After T leaves, within what period must L return deposit?

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  • After T leaves, within what period must L return deposit?

    My former landlord is holding on to all of my deposit without good reason.

    I've just been on the 'phone to check a few things with TDS and I get the impression that they are an extremely unprofessional organisation. Background noise of other people laughing in the office, very poor command of the English language by the operator, and generally not filling me with any confidence with the answers I was given.

    With this in mind I was thinking of by-passing the arbitration process and proceeding straight to court action. Does anyone think the court would take a dim view on this?

  • #2
    If TDS's agreement with landlords (inc. terms of business) refer all disputes to binding arbitration, you're bound too.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
      If TDS's agreement with landlords (inc. terms of business) refer all disputes to binding arbitration, you're bound too.
      Isn't there an upper limit (money wise) beyond which the dispute service cannot arbitrate?
      '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

      Comment


      • #4
        Question 9 of the form states:

        The Scheme provides a free Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Service to both you and your Landlord/Agent. Both parties must agree to use the service. If either party refuses to use it then, failing agreement between the parties, a court order must be obtained to resolve the dispute.

        Do you wish to use the free ADR facility provided by the Scheme?


        I therefore take it I can go straight to court action. What I am concerned about is if the court won't look on my claim so favourably given I've rejected the ADR.

        Has anyone any opinion on the best route to take?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
          Isn't there an upper limit (money wise) beyond which the dispute service cannot arbitrate?
          In this case the dispute is just under £2k.

          It would seem to undermine one of the major points of deposit protection, if the organisations involved don't have the required authority to deal with the disputes.

          Comment


          • #6
            The upper limit that can be arbitrated is the full amount of the deposit registered & protected.
            If the LL wishes to claim for over this amount for damages/arrears they must go to court.
            Likewise any tenant wishing to claim the 3x compo also has to go to court.
            The arbitration system is flawed but as you are a tenant it is likely that it will go in your favour, no matter how disorganised you believe the DPS to be.
            See other posts on here re ADR awards and the deposit companies' grasp of lettings law & practice

            Comment


            • #7
              Late deposit refund

              Hi everyone

              I have left the flat I was renting more than 3 months ago and I still haven't received my deposit back. The deposit is protected by the TDS and the letting agent is acting as a stakeholder. I have received absolutely no communication about my deposit besides a copy of the inventory checkout.

              After several phone calls with the agent, I have been told that the LL still has to provide a schedule of costs for the things he wants to deduct from my deposit. I find it completely ridicolous that I have not received my deposit back after so much time and I plan to refuse any deductions.

              Is there a limit of time to how long it can take for the LL to inform me of any deductions? I seem to recall that the contract specified 10 working days from the end of the tenancy...

              Comment


              • #8
                deposit return, pre Deposit compensation scheme

                My tenant of 3 years has just vacated my property and the conditions of the Deposit Compensation scheme do not apply as they weren't ongoing when her tenancy started. I have not as yet returned her deposit due to problems regarding the condition of a new cooker which I installed 18 months ago. Apparently she had burnt it and to conceal this to me, she has painted all over the facia panel, covering up all instructions etc and clogging up knobs. I have purchased new parts, but discovered that her 'cover-up' is too bad to remedy. My next step is to tell her that I shall be deducting the price of the cooker from her deposit and would be glad of help in wording the letter. Do I have to get any corroboration of the cooker condition, if so where does this come from. I should be glad to get some assistance in this matter please

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Belron View Post
                  My tenant of 3 years has just vacated my property and the conditions of the Deposit Compensation scheme do not apply as they weren't ongoing when her tenancy started. I have not as yet returned her deposit due to problems regarding the condition of a new cooker which I installed 18 months ago. Apparently she had burnt it and to conceal this to me, she has painted all over the facia panel, covering up all instructions etc and clogging up knobs. I have purchased new parts, but discovered that her 'cover-up' is too bad to remedy. My next step is to tell her that I shall be deducting the price of the cooker from her deposit and would be glad of help in wording the letter. Do I have to get any corroboration of the cooker condition, if so where does this come from. I should be glad to get some assistance in this matter please
                  Er...how about:

                  Dear T,

                  The new cooker installed in the property on (x date) is now unusable because you have painted over the burn mark you caused on the fascia panel, clogging up the knobs and obscuring the instructions. The cooker will cost £x to replace; I am deducting 10% for wear and tear on the assumption the cooker would have lasted ten years and I am therefore deducting £ 90%x from your tenancy deposit of £y. I enclose a cheque for the balance of £z.

                  Yours faithfully, etc.

                  LL


                  The receipt for the cooker to prove when you bought it new and some photographs of the damage would be worth having at hnad in case she disputes your claim.

                  Blimey, that was an easy one.

                  Or am I missing something here?
                  '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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am in the same position and was also hoping for advice! My LL has failed to reply to my letters regarding the Inventory (performed by an external agency).
                    I've contacted the TDS asking them about the 10 day window they state that the LL has to contact you within but they just said "If you feel that there maybe the need to raise a dispute please fill in the TDS 2 form which can be found on our web site under the header "documents and forms"". The landlord has given me nothing to dispute I just want my deposit back! It feels like the 10 day limit is pointless

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Suggest that you write to the landlord, asking for the full deposit back within seven days or you will take further action.

                      That action can either be to raise a dispute with the deposit scheme or start a Money Claim Online to recover money owed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Return of Deposit

                        Hello,

                        I have had problems with the return of a deposit from a flat I ceased to rent, with a friend, in December 2008. I had been in the property with a previous flatmate, and when they left, found a new one. A new tenancy was drawn up, signed in May 2007, but back dated to Feb 2007, which was when my new flat mate moved in. The deposit was taken in Feb 2007. It does state in the wording of the contract that the deposit would be placed in a deposit protection scheme, etc.

                        The first assured shorthold tenancy expired in Feb 2008. It rolled over, but was renewed by a letter of May 2008 in which the landlord wished to up the rent by £50 a week, but keep the rest of the lease 'as originally drafted'. We both signed this. When we gave notice, the Landlord insisted on two month notice, on the premise we were under a new assured shorthold tenany, commencing in May 2008.

                        The deposit has not been returned. Huge deductions are being claimed, in spite of being sent a letter saying what good tenants we had been. The Landlord is claiming my flatmate is a substitution under the first tenancy agreement, when I found a new flat mate. However, a new tenancy with different wording was issued when he moved in.

                        I issued a claim on the web, using the moneyclaim website. The landlord defended it, and now it has gone to a local county court. They are also saying it should not go through the small claims track (the penalty takes it over £5k) and are asking £10k costs!!

                        I have filed my allocation questionnaire with the county court, and asked that arbitration be made available, as this would have been had the landlord done what they should have done with the deposit under the terms of the tenancy agreement.

                        Is there anything I can do to keep the expense down in this matter? Does the letter keeping the lease as originally drafted but increasing the rent constitute a new assured shorthold tenancy?

                        Help!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Deposit return issue

                          Hi,

                          Myself and my partner have just moved out of a property.

                          The managing agents have just sent us the check-out report saying they will withhold about 1/3 of our deposit for a few issues. The issues listed in this were all issues that existed when we moved in. In fact the apartment is in far, far better condition now than when we moved in. they have provided no reasoning behind these charges either.

                          The inventory was just a very simple list of items that we signed and agreed to. There was no mention of condition etc. We did query this when moving in as it seemed somewhat amateur. But they insisted it was adequate. So we took photographs of everything ourselves as a back up.

                          I have politely explained my position on this to them and asked them to re-evaluate the deposit issue or I will have no choice but query it with the tenancy deposit scheme. I also asked for details of this which they have never provided to us. (The contract was only signed last year so falls in the time frame)

                          I have a feeling at this point that the deposit was never protected. There is no mention of it in my contract and they seem very slow getting back to me.

                          If this is in fact the case, I was wondering what rights I have. As I am now technically no longer a tenant, would I still be able to make a small claim? Or is this something it was my responsibility to do whilst I was still a tenant?

                          I really just want my deposit back in full as would be fair, I am not chasing the 3x compensation thing for the sake of it. But if these guys insist on taking the Mickey I would like to know how to defend my rights.

                          Thanks in advance for any help.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You should have queried the deposit protection while still a tenant. If your landlord is sensible he will protect the money now, albeit late, and prevent you claiming 3x deposit.

                            Find out what they think is the problem and try to resolve it. If you do not agree the deductions and/or they do not return your deposit within a reasonable period, you will need to get the matter resolved either through the deposit arbitration service or the courts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Poppy View Post
                              You should have queried the deposit protection while still a tenant. If your landlord is sensible he will protect the money now, albeit late, and prevent you claiming 3x deposit.

                              I thought I read somewhere that LL can no longer protect after tenancy has ended, since there is no longer a tenancy to which the deposit relates, in other words, none of the schemes will accept the money for a tenancy which no longer exists. T may still sue for the 3x if LL has kept the deposit.
                              '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

                              Comment

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