Section 214 Claim - Advice Requested

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    Section 214 Claim - Advice Requested

    Hi All,

    I wonder if I can get some advice on a Section 214 claim that I wish to submit.

    I had a 6 month tenancy which began in March 2018. It expired in October 2018 and I moved out without any issues. The managing agent was pretty poor throughout and advised that they would be requesting a £500+ reimbursement from my £1,425 deposit for dilapidations. Fortunately, I was able to successfully demonstrate their deceitful claims with evidence that I made at the start of my tenancy and after threatening legal action against the Landlord, the agent quickly decided that my deposit should be returned in full.

    During this 'argumentative' process though, I tried to find out where my deposit was so I could raise a dispute in the formal way. I asked my agent to provide me with my deposit certificate number and prescribed information on three individual occasions after my tenancy ended. They ignored all of my requests despite replying to my other queries. I also formally requested it 3 weeks into my tenancy but this request wasn't responded to either. Unfortunately, due to two family deaths and planning / having my wedding during my tenancy, I forgot about chasing this until I needed the information.

    I had to undertake my own enquires with deposit agencies to locate my deposit and fortunately found out that it was protected with the DPS. They advised that the agent provided the wrong contact information for me which is why I didn't receive direct communication from them about my deposit. They advised that my deposit WAS protected within the 30 days though.

    I sent my agent and landlord a 'letter before action' and email detailing that I felt that they were in breach of Section 214 of the Housing Act because whilst they protected my deposit within 30 days, they failed repeatedly to give me the certificate number and prescribed information. The agent responded back via email and stated: 'I understand you are upset the prescribed information was not provided when requested, I’m sure you can appreciate I have staff members in different departments, so this request had been sent onto previous staff members who dealt with the deposits at the time. If they did not send this through, I apologise'.

    I continued to state that I was not happy with this response and that I was keen on being reasonable about a compensation request. They sent me another email back stating that I was suddenly in breach of my old tenancy by allowing my partner to reside with me, and that they didn't take any action against this and that 'It’s a shame you now feel the need to seek compensation for an admin error.' Not only is their claim an absolute lie, but it made me feel like they were trying to blackmail me whilst admitting their 'admin error'.

    Their 'admin error' caused me stress and panic whilst trying to locate my deposit over their deceitful claims. I'm keen on taking action against them still, especially now the 14 days has passed since my letter, so would really appreciate some advice on whether a judge would generally find in my favour and if there is any more I can do to try and settle this amicably before having to go to court? Also, if it did go to court, what is the likely outcome? I'm not being greedy and would never want 3 x the deposit amount - but feel like suitable reimbursements should be made - if only to force the agent to learn from their bad service.

    It's worth mentioning that despite sending a copy to the Landlord via post and email, I haven't heard from him at all.

    Thank you in advance.

    #2
    so would really appreciate some advice on whether a judge would generally find in my favour
    Yes.

    Also, if it did go to court, what is the likely outcome?
    A statutory penalty against the landlord or the agent of between one and three times (inclusive) of the amount of the deposit, plus court cost assuming you ask for it, plus any other recoverable cost that the court may award.

    It's worth mentioning that despite sending a copy to the Landlord via post and email, I haven't heard from him at all.
    Name both as defendants and let the court sort out who to award the penalty against.
    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


      #3
      If it is custodial scheme, then there is probably no requirement to provide a certificate.

      Comment


        #4
        If the landlord (or their agent) didn't tell the tenant which scheme the deposit is protected in, then they can't possibly have complied with the prescribed information requirements, unless the tenant simply forgotten.

        But yes, many landlord and tenant think the deposit ID and/or a certificate issued by the scheme is what's meant by prescribed information when it's not.
        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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