Please help - landlord evasive and witholding deposit

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Please help - landlord evasive and witholding deposit

    Dear all,

    We are not being given our deposit back, despite having moved out 2 months ago.

    The landlady has verbally said we 'owe nearly £900' even though we left the flat in perfect condition apart from some wear and tear. Our deposit was £625, paid to the letting agent.

    The letting agent is washing their hands of it and have now said we need to contact the landlord directly as they won't chase her anymore as they were not paid by her to manage the property, only to collect rent. They only have a 'care of address' for her and a mobile number. She has not responded to our request for her address and claims she is still obtaining all the costs for repair, but has been saying this for 5 weeks and we know she fully rennovated the (old, worn, retirement flat) flat within 2 weeks of us moving out and got new tenants in.

    The full details are here:

    Any help is much appreciated as we don't know what else to do now.

    Thank you

    I've had a quick look through the thread on the moneyexpert site; it's very very long though - you're more likely to get some decent replies if you summarise the position here - but I guess you've already done that!

    I'm sure it will work out for you in the end as the landlord is clearly in the wrong about most things.

    Major problem seems to be a lack of address at which to serve the papers on the landlord. That in itself is a breach of the law because the tenancy agreement needs to contain such an address, and if not, it has to be provided within X days of such a request being made. I suggest the LL will be in very deep do-do when this finally reaches court.

    I don't know how you resolve the catch 22 of finding an address at which to serve the papers though!

    On the subject of the stained storage heater apparently costing a whopping £300 to sort out (an old model or something?) - if I were you I would do my utmost to sort that out personally, ie possibly find a cheaper source than the LL is prepared to do. Ebay might well be a very useful tool; there are often old storage heaters on there.


      Hi Eric - thanks for reading through.

      We did help the landlady last week by texting her the number of the approved Dimplex agent, as she had not provided us with the model number for the night storage heater (which she had promised to do so we could look into it). This is the last costing she needs to sort out, apparently.

      She texted last night saying she's called them and is awaiting news but she's already delayed a long time already and has told he letting agent on several occasions that the 'paperwork is in the post'.

      We will write to the c/o address this coming Monday stating intention to go to court within 7 days if nothing is paid to us (this c/o address is the address for her friend/relative who does odd jobs and repairs at her flats across Sussex)

      Presumably it is ok to then take her to court if necessary with that address but just remove the 'c/o'?

      Can the agency be this unsupportive? They claim it's the only address they have - aren't they legally bound to have the landlord's actual residential address for serving legal documents?

      Thanks all


        Have you tried contacting the people it is now let to? they may have a new address


          Hi - we know she doesn't give out her real address as she asked all tenants to deal with the agency. She only gives out a c/o address when needed and this is the address the agency have on file.

          We'd also worry that even if we dropped by and asked the new tenant, the landlady could say we were harassing them or something?


            Sorry don't know what else to suggest, unless you follow her one day! lol
            I know how you feel though I am currently taking my ex LL to court for non return of deposit, and I know too that there is a whole pack of lies he is gonna tell, but they have to prove this.
            Have a look at money claim online they have a helpline which may be able to help you out with what to do without an address.

            I hope you get it sorted soon.


              Thanks Mickey - I will research online - if anyone out there has access to address records, please do contact me as we'd love to track down her proper address to serve the documents there. She must pay a bill to someone somewhere!

              Thank you


                I would first write a letter outlining that the LL has 7 days, (say Saturday 12th if you send it tomorrow) to provide you with a detailed list of what has been done to the property along with associated receipts or estimates. Keep the letter simple and to the point, try and not be insulting or difficult (I know its hard). I would send this letter both to the letting agents and to the LL. As you don’t know her address, serve it c/o the letting agents for them to forward.

                If she doesn’t reply send another letter outlining your concerns that it has now been over two months and the deposit hasn’t been returned or a list of intended deductions with receipts received. Give her another 7 days. In this letter mention if you don’t receive either the deposit or the required information you will take the matter to the county court. Again send this to the letting agent and the LL care of the letting agent.

                If you still don’t get a satisfactory response send a final letter headed Letter Before Action, again state you want the deposit to be returned or a list of intended deductions and receipts and enclose a completed copy of the county court form N1 (available to down load on the web). At this point it doesn’t need to be signed by the court. Make sure you put in the letter that you will submit this to the county court without further notification should you fail to receive a satisfactory response. Give her a further week to respond. Send a copy to the Letting Agents and the LL copy C/O the letting agents again.

                You will then have to carry out your threat (at a cost of £80) and submit it to the county court. I would take both the letting agents and the landlord to the county court, it costs no extra and will cover all your bases.

                By the way was the deposit held by the letting agents throughout the tenancy as a stakeholder between yourself and the LL? If so they would need your permission as well to pass it on to the LL.

                If what your saying is correct and the LL has completely renovated the property at your expense, the court would consider this as betterment and frown upon it.

                Its essential that you carry out your threats and follow the 3 letter procedure.


                  In addition can anyone advise what fair deductions would be for:

                  - Small stains on blinds
                  - Stain on radiator cover, assuming cover will cost £100 to replace
                  - Some minor wear and tear on the carpet, although it was in worn condition and some stains when we moved in

                  Thank you


                    Fantastic advice Planner - we will do that tonight - then we have done all we can.

                    Should I send the letters to the c/o address we have been given (we know she does collect post from there) and also to the Letting Agent, rather than both letters to the letting agent?

                    It's reassuring to know the LA cannot pass on monies to her without our consent, but in the meantime it's earning interest in their coffers + also they get her business from the other flat in the building, no wonder they're not in a rush to help.


                      I would send a copy of the letters addressed to the letting agent, one to the LL C/O the letting agent and a third one to the C/O address you have for the LL. You have covered all your basis then.

                      The letting agent can pass the deposit on to the land lord if they where not acting a stakeholders, you really should have been informed if this was the case when you handed the deposit over. Ring the letting agents up and ask tem if the held your deposit for the duration of the tenancy, if the answers yes then ask why they have given it to the LL without your permission.


                        Hi - just to clarify, the agent are still holding the deposit and have not given the deposit to the landlady. They will not release the funds to us until she signs a release form, which she has not done, but nor has she written with any explanation or provided any copies of bills.


                          Sending letter # 1


                          As per your recommendation we are sending letter #1 today. She has still not contacted us regarding the heating grille cost for the old radiator, nor are we going to chase - the letters will be the only form of communication from us.

                          If she calls us, are we to take the call? Presumably if we do and she starts being abusive we are within our rights to say she must only communicate in writing and that as long as she responds in 7 days and we get deposit back there will be no further action.

                          Also, presumably it is HER that has to refund deposit directly to us, then she has to get the original deposit back from Letting Agent?

                          Thanks again everyone.


                            Hi everyone - the landlady has now texted saying final estimate for heater grille has been received and asked if they can send it via e-mail. They have not said whether our 1st letter was received, but it seems they're moving quicker so it could be why - and also why she did not mention the quote cost in the text.

                            E-mail would be quicker than post - should we agree or keep it all to the post? My only worry is that post could get lost. However, I presume the e-mail is just for costings and that any invoices would be posted - we could always specify in the e-mail that any posted items must be via Special Delivery?

                            Thoughts much appreciated.


                              Should we accept e-mails rather than letters?

                              Please help on the above - we need to get back to the landlady today to speed things up.

                              Thank you


                              Latest Activity