Can Landlord transfer tenancy deposit to his Agent?

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    Can Landlord transfer tenancy deposit to his Agent?

    I was informed by Landlord that he wants to sell and therefore only signed a 6 month let which ends in April next year.

    He has now put the property into the estate agents hands and they have informed me that they will be holding the deposit now? Can they do this???

    Also they realised I didnt pay for the contract renewal last year so they are witholding the contracts until I pay for this year plus last years renewal fee, which equals out to about £160 which I do not have so they arent getting. They have messed up in other areas also as I never signed and sent back the inventory 4 years ago and now with them holding the deposit money I am afraid I will never get to see it!

    They are also telling me they need to make regular "visits" to make sure they house is suitable for selling next year (which I have avoided so far!).

    Please can anyone advise on all above points, thanks.

    #2
    When did you pay the deposit?

    What renewal fees are they talking about? Did you sign a contract agreeing to these fees?

    If they do not have a signed inventory then it will be hard for them to prove any damage. That's their problem not yours.

    You can take the landlord to court if he doesn't return the deposit. If the deposit needed to be protected and he didn't then you can claim 3 X the deposit through court claim.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Sall thanks for replying, unfortunately I lost internet so havent been able to log back in since!

      Anyway I paid the deposit (actually 2 months) at the start of the tenancy around 4/5 years ago.

      Well the renewal fees are something I have argued with the Agents for some time. They tell me that the LL has to pay these as well for renewing the contract (basically printing off a copy of contract). They charge somewhere around £85 - £90 everytime the contract has been renewed. Thinking back I dont think I have ever paid it! but now they are harassing me to pay last years as well and tell me they arent going to renew until they have this money up front!

      I am worried that the 2 months deposit they have THEY will be keeping instead of the scheme it was in, I didnt think they were allowed to do this?

      Many thanks for your earlier response, look forward to hearing back from you!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by firefly View Post
        Hi Sall thanks for replying, unfortunately I lost internet so havent been able to log back in since!

        Anyway I paid the deposit (actually 2 months) at the start of the tenancy around 4/5 years ago.

        Well the renewal fees are something I have argued with the Agents for some time. They tell me that the LL has to pay these as well for renewing the contract (basically printing off a copy of contract). They charge somewhere around £85 - £90 everytime the contract has been renewed. Thinking back I dont think I have ever paid it! but now they are harassing me to pay last years as well and tell me they arent going to renew until they have this money up front!

        I am worried that the 2 months deposit they have THEY will be keeping instead of the scheme it was in, I didnt think they were allowed to do this?

        Many thanks for your earlier response, look forward to hearing back from you!

        From 6th April 2007 all new tenancy deposits must be protected. If the deposit is not protected and it should have been then you can claim 3 X the deposit.
        People seem to have mixed opinions, if a deposit needs to be protected for tenancies renewals after this date. Hopefully someone else will be able to help you with that.

        Comment


          #5
          Hi thanks for replying, do you happen to know if they can charge £85 renewal fees and hold back the contract until I pay up?

          Comment


            #6
            I'm not positive on this but I assume they can charge this fee, as they are doing extra work (preparing the new AST etc) even though it is not very fair. This fee should be paid by LL, but some agents charge both tenant and Landlord.

            But do you really want a new tenancy? I.e. for a new fixed term? Because you tenancy has now automatically become periodic tenancy and they would have to give you 2 months notice if they want you to leave.

            Maybe you can try to negotiate a lower fee?

            Comment


              #7
              Contact ARLA and ask their opinion. If you have not agreed to pay these fees then they have no legal right to charge you for them. Also I do not think the agent should eb holding the deposit in this case. I guess your orginal contact precedes the deposit scheme, but it sounds as if that should not matter if the agency has only just started to manage the property. Contact ARLA, then write a letter of complaint to the agency, and if they do not do what you want take the complaint to the ombudsman and ARLA. When you move out, if they try to keep the deposit unfairly do the same again and aslo threaten them with the small claims court. I would try to keep dealings with this agency to email and written letter sonly as it is amazing how they forget things they have said on the telephone, and you need proof of how they have acted to give to arla and the ombudsman.

              Comment


                #8
                No one has mentioned the threatened "regular visits" by the agents? The tenant does not have to agree to these visits. Any proposed visit requires 24hours prior written notice and the tenant can refuse. It might be sensible to maybe change the locks.

                There seems to be a level of harassment in all of this which I feel the tenant should strongly resist. And I think that Ashley1982's advice on this matter is sound and should be followed.

                Also, it might be sensible to look for a new home as it seems as if this one is not going to be comfortable and hassle-free in the future. Good luck!!
                Mrs Jones
                I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

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