Deposit Protection Fees

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    Deposit Protection Fees

    Hi,

    I have been a tenant in a flat for the past 3 years and have recently moved out. Over the past 3 years my landlord has sent me an expense sheet to pay which included a fee to protect the deposit I gave them. I was always dubious about this because I thought it was free. I paid it none the less to keep on good terms.

    Now that I have moved out there has been some disagreement on the deposit. I have then reviewed the short hold tenancy agreement and it does not include anything with regards to this fee. I was wondering whether I can include this in my dispute on the deposit to recover these costs?

    Many thanks for your help!

    #2
    If the fee wasn't made known to you before the tenancy began, it shouldn't have been charged and you could probably make a claim for it to be returned.
    I don't think the deposit dispute is the right route.
    I'd wait for the dispute to be resolved and then send a letter to the landlord pointing out that the fee wasn't agreed before the start of the tenancy it should be returned, and that you only paid it because you were concerned about what would happen if you didn't.

    If you had more than one tenancy agreement, after the first one, the landlord could argue that you were aware of the fee.

    Some deposit protection is free and some isn't, but, even then, the cost is per tenancy not per annum.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      This is all going to become academic soon, as tenant fees are being outlawed, but the fee is certainly not something that would be normally charged to the tenant.

      A fee is only charged to the landlord if they use an insurance based scheme. For other schemes the fee is paid in terms of the interest that is lost. Given that the deposit represents your money, I wonder if you could counter-bill for your lost interest?

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you both for the replies. Could I ask why not to discuss this in the dispute? I am being asked to pay some fees from the final deposit and one of those fees is the mortgage protection insurance which I don't believe I should have to pay. I was thinking to raise this along side another issue and then back date it too. Could potentially request interest but it would be so little that I wouldn't really worry about that.

        ​​
        ​​​​​​

        Comment


          #5
          The deposit adjudication is about what can be retained from the deposit by the landlord.
          So the scheme can only adjudicate on the claims the landlord is making, not some backdated counterclaim.
          So if the landlord is saying you owe a fee that they want to recover from the deposit, your point to the adjudicator is that the fee isn't owed because you've never agreed to pay it (while the landlord would have to show that you had agreed).

          The scheme can't return a decision that the landlord owes you money that you're claiming because they're not a court.
          And if the case becomes more complex than a straightforward case, the scheme will decline to be involved and you'll have to go to court to sort out.

          Hence my suggestion of dealing with the two things separately.
          Argue the specific things that the landlord is asking for out of the deposit.
          Then use the small claims process to try to claim back the "historic" fees that you were forced to pay without your consent.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            Makes sense. Thank you for your help and guidance.

            Comment

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