New to the forum, seeking advice re our deposit not being returned.

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    New to the forum, seeking advice re our deposit not being returned.

    This is a long one, which I'm trying to condense.
    My partner & I rented a property from February 2014. We have moved out over two weeks ago & are having problems with the letting agents/landlord witholding our deposit. We paid £1000 deposit which included £200 pet deposit for our dogs. We were expecting a cleaning charge as due to the bad weather our dogs brought in a lot of mud! The property is in a rural area so mud was inevitable! I requested a further week at the end of the tenancy to finish cleaning minus the mud monsters. This was refused by the landlord as he said he had viewings booked for the day we moved out. I had a meeting with the manager of the letting agents during the final week, he took loads of photos & agreed that the property wouldn't be ready for immediate re-let.
    The agents hold our deposit, they have marketed the property since all work has been carried out & have a 'letting agreement' in place for the property.
    Neither the landlord or agents have contacted us regarding any deductions that they would like to make, they're just witholding & blaming the landlord for not supplying invoices. Is there a time frame for them to make us aware of any deductions? We really could do with the deposit back right now & they just seem to be dragging their feet.
    If you've read this far & not fallen asleep I thank you! Any advice gratefully received, we have no money to take this legal after the moving costs & me still looking for work.
    Thank you

    #2
    The deposit will be protected somewhere (hopefully you know where, there are three companies who provide the service).
    They will have rules about how long the landlord can take to make a claim or to return the deposit (usually 14 days).

    In reality, there's no way to enforce that deadline and the landlord can pretty much take whatever time they want.

    If you know how much you've agreed the work should cost, you may be able to ask for the remainder (you don't need invoices as proof if you agree what the landlord will claim), but each scheme works differently.
    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
      Thanks for the reply, the landlord hasn't contacted us regarding how much he would like us to pay. The letting agents aren't really helping, he has many properties rented through them so I believe they're not wanting to push him. It's so frustrating, we are ok with paying towards cleaning etc but he's not disclosing to us what this amount will be. They have both our emails, mobile numbers & new landline number so there's no real excuse about no contact. We're both totally exhausted after the move & just want a conclusion. That said, we will fight for what's right if he is being unreasonable...we just don't know where we can go from here to resolve this.

      Comment


        #4
        Have a look at the deposit protection website, there may be an option to start the process yourselves.

        The agent works for the landlord, so they're obligated to support the landlord, rather than help you.
        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


          #5
          Hi, you should check out the thread I have kept updated from my last two months where the LL was withholding my deposit without explanation or communication. It should serve as a good reference if you go to arbitration. The folks on here were great and I am much better informed now than I ever was before so I'm going to chip in to see if I can help too but listen to the folks like JP before you listen to me haha!

          I'm guessing your LL can keep some deposit for cleaning and costs which I guess depends on the size of the property, how dirty?! Unless there's other damage or breaches which you could fall foul of, they simply can't charge a grand to clean a house (unless it's a castle!?). The arbitrator won't let them.

          First thing is to formally request the deposit back in full in writing via email and keep the record and then follow the steps of the dispute process like JP says if you don't hear back or agreement can't be reached. If you do need to go to your arbitrator just be thorough and send the facts with evidence.

          Your deposit should be in a protected fund and it can only be released to either party if you both agree. You have to authorise it can be taken by your LL and vice versa, if you don't agree they can't just have it and you need to initiate the ADR process - you also both need to agree to this....

          Cheers
          I've been renting for years in a few properties all over and I have never had any disputes over my deposits ever. We're good tenants. I've just moved and this LL is

          Comment


            #6
            We have looked & there's no option for us to start the process as the deposit is insured by them but not held. Just adds to the frustration of having nowhere to go from here 😞 I will email the agents later once I can string a coherent sentence. I've looked into the redress option against the agents but totally confused, it all seems skewed in their favour.

            Comment


              #7
              You won't have much luck with acting against the agent, as they're employed by the landlord to work on their behalf.
              They're not actually providing any service to you, so there's not going to be any useful grounds to complain to them about.

              Check the protecting companies terms and conditions, that should give you a guide to the time frame that they expect the landlord to act within.
              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
                You make a request in writing for the return of the deposit if you haven't already. After the requisite time have elapsed, you can request arbitration through the deposit protection scheme.
                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.

                I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks again for replying everyone. I've emailed the letting agents again requesting an update. The property has a 'let agreed' sticker on their website so that tells me the work is finished rather than being undertaken as advised by the agents yesterday. To be honest there was no damage to the property that would take a week & a half to rectify! I've copied in the manager of the letting agents on the email, he's usually very good at speeding things up. I will post an update as soon as I hear anything. After 5½ years I should think that redecorating & replacement of carpets in high traffic areas would be a matter of course. He's never been very good at fixing any repairs, other than telling us to fix things ourselves at our own expense.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Just for the avoidance of doubt, other than a) something specifically in the rental agreement and b) something you agreed, the landlord is claiming compensation, so they don't actually have to rectify anything to be entitled to the claim.

                    After 5 1/2 years, I'd expect to have to redecorate at least some rooms and the woodwork gloss and recarpet at least the busier rooms.

                    And it's worthwhile looking at your paperwork relating to the "pet deposit" as they're usually pretty vague. If a landlord allows a pet, the usual advice is to increase the rent to compensate for the pet "damage", because if you allow a pet, a fair number of the consequential issues are probably fair wear and tear.
                    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
                      SPW,

                      read that complete thread with great interest thank you. Certainly helps to put our minds at ease re the outcome of our situation. It's the lack of communication that really galls, just tell us what you want & we can go on from there! Our ex landlord is a multi millionaire so I guess he doesn't care how his actions impact us mere mortals!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Jacic View Post
                        We have looked & there's no option for us to start the process as the deposit is insured by them but not held.
                        What is the scheme it is insured with?

                        I believe that all schemes have a process for starting a claim when the LL is unresponsive.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Sorry I missed your question, the deposit is held by the agents. It's insured by the deposit protection scheme. We still haven't received any more information from landlord or agents regarding how much he would like to deduct & what for.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Which of the three schemes is insuring it? That was what was meant by the question.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The deposit is protected by DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme). We are on day 22 of having moved out & more than 10 days of requesting the deposit back. I understand he wants to make deductions we were expecting to make a contribution to cleaning due to the dogs being there. They (agents & landlord) are not telling us anything regarding the deductions. Can they just keep this going forever if they choose? As the agents hold the deposit there doesn't seem to be the option for us to request our deposit back on the DPS site, unless I'm missing something!

                              Comment

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