Deposit in shared tenancy

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    Deposit in shared tenancy

    Hi all, my name is Gemma.

    I currently live in a flat which I am due to move out of at the end of the month.

    Originally me and two others (lets call them S and J) signed a fixed term joint contract on 30 December 2010. The contratc expired on the 30th June 2009.
    S decided to move out in April without giving notice to us or the agency. She did not pay her rent up until june or bills.

    J and I signed a new contract directly with the landlady at this point for another 6 months with exppired 30 December 2009. We have been paying rent on a monthly basis since then.

    As S has heard we are moving out she has been ringing the estate agents that the contract was originally taken out at. She has been asking for her deposit back, which I find very cheeky!

    We owe the whole deposit to the land lady for rent arrears so are not expecting any back.

    What are S's rights in regards to getting some of the deposit back?

    Can me and J sign the deposit over to the land lady due to rent arrears without S's consent?

    Also, I dont know if this is worth mentioning but I have an Email from S in 2009 advising that I could keep the deposit as she owed me money, which she still hasnt paid. Can this be treated as written consent that she is giving her deposit?

    I would appreciate any advice on this.

    Thank you

    #2
    Under normal circumstances, S could sue you for return of their 'share' of the deposit less any rent which they owed up until the date you signed a new agreement (or June, whichever was earlier).

    However, if they took you to court, you would defend and counterclaim with your email.

    Email is tricky as proof in court - do you have other emails which could somehow link S to that email account?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by wagwan2005gh View Post
      Can me and J sign the deposit over to the land lady due to rent arrears without S's consent?
      If the deposit is protected by DPS, one of you will be the 'lead tenant'. Whoever that is, is the person who agrees or disagrees with the deposit deductions.
      If the current arrears were accumulated since June (ie by G & J), you could argue to keep the deposit because it is proteted against the tenancy which began December and ended on 29 June (G, S & J).

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by wagwan2005gh View Post
        Originally me and two others (lets call them S and J) signed a fixed term joint contract on 30 December 2010.
        Er, is that 2009?
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        Comment


          #5
          Sorry it was December 2008 the original tenancy was signed

          Comment


            #6
            Strictly speaking the deposit for the original tenancy (up to the end of June) should have been released to the named lead T to be distributed accordingly and a new deposit should have been provided by the two Ts who were granted the new AST (July onwards).

            Unless the defaulting T is the named lead T on that DPS account, then I would advise you to do that anyway but just agree to allow the DPS to release the amount owed to the LL and if there is any left, to release that amount to the lead T. If your defaulting ex-housemate starts trying to claim her 'share' back you can with all legitimacy tell her that it was a joint debt for a joint tenancy for which you all had joint and several liabillity (which is true) and that you have paid it to the LL to wom it was owed in respect of unpaid rent. She cannot argue with that.

            If the lead T is the defaulter, it makes it a bit more tricky but not insurmountable. I suppose the LL would have to raise a dispute with the DPS and not claim the rent owed from the amount, then the rest would be released to the defaulter and you two would have to pursue her for that. Please tell us who the lead T was for the original tenancy?

            Either way it is important to seperate the deposits for the two tenancies not just let one merge into another. Otherwise your defaulting T will have a continuing claim on the deposit. Much better to get it sorted now.
            '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


              #7
              Thank you for your replies.

              The only information I can find in regards to the original deposit is a reciept written up by the estate agents in S's name. I cannot find the rest of the contract but i do remember at the time that S's name was all over the contract. Therefore, im guessing she is the lead tenant.

              Can she refuse to give the landlady the deposit? Me and J have signed a letter advising we are happy for the landlady to keep the deposit in whole. If it went into a dispute will me and J get dragged into it aswel? She owes more than the deposit is worth in rent so its annoying that she is trying to claim some of it back! I dont want to sue her I just want the landlady to have the deposit-case closed.

              Thank you

              Comment


                #8
                Also can I get the deposit released to the LL through DPS? If so....how?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by wagwan2005gh View Post
                  Thank you for your replies.

                  The only information I can find in regards to the original deposit is a reciept written up by the estate agents in S's name. I cannot find the rest of the contract but i do remember at the time that S's name was all over the contract. Therefore, im guessing she is the lead tenant.

                  Can she refuse to give the landlady the deposit? Me and J have signed a letter advising we are happy for the landlady to keep the deposit in whole. If it went into a dispute will me and J get dragged into it aswel? She owes more than the deposit is worth in rent so its annoying that she is trying to claim some of it back! I dont want to sue her I just want the landlady to have the deposit-case closed.

                  Thank you
                  The landlady should approach the DPS for the deposit. The DPS will write to S to ask her if she agrees. Presuming they have her current address, and she replys disagreeing, then the matter can either be dealt with by DPS' arbitration service, or in court. With the DPS, BOTH parties have to agree to use arbitration.

                  If she doesn't reply (maybe she forgot to tell them she has moved from the rental address) then after so lng, the landlord can claim the deposit in full using the DPS' "single claim process".

                  Originally posted by wagwan2005gh View Post
                  Also can I get the deposit released to the LL through DPS? If so....how?
                  Unfortunately, you have no control over the deposit at present, only S and the LL are involved.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thank you,

                    If she disagrees and goes to court will it be all three of us that have to go?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by wagwan2005gh View Post
                      Thank you,

                      If she disagrees and goes to court will it be all three of us that have to go?
                      The landlord could sue any or all of you - the LL has the right NOT to sue S if she doesn't want to, but hopefully you will be working with her so she will be willing to pursue S.

                      Comment

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