Tenancy Deposit Scheme - HELP PLEASE!

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  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme - HELP PLEASE!

    I am totally inexperienced at being a landlady and 18 months ago, I let my flat out to two girls but didn't register their deposit with the TDS (I honestly had no idea it existed) neither did I complete an inventory.

    The two ladies have vacated the flat and have ruined freshly decorated walls with blu tak, left the kitchen in a filthy condition etc...swapped the contents of the rooms around (bedroom now lounge and vice versa)..

    I have returned their deposit minus £200 for redecoration and cleaning costs, however I've just been told that because I didn't use the TDS they can take me to court and I will have to pay x 3 times the deposit to them (£2400)..

    Is this correct? Their tenancy ended two weeks ago).

    Any advice would be very much appreciated..

  • #2
    No. The right to claim a [civil penalty, not criminal-law fine] 3xdeposit payment arises only as an adjunct to proceedings being brought by T.
    In this case, you've already returned the deposit; so T has no further grounds against you and you ought to be home & dry.
    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
      Are the ex-tenants threatening to take you to court for three times the deposit? If so, I recommend that you simply return all of the deposit right now. You need to learn how to effectively (and lawfully) run your let property business. As part of your learning, I recommend that you spend several hours reading these fora.

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      • #4
        Thanks

        so much for the info - I will now sleep tonight!

        Comment


        • #5
          Help please!

          I've just noticed I have two conflicting answers regarding my post - can anyone clarify for me please?

          Comment


          • #6
            I think Jeffery has read your post to mean that you have returned the deposit (without deduction) to the tenant.

            If you have made any deductions from the deposit then the tenants may be able to sue you for the £200 you have withheld, and also 3x the value of the deposit.

            The legislation allows the courts to order that you must pay the deposit into an authorised scheme, or alternatively return the deposit to the tenant.

            It can be argued that the penalty payment (3x the deposit) can only be ordered where the court also makes an order for the deposit to be protected or returned. This means that if you have returned the whole deposit to the tenants then you could argue that a penalty payment cannot be made by the court.

            The difficulty you have is that this is one interpretation of the legislation, and equally it can be argued that the return of the deposit may not absolve you from liability. I would suspect that if you have returned the deposit in full before the tenants have issued a claim against you then you may not be liable for the penalty payment.

            If you do not return the £200 you have withheld then if the tenants sue you I think they would be able to claim for both the £200 and the penalty payment.

            If you wait until a claim is issued, and then you just return the £200, you may still be liable for the penalty payment.

            If you return the £200 there is nothing to prevent you bringing a claim against the tenants for any damage they have caused.
            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.

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            • #7
              I agree with Paul. Give the £200 back immediately.

              Please learn from what has happened and make sure that you have the legal aspects of letting clear in your head before you re-let the property - for your own sake and your tenants'.

              Apart from deposit protection, please make sure you know about EPCs, gas safety certificates and electrical safety and serving a section 21 notice correctly when you want to regain possession of your property.

              Hope it goes more smoothly next time.
              '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
                Originally posted by Paul Gibbs View Post
                I think Jeffery has read your post to mean that you have returned the deposit (without deduction) to the tenant.
                Think you mean JeffREy.

                Originally posted by Paul Gibbs View Post
                If you return the £200 there is nothing to prevent you bringing a claim against the tenants for any damage they have caused.
                This would be unlikely to succeed, as OP has no proof of condition of property at tenant check-in.

                Gabby,
                If no inventory was done, then you should not have made any deductions, as you have no proof of condition of property at tenancy start. Return the deductions (£200) to the ex-tenants, and learn from this mistake.

                Educate yourself so this does not happen again, for example; join a landlord's association; read forums, books; network at property events. If this doesn't appeal, then maybe the property letting business is not for you.
                The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tom999 View Post
                  If this does not appeal, then maybe the property letting business is for you.
                  Er...perhaps that should read 'the property business is not for you!

                  Having said that, many agents and LLs do manage to resist the temptations of this kind of reading/self-improvement
                  '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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                  • #10
                    Thanks

                    to all for the info, I will make sure I do it by the book next time, I didn't realise it was all so complicated, silly me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tom999 View Post
                      Think you mean JeffREy.

                      This would be unlikely to succeed, as OP has no proof of condition of property at tenant check-in.

                      Gabby,
                      If no inventory was done, then you should not have made any deductions, as you have no proof of condition of property at tenancy start. Return the deductions (£200) to the ex-tenants, and learn from this mistake.

                      Educate yourself so this does not happen again, for example; join a landlord's association; read forums, books; network at property events. If this doesn't appeal, then maybe the property letting business is not for you.
                      Will teach me for rushing!
                      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


                      • #12
                        No, not silly you, so much law, rules, regulations, too much.

                        A landlord breaking the law can get into big big trouble. Do not take this lightly. I am a managing agent and landlord and if I had not registered a deposit I would give them the £200.00 back (just lose the money) and avoid the very serious consequences.


                        By the way, I am new to this forum, How to get to "my posts" to find peoples answers to my questions? As I would not know how to access your answer, would you be kind enough to email me at contactus@allmanfield.co.uk.

                        I would appreciate your help thank you in advance (and watch out!)

                        Alan

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by muckbucket View Post
                          By the way, I am new to this forum, How to get to "my posts" to find peoples answers to my questions? As I would not know how to access your answer, would you be kind enough to email me at contactus@allmanfield.co.uk.
                          To avoid your being treated as a spammer, please do not provide e-mail links to your business.
                          To detect answers from members posting on your thread, use the 'Thread Subscription' feature: see 'Additional Options' below.
                          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).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Gabby
                            most new landlords will start by employing a good letting agent to fully manage and then learn from watching how they do it.
                            Others on these threads have said they do it this way. Maybe it will work for you.
                            Clearly you need a much better grasp of the scope of the regulations facing you as a rental LL.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by little.letter View Post
                              most new landlords will start by employing a good letting agent to fully manage and then learn from watching how they do it.
                              It is very difficult to know in advance whether any particular letting agent is good or dreadful. So you will certainly learn something, but not necessarily the things you hope you will. (You may, for example, learn how not to do it). you can learn a huge amount by reading this forum - and it's free.
                              '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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