Who returns T's deposit: L or Agent?

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  • Who returns T's deposit: L or Agent?

    My wife and I are professional responsible people & have privately rented a house for the last two years each time signing 6 month basic contracts with the landlord

    The landlord has made 6 monthly inspections of the property and has had no issues at all

    We called him then wrote to him to give our months notice & having previously enjoyed an amicable relationship with him - we have now discovered his true nature now that we have moved out

    I called him before we left and suggested that he come around to look a the house so that if there was any problem areas we could discuss them before we moved out so we could come to an amicable agreement on any (although there was none) minor damages to his property and could be deducted from the deposit. There is no damage to the property however I wanted to get confirmation eye to eye that there would be no problem in returning it.

    However he refused to come around to view & then subsequently 'appointed' a letting agent who has nothing to do with us to check the property out after we had left.

    Needless to say we have received a very nasty letter from this agent claiming all sorts of damages, the house was left filthy, needs redecorating etc etc - they say the cost of repairs/cleaning will - you guessed it - come to just over what our deposit is!

    My wife is worried because we have no legal experience & the agent is a real bully - the landlord is refusing to take calls etc - we have responded to the agents letter denying everything & telling them we took pictures before we left - however they too say they have pictures (of what, I have no idea) - They are saying that the condensation spoors in the bathroom (because there was inadequate ventilation) is down to us - as well as some small mold that has appeared in a bedroom, again due to the fact the ll did not repoit the front of the house properly. They say we are 'filthy' - which is particularly upsetting, as we are law abiding, 'clean & washed' citizens

    What can I do - we cleaned the house & ther was no inventory or anything like that when we moved in, we have put up with no cooker for 3 weeks during our tenancy as the ll was slow to repair and never held back rent - we have paid our rent on time everytime. We are the perfect tennants - does the agent have any rights to act on the landlords behalf? they say they do - obviously they know their way around these things with their knowledge (I guess) and me & my wife are worried that although we have done absolutly nothing wrong - we are not going to get our deposit back. I am so dissapointed that there are nasty people like this in the world. All we ever did was treat the house like our own & only moved to be nearer to where our childrens friends live, as we lived in a rural area. We moved out a week ago

    Please give me some advice - my wife is so very worried - Thank you

  • #2
    Originally posted by malcolmnash View Post

    Please give me some advice - my wife is so very worried - Thank you
    Don't worry. The LL is just trying to make a fast buck here.

    Two issues:

    1 If there was no inventory, then LL will not have a leg to stand on, legally speaking, if/when you dispute his claim to your deposit. The onus of proof is firmly on him - he would need (a) a detailed check-in inventory supported by photos and agreed/signed by you, of of what the property was like on Day One - together with (b) equally convincing evidence from the check-out inventory, at which you should have been present. The fact that (a) does not exist means he will be whistling in the wind.

    2 If your deposit was not protected in a government approved scheme (as it should have been, unless the rent was above £25k p.a. - was it?) the you can claim 3x the deposit if he does not return it to you in full, quickly.

    Tell us more about what he has done with 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

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    • #3
      Landlord appoints agent two days before we leave & won't return deposit

      Thank you for that advice - no photos/no check in/no inventory were signed when we moved in, because none were done - there was never a gas test either

      We are unclear what he has done with the deposit - we are assuming he has spent it - we took the property one month before it became law to have it protected - Does the 3 times claim on the deposit still apply & how do I persue the deposit? If through the courts, is it simple & any links you can give me please?

      Last thing - the agent that he is now using to correspond with us ( he is using them to hide from us) - should we worry about them? And is there any legalities there that we should worry about (as I assuming they - the agents- will know the law - or probably not!!!) Rememeber we had nothing to do with this agency when we moved in

      Thanks again for your advice - I can feel the weight of worry starting to lift already - If you could clarify these small points I would be most grateful

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      • #4
        Originally posted by malcolmnash View Post
        Thank you for that advice - no photos/no check in/no inventory were signed when we moved in, because none were done - there was never a gas test either

        We are unclear what he has done with the deposit - we are assuming he has spent it - we took the property one month before it became law to have it protected - Does the 3 times claim on the deposit still apply & how do I persue the deposit? If through the courts, is it simple & any links you can give me please?

        Last thing - the agent that he is now using to correspond with us ( he is using them to hide from us) - should we worry about them? And is there any legalities there that we should worry about (as I assuming they - the agents- will know the law - or probably not!!!) Rememeber we had nothing to do with this agency when we moved in

        Thanks again for your advice - I can feel the weight of worry starting to lift already - If you could clarify these small points I would be most grateful
        If you have renewed your AST contract every six months (which is what I am taking your reference to 'six month basic contracts' to mean), then yes, the deposit should have been protected for the first renewal after April 6th 2007.

        The fact that you have not been given the tenant's copy of the CP12 (gas safety certificate) is also a matter of serious concern. (It is a criminal offence).

        OK, I suggest you do the following. Write a short Letter Before Action to your landlord (not the agent), in which you explain:

        (i) that you reject totally the surious and unfounded claims he is making against your tenancy deposit and that you have been advised that no court would uphold them since he has no inventory
        (ii) that you have reason to believe that your deposit was not protected in a scheme as required by government regulations and that unless he returns the deposit to you in full within 7 days (specify date), he will leave you with no option but to sue for 3x the deposit plus the orignal, which is the penalty for non-compliance with a scheme. You can attach a copy of your online claim for the 3x penalty to show you mean business.
        (iii) you could also increase the pressure on him by asking for a copy of the CP12 (say your legal advisor needs to see it).

        This letter in itself will probably do the trick; if he has any sense, he will realise he is onto a losing wicket and hand your deposit back.

        He may huff and puff a bit, but hold your ground and don't be bullied.

        If he is mad enough to go to court over this, he is virtually certain to lose, and you will get the 3x penalty + original deposit + costs.

        As to your relationship with the agent - you do not need to go through them if you feel that is not in your interests, since your contract is with the LL not with the agent. You may choose to send a copy of your letter to the agent so they know what is going on. But you don't have to do anything they tell you to, if you prefer not to.

        Good luck.

        PS Even if, by some miracle, he has protected your deposit, he cannot just keep it. he must dispute its return to you via the scheme arbitration service, who will find against him claim. Then you can throw the book at him for not complying with gas safety regs. He is dead in the water, either way! Don't worry.
        '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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        • #5
          Landlord appoints agent two days before we leave & won't return deposit

          Thank you again - now not worrying at all - last request for information

          You have advised to send him a copy of the online claim - can you please let me know where we make the online claim

          Once again, most grateful to you

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          • #6
            Originally posted by malcolmnash View Post
            Thank you again - now not worrying at all - last request for information

            You have advised to send him a copy of the online claim - can you please let me know where we make the online claim

            Once again, most grateful to you
            It's a N208 claim form for you county court - available online. You may find this thread interesting:

            http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/for...hp/t65430.html
            '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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            • #7
              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
              It's a N208 claim form for you county court - available online. You may find this thread interesting:

              http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/for...hp/t65430.html
              This is the form itself (below). You have to print if off and fill it in. Do one for yourself and one for the LL; tell him the date you intend to send it off, unless he produces your deposit in full.

              http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/c.../n208_1000.pdf
              '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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              • #8
                Landlord appoints agent two days before we leave & won't return deposit

                Thank you for all your advice - I will keep you posted through this site

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                • #9
                  Getting my Deposit back, if LL broke the law

                  Hello,
                  any help would be so great for me as i really don't know much about the law in this case. so my landlord asked me for a deposit of a high amount. the amount was over the legal amount for a tenency deposit, but i did not know this at the time of signing the contract. also the Landlord did not protect my deposit by putting it into a savings scheme... now the contract is over, and i have found out about the laws the landlord broke in the contract, and the Landlord is refusing to return part of my depoist becuase he clamined that i left the house in a dirty state, and that i broke a light bulb. and that he is keeping some of my deposit to pay for heating, water, and electricy.
                  does the landlord have any right to my Money.? seeing that he broke the law.?

                  Thanks...

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                  • #10
                    What is the amount of the deposit?
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                    • #11
                      What was your annual rent? Was it an AST?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by herculiez View Post
                        My landlord asked me for a deposit of a high amount. The amount was over the legal amount for a tenancy deposit.
                        What does the bit that I've underlined mean? What 'legal amount' do you think is the limit and why?
                        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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                        • #13
                          did you fill out an inventory when you moved in that contain the state of the property and its content when you moved in? If you did you can always refer to that and compare it to the state of the goods now.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chris2289 View Post
                            did you fill out an inventory when you moved in that contain the state of the property and its content when you moved in? If you did you can always refer to that and compare it to the state of the goods now.
                            It will not be upt to OP to prove that he left the property clean, but to the LL that he (OP), left it dirty. The inventories, or lack of them, are the LL's problem.
                            '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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                            • #15
                              1000€ was the amount of the deposit. the contract is a german tenancy agreement. and accourding to the German §§ 535 ff. BGB (rental law). the deposit legally must not be over 3 months rent.. and my rent was 300€ a month.

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