AST ended but landlord refuses to return deposit

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    AST ended but landlord refuses to return deposit

    Hi,

    I'm new to this forum and have read many posts but I'm hoping for some reassurance for my situation.

    I am having issues getting my deposit back from my ex LL. I initially took out a lease with my ex LL in Nov 07. The deposit of 1,800 was paid to Foxtons. At the end of that lease in Nov 08, I signed a new lease with my LL for 6 months. The deposit was paid back to me from Foxtons and I paid it to my LL. He put it into a deposit protection scheme.

    My lease has now ended in May 08. Before the end of my lease, my LL requested for the 1,800 to be paid back to him and then he'll disburse it to me (amount not agreed). Because this was my first time renting, I thought this was the normal procedure and agreed for the deposit protection scheme to release the 1,800 to my LL. Therefore I am unable to use the dispute service of the protection scheme.

    I tried to meet with my LL at the property numerous times to return the keys and eventually, I slipped them through the door. There was also one time when the LL agreed to meet me at the property to go over any damages and didn't turn up. I had to call him after standing outside the property for 15mins to find this out. His claim at the time was that he doesn't have keys to the flat.

    A week and a half ago, I emailed him a request for the deposit back. He phoned me back and was complaining about damages to the property. I finally agreed on 250 of deductions to try and get the rest of the deposit back (I needed the funds urgently). He agreed to this over the phone and said he'll transfer the money. He then emailed me and said he's going to hold 500 while he gets an estimate to make good the flat. Despite being rather annoyed, I requested for him to return the 1300 asap. Again, he said he'll transfer the money. This did not happen. He then said, he'll drop a cheque off. This also did not happen. I have subsequently withdrawn my offer to settle for 250 of deductions.

    He's claiming that the damages to the property has prevented him getting a new tenant in. The alleged damages are a 1 inch hole in the kitchen tile, scratches on the hob splashback and scuffs on the walls.

    There was no inventory taken when I moved in initially (Nov 07) or when I signed a new lease (Nov 08). There was no inventory when I moved out.

    The place was not cleaned when I moved in.. in fact, on the date the lease started, there was still a painter in the house and no curtains in the bedroom. I had to stay an extra night in a B&B which he said he'll reimburse me. After not hearing any further from him about the £50, I decided not to chase the matter. I spent hours wiping down every surface and every wall (when I finally got the keys to the flat) due to the amount of dust on them.

    I am now about to send a letter recorded delivery requesting for my bond back. I will then send a letter of demand and proceed with court action if I do not get the full amount back.

    Am I right in doing so? I'm feel rather annoyed, and taken advantage of, after being let down numerous times.

    Any advice is much appreciated and apologies for the long post.

    #2
    Do not hesitate to issue a claim if your LL fails to return the deposit in full. Without an inventory check-in report, the LL cannot prove you caused any damage and cannot make any deductions without evidence of the original condition of the property.

    You should also try claiming for the 3x penalty under Section 214 of the Housing Act 2004 - the penalty is applied when a LL fails to protect a deposit and in this case although it was initially protected, it's arguable that because the LL deceived you into releasing it to him, this means the deposit is not currently protected at all.

    I've no idea what your chances of being awarded the penalty are in these unusual circumstances, but it can't hurt to try.

    Comment


      #3
      p.s. if it's your first time as a litigant-in-person, it'd be a good idea to buy a book on the small claims procedure (there are a few on amazon). It's not difficult but can be a bit daunting the first time you do it.

      Comment


        #4
        There's an arbitration service that you can use but I don't know the details, sorry. Someone on here will know.

        My daughter, as tenant, has gone to arbitration once and won all her deposit back and a second time was threatened with arbitration and when she said fine go ahead the LL chickened out! He was all bluff anyway and a bit of a pr*ck IMHO.

        Comment


          #5
          Moneyclaim online surely?
          '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


            #6
            Originally posted by westminster View Post
            Do not hesitate to issue a claim if your LL fails to return the deposit in full. Without an inventory check-in report, the LL cannot prove you caused any damage and cannot make any deductions without evidence of the original condition of the property.
            I think the words "cannot" should be replaced with "will have great difficulty to" - you seem to be indicating that without an inventory this will be an open-and-shut case in favour of the tenant: that's not so, I believe.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for your help! Should I serve a LBA before using moneyclaim online?

              Also, because I received the full 1,800 deposit back at the end of the previous lease (Nov 08 expiry), does the LL have to prove the damage was caused during the new lease (Nov 08 - May 09) or will it been seen as 1 long lease (Nov 07 - May 09)?

              NB. The LL has subsequently returned me 1,165... after I notified him yesterday that I am willing to go to court over this.

              Comment


                #8
                yes.(filler)
                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


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                  I think the words "cannot" should be replaced with "will have great difficulty to" - you seem to be indicating that without an inventory this will be an open-and-shut case in favour of the tenant: that's not so, I believe.
                  Yes, you are quite right and indeed the LL might have other evidence such as a receipt for a brand new item dated a week before tenancy commenced.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by ShaunC View Post
                    Thanks for your help! Should I serve a LBA before using moneyclaim online?
                    Yes.

                    Also, because I received the full 1,800 deposit back at the end of the previous lease (Nov 08 expiry), does the LL have to prove the damage was caused during the new lease (Nov 08 - May 09) or will it been seen as 1 long lease (Nov 07 - May 09)?
                    I don't know, but it doesn't matter for the purposes of the claim. You are claiming for your money back, LL must show he is entitled to keep £635.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Sorry to bring up an old thread....I'm stuck with this again. I applied to get my money back through MCOL a month or so ago. The LL acknowledged service but failed to lodge a defense. Therefore I entered judgement and subsequently, a warrant of execution against him.

                      However, the bailiff's request was 'Unfulfilled' and after contact MCOL, they informed me over the phone that the matter has been referred to my local court. Its now been nearly 2 weeks and I haven't received any in the mail from the local court or MCOL to confirm this.

                      I don't know what actions my LL took to refer the judgement to the local court but I'm wondering what my next steps should be.

                      Any help is much appreciated... Thanks!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ShaunC View Post
                        Sorry to bring up an old thread....I'm stuck with this again. I applied to get my money back through MCOL a month or so ago. The LL acknowledged service but failed to lodge a defense. Therefore I entered judgement and subsequently, a warrant of execution against him.

                        However, the bailiff's request was 'Unfulfilled' and after contact MCOL, they informed me over the phone that the matter has been referred to my local court. Its now been nearly 2 weeks and I haven't received any in the mail from the local court or MCOL to confirm this.

                        I don't know what actions my LL took to refer the judgement to the local court but I'm wondering what my next steps should be.

                        Any help is much appreciated... Thanks!
                        So the bailiffs were unsuccessful - any reason given?

                        How do you know the LL has taken any action? Do you mean he has applied to have the judgment set aside?

                        Call the court and ask. County courts can often be inefficient and it's possible they haven't sent you something they ought to have.

                        Assuming the judgment still stands, there are other methods of enforcement.

                        http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/i...ment/index.htm

                        An order to obtain information is also very useful in terms of deciding which enforcement method is most likely to succeed.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi,

                          I'm slightly confused with what I need to do. I finally received a 'Notice of hearing of application; and a copy of a N244 application to have the judgement set aside because the courts never received my LL's Defence and Counterclaim (sent recorded mail).

                          Also attached was a 'General Form of Judgement or Order' where "Enforcement of the Judgement is suspended pending the hearing of the application to set judgement aside".

                          I'm wondering:

                          1. Am I meant to attend this hearing or is it supposed to be only the judge and LL?
                          2. Is this hearing where I present my argument to claim my deposit back or it is purely for the application to set judgement aside on the grounds that the courts didn't receive the defense and counterclaim? ie. there will be a subsequent hearing where I present my case.

                          Thanks for all your help! It's a rather intimidating process.

                          Shaun

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The court will need to be satisfied that what the LL is claiming (D and CC lost in post) is the truth and not simply a convenient excuse to allow him to get out of the JiD.

                            You may wish to attend to make representations if you have reason to believe that the LL is not telling the truth.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              There was a copy of the recorded delivery receipt and Post Office claim so I believe my LL is telling the truth.

                              Am I right in saying I do not need to attend because they will not actually discuss the merits of the D and CC in this hearing?

                              Comment

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