S 21 LHA tenant is asking for early deposit

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    S 21 LHA tenant is asking for early deposit

    Hello all,
    This is my first post. I recently took on a tenant who receives HB. She turned out to be very deceptive, not paying on time, lying that she had not been paid and refusing access to the property. She also refused to grant permission to communicate with LHA. I decided to serve her S21 with the 6 month break clause through Landlord Action. Her notice expires 7th of May.

    Now she has emailed me "demanding" access to her deposit within the next 10 days as she needs it to re-house herself. I am not sure if this would be a ploy on her part to get more money out of me and in any case, I doubt if the DPS will release it before she leaves.

    I really would prefer her out without legal battle and LL Action will require further fees if she has to be evicted through the courts, so I am not sure what to do here.
    Your advice would be most appreciated.

    #2
    The DPS will release it whenever you ask them to - but if you authorise its release before the end of her tenancy, you will have nothing to fall back on if there is damage to be repaired or cleaning to be done when she vacates. (Likewise if she leaves owing any rent).

    From what you say she has abused your good will in the past and I would certainly not return her deposit until after the check-out inventory. Even if you did, she is no more legally obliged to move out when your notice to her expires, than she is at present. You may still have to apply for a court order, instruct bailiffs, etc. If there is a protracted battle to evict her and you have already returned her deposit, she may take out her frustration with you on your property. It happens.

    Just be professional - explain in writing that although you would hope to be able to return her tenancy deposit in full, the whole point of such deposits is to cover anything which constitutes more than just fair wear and tear at the end of the tenancy and that this can only be ascertained the day she moves out. Invite her to be present at that check-out, but say that you regret the deposit cannot be released early.

    It sounds as though she is trying it on, really. Even model Ts rarely expect to see their deposit early - i.e. in time to use it for another property, and I'm sure she knows that.
    '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


      #3
      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
      The DPS will release it whenever you ask them to - but if you authorise its release before the end of her tenancy, you will have nothing to fall back on if there is damage to be repaired or cleaning to be done when she vacates. (Likewise if she leaves owing any rent).
      It sounds as though she is trying it on, really. Even model Ts rarely expect to see their deposit early - i.e. in time to use it for another property, and I'm sure she knows that.
      I think you are right. She must have done this before too, as she has emailed me to say she contacted the DPS and has been told it can be done! I will take your advice.
      Thanks a lot.

      Comment


        #4
        I agree with MTG totally - do not return it until she is out of the property - she will take it and still not move!
        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by fumken View Post
          I think you are right. She must have done this before too, as she has emailed me to say she contacted the DPS and has been told it can be done! I will take your advice.
          Thanks a lot.
          That may well be true but wholly irrelevant - whether it is technically possible or not is not the issue - its whether you are prepared to do it which is at issue - to which the answer should be a resounding no.

          One other thought occurs, you might be able to use the prompt release of the deposit as a negotiating tool as she is so keen to get it. In this case it might be worthwhile given her previous history.

          Agree to meet up and do the checkout on her departure day and say - IF the place is immaculately clean and all damage has been put right (or at least agreed upon) you will release the deposit (or the agreed amount) to her that day. Depending on the scheme you can do this on-line so you might be able to do it then and there if you have internet access, but if anything needs doing you will need time to get quotes etc. so there will be an inevitable delay. Do not be tempted to refund from your own pocket and then get it from the scheme as once she has the money she will have no motive to be co-operative.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks all. She says she is fully aware of deposit scheme but has been advised not to leave until She is more or less threatning that it is either I pay the deposit or I go through the courts. I have to pay about £650 (having paid the first £150) if we have to go to the courts.
            What a nightmare!

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