Protection of Deposit after vacating property

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Protection of Deposit after vacating property

    Hi there, I was wondering if any of you had any advice on this matter, I've searched around a lot, and done a fair amount of reading on the subject, but can't seem to find a recent case similar to mine.

    A brief breakdown of my situation - I moved out of my old flat at the start of this month, my landlady returned half of my deposit and kept half as she wanted to get a quote for some minor repairing of some paintwork. At the time I was not aware of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes, so thought this was reasonable, but since then she seems to have come up with more and more elaborate reasons for why she is keeping the majority of the remaining £460 she owes us. Let me be clear here in saying that the flat was clean, tidy and in a much nicer state than when we received it.

    She is very unrealistic about the whole affair, and we cant seem to come to any type of solution. She has not protected my deposit, and when I informed her of this law, and that I would be taking legal action if she didnt return my full deposit, she went out and protected the remainder of the deposit (a full three weeks after my departure, claiming that I'm living at the house for the next year!).

    My question (after all that!) is whether I have good grounds to file an n208 form, (for the 3x penalty) being as I have suffered several financial penalites (bank charges etc) stemming from this, not to mention the stress it has caused? I would accept the return of my deposit in full, and settle the matter there, but being as I've made this clear all along, and she's still persisting, I don't think this is going to happen.

    I've seen a similar case to mine, here are the details -


    The August issue of Legal Action Magazine has two cases on tenancy deposit claims, which go to support tenants claiming against landlords who breach the tenancy deposit regulations. If you want to read the full stories, this is set out in Nearly Legal. However just to summarise:

    Woods v.Harrington
    This case involved a landlord who protected the deposit so late it was after the tenancy agreement had ended. The Judge held that was 'not only contrary to the letter of the law but is contrary to the spirit of the law and the public policy considerations that Parliament was seeking'. The landlord lost and was ordered to pay the penalty fine of three times the deposit sum for being in breach of the tenancy deposit regulations.

    Thanks for your time, its much appreciated!

  • #2
    A decision in a higher court has now clarified that the poorly drafted legislation should be interpreted such that if a landlord protects a deposit late that he should not be liable to the x3 penalty. However in your case, this landlord is clearly flouting the law as the deposit has never been protected. You should write to your ex-landlord and advise her that unless you receive your deposit refunded in full forthwith then you intend to take her to the SCC when she may be liable to a fine of 3x the deposit that she should have protected. Refunding a mere half of it is unsatisfactory and she needs proof of the damage she claims you have done during your tenancy before any of your deposit money can be retained. The tenancy deposit rules were introduced to prevent this very attitude from some ignorant landlords.

    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
      thanks P.Pilcher, thats good to know. I've heard about the recent High court decision, but as you said, just felt that in my case she has so clearly ignored the law, that I may be successful.

      Thanks for getting back to me, its much appreciated.

      Comment


      • #4
        p.s If anyone else has an opinion, or has heard of a similar case, I'd really love to hear from you!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Midwinter View Post
          My question (after all that!) is whether I have good grounds to file an n208 form, (for the 3x penalty) being as I have suffered several financial penalites (bank charges etc) stemming from this, not to mention the stress it has caused? I would accept the return of my deposit in full, and settle the matter there, but being as I've made this clear all along, and she's still persisting, I don't think this is going to happen.

          I've seen a similar case to mine, here are the details -
          Yes, N208 is the correct form, but note that it may well not end up in the small claims track, therefore you could be exposed to the defendant's legal costs. See
          http://blog.painsmith.co.uk/2009/05/...or-tds-claims/

          If you just want the deposit back, then firstly raise a dispute with the deposit scheme, and if the LL agrees to use the scheme's adjudication service, then the dispute can be settled that way. (Though, of course, the deposit may not be protected given that the LL has lied about the tenancy dates - call the scheme and ask).

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Westminster, thats a useful link, definitely something to think about. When I spoke to the DPS they seemed not to be interested in the fact the deposit protection was filed incorrectly (and fraudulently)

            Perhaps I will try calling them again to find out what they can do in this case.

            Comment


            • #7
              Totally agree with PP. I can only think this is a DPS training issue. I am sure they can't accept monies for the disputed portion of a deposit for a concluded (non existent) tenancy. For the record, as an interested industry observer, I have brought this thread to the attention of DPS - once clarified, I would suggest you pursue the landlady concerned - after all this was the purpose of the legislation. You can then negotiate from a position of strength, if you then want to be charitable, then that's up to you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks eramallid, so do you think the DPS will get in contact with us via this thread? I'll also speak to the Scheme my landlady has used, and I'll post up what they say here. Thanks for taking the time to do that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am sure you will be contacted via this thread.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think so guys!
                    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Which island? and so little faith.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you just want the other half of your deposit back, make sure it has been protected with the DPS and instigate the claim process (on-line) and claim all the deposit. Your LL will almost certainly dispute this, in which case you can both use the free ADR service or risk the courts, either way you would appear to be in a strong position if the tenancy dates don't tie up.

                        Contact the DPS asap and make sure that your deposit is protected and they have your contact details (mobile and email). That way the deposit cannot be released without your authority.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, Islandgirl we were both wrong However, I still don't understand how half a deposit from an expired (therefore non existent) tenancy agreement can be lodged with a TDP provider, particularly the custodial version and then be accepted as qualifying for their ADR process - particularly as DPS haven't had the benefit of the interest on the full deposit for the period of the tenancy which, as their only income stream, they rely on to fund the ADR overhead cost. But you live and learn.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eramallid View Post
                            Well, Islandgirl we were both wrong However, I still don't understand how half a deposit from an expired (therefore non existent) tenancy agreement can be lodged with a TDP provider, particularly the custodial version and then be accepted as qualifying for their ADR process
                            I think the reason may be that the DPS simply acts as a stakeholder; you can lodge money with them before a tenancy has been signed (which may never be signed), so why not after - although the tenancy is not 'active' in either case, the money is still being held as security against the tenant's liabilities, in respect of a proposed, or a former, tenancy.

                            And it's not really 'half' a deposit; the half which has been returned is no longer a deposit.

                            It is also reasonable that the landlord should be able to comply, however late. Firstly because it's better than the LL hanging onto the cash - the money is safe in the DPS and the T has the opportunity to use the scheme's adjudication - and secondly because it would be unfair to create a law which cannot be complied with. (Though, of course, that is precisely the case if you wanted to use the TDS, which requires clauses to be inserted into the contract in order for the deposit to be protected).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My only comment is, that the equitable solution given the particular circumstances of this case, would be for the DPS ADR to operate IF the landlord was prepared to fund / make a significant contribution to the cost. If they weren't, then the monies should be automatically payable to the tenant.

                              DPS relies exclusively on interest to fund the operation of the whole scheme - admin & ADR. As they didn't have the benefit of earning the interest on the whole deposit during the currency of the tenancy, why should they respond to protect the interests of the landlord who has not conformed with the requirements of primary statute?

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X