Landlord didn´t protect my deposit and other problems

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    Landlord didn´t protect my deposit and other problems

    Hi there,

    I am currently living in a private property which I´ve rented directly form the landlord. Before I agreed to sign the tenancy agreement I asked him if this would be a long therm tenancy, because the house didn´t look very nice, so I wanted to put a bit of money and effort in it to make it a nice place to live.
    He told me that I can stay there as long as I want to, if I am a good tenant.

    Well, after 15 months of tenancy the landlord is now selling the house because of financial problems. He told me that I don´t have to worry about anything, he will only sell it to investors and will tell them that I am a brilliant tenant so I can stay and rent it from the new owner.

    Now I found out that the sale is open to everybody, I spoke to him and he is still telling me that I shouldn´t worry about anything.

    It´s not just the sale of the house who is giving me a headage, also I have to bear viewings on the weekends from potential buyers. So I am working from Monday to Friday very hard so I can pay the rent, but don´t have any quality time on my free weekends because I have to show people around the house.

    I have now decided to move out as quick as possible because I don´t trust him anymore.

    I also found out that he didn´t protect my deposit which is giving me reason to think that I will have trouble to get it back when I move out.

    I haven´t give him the notice yet, and I know that I´ve lost the money and work that I´ve put in this house, but is there anything I can do to make sure that I get back my deposit ?

    Thank´s for taking the time to read this and any advice you give me

    Heja

    #2
    Your tenancy is safe - if the property is sold, the new owner (investor or whatever) becomes your landlord under exactly the same terms as your current agreement. However, your landlords assurances about living there long-term were a bluff - you are only guaranteed possession for as long as the fixed term tenancy agreement is set for - usually 6 or 12 months. The clue is in the name - Assured shorthold tenancy - it is designed to be for a short time.

    You do not have to let anybody in the property - not the landlord - not the agent - not viewers. Usually it is best to negotiate something, along the lines of being available every Wednesday for viewings between 7 & 9 pm.

    The 2004 Housing Act introduced the requirement that all AST tenancy deposits (rent under £25k pa) be protected in a government approved scheme.

    The first thing to do is confirm if any of the 3 schemes do hold your deposit, but the landlord has failed to advise you. By completing this form an email will be sent to all 3 schemes - they will normally reply yes or no within 3 working days.

    If you discover that your deposit is not protected AND your last tenancy agreement was after 6th April 2007, send this letter (keeping a copy and obtaining a free certificate of posting from the Post Office). It should be sent to the LANDLORD at the address specified for the service of documents on your tenancy agreement. This may be an agents address, but still address the letter to the landlord.
    letter before action

    Dear Mr XXXXXXXX

    RE: 123 High Street, Anytown, AT1 2AA

    On the XXX of XXX 20XX I/We paid you a tenancy deposit of £XXX in respect of the above property.

    The Housing Act 2004 introduced the concept of "Tenancy Deposit Protection" and obliges private landlords to protect/register all tenancy deposits with one of 3 approved schemes.

    I/We have verified with all three schemes that the deposit you hold was NOT protected by any scheme. This is unlawful.

    You must refund the outstanding balance of my/our deposit IN FULL within 14 days. If you fail to do so, I/we shall sue you for the balance due PLUS the statutory penalty for non-protection of deposits, which is three times the value of the deposit.

    Yours sincerely
    This letter makes reference to a penalty of 3x the value of the deposit. This is specified in the 2004 Act, but is not a simple claim, and you should take legal advice before contemplating it.

    However, if you haven't been repaid within 14 days, you can commence a claim for the deposit only at http://moneyclaim.gov.uk. There are fees, but if you are on a low income, you may be able to reclaim them. HOWEVER, if you are entitled to have your court fees waived, moneyclaim will charge you and then expect you to claim it back. If you do it off-line and fill in a form N1 and an EX160 (both from http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/) and send them by mail, you won't have to pay any fees upfront. If you do have to pay, presuming you win your case, the landlord will be ordered to refund any fees you have paid.

    The small claims process is quite simple and doesn't require the services of a solicitor. However, you might find it useful to obtain a book on the process - a number are available from your local library or Amazon.

    If the landlord doesn't pay, you may have to take enforcement action which could include freezing his bank account or having a charge put on the rental property.

    Comment


      #3
      Ask your landlord for a new fixed term tenancy of 2 years.
      If he agrees, then this will tell you a lot of his true intentions.

      The new landlord/owner would be responsible for your deposit even if he sells up.
      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

      Comment

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