Help: former LL (failed to protect deposit) now claiming for damage & cleaning

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    Help: former LL (failed to protect deposit) now claiming for damage & cleaning

    Hello everyone,
    Short question here:
    Recently got a letter from my former LL who asked me to pay for damage and cleaning, which is about £ 1,500.

    The situation is:
    The LL had never protected my deposit during the 2 years assured tenancy (even after I requested several times her to do so).
    When I moved out, the LL did the property check and planned not to return the deposit as she felt it was not enough to cover the damage and cleaning.
    Two weeks after the finishing of the tenancy, reminded by one of my colleagues, I wrote them a letter before action pointing out their falure to obey the law and offered them 14 days to return me the deposit.
    Just before the deadline, the LL returned me back the deposit.

    Till then, I thought it was over and they should appreciate that I haven't claimed for any compensation.

    However, Just last week (almost 5 months after moving out), I got a letter before action requesting me to pay for damage and cleaning,regardless of how many rediculous items there are..

    I am confused what to do right now. Shall I reply saying that "you broke the law so you lost the rights as a LL"?
    or
    doing nothing just waiting for the LL to sue me and defense and counterclaim for compensation?
    or
    sending them another letter before action requesting compensation?

    All tips and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    All the best

    #2
    Did the landlord live in the same building? If so deposit protection might no apply.

    If he didn't, send him the letter on this advice from Shelter. Keep copy & **free** proof of postage.
    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...nsation_claims
    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
      If protection does apply, the protection issue and the compensation issue are independent, even if the court might be biased against the landlord if you counter claim for the protection issue in response to an action for the compensation. They may well be biased against him for not making arbitration by the deposit scheme possible.

      Did you write anything suggesting the return of the deposit was full and final settlement? Remember, that the minimum penalty of 1x the deposit, is on top of the return of the deposit, or its valid use to pay for damage or missing rent.

      If the deposit wasn't exempt, and you can prove that you reminded the landlord several times, I would expect the 3x penalty.

      Comment


        #4
        I noticed in your post that you do not deny the fact that you left the property in a mess with damage. For me you seem as much a criminal as the LL. Why is it I can live in my home for years with my wife and two children and after several years nothing needs repairing or painting!!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
          If protection does apply, the protection issue and the compensation issue are independent, even if the court might be biased against the landlord if you counter claim for the protection issue in response to an action for the compensation. They may well be biased against him for not making arbitration by the deposit scheme possible.

          Did you write anything suggesting the return of the deposit was full and final settlement? Remember, that the minimum penalty of 1x the deposit, is on top of the return of the deposit, or its valid use to pay for damage or missing rent.

          If the deposit wasn't exempt, and you can prove that you reminded the landlord several times, I would expect the 3x penalty.

          Probably I made mistakes in my previous letter to them, here it is

          "————————————————————————————————————————————————— —————————————
          Dear XXX,

          Letter before action: Compensation for failure to protect my tenancy deposit in accordance with the law

          I am the former assured shorthold tenant of XXX which you rented to me on 5th October, 2015.

          I am writing concerning the deposit of £1045 I paid to you as £695 on 5 October 2015 and £350 on 26th November 2015 as a security against my obligations under the terms of my tenancy agreement.

          Compensation for failure to protect my tenancy deposit

          Section 7.5 of the signed tenancy agreement for this property states that “the landlord agrees that the Deposit shall be held in accordance with the rules of a tenancy deposit scheme”. Additionally, section 213 of the Housing Act 2004 required that you protected my deposit with a government-backed scheme within 30 days of the payment of my deposit. You were also required to provide me with details of the scheme you’ve used along with certain other information.

          You failed to protect my deposit with a government-backed scheme. I have attached searches from all 3 official tenancy deposit schemes which show no results for the tenancy.

          Section 214 of the Housing Act 2004 provides that where the court is satisfied that you failed to comply with your obligations under the law relating to tenancy deposit protection it must order that you pay me one to three times the amount of the deposit as the compensation as well as a refund of my tenancy deposit.

          Settlement

          I am open to reasonable offers about compensation to settle this matter to avoid the costs of going to court.

          To date, my deposit has not been refunded. I therefore request that, within 14 days of receiving this letter, you pay me the amount of the deposit paid to you.


          If I do not hear from you or we are unable to come to a reasonable agreement by 24th October, 2017, I will issue court proceedings in the county court without further notice.

          I reserve the right to include a claim for interest on the unreturned deposit over the period since I’ve paid to you.

          I will also be asking for an order to cover my costs. I will be relying on court rules for pre-action conduct that say you may have to pay more in costs if you ignore this letter.
          —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————

          At that time I was too kind so only requested the return of my deposit, but I am afraid I used the wrong template


          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by amazondean View Post
            I noticed in your post that you do not deny the fact that you left the property in a mess with damage. For me you seem as much a criminal as the LL. Why is it I can live in my home for years with my wife and two children and after several years nothing needs repairing or painting!!

            Honestly speaking, even if I deny the damage here, the judge would only trust the evidence. So for me, no meaning to talk about whether damage was made or how serious it was.

            Comment


              #7
              LL is entitled to sue you for T damage for 6 years after end of T, even if he had returned the deposit earlier. Equally you can sue him for non protection of Deposit for 6 years after date Deposit should have been protectected

              Comment

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