contractual tenancy and deposit

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    contractual tenancy and deposit

    My previous tenants are disputing my withholding £1400 of their deposit for damages on a tenancy agreement of >25k. The contract states that the agent will hold the deposit but when commencing the contract I convinced the agent to let me (LL) hold the deposit.

    The tenants are disputing the damages, and I am now worried that they will take legal action - what can they do and what is my position? Have I breached any laws by holding the deposit?

    #2
    When did the tenancy start?
    Did you get it protected in a deposit scheme.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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      #3
      tenancy started in april 2009. I did not get it protected in a deposit scheme.

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        #4
        since the deposit was for a tenancy of more than 25000 pa. you did not have to put it in a deposit protection scheme.
        I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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          #5
          I don't see what law you could have breached by holding the deposit instead of the agent.
          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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            #6
            The tenants are disputing the damages, and I am now worried that they will take legal action - what can they do and what is my position?
            They can issue a county court claim for return of the deposit. It would be allocated to the small claims track, so you don't need a solicitor to defend yourself. The deposit is the tenant's money and you would have to provide evidence to prove a loss of £1,400, thereby entitling you to keep the tenant's money. Ideally, the evidence would include a check-in inventory report (signed by the tenant) and check-out, and receipts and/or quotes for the repairs. Without such evidence, you'd be likely to lose the claim.

            Assuming you could prove the damage, the court would also look at the reasonableness of the charges - for example, if you charged £500 for a repair which one would expect to cost £100, then you will probably not be awarded the full amount, even if you had a receipt for it.

            In addition, the tenant is not liable for fair wear and tear (the minor knocks, scratches etc which happen with everyday, non-negligent, use), and the landlord is not entitled to 'betterment'. An example of the latter would be charging the full replacement cost of a damaged, five year old fitted carpet. In this example, you would only be entitled to a portion of the replacement cost of a similar quality carpet, calculated on the expected lifespan of the carpet - if you'd expect it to have lasted 10 years, then you'd have lost five years of use, therefore you'd be entitled to roughly 50% of the replacement cost.

            Have I breached any laws by holding the deposit?
            No.

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