LA has not protected numerous deposits

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    LA has not protected numerous deposits

    After spending many weeks looking through the forum for answers, whilst i was waiting for a response from the LA, i have struggled to find an answer to my situation.

    I used a letting agent 6 months ago for 2 properties i have. I went on a full management for both propeties and at the same time rented a property from the same agent (property came up in area we love but couldnt afford a mortgage for it at the time).

    Following a few disputes at length of time to sort problems out we decided to manage the properties ourselves and duely notified the agent. 6 weeks ago i asked for the information of the deposits for the 2 properties he was managing but was fobbed off my the sales girl that the director was away and had the information.

    To cut a long story short, we are now 3 formal letters into our requests, 3 phone calls and still no information.

    I have in the meantime phoned each deposit protection scheme and they have no record of the 2 deposits taken from my tenants and neither the deposit given by us to rent the property we are in.

    I fear the LA has the deposits and with him giving us no information for 6 weeks, he isnt going to give the money back.

    I am completely unsure of the following-

    Who will the tenants look to when they move out for the deposit, us or the LA (has he has failed to give us the information)

    Who do i look to for my deposit when i move out (as the proeprty we rent is also on full management)

    After serving 3 letters, where do i go now as speaking to him gets me no where

    It was our own fault for not understanding how the deposit scheme works and that he should have provided information at the start of all tenancies but we trusted him and were paying for a service of not worrying about items like this (we accept we were naive)

    Im concerned that the tenants will come looking for us (£450 & £550 deposits) and that we will have to find our landlord (£675 deposit)

    Any help would be much appreciated as i want to act on this asap.

    It also concerns me he has done this with every client and therefore could have £ thousands of pounds unprotected.

    #2
    Originally posted by staff81 View Post

    I am completely unsure of the following-

    Who will the tenants look to when they move out for the deposit, us or the LA (has he has failed to give us the information)
    You. But your T may also claim for deposit non-compliance against the LA (assuming he received the deposits), so you're both in the firing line in that respect.

    Who do i look to for my deposit when i move out (as the proeprty we rent is also on full management)
    Same deal. Your LL is liable for returning your deposit; you've also got the choice, if you pursue a non-compliance claim, of claiming against LL or agent or both.

    After serving 3 letters, where do i go now as speaking to him gets me no where
    Is the agent a member of ARLA or any other professional body?

    Comment


      #3
      You and the agent are jointly liable to your tenants.
      Your landlord and the agent are jointly liable to you as tenants for your deposit.

      If deposits are not protected, you can not serve section 21 notices until the deposits are returned in full.
      Even doing that will not protect you from a potential civil penalty of up to 3 x the deposit value.

      Such a claim is unlikely to happen because the costs of bringing such a claim (which should be heard in the 'multitrack', not 'small claims') are prohibitive, but, if it does happen, there is an extremely high chance that those costs would be awarded against you.

      Obviously, if you suffered financial loss as a result of the agents actions, you would launch a claim against him too.

      Comment


        #4
        The website states the following-

        Property Ombudsman Scheme (sales), scheme number E448

        but doesnt say anything else.

        Could i be claimed against for non compliance or is that just the LA.

        Im unsure if small claims is the route to take.

        Comment


          #5
          Just a thought, what if the LA liquidated the company, would we have anywhere to go (it is a LTD company)

          Comment


            #6
            Post 4 - yes you could be claimed against, you are liable for your agents actions.
            Post 5 - if liquidated, the assets would be divided as appropriate then the company no longer exists, so no one to sue. In certain circumstances it is possible to hold directors liable for the debts of the company -but that is not an easy battle (one I have lost before).

            Check your contract with the agent - does it specifically state on the contract that the agency are a limited company?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by staff81 View Post
              Could i be claimed against for non compliance or is that just the LA.
              See post #2.


              Im unsure if small claims is the route to take.
              For what?

              Comment

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