T taking L to court over deposit protection mistake - deposit returned in full

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    T taking L to court over deposit protection mistake - deposit returned in full

    Hi all,

    I have returned the deposit in full to the tenants.

    They have come back and said they will be taking me to court over the protection of the deposit because the certificate has my name as the tenant and landlord. I did not spot that error, and it is not clear how I managed to make it, given everything else was done just fine (prescribed information, protected within 30 days). I contacted TDS and they said it cannot be altered, but that the T is also at no inconvenience at all,

    I'm wondering whether anyone knows where I can find any cases that have gone to court where the deposit has been returned in full but tenant has still taken LL to court (either winning or losing)?

    TBH I'm a bit peeved, I was very supportive of them during lockdown, asked about financial welfare, physical welfare, always responsive, didn't raise rent during their 3 years there etc.

    I'm actually really upset. At myself, too. Bad tenant selection, silly error (though I'm not sure how I made it). I say bad tenant selection, maybe everybody would take the chance of getting money off someone else if they could? S maybe actually they are just normal!

    #2
    There's not much you can do apart from seeing what the judge say's, since you have returned the deposit, the T may have a case for the number of years it has been held, but I can't see a judge enforcing it to 3 times.

    I may be cynical, but run the property as a business not as a charity, if the rent is below market make sure you are keeping up no matter what the T is like, from experience the T's are the nicest people when they are looking and wanting a property, but no matter how nice you are they will turn when it comes to the end of the tenancy.

    Comment


      #3
      I would wait for them to take you to court.
      And they probably won't.

      Because you don't owe them anything, they can't try and bend the rules and use the small claims route.
      So it's a more complex and expensive claim to make.

      I can't see any of the no-win no-fee companies wanting to touch this (they're generally not interesting in Prescribed Information only claims at all).
      Originally posted by Conflicted View Post
      I'm wondering whether anyone knows where I can find any cases that have gone to court where the deposit has been returned in full but tenant has still taken LL to court (either winning or losing)?
      For the avoidance of doubt, these cases aren't recorded anywhere, because they're such low level cases - but it happens all the time, landlords are taken to court when a deposit has been returned and, if the deposit wasn't protected properly and to the right timescales, the landlord loses.

      I suppose you can be cheeky and ask for "your" deposit back, as you've obviously paid it to the wrong people by mistake.
      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


        #4
        That's true, yes I have paid to the incorrect people.

        And the poster above was right. I am far too generous with tenants.

        Good god, honestly.

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          #5
          It's one year, since I had them sign a new contract each year. I had always used mydeposits, this was my first year with TDS, and I think I must have been confused somewhere.

          Very annoyed with myself. And annoyed it can't be changed so as to make it inline with everything else regarding names on the deposit protect.

          Comment


            #6
            To be fair, you made a mistake in an area where it can be costly.

            It's, potentially, free money for the tenant for the cost and effort of writing of a letter or sending an email, and it must be tempting.

            I'd be tempted to respond politely and tell them how disappointed you are with them as people and you're prepared to see them in court.
            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


              #7
              This is why i do not bother with taking deposits, my tenant selection is so strict that up to now i have had zero issues, it's just too much hassle and if i do get a '' wrong-un ' a months rent will do little to mitigate the mess.

              Comment


                #8
                Please tell me more about what you do to select your tenant rigorously?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                  To be fair, you made a mistake in an area where it can be costly.

                  It's potentially, free money for the tenant for the cost and effort of writing of a letter or sending an email, and it must be tempting.

                  I'd be tempted to respond politely and tell them how disappointed you are with them as people and you're prepared to see them in court.
                  Yes it is.

                  It's a but of a mockery of the system though, which was set up to empower tenants against unscrupulous landlords, and now it's being used by tenants to make potentially £1000s out of good landlords for a typo mistake which impacted the tenant not at all. Judges presiding over these cases must be shaking their heads. Something needs to be done. The TDS and other schemes are incredibly bias in favour of the tenant.

                  Perhaps it is a better idea to simply not take a deposit, and if the tenant damages the property, just start a small claim, and where it is negligible, just forget it and chalk it up to a cost.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Conflicted View Post
                    Please tell me more about what you do to select your tenant rigorously?
                    Well first they have to be working, end of..... no benefits of any kind (excluding state pension if fully retired). Any tenant that needs a guarantor is off the list, no arguments on that one. I interview every single person who passes the agents application form (i go for tenant find service), no one will even sniff my properties unless i have interviewed them.

                    I work in a job that means i come into contact with '' wrong un's '' on a regular basis, my instincts are very very good and even if someone passes all the checks put to them by the agent if i get the '' feeling '' that they are not right then no amount of extra up front payments or other nonsense will get them into the property. It has worked well for me for many years, no arrears ever and no issues at all.

                    My properties are 2 bed, i do not allow children, i tend to go for older single individuals.

                    The properties are very high spec and i want to keep them that way, i have seen other landlords have major financial and stress issues with tenants that clearly from the get go were wrong, but they simply did not look closely enough and they pay for it. I would leave my properties empty rather than get anyone who i was not 100% certain of, the agent i use have said in the past that i am one of the strictest landlords they have on their books..... fine by me.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Conflicted View Post
                      It's a but of a mockery of the system though, which was set up to empower tenants against unscrupulous landlords, and now it's being used by tenants to make potentially £1000s out of good landlords for a typo mistake which impacted the tenant not at all.
                      The counter argument is the clause that Aerosmith used to put into their concert contracts that the promoter had to provide a bowl of M&Ms, but only the brown ones.
                      That wasn't there because they only liked one kind of sweet, but because when someone didn't do it right, they knew that they'd have other problems, because the attention to detail was (probably) absent.

                      The TDS and other schemes are incredibly bias in favour of the tenant.
                      That's not been my experience, and the reviews of the scheme's by tenants say the reverse.

                      Perhaps it is a better idea to simply not take a deposit, and if the tenant damages the property, just start a small claim, and where it is negligible, just forget it and chalk it up to a cost.
                      That's becoming quite common, particularly as the deposit is now limited,
                      I use the deposit as an extra affordability test, less than 1 in 10 tenancies has ended in any kind of claim, it's more about how much money the tenant has or can access.
                      The small claims court will use exactly the same mechanisms to calculate a landlord's loss as the deposit companies and can rule on a wider range of claims, so that can be a good route - and it's quite easy.

                      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


                        #12
                        I got the deposit of over £1,600 for unpaid rent for one month without any problems but had to wait for 3 months. The rest of the arrears I claimed via MCOL.

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                          #13
                          Let them take you to Court, you have nothing to loose. Tell them it would be a harsh judge, who agrees with them. The deposit was protected and you have returned it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            JPkeates - absolutely, I'm not working in risk management for major concert tours where people can die because the wiring isn't correct etc, but I'm not the only one who assumes terms and conditions of regular purchases or other activities don't say 'you will give me the labour of your first born son for 20 years' which is a recent experiment I've heard of! No one noticed. Its fairly human to make a typo, particularly when you have covid, which was the situation there!

                            I might join you in not taking a deposit, it'll probably make my property more attractive and allow me greater choice of tenant.

                            I have recently rented myself. Gone through the deposit scheme in dispute twice, on both occasions the scheme awarded me more than I expected. They were both landlords who charged us for everything back to new condition, and when I pointed this out the landlords refused to budge. So we went to dispute.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Conflicted View Post
                              They were both landlords who charged us for everything back to new condition, and when I pointed this out the landlords refused to budge. So we went to dispute.
                              So the scheme acted correctly when your landlord(s) tried to claim more than they were entitled to.
                              That's not biased, that's what they're there for.
                              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

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