Deposit and Potential Forgery

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    Deposit and Potential Forgery

    This is a great forum with lots of details. I had no idea on how to proceed with my case but after going through the site I clearly have a lead. But as each case is different I had a question If you could answer.


    My landlord is not returning my deposit. I have sent him plenty of reminders via email, sms and phone calls. He has not responded to any of my calls.

    I sent him a notice before action to his home address by recorded post (Address in my contract). The deposit is £450 and I was on AST.
    I had left the house in a clean condition and had not broken a single thing. He assured me of returning the deposit within 14 days. (as per contract). It has been more than 2 months now.

    I plan to make a small claims court via money claim online.

    There was a check out he carried out and wrote in a white paper with the check out highlights which I signed. It is a shared accommodation and there was a small breakage in the toilet. Listed in the inventory note.

    The only issue I just realised is he has left a lot of white space in between things in the inventory note and he could alter the details by adding other damages. And given his reputation now (he had failed to return the deposit to previous tenant which I just learnt) I suspect he could involve in forgery. Though I do feel stupid to have signed the document this way I did force him to give me a copy of the check out (Which is similarly spaced out)
    I just want to be sure that when I move to court (small claims) will the court look into these documents in detail to ensure there is no forgery.
    I have all other documents, letter / notice I have sent him.

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    And also how does it take to process the claim through money claim?

    Comment


      #3
      Hi, so long as you have the document without the 'extras' you think he might add, you can draw the forgery to the courts attention and he will have ruined his chances. You get to see any documents he wants to present to the court at least (and you have to provide him with your documents) 14 days beforehand so you'll have chance to prepare.

      You will not be responsible for the toilet as he can not prove you damaged it. Had you been the only person with access to it, it would have been different.

      With regard to timescales - it depends on how busy the court is. It can easily be a couple of months before you get a hearing.

      Comment


        #4
        Note that at this point in time, there is no "forgery". How is the copy of the document "simarly spaced out", and not "exactly spaced out"?
        Was the recorded delivery letter signed for?
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

        Comment


          #5
          that is fantastic! if I can see the documents I would be able to point it out and my case will be strong.
          Many thanks Snorkerz!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by thesaint View Post
            Note that at this point in time, there is no "forgery". How is the copy of the document "simarly spaced out", and not "exactly spaced out"?
            Was the recorded delivery letter signed for?
            I understand , it is just a case of potential forgery. I am new to the UK laws hence wanted to find out how it the case will proceed in court. (and to what level of details will the documents be checked in small claims court).

            I am inclined to think he has very cleverly put the blank spaces so he could amend the document later.


            It is "simarly spaced out" because he didnt give me a mechanically produced copy, but wrote in a different paper with the same details on my demand for a copy. So a few cms here and there that is all.

            I will make a few more attempts to contact him and try and resolve the case but if he doest respond to my further attempts I am very determined to take him to court and as there is a fees I would occur I want to be absolutely sure that the small claims court mean serious business, and documents are verified completely and not just rushed through (as the money involved is small) and investigate any forgery if I point it out.

            Comment


              #7
              If it were a photocopy, you could photocopy it again with a piece of paper placed over the words you wanted to omit.

              As it is hand written, you have little to worry about, as it would be next to impossible to remove any wording from it.

              Was the recorded delivery letter signed for?
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by optimus View Post
                I understand , it is just a case of potential forgery. I am new to the UK laws hence wanted to find out how it the case will proceed in court. (and to what level of details will the documents be checked in small claims court).... I want to be absolutely sure that the small claims court mean serious business, and documents are verified completely and not just rushed through (as the money involved is small) and investigate any forgery if I point it out.
                In the process leading up to the court hearing, both parties may submit documents etc as evidence to the court. You would also receive copies of the documents submitted by the landlord - so you would see if he had forged anything before the hearing.

                At the hearing, the judge looks at the documents and hears what each party has to say. If the landlord had forged his copy of the inventory, the court will not itself 'investigate' a possible forgery (it is up to the parties to provide their own evidence), however, the judge would see that the copies were different and would ask each party to explain why.

                Cases are judged on a 'balance of probabilities'. This means the judge will decide what is more likely to be the truth. In this case, the most plausible explanation would, I think, be that the landlord had added things to the inventory after giving you a handwritten copy, not that he had given you a less detailed version when you asked for the copy, and that you didn't mind that it was different to the landlord's copy.

                The small claims track is 'serious', don't worry.

                Comment


                  #9
                  @thesaint - apologies to have missed that.Yes, the post is signed for.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A professional inventory, such as one approved by the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (http://www.theaiic.co.uk/) does have a lot of white space to make it clear to read. It should not have hand written notes on, and identical copies should go to the LA, LL and T, this eliminates the possibility of forgery. It is very hard for LL to deduct from your deposit when they did the inventory themselves as they have too much of an interest in scamming your hard earned cash by making things up, so if it does go to court or arbitration then you have a good chance of getting your deposit back. Is the deposit protected? Should it be? If it is protected, make sure you know who it is with and use their arbitration scheme before going down the court route.

                    Comment

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