Tenant deposit protection - Help please!

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  • Tenant deposit protection - Help please!

    We signed a tenancy agreement in September 2008, an agency marketed the flat and we paid the deposit to them. On signing the agreement the landlord took over management of the property. Under the agreement the landlord has to register our deposit with a deposit scheme within 14 days. Six months later and she hasn't done it. I have only just noticed this and haven't asked for it to be done. She has also been very slow at fixing anything.

    What I'd like to know is:

    Is it really that easy to take her to court and get 3x the deposit back? How long would it take and would we be likely to succeed (we have always paid our rent on-time etc.) Has anyone managed this?

    If not, should we use this as a threat to be able to get ourselves out if the property earlier (something we are keen to do).

    Any help would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    How long was the agreement for?, If it was an initial 6 month AST then you could leave on the last day of the agreement without further notice. If you go into a periodic tenancy you would have to give a month's notice to coincide with the end of a rental period.

    You could sue for the 3x penalty, and the award is mandatory, however, if the LL protects it in the meanwhile before the case, you may or may not succeed. It seems to depend on which judge you have on the day.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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    • #3
      The agreement is for 12 months with a break clause on 6. Do you think we would be more likely to succeed if we could show that, on top of this, the LL has been really poor at repairing etc?

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      • #4
        You've passed the break point, so strictly you have to go to the full 12 months.
        You could use the threat of suing for the 3x deposit to try to get an agreement to surrender accepted. At least it might get your deposit protected.
        Has the LL ever served a S21 to you? They sometimes do at the outset of the tenancy.
        I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jta View Post
          You've passed the break point, so strictly you have to go to the full 12 months.
          You could use the threat of suing for the 3x deposit to try to get an agreement to surrender accepted. At least it might get your deposit protected.
          Has the LL ever served a S21 to you? They sometimes do at the outset of the tenancy.
          jta, doesn't it depend on the conditions attached to the break clause? Is it always the case that there is a 'window' at 6 months, that then closes if you don't go at that point? I thought some agreements say either LL or T can operate the break clause by giving so much notice at any point after 6 months has elapsed...but I might have dreamt that. I have funny dreams, me.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          • #6
            We have served the break notice but he originally said (not in writing) that we could leave within a month (contract says two months). He called recently to say that we had to serve out the two month notice, redacting what he had originally said. We have signed on another house and so would have an overlap of a month where we are paying for two places...I would like to use this to be able to put pressure on him so that we can get out in a month (as he originally said)...

            He hasn't served an S.21 on us.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
              jta, doesn't it depend on the conditions attached to the break clause? Is it always the case that there is a 'window' at 6 months, that then closes if you don't go at that point? I thought some agreements say either LL or T can operate the break clause by giving so much notice at any point after 6 months has elapsed...but I might have dreamt that. I have funny dreams, me.
              Possibly, I don't know for sure.

              OP try to come to an arrangement with him, by threatening to sue you might well make him 'reasonable'.
              I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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              • #8
                Originally posted by chowce1982 View Post
                We have served the break notice but he originally said (not in writing) that we could leave within a month (contract says two months). He called recently to say that we had to serve out the two month notice, redacting what he had originally said. We have signed on another house and so would have an overlap of a month where we are paying for two places...I would like to use this to be able to put pressure on him so that we can get out in a month (as he originally said)...

                He hasn't served an S.21 on us.
                So write to him, heading your letter Letter Before Action , saying that you feel it is unfair that he should renege on his original promise to let you go within one month. Say that you feel there should be some give and take here, as he is in breach of contract by not protecting your tenancy deposit in a scheme and this concerns you.

                Say that you have been advised to lodge a claim for the 3x penalty for non-compliance and you will do that if necessary.

                If however, he is willing to refund your deposit in full and allow you to move out on (x date) then you will be willing not to proceed with this claim, a copy of which is attached. (Attach a print out of your claim but don't press 'send' on the original until you have heard from him).
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                • #9
                  Thanks, I'll do that and then get back to you to say how it went. It will be interesting, should it go all the way, to see what the courts do...

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