Landlord Refuses To Return Deposit To Tenant!

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    Landlord Refuses To Return Deposit To Tenant!

    Hi,

    Tenant (me) moved out of flat on 12th February 2009. I had paid-up rent until end of same month.

    On 15th same month, Tenant and Landlord met-up to do handover. Both of us signed a document, agreeing to return my £900 deposit, but for him to keep £20 over some minor issue. So £880 is now owing back to me.

    Keep hassling Landlord to return my deposit. He keeps promising he will, but never does.

    Mid-April 2009: I am now hacked-off. Contact Landlord, and he tells me he will now only release deposit, if I send proof of all utility bills being paid in full.

    I do this.

    May 2009: Landlord texts me to say deposit is being paid into my bank account. Please send him my bank details. I do this.

    3 days ago: No deposit yet. Give Landlord final warning, that as it's now been nearly 3 whole months since I left his flat, that if £880 isn't in my account by Midday on 13th May, I will sue, and no futher warnings will be given.

    Today - 14th May: I receive a new Handover Form dated 6th May 2009, signed by Landlord, stating only £675 will be returned to me, due to various new additional "issues" he highlights.

    Problem: I can't find the original Handover Report both he and I signed on 15th Feb . £675 is in my account (as of today), but I wish to start legal proceedings against him anyway, to claim the rest of the money back, and for the severe delay in returning the depost.

    Tenancy started in Feb 2008. Was a 6-month AST tenancy. He was supposed to put deposit into new Government-approved scheme, and notify me of who they were and their contact details. This never happened.

    Can I still sue him, for a) the rest of the outstanding deposit that amounts to £205; b) sue him for the extensive delay in refunding my deposit, and c) for not notifying me of where and who the deposit was kept with?

    Have been told, that untimely return or retention of deposit by landlord under the new UK rules, means I can sue for three times the deposit. So, I would like to sue for a total of £2000 (£900 = original deposit, times by 3 = ££2700, minus the £675 he's now paid back) which equals £2025, but am happy to round down that figure to just £1000, because he only really owes me £615 (£205 x 3 months) plus a bit extra for all the hassle, stress and delays he's caused me.

    Help please! Thanks in advance.


    Pooch

    #2
    Send him a polite final warning that as he has not protected your deposit you will be taking court action to recover 3x the deposit to which you are entitled, unless the deposit is returned in full within 7 days.
    The money claim on line process is quite straightforward.

    P.P.
    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

    Comment


      #3
      Firstly you refer to UK - please confirm the property is in England or Wales.

      On what date did the tenancy agreement start?

      Assuming that the tenancy is in England or Wales and that the tenancy started after April 2007 then LL has an obligation to protect the deposit.

      Sue for 3x deposit plus the deposit of £900, less what you have actually received so far. Also claim interest.

      Issue the claim, but expect LL to then protect the deposit out of time or return the full outstanding amount of the deposit to you. If he does either of these actions you are not guaranteed to get the amount you are seeking, but decisions are going many different ways.

      You can negotiate with LL but make sure that any attempts to settle are in writing and marked 'without prejudice save as to costs of detailed assessment'. This is just to ensure you do not shoot yourself in the foot!

      If you can strike a deal great, but I think it is unlikely that whoever wins at court will recover any legal costs (other than the issue fee, allocation fee and hearing fee).
      PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

      Comment


        #4
        Too late to protect the deposit, you are no longer a tenant.

        If you believe you are owed money start the reclamation process using MoneyClaim Online.

        Comment


          #5
          Hi All,

          Thanks for all of your very helpful replies.

          For what it's worth, I was a tenant in England, and the tenancy started on 1st March 2008 and ended the last day of February 2009, although I physically left the flat (and took all of my belongings too) on the 12th Feb 2009.


          Pooch

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Poppy View Post
            Too late to protect the deposit, you are no longer a tenant.

            If you believe you are owed money start the reclamation process using MoneyClaim Online.
            correct, sorry missed that bit. This means if he returns the full amount of the deposit to you there is a risk that you will not get 3x payment.
            PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

            Comment

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