Tenant claiming deposit not protected for agents clerical error

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    Tenant claiming deposit not protected for agents clerical error

    Hi
    An ex tenant, who left my property in June, after I served section 21 has resurfaced and suing me under Part 8 - for not protected his deposit.

    I deducted some charges from his deposit, which went to dispute with the TDS. The TDS awarded some of the disputed amount to me and some to him.

    However, now he is claiming his deposit was not properly protected because me, the landlord, is not named on the tenancy certificate. The letting agent is named as agent. He is named as tenant. The space for landlord is blank. Has he got a case against me?

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    Was deposit protected within 30 days of payment? Was tenant served with PI & can you prove it?
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      What exactly do you mean by "tenancy certificate"? What is it, who produced it, what information was contained within it?
      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

      Comment


        #4

        The tenant got a certificate from the TDS, which he downloaded from their website, to show his deposit is protected. The TDS accepted and has protected the deposit from the start of the tenancy. The amount of the deposit, the address and dates are all correct. However, this certificate hasn't got my name on there as the landlord, just a blank space. And apparently my name doesn't show up on the TDS website for the tenant to see. Its obviously an ommission by the agent and shouldn't mean the deposit isn't protected. But I'm worried.

        Comment


          #5
          I'd tell him to crack on and sue, if he thinks he has a leg to stand on.

          Comment


            #6
            For what it’s worth, I bought a property with tenants it situ. The landlord had a letting agent, like you.
            When I bought it and got the paperwork, the deposit stuff was all in the letting agents name.
            When the deposit was transferred to me via TDS website it was all in the letting agent name and not the landlord.

            Comment


              #7
              RedHitman, when you took over the property fully, did you change the details with the TDS to show you are the landlord?

              I am finding very conflicting views on whether this deposit was protected or not in my online searches. I can't believe the agent left that blank. Would appreciate advice from anyone with experience of this.

              Thanks

              Comment


                #8
                As JKO says, tell them to crack on. The TDS won't be particularly impressed by that sort of action. He is being a twonk! His money was protected by your agent, under his name, at his address at all times, was it not?

                Contact the TDS on Tuesday.. I suspect they will laugh!

                Comment


                  #9
                  It's a court that awards the 1-3xdeposit penalty not TDS.

                  Was PI served on tenant by anyone ever? If you don't know what PI is you're probably stuffed

                  I'd check with Shelter legal
                  I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I saw this on one advice website for tenants. No. 8 brings up the landlord's name but doesn't mention an omission of the landlords name
                    Mistakes that make a deposit unprotected

                    1. Wrong start of tenancy date
                    2. Missing out a tenant on the certificate
                    3. Larger typo on your last name
                    4. Wrong Deposit amount
                    5. Wrong Address
                    6. Wrong Postcode
                    7. Wrong deposit paid date by more than a few days
                    8. Wrong landlord name
                    9. Expired before the tenancy ended

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by dunner30 View Post
                      The tenant got a certificate from the TDS, .....
                      Okay, so there's no question that the deposit was protected seeing how there was a deduction disagreement and it went to arbitration which was accepted by all parties. The question, and the claim, is whether you or your agent provided complete and valid prescribed information. Regardless of the certificate that your ex-tenant downloaded from TDS's website, you or your agent were required to provide the prescribed information. Did either of you do that?

                      The legal requirement can be seen here, and TDS's (optional) template for PI can be seen here. It is the information that's prescribed, not the form it's given, so as long as you can show that you or your agent had given the information within 30 days of receiving the deposit, you will be fine.

                      In regards to the certificate from TDS. It is part of the scheme's "initial requirements", which you are legally required to comply with, that the Member (your agent here) were required to enter all requried information when protecting which includes information about the landlord (26.2, 26.5). So long as that were done, whatever reason that caused the certificate to have a blank field is irrelevant.

                      Get a copy of any and all evidence of service of PI and compliance with the initial requirements from your agent, then serve it in your defence. I would also apply to the court to add the agent as a defendant to the case since it was them that received and handled the deposit and dealt with the protection. (The landlord is who the tenant is meant to sue, but the definition of landlord here include their agent acting in relation to the tenancy.) Basically, if any penalty are handed down, you want the judge to make the order against the agent and not you. Alternatively, you could look at suing the agent after any penalty is handed down to recover any money you have to pay out to the tenant in penalty.
                      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hmm, I think I may have included one too many external link in my long response so that it's been moderated.

                        What I forgot to write....

                        suing me under Part 8 - for not protected his deposit.
                        If there's an actual claim that's been issued, and not just threaten, go seek actual legal advice from an appropriately specalised solicitor. Don't just take words from strangers on an internet forum as assurance.
                        I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          theartfullodger All information including check in, AST and details of the deposit protection held through TDS were given to the tenant at the start of the tenancy by the agent. Does that cover me against being sued now?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by dunner30 View Post
                            RedHitman, when you took over the property fully, did you change the details with the TDS to show you are the landlord?

                            I am finding very conflicting views on whether this deposit was protected or not in my online searches. I can't believe the agent left that blank. Would appreciate advice from anyone with experience of this.

                            Thanks
                            Actually I lie. My deposits were/are with DPS (Deposit Protection Service).

                            I assume you manage your own properties and already have/had an account?

                            Once the purchase of the property was complete, I got in touch with the letting agent to tell them to transfer over the deposit. This was done via the DPS website, dead easy. Everyone has their own unique ID number so they just made a transfer from their DPS account to mine (using my ID) and the deposit was moved.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Do you know if you can prove if PI was served, please? Yes or No would be helpful,
                              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                              Comment

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