted during your tenancy. After our intervention, the matter was partially resolved within 24 hours. The landlord offered to make an immediate electronic transfer of the £450 – which you apparently declined to accept on the basis that you required cash. When you went to the landlord's offices on your visit back to London you were paid £350 – representing all the company's petty cash. According to your version of events, the office manager shouted at you. The office manager says that you shouted at them and were abusive. We intervened again and arranged for the balance of £100 in cash to be waiting for you in the landlord's offices, which we understand a friend will collect on your behalf.

Q. My then-boyfriend and I had a flat from February 2004 to January 2005, with electricity supplied by Scottish Power, which I paid for by direct debit. When we broke up I moved out and he stayed on until December 2005. I assumed he was now paying the electricity and I cancelled my direct debt. I heard nothing more until last year when I had a letter from a debt-collecting agency, Westcot, saying I owed £350. After I proved I had moved out and the debt was not my responsibility, Westcot wrote to me saying the matter had been sorted out. But six weeks ago I had a letter from a different debt collection agency, Buchanan, Clark and Wells, saying I now owed £464.90 for the same bill. I'm really annoyed that Scottish Power seems to have just passed the bill on to a different debt collector. FP, London.

A. The initial problem arose because of a failure by your former landlord to pass on the amended tenancy details and an oversight on the part of Scottish Power. Your supposed debt has now been removed from Scottish Power's accounts, the debt collectors have been informed, your credit reference information has been corrected and you have been sent a bunch of flowers as an apology.

Q. We bought our house in 1985 with a £30,000 mortgage from Alliance & Leicester. It was backed by a 25-year Standard Life endowment policy, in the belief that it would pay out more than the £30,000. We paid £46.30 a month and have now been told it is likely to pay out between £21,603 and £26,000. The policy and mortgage were sold through a solicitor, Gordon Michie of Hogg & Co in Denny – but neither the solicitor who advised us nor the firm now practises, I believe. Both Standard Life and Alliance & Leicester tell us they have no responsibility for any mis-selling, as they did not provide any advice. DT, Glasgow.

A. Responsibility for any alleged mis-sale lies with Hogg & Co. All solicitors are required to have professional indemnity insurance, and compensation, if there were any, would be covered by the insurer. In the case of Hogg & Co, the insurance cover was arranged by the Law Society of Scotland. Through the Scottish Law Society we made contact with Martin Hogg, who had been principal of Hogg & Co and is now a partner at Blackwood & Co. Mr Hogg is confident that there was no mis-sale, but will consider your claim. The Law Society of Scotland considers complaints against solicitors and operates a system specifically for brokering claims of mis-selling of endowment policies, which is explained on its website – You should use this system for making your claim against Mr Hogg's former firm. However, your claim for mis-selling is made more difficult to argue because prior to 1988, sellers of endowments had a common law duty of care to customers, rather than their more specific duty to assess clients' approach to risk, as was required by law from April 1988. It is likely that you are within the time limit for lodging a complaint because you made your initial complaint within three years of being notified that the endowment was likely not to repay your mortgage.

Q. I have had a dormant charge applied by Nochex, a company that makes electronic payment transfers by e-mail. I had £36.31 in my Nochex account which I last used in May 2004. I ceased to use this account when PayPal became the market leader. When I tried to access my Nochex balance, the company told me it had applied a dormant account charge of £36.31, wiping out the balance. I feel Nochex has been heavy-handed in applying this charge. DN, by e-mail.

A. Nochex points to a term in its contracts that it "reserves the right at their absolute discretion to apply an administrative charge of no more than £5 per quarter on dormant accounts". The charge it has applied is within these limits and the company refuses to refund your previous balance. Nochex appears to be within its legal rights in taking the action – though we can understand why you are annoyed.

Q. I have repeatedly requested disconnection from Talk Talk for the last 10 months and I am still waiting for that and a final bill. I keep being told disconnection will happen "within 36 hours" – but it never does. RO, by e-mail.

A. Following our intervention, your service has now been disconnected by Carphone Warehouse (which owns Talk Talk) and a final bill sent.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
General Election
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

    £30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

    Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Ashdown Group: Sales Team Leader - Wakefield, West Yorkshire

    £21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...

    Ashdown Group: Head of Client Services - City of London, Old Street

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders