Question about deposit

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    Question about deposit

    Hi guys,

    Basically I am a student that has just moved out of my privately rented house. I was always lead to believe I had an 11 month contract (my house mates also assumed this) however their contracts all say 12 months. I have asked for a copy of mine and its being posted to me shortly. I fully expect it to say 12 months and understand that I will have to pay the final month.

    We got the house through an agency who took a security deposit of £250. Said agency has now collapsed. I assumed that if we didn't pay the final month it would just come from our deposit. The landlord has started getting a little pushy about this and we all think that the agency has gone under with the deposits.

    So regardless of damages or the lack of in our case we don't expect to see any of that deposit returned. He is keeping this quiet and when asked about our deposits he just avoided the question arising our suspicions. I can see whats going to happen, when we pay a final month he will say the deposits sank with the agency. Granted it isnt his fault that the agency closed but its not ours either, who is the responsibility with?

    I want to know what my options are if I suggest that he take rent from the deposit, what is my legal standing?

    Regards, Robert

    #2
    Hold fire on offering the deposit as your last month's rent just yet. Assuming you have proof you paid the deposits (receipts?), then to your knowledge, did the agent or the LL lodge your deposits with one of the three approved deposit protection schemes?

    If so, then it should be straightforward for you to reclaim them from that scheme at the end of your tenancy (assuming LL does not claim any damages/cleaning costs).

    If not, then you probably have your LL over a barrel because in the end he is ultimately responsible for deposit protection. He should have ensured the agent protected the deposits, or done it himself. If he didn't, then you can claim your deposit and 3x its value back.

    Let us know whether the deposits were put in a scheme or not and we will advise further.
    '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
      Update.

      It seems that the letting agency (who is now closed down) did not put our money into any sort of protection. So I assume that since they are closed down it is gone.

      My house mate made some calls to the government protection scheme people and they have no records of the house. So we have no deposit protection.

      The last months rent is due on the 1st of July, at the moment I have no confidence in paying that. It was different paying it to get the deposit back at the end of the same month. I cant afford for that money to disappear for x number of weeks/months.

      Now that we have evidence that no protection exists what are my options?

      Regards, Robert

      Comment


        #4
        Unless the agents who closed down (went bankrupt?) were also your LL (i.e. owned the property you lived in - did they?), then it is ultimately your LL's responsibility to protect your deposit and you can sue him for it. Do you have an address for your LL?
        '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


          #5
          The agency were a property management service, I guess a middle man?

          Apparently they were all school friends and they advertised his houses but we paid rent directly to the LL.

          We are collecting all the paperwork at the moment, and he is starting to really drag his feet about it. Whats the next stage when I get his address?

          Comment


            #6
            it may be that as you are all students you might not have an AST agreement and therefore your deposit does not need to be protected.

            Regardless though your landlord is responsible for returning this to you as your agreement is with him not the letting agency.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Poppy35 View Post
              it may be that as you are all students you might not have an AST agreement and therefore your deposit does not need to be protected.
              Poppy, why should the fact they are students have any bearing on whether they had an AST or not? I do not think that can be relevant.
              '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


                #8
                What I am about to say is not the 'right' way of doing things, but may be the most practical.

                Presuming yur agreement was for 12 months (you didn't clarify 11 or 12) then I would deduct the £250 deposit from the last months rent providing all other rent has been paid in full. My reasoning for this being that you no longer need the property, and even if you did, you could not be evicted in this timescale for such a breach of contract.

                The landlord could conceivably sue you for the missing £250, but you would counterclaim for the £250 deposit - no one wins, so it would be a waste of the landlords time.

                Where this plan falls down is references...

                However, if you have proof you paid your deposit, proof the agency has closed down, proof of non-protection and some proof that the landlord is witholding the deposit then you could create a convincing explanation for your actions.

                You might want to use this form to get email (written) confirmation from all 3 deposit companies that your deposit is not protected. www.snorkerz.com/deposit.html

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                  Poppy, why should the fact they are students have any bearing on whether they had an AST or not? I do not think that can be relevant.
                  It could be (although not in this specific case) if L is a recognised educational establishment. See para. 8 in Schedule 1 to the 1988 Act.
                  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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