Former tenant claiming for unprotected deposit after i returned full amount

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    Former tenant claiming for unprotected deposit after i returned full amount

    My Former tenant is claiming for unprotected deposit (had AST) after i have returned her full deposit

    The history of the tenant is, she has moved in 2015 April with another family (claimed as closed friends) and initial tenancy agreement with both names . Deposit has paid by cash which is not protected. They paid May 2015 rent by bank deposit. All of sudden other guy stopped paying rent ,They had dispute each other and the one who is claiming told me that other guy gave me fake details with some proofs.

    So other guy agreed to leave the property and I have returned his part of deposit. The one who is claming agreed to stay for the rest of the tenancy period and paid rest of the deposit by bank deposit. and from July 2015 she started to pay rent by bank transfer.

    I had new contract with the one who is claiming and her mother in march 2016 and no deposit has been paid for this tenancy agreement since she has paid for old tenancy agreement.

    No new tenancy agreement has been made in march 2017 and she was living in the property till February 2018. We had very good relationship and I have returned full deposit (£2400) with out deduction.

    After three months, her solicitor sent a letter and claiming deposit is not protected from march 2016 and asking £9600.

    What should i do now. Please advice.

    #2
    I would check the solicitor and see if they are a specialist in this kind of claim.

    Personally I would try and negotiate (perhaps offering "without prejudice" £4800).
    That might, at least limit the penalty if you are taken to court.

    You didn't protect a deposit which you are legally required to, and if you go to court will probably have to pay a penalty of 1, 2 or 3 times the deposit value (at the judge's discretion) and also pay the solicitors fees, which are likely to be very substantial.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Negotiate the best deal you can. Tenant has the right, confirmed twice by Parliament, to claim up to 3x deposit for each tenancy, for you flouting 10+ year old law.

      I would offer 2xdeposit + £1.
      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


        #4
        Thanks Guys,

        Does her claim valid even though she paid the deposit for old tenancy agreement. which is invalid due to fake documents

        Comment


          #5
          I don't see that the original tenancy was invalid as a tenancy, but you are not being penalised for the original tenancy.

          As others have suggested, you need to think in terms of mitigating the amount of penalty, not avoiding it.

          Also, it is a bit unwise to think in terms of returning half the deposit. What actually seems to have happened is that your returned the whole deposit. The man and the woman agreed between themselves to split it in half, and then the woman paid you her half as the new deposit, which you failed to protect, yet again. Although there was no bank transactions between you and the woman, this appears to me what, logically, happened.

          Assuming £2,400 was half, it looks like you could be at risk of another £14,400, until 2021, for the first tenancy.

          These are really fines, but with the benefit that there is no associated criminal record, although you will get second class treatment if you need to apply for landlord licensing.

          Comment


            #6
            She paid you a deposit April and May 2015, and you returned it after she left around Feb 2018? So for all intents and proposes including how you handled the deposit, the money carried over from one tenancy to another. So yes, she had paid a deposit for all 3 tenancies, none of which was protected.

            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            perhaps offering "without prejudice"
            "without prejudice save as to cost" no just "without prejudice".

            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
            I would offer 2xdeposit + £1.
            The +1 is unnecessary.
            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


              #7
              The first tenancy was a joint tenancy and both individuals would have to sue the landlord.
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                First tenancy was with fake identity ....

                Comment


                  #9
                  So why did you grant a 2nd tenancy to a fraud? Presumably with different name?

                  I try to avoid bashing my head against a brick wall
                  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
                    Originally posted by pkrish View Post
                    First tenancy was with fake identity ....
                    Doesn't make any practical difference.
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I would suspect the reasoning behind settlement due to a written tenancy agreement you had sometime in the past with both her and the other tenant of 2400GBP each, totally 4800GBP?

                      So the amount they offered to settle is 2x that which comes to 9600GBP this is a reasonable settlement offer to go for from a solicitor, it would be highly unusual for a solicitor to ask for more than 3x the deposit.

                      I would argue that the full deposit amount during the tenancy in question is 2400GBP with proof, and thus if you were to offer 4800GBP it would likely be accepted by the solicitor and tenant as an reasonable amount. You could potentially negotiate a lower number depending on your negotiation skills. Keep in mind that the tenant is driven by greed and not justice after full deposit is returned, thus would likely avoid court if you offer a reasonable amount.

                      Remember to get some kind of commitment that it covers the WHOLE period of tenancy with her to avoid it coming back to bite you in the future.

                      Don't raise issues about renewals and new ASTs as that would only potentially increase the amount you are being claimed for.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        theartfullodger,

                        Did grant the 2nd tenancy to legitimate tenant (The one who left was fake. but it was joint tenancy)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          spiritdreams,

                          The deposit amount is £2400 and they are asking for 4X2400 (£9400) because there was a periodic tenancy from March 2017 to Feb 2018

                          Comment


                            #14
                            You need to get yourself on a landlord training course asap. If you did not know about deposit protection, then what else don't you know?.

                            I don't like ignorant landlords, but neither am I am a fan of deposit protection schemes, because the rules are one sided. If the deposit has been returned in full, then why the penalty?

                            I suggest you get yourself a good lawyer and go from there.

                            If you had a good relationship with the tenant, then appeal to their better sense. Contact by phone (don't text and don't write), have a very polite conversation. Tell them you returned their deposit. So why do they want more money?. Then point out the first tenancy, was fraudulent and you will get your solicitors to take action for fraud and dishonesty and it may impact on them renting a property in the future or say obtaining car insurance where they have to declared this to their insurance. Tell them you choose to overlook this, so their conduct is unfair. Did they tell their solicitor?. Then make an offer, tell them if they refuse, you will fight it all the way, which will cost hundreds in legal fees. As this was a mixed household, were they working cash in hand?. If so find out if they paid tax..... If the other people left, then how could they afford to take on the rent for the whole house with a monthly rent of £2,400? Where they claiming benefits?


                            Comment


                              #15
                              I hope you meant 4 x 2,400 = 9,600.

                              Then agree, possibly work out some payment plan if you have to. It's a reasonable offer from them that you will almost certainly struggle to beat at trial since you didn't protect the deposit at all.
                              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

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