AST ended but landlord refuses to return deposit

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    #16
    Hi, sorry to bring up an old thread. This matter has been listed for a hearing. A defence and counterclaim has been submitted and I have submitted a defence to counterclaim.

    Something that I have realised in preparing the defence to cc... for the original lease starting in Nov 07, I paid the deposit to the letting agent. They were the letting agent even though my LL was managing the property himself. They never notified me of which deposit scheme the deposit was held in. This deposit was since returned to me in Dec 08. I then paid my LL and he applied it to a scheme for the new lease starting Nov 08.

    I have a suspicion that the letting agent held on to the deposit without putting it in a scheme.

    Do I still have grounds to ask for the 3x penalty because the deposit in the original lease was not protected? I don't intend on doing this but if I still have the right to the penalty, I want to raise the matter in the hearing (I'm still not going to claim for it).

    Thanks!

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      #17
      No. Once a deposit is protected, the '3x' civil penalty threat has achieved its aim and cannot stand alone.
      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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        #18
        Originally posted by ShaunC View Post
        ... This deposit was since returned to me in Dec 08. I then paid my LL and he applied it to a scheme for the new lease starting Nov 08.

        I have a suspicion that the letting agent held on to the deposit without putting it in a scheme.

        Do I still have grounds to ask for the 3x penalty because the deposit in the original lease was not protected? I don't intend on doing this but if I still have the right to the penalty, I want to raise the matter in the hearing (I'm still not going to claim for it).
        You cannot raise any matter at the hearing which you have not already raised in pre-hearing documents or statements, nor is there an automatic "right" to the penalty, so all you could say is that the landlord failed to comply with deposit protection in respect of the first fixed term (and then complied in respect of the second fixed term, albeit he tricked you into unprotecting it early). What purpose this would serve when you are not claiming for it is uncertain; it might serve to undermine LL's credibility as a witness, if anything in your claim/LL's counterclaim comes down to your word against his. The court does consider the 'reasonableness' of parties' behaviour.

        But, as I said, you cannot make 'surprise' assertions at the hearing; the court will not listen to them.

        Note that since your original post the court service has changed the rules about claiming for the 3x penalty and such claims are much riskier than before. They are no longer allocated to the small claims track, but the multi-track, where court fees are high, and you are also exposed to the defendant's legal costs. See
        http://painsmith.wordpress.com/2009/...or-tds-claims/

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          #19
          Ok thanks... I'll just stick to the facts of what I'm claiming then. I was slightly annoyed by the counterclaim of the LL that included scratches to a door frame from an ill fitting door (too tight to close properly) and cobwebs on the wall to the communial entrance to the block of flats!

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by ShaunC View Post
            Ok thanks... I'll just stick to the facts of what I'm claiming then. I was slightly annoyed by the counterclaim of the LL that included scratches to a door frame from an ill fitting door (too tight to close properly) and cobwebs on the wall to the communial entrance to the block of flats!
            Defences and counterclaims are, by their very nature, likely to be annoying. Try to keep an emotional distance. Rest assured that the judge will see through any false or inflated allegations by the landlord.

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