Landllord sneaking around not to return deposit HEEEEELP

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    Landllord sneaking around not to return deposit HEEEEELP

    Hi everyone

    I am desperate for your help. I'm gonna try and keep this as short as possible.
    We moved into this property 3.5 years ago
    LL never gave us a written contract nor an inventory (we never signed anything)
    Throughout our tentancy we made improvements to the property-painted (with her permission) improved the garden by miles. When something broke like the shed (due to weathering not us) we fixed it, never ask for any money from her.
    We went out of our way to keep the property tidy and in order.
    3 months ago we gave her 2 months notice and tried to arrange a date and time for her to view the property. she always had an excuse that she couldn't make it on any of the days. I ended up extending another month cause we did'nt find another place yet. she couldn't make it on the last day of the month cause she stays 2hrs away and has 3 kids at school. so we made arrangements to meet on the 3 July (saturday) and go through the flat together.
    about a week ago I received an email asking me our offical moving date. I told her we are officially out by the 30/6 but I understand she can't make it on that day but I will meet her on the 3/7.
    Then I receive and email back from her saying she wont be able to view the flat because her dog died and her mom is sick and she is spending all day in court on friday (both the fathers of her kids are suing her-been going on for the entire time I've known her)
    She then asked me to post her the keys and she will try and make it to the Flat before end of July and then she will refund us our deposit.
    In emails we have told her the flat is in a great condition and we fixed all the holes (from hanging paintins and fixing shelves to the walls) we made.
    Now, yesterday....I get a call from my prev neighbour (who has warned me that LL will do this) to tell me LL is at the flat. At that moment I realised she never intended to give us our money back. I drove to the flat 30min away and asked her why she didn't let me know she was coming to look at the flat and her response was that she did'nt need to inform me (I did request that she'd inform me in an email cause I think I have every right to be there) and she did'nt realy want me here.
    So she started pointing tiny things out wear and tear stuff I cant remember if they were or were not broken. Telling me the place is in a state and we never cleaned the carpets. when I wanted to provide a picture of the carpet cleaning invoice on my phone she refuses to look and expected me to have a paper invoice ready. (hello, i did'nt bring anything cause she did'nt inform me she was there.) she is claiming i didn't clean the windows and so on trying to find any old excuse. I don't know what to do cause we lived there for a long time and yes it wont be perfect but its in better condition then before (painted) and clean. There is one thing that we 'broke' my little boy fell against an open cupboard door and one of the hinges broke out and we fixed it with wood filler in the same colour of the cupboard inside wood laminate. this never effected the function of the door or the look from outside. now shes saying she will have to replace all the copboard doors 8 in total because of that. I have to add that the cupboards are atleast 15 years old and very outdated. I think that's why she is looking for any excuse to do that on our expense.
    Just after i had my 2nd child 3.5months ago the toilet seat broke cause my 3.5 year old drpped it. it's not a standard toilet but a discontinued designer one. She wanted to come around to fetch the seat so she can send it off to be remade (£300) on her costs but this would take min 4 weeks and she forbid me to put anyother seat on there in that time period, because she was scared the bowl would get damaged. She never came to collect the seat and tried to blame me for not answering her messages on my home phone. (I don't receive messages on my homephone which I made clear in an email and she should have contacted me on my mobile as I had informed her that I might not be there that morning) We sat on that seat (stuck together with tape) for a while until my dad came for a visit. he measured the toilet up and found a seat at B&Q which was a perfect fit.
    I can't let my child sit on a rim of a toilet and neither could I due to medical complications after childbirth. I will take her to court but have no experience in court and she has plenty and therefore I wonder if it's pointless even trying.
    She never had any intention to return our deposit and that should be punished. i am a very honest person and will admit to things done wrong but I will NOT be blamed for things I didn't do. I judt woner do we have a leg to stand on in court? wer have no contract nor inventory and the rental was private.
    Mant thanks any advice

    are you in England or Scotland ?


      I think that notsohappychappie is in Hertfordshire.
      From what you say, it would appear that your tenancy commenced before April in 2007, and if this is the case, your landlord is entitled to hold your deposit personally - not in an approved scheme. It would appear that this landlord dis not take an inventory of the condition of the property before you moved in which was agreed by you, so she will have great difficulty in proving to a court that you have done any damage to this property. I would suggest that you do not mess about, but advise her that unless your deposit is refunded in full within (say) 14 days, you will commence court action to retrieve it. If/when she fails to comply, it is not difficult or too expensive to commence a small claims court action. I understand that there are books on Amazon which explain the process clearly.

      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.


        I agree with P.Pilcher, you have a very good chance of winning a 'small claims' case against the landlady. FWIW, you do have kind of contract in so far as your tenancy would have been an oral Assured Shorthold Tenancy protected by the 1988 Housing Act (among others).

        The lack of inventory is not going to be an issue for you - although it's non-existance will make it difficult for the landlord to prove any damages were caused by you.

        The key question is, do you have any proof that you paid the deposit? If so, then it should be quite strait-forward.


          Originally posted by Notsohappychappy View Post
          I will take her to court but have no experience in court and she has plenty and therefore I wonder if it's pointless even trying.... I judt woner do we have a leg to stand on in court? wer have no contract nor inventory and the rental was private.
          Mant thanks any advice
          It's not 'pointless even trying' as it's a fairly straightforward claim, and you can issue the claim online at Money Claim Online, but in order to succeed in a claim for return of your deposit, you will need evidence that you paid a deposit, such as a receipt. You might also need some evidence of your tenancy, such as bank statements showing rental payments, copy utilities/council tax bills for the period of your tenancy.

          You don't need to prove you didn't cause any damage - it's the landlady who would have to prove you did, and that it cost £XX to fix, and that the charge was fair and reasonable, etc.

          As others have already said, without an inventory check-in, the landlady would have a difficult time trying to prove any of the alleged damage, so there's a very good chance you would win.

          You would probably find it helpful to buy a book on the small claims procedure; there are a few on Amazon.


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