Dispute with landlord over deposit

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    Dispute with landlord over deposit

    I have recently moved out of a property and requested my deposit back (£2000) from my landlord which has been protected in My Deposits scheme. I paid rent every month on time and gave him the correct amount of notice prior to moving out. I left the flat clean and received an email response from him to say he was happy with the state of the flat and that I had been a model tenant and he would be returning all of my deposit. However he stated that he had no money to pay me and prosposed to pay me lump sums over the next few months.

    This was not convenient for me as I have just purchased a flat (the reason for moving out). I was relying the money to pay for my furniture. I wrote back to him and said that I would be requiring the full amount within the 10 days he is liable to pay me. Has since turned very nasty over emails and said he will be deducting money from the deposit for cleaning (£200) and council tax (£900). It was laid out in writing by him prior to me signing the contract that this was included In the rent.

    His emails have been extremely abusive towards me, calling me a “jumped up twit” “greedy parasite” and worse.... I have not responded to these as I don’t want to agrovate the situation further.

    I have instead started a dispute and have provided them with the email chain and his written confirmation council tax was included.

    I am now really worried I wont get my money back. He kept the money himself and took out the insurance option so it’s not held by them. In his emails he says he is applying for a DRO and that he make sure I don’t see any of it... he also threatened if I took out a dispute, he would make further deductions.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the situation? It has left me very shaken and angry that he can get away with this. I have saved very hard to buy my flat and have always paid my rent on time and kept the flay immaculate.

    #2
    Don't worry if it was protected and the scheme is handling it. If he doesn't cough up the disputed amount to the scheme on request, then the scheme / scheme's insurance will pay out and in turn chase the landlord for the money.

    As to what sounds like harassment, https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...ivate_landlord
    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.

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      #3
      I have attached a screenshot I took of one of his email responses. He responded to my email and wrote his response after each of the paragraphs I wrote.
      Attached Files

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        #4
        Thank you KTC! That’s a relief to know. There’s not a lot of information on their website and they couldn’t tell me much when I called them so I am hoping for the best. I will check out that link too as it definitely is harassment, I have kept my emails formal and polite so there was no need for his abusive reaction.

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          #5
          It is for situations like this that protection of tenant deposits was introduced.

          Do you have confirmation that your deposit was protected with MyDeposits, or were you just told that by the landlord?
          if it turns out it was not protected, then you may want to seek further guidance here.

          Unfortunately it may take some time to get your money back

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            #6
            Be sure to report back here on the outcome. I had a fair amount of amusement value from this so far. Hope he gets hammered.

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              #7
              Did you get all the prescribed information from the MyDeposits scheme, are you sure your deposit was actually protected?

              LL suggestion that he pays you in tranches suggests perhaps not, though I hope it was for your sake.

              As above, please let us know what happens with this one.

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                #8
                Hi all,

                Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’ve been away on holiday.

                The deposit was definitely protected and I have raised a dispute through My Deposits. As they contact the landlord to let him know I had raised a dispute, he sent me a load more text messages and emails threatening me, said if I didn’t withdraw the dispute within 48 hours that he would message my partner and tell him that I have been saying bad things about him behind his back. My partner was also a tenent in the property (although the deposit money is all mine). Luckily there are no secrets between us so we could laugh at this. I have not responded at all to his messages.

                He did say he had responded to My Deposits “telling them what he thinks” so think they may also get some amusement!

                My Deposits have 20 working days to respond so I won’t hear back for at least another couple of weeks. I am just hoping that they return the money to me and chase him for it. It’s too much money to lose, especially as we were very good tenents and even paid the rent early some months to help him with his finances.

                I will keep you all posted!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Was this a sole or joint Tenancy?
                  Did My Deposit list you as 'Lead Tenant'?
                  Insurance-based or Custodial scheme?

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                    #10
                    This seems to go beyond mere harassment, itself a criminal offence, to blackmail. You should seriously consider going to the police.

                    A debt recovery order can only be issued following a successful court action, so threatening one is premature, and, in any case, the courts will look unfavourably on a refusal to let MyDeposits adjudicate.

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                      #11
                      Landlord obviously seems to be in disstress over his finances, having taken our insurance from DPS instead of custodial, then spent your deposit, and could not afford to pay it back.

                      But that is none of your problem, the whole deposit scheme and laws around it is designed to protect tenants from such situations.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by MarieMB View Post
                        he sent me a load more text messages and emails threatening me, said if I didn’t withdraw the dispute within 48 hours that he would message my partner and tell him that I have been saying bad things about him behind his back.
                        If he does this, then I suggest that you report him to the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office), as he would be in breach of data protection rules. That is in addition to the police as suggested above.

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                          #13
                          And if the property is in an additional or selective licensing area report him fo the Council who may feel he is not a fit and proper person to be a landlord

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                            #14
                            Hi all,

                            Thank you for all of your responses. They are very helpful.

                            Mariner, to answer your questions, it was a joint tenancy, I am listed as the lead tenant and it is my name on the deposit scheme. He took out the insurance option, which means he has spent the money. What I found odd was a couple of weeks after we moved into the property, he asked for the next months rent early as he needed the money to ventilate the loft for us, he obviously spent the deposit money pretty quickly.

                            We are seriously considering going to the police. I am currently in the process of filling out a rogue landlord form on the .gov website too as I would hate for this to happen to someone else. Also while we lived in the property, he regularly entered without our permission. Sometimes I would be working from home and he would let himself in not knowing I was there. When we came back to the flat after Christmas he had entered the property, turned the heating and lights on, moved our Christmas presents, took my own Tiffany lamp and replaced it with a cheap desk lamp and put canvas style pictures up all over the place. I hit the roof when I came back. My partner stopped me from saying anything to him at the time.

                            After we handed our notice in, he took that as an opportunity to enter the property regularly when we were at work, claiming he had viewings, but things would be moved, for example I had my birthday cards on the mantle piece and they had all been reordered and clearly read. I never felt comfortable living there as I felt he was snooping through our belongings.

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                              #15
                              Hi all,

                              As promised, I am pleased to inform you that I received my full deposit back. This was through default ADR. According to the report, the landlord did not respond to any of their emails or send the deposit money to them so by default I won the dispute. I am very pleased however we concerned about what his reaction is going to be as they will now be chasing him for the money. He will also have his membership with My Deposits cancelled as he has breached the contract. If he has protected the new tenants deposit in the same scheme, they will be notified about their deposit so he could turn nasty again.

                              I have also reported him as a rogue landlord on .gov and hope that no one else will have to go through what we did.

                              Thank you for the advice everyone!

                              Comment

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