Landlord not responding and hasn't returned deposit

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    Landlord not responding and hasn't returned deposit

    We (joint tenants) moved out of the property in September last year. We had issues with the deposit return as the landlord gave us a whole list of issues he had with the condition we left the property in. He refused to tell us how much he wished to deduct from our deposit, and insisted that we agree to all the issues before he then asked us to give him a 'round sum amount' that he would then deduct. We said no, and asked him to give us an itemisation of all the issues with the costs and then receipts etc. if applicable. He did not, and he insisted on this round sum amount. He finally stopped replying to us sometime in November/December.

    Are landlords allowed to ask their tenants to determine a deposit deduction amount? The whole process seemed really weird. I'm just really stressed out and want to deal with this in the most hassle free way possible (even though I know this might be unlikely). Would it be worth it for us to go back to him one last time? The deposit was £3,150 - would £600 of that be a reasonable deduction? We didn't leave the place in a mess, but there are things, that we are, of course, happy to pay for. These include a door chain that came off, and slats for vertical blinds. There are other things he wanted to deduct, but we don't know how to price them like - rust on a radiator, discolouration of a section of marble flooring in the bathroom and a pen mark on a couch. Those were the big ones, the rest were small things that we are able to dispute through evidence like photos, or they are things like dust (which again, if it's small amounts of dust, I don't know how to come up with an amount for this? we had the place professionally cleaned when we left).

    We know it's too late to go to the deposit protection scheme now, but we are wondering what the next best course of action is? We are scared to take it to court because if we happen to lose (he is an ex-lawyer) we won't have enough money to pay if the courts make us pay. We aren't even concerned with getting the whole deposit back, just the relevant amount minus any deductions - but he refused to give that to us. We didn't know enough about rental properties and prices to come up with a figure for him either.

    #2
    If the money was deposited in one of the governments approved schemes, then you would have raised a request with the scheme for your money back, the LL would then have an opportunity to agree or dispute it, if it is disputed by either party it would go through arbitration and the scheme would then make a judgement, the funds would then be released to the parties, with or without any deductions.

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      #3
      You have two options.

      One is to contact the company protecting the deposit and ask them for a form to make a single claim, which is how you request the deposit is returned if the landlord doesn't co-operate.
      It's a bit of a nuisance of a process, because you need to visit a solicitor or notary to allow them to prove you are who you say you are - it takes about 5 minutes and should cost about £10.
      That may simply work or at least may prompt the landlord into action.

      You can make a small claims case against the landlord.
      The legal costs are limited in such a claim and, while it's likely to be more stressful for you than him, if he's an ex-lawyer, you have a reasonable case and you should get most of your deposit back.
      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).

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