Taking Landlord to Court over Deposit

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    Taking Landlord to Court over Deposit

    Hi Guys

    After continously trying everything I can for 6 months to recover my deposit from my previous landlord i gave up and decided to take them to court as they wouldnt even answer my calls or reply to any of my letters, duck and dodge me, exsuses after excuse and lying about deposit already being tranfered into my bank acc. It seems after the court contacted my landlord he has decided to get back to them - phewwww - atleast we r talking again.

    I lived in this 2 bed flat for 3 1/2 years and left the prop in decent condition with the exception of general wear and tear. My landlord has apparently claimed a deduction of 500quid for repainting the prop and changing the carpets. uuurrmmm? wtf??? Now I have no evidence to prove to the court what the condition the property was in when I left. However nowhere in the inventory or my agreement does it state the condition of the prop either. so will this be a case of my word against his? how do I go about proving that the cost of 500quid is unfair.

    My landlord has also reported to the court that I left without leaving any forwarding address and that they didnt have my phone number or anyway to contact me. ABSOLUTE LIE. Also that I never spoke to them after my departure. ANOTHER LIE.

    I am so stuck, I dont have experience in dealing with courts and legal issues etc. The court is now asking me whether I wish to appoint a mediator? would this be any different from actually attending a court hearing infront of a judge? will this give my landlord an apportunity to avoid paying me my full deposit. Are these mediators any good? I understand this will save cost but I am so upset by this and knowing that I am on the right*, I am willing to spend the money to teach this dishonest individual a lesson (if its possible ofcourse)

    p.s. deposit was not protected in a DPS as it didnt exist 3 years back.

    Help

    #2
    Originally posted by Manchester_uk View Post
    My landlord has apparently claimed a deduction of 500quid for repainting the prop and changing the carpets. uuurrmmm? wtf??? Now I have no evidence to prove to the court what the condition the property was in when I left. However nowhere in the inventory or my agreement does it state the condition of the prop either. so will this be a case of my word against his?
    The onus is on the landlord to prove that you've caused the damage, not on you to prove that you haven't. So the fact that the inventory is inadequate will hurt that landlord's case rather than yours.

    My landlord has also reported to the court that I left without leaving any forwarding address and that they didnt have my phone number or anyway to contact me. ABSOLUTE LIE. Also that I never spoke to them after my departure. ANOTHER LIE.
    I would have thought that wouldn't make any sense to the court - if you believe that you should be getting your deposit back, and have now progressed to court proceedings, why wouldn't you have contacted the landlord?

    I am so stuck, I dont have experience in dealing with courts and legal issues etc. The court is now asking me whether I wish to appoint a mediator? would this be any different from actually attending a court hearing infront of a judge? will this give my landlord an apportunity to avoid paying me my full deposit.
    I've no experience of this; however this is all about trying to avoid wasting the court's time on matters which could more easily and appropriately be dealt with less formally. Courts expect to see that all reasonable efforts have been made to avoid a hearing; that would normally include stuff like a paper trail of letters requesting refund of the deposit, culminating in a final 'Letter Before Action' to the landlord giving him ~7 days before you will be starting legal proceedings.

    If you haven't done and/or can't prove the above; and then if the landlord accepts mediation and you refuse it, then maybe that would harm your case? Not sure - hopefully others will respond here too.

    By the way assuming you go to court and win your case then the landlord gets to pay your court fee - don't know what happens if you go to mediation: probably not?

    Comment


      #3
      i ve got paper work olrite - lots of it.

      Comment


        #4
        We just had the same problem and have been to court today. The landlord was expecting to have the property returned in exactly the same state as we got it two years previous and tried to counter claim by saying he needed to have cleaning, painting, gardening work done to rent the property again.

        The judge asked him if he wanted to rent the property again long term and that if so he owuld do touch up work such as this as it was unreasonable not to decorate a property for 5 years say...

        Our landlord also submitted lots of invoices but they were all dated about 6 weeks after we left, so the grass would have grown, cobwebs would have collected so on. He had no dated photos, no inventory or checkout procedure and so we won the case.

        He also tried to claim for a new washing machine and plumbing to unblock a sink, he lost all claims.
        Hope this is some help to you.

        "I lived in this 2 bed flat for 3 1/2 years and left the prop in decent condition with the exception of general wear and tear. My landlord has apparently claimed a deduction of 500quid for repainting the prop and changing the carpets. uuurrmmm? wtf??? Now I have no evidence to prove to the court what the condition the property was in when I left. However nowhere in the inventory or my agreement does it state the condition of the prop either. so will this be a case of my word against his? how do I go about proving that the cost of 500quid is unfair."

        Comment


          #5
          We just had the same problem and have been to court today. The landlord was expecting to have the property returned in exactly the same state as we got it two years previous and tried to counter claim by saying he needed to have cleaning, painting, gardening work done to rent the property again.

          The judge asked him if he wanted to rent the property again long term and that if so he owuld do touch up work such as this as it was unreasonable not to decorate a property for 5 years say...

          Our landlord also submitted lots of invoices but they were all dated about 6 weeks after we left, so the grass would have grown, cobwebs would have collected so on. He had no dated photos, no inventory or checkout procedure and so we won the case.

          He also tried to claim for a new washing machine and plumbing to unblock a sink, he lost all claims.
          Hope this is some help to you.

          Comment


            #6
            that is excellent news - justice served

            may I ask whether you choose for or against going through the mediator option? were you given a choice?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Manchester_uk View Post
              that is excellent news - justice served

              may I ask whether you choose for or against going through the mediator option? were you given a choice?
              We are currently going to court next week for same and were offered mediation but landlord refused to discuss hope we have same success as you as we never had an inventory on commencement or termination of tenancy?

              Comment


                #8
                We werent offered mediation.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I took a tenant to court who'd damaged a carpet, she was charged to clean the carpets and the remainder of her deposit returned within a week. She took me to court and I had a signed inventory from her three years earlier saying carpets were new, photo inventory, photos of damaged carpet, invoice for the clean, contract which stated that it would be deducted from deposit if left in that state (she was advised at pre-check out inspection to have it cleaned) and the judge basically rail roaded over the contract saying that the landlord had the benefit of the rent for three years.

                  Was a complete waste of time me making all those checks, inventories etc.

                  So I suspect in your case you'll win hands down, the courts are very biased towards the tenant in these instances and even though you seem to be the honest party in this matter, it should work in your favour. Tenants are often given bad reputations for the ill feeling and lack of trust in renting but as an ex agent i can state that there are plenty of bad landlords too.

                  I've had a few fall outs with landlords who got the hump because I wouldn't transfer the tenants deposit to them, knew that neither the tenant or I would get it back

                  Comment

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