Blackmail regarding the deposit.

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    Blackmail regarding the deposit.

    I've happily rented a property from what i thought was a reasonable landlord. However as soon as i've moved out there was no word regarding the deposit for over 4 months although i contacted the LL every week after 3 weeks past after my initial request. I was stupid enough not to cancel my standing order and an extra payment of rent went through. The LL is asking me to sign the DPS letter giving him the entire £800 deposit and then he'll write me a cheque for the extra months rent that i accidently gave, this mistake i acknowledged within 48 hours and contacted the LL requesting the money back. After the LL's reclusion for over 4 months he has now stated when the property was returned it was horrificly dirty, he basicly described it as if i had used every room in the property like a toilet (its completely bogus as i spent many an hour the week before to make sure this wouldnt happen), i actually had friends come to help me with my belongings, after everything was moved i cleaned once more just to be on the safe side, it was spotless. As well hes claiming rediculous damage to the property far exceeding the value of the items, if a chair is worn out (nothing major just been sat on for a year continuesly) that is covered under the wear and tear allowence isnt it? But hes saying that out of the goodness of his heart if i sign the DPS papers handing over the deposit to him, he'll forgo the claim for extra damages and give me my extra months rent back in the form of a cheque.
    Surely hes trying to steal my money? and if he is, do i just go to court for the months rent and to the DPS for my deposit? Thank you for your help!

    #2
    I am so sorry that you are having these issues with your landlord.

    Did your LL provide you with an inventory at the start of your tenancy?

    If your LL did not do this or (or if he did but it was not signed by you) then he cannot retain any deposit monies from you.

    I would suggest you write to him and confirm that unless he returns the overpaid rent to your account in cleared funds within 7 days you will seek a claim against him in the court.

    Also go the DPS website, enter your details and submit a claim for the deposit. Please be assured that the DPS are well known for siding with the tenants in cases of dispute, the LL really has to prove any damages, cleaning etc before they will hand over any monies to them.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Poppy35 View Post
      Did your LL provide you with an inventory at the start of your tenancy?

      If your LL did not do this or (or if he did but it was not signed by you) then he cannot retain any deposit monies from you.
      I've submitted a single claim after my initial claim for the deposit was ignored for 3 months, those passed with me not getting my deposit or rent, as the LL was completely unresponsive. No inventory was taken to my knowledge, he is claiming he has "pictures" of the property that were taken by the letting agent for the advertisement before i moved in. hes also saying the cleaning agency used has produced a statement regarding the cleanliness of the place upon their arrival. All of these are claims however i've yet to see any of these in document form. So he has no legal right to hold the extra months rent as well right? I truly appriciate your help in this. Just one other thing, i dont actually have his address, all i have is a telephone number, mobile and home. thats just fine or is it some legal point that i have to notify him in writing regarding the extra rent.

      Comment


        #4
        This sounds very dubious to me your first port of call is the letting agents, explain the problem ask for all details relating to this, address etc, photos, inventory, if they cannot will not supply this then inform them further action will be taken by your solicitor, and back this up with a letter as proof, take a witness as well.

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          #5
          It's a shame people are like that, but it works both ways, nightmare tenants and nightmare Landlords. If I were you, in hindsight I would of taken pictures of the property just before moving out, espcially if there was no inventory. However the fact is he can't really prove it, so you should win if it went to a small claims court.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Abusedtenant View Post
            The LL is asking me to sign the DPS letter giving him the entire £800 deposit and then he'll write me a cheque for the extra months rent that i accidently gave
            First off, very obvious advice, but don't sign away the deposit. He won't write that cheque.

            After the LL's reclusion for over 4 months he has now stated when the property was returned it was horrificly dirty, he basicly described it as if i had used every room in the property like a toilet (its completely bogus as i spent many an hour the week before to make sure this wouldnt happen)
            It's not enough to make wild allegations. LL must have evidence of before and after condition of the property to support the allegations. Generally, this means having a check-in inventory, signed by the T, to start with. Undated pre-tenancy photos are rather unreliable evidence of original condition - LL may have to try harder.

            As well hes claiming rediculous damage to the property far exceeding the value of the items, if a chair is worn out (nothing major just been sat on for a year continuesly) that is covered under the wear and tear allowence isnt it?
            Correct. You are not liable for fair wear and tear. The landlord is also not entitled to 'betterment' - i.e. claiming the full replacement value of an old item.

            Surely hes trying to steal my money? and if he is, do i just go to court for the months rent and to the DPS for my deposit?
            Yup, it sounds like he's trying to steal your money. It'd be easier to just go to court for both the overpaid rent and the deposit (instead of court procedure plus DPS dispute procedure). However, it is essential that you ask the court order (awarding you the payment) to name the DPS on the order, telling them to pay out the deposit to you.

            Just one other thing, i dont actually have his address, all i have is a telephone number, mobile and home. thats just fine or is it some legal point that i have to notify him in writing regarding the extra rent.
            Is there an address for serving notices (or an address for the LL next to his name) in the tenancy contract?

            Comment


              #7
              yes thats right i do have a serving address, it was on the agreement. i think i should personally serve it, just to say "you've been served" and see the reaction on his face.
              About the deposit however though, dont i have to wait for all of DPS's services and ADR before taking that also to court?

              Comment


                #8
                You didn't say whether you've spoken to the DPS at all, and what their advice was if you did?

                Don't sign anything by the way!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Abusedtenant View Post
                  yes thats right i do have a serving address, it was on the agreement. i think i should personally serve it, just to say "you've been served" and see the reaction on his face.
                  It is much easier to start the claim online at Money Claim Online; it will be issued and served by post. To serve in person, you would firstly have to go and get the local county court to issue the claim, then serve it in person (and I'm not sure what evidence of this you might need). Pointless, really.

                  Send the landlord a 'letter before action' demanding the deposit/overpaid rent and giving a deadline to pay you, after which you say you will issue a claim in the county court. Keep copy letter, and get a free certificate of posting.

                  About the deposit however though, dont i have to wait for all of DPS's services and ADR before taking that also to court?
                  No. ADR is not compulsory. Just tell the DPS you're settling the dispute in the county court.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    AbusedLandlord

                    Hello AbusedTenant, LL's

                    I read your post on this forum after my own post and wanted to your general advice on an ongoing similar situation (without liability).

                    I am a resident LL and asked my lodger to leave due to threatening behaviour and much worse. she left on the day I demanded. Now wants rent back from leave date and advance(deposit) else threatening to go to lawyer, charge for costs etc to get it back.

                    Also claimed in email regs violations etc (all false), would be overlooked if she rec'd return of rent from date she left and advance.

                    We have a signed agreement that states advance is subject to loss if these specific breaches happened. Also states if termination is nec she would still be liable for rent until the end of the agreed term (end of October).

                    Please send private mail if at all possible- I think she may be prowling this site and others so may read your replies.

                    I haven't yet posted enough to contact anyone privately.
                    Westminister any comments on the legal aspects would be deeply appreciated.

                    Thank you in advance

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by westminster View Post
                      Send the landlord a 'letter before action' demanding the deposit/overpaid rent and giving a deadline to pay you, after which you say you will issue a claim in the county court. Keep copy letter, and get a free certificate of posting.
                      I spoke to him on the phone, he said "go ahead and sue" should i still wait for the deadline i set? And again thank you for all the advice provided.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Abusedtenant View Post
                        I spoke to him on the phone, he said "go ahead and sue" should i still wait for the deadline i set? And again thank you for all the advice provided.
                        You're welcome.

                        Yes, send the letter before action. Give him a week. The point is that it's best to demonstrate that you attempted to settle the dispute before being forced to make a county court claim as the last resort. That's why you keep a copy of the letter and proof of posting - to submit as evidence that you gave the LL the opportunity to settle beforehand.

                        I only just noticed you said you've started a single claim via DPS. How far along is it? If it is about to be processed soon then maybe wait till that's over - ?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          its "awaiting landlord response". He should respond have responded to it by now.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Abusedtenant View Post
                            its "awaiting landlord response". He should respond have responded to it by now.
                            The single claim procedure is the method to use when the landlord isn't responding - i.e. you submit a statutory declaration to the DPS. Is that what you did? Or what is the response you are waiting for?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Ye i submitted the declaration fairly recently, i know if they dont respond to the DPS for 2 weeks you get your money, im expecting him to respond to it, it should go to the dispute stage.

                              Comment

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