Deposit Distribution - does the tennant have any say?

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    Deposit Distribution - does the tennant have any say?

    Hi all,

    I'm new to the site - had a look through but couldn't find anything that would answer this question - if I'm wrong then please let me know and point me in the right direction!

    I've recently moved out of a house, the tennancy ran for the full 6 months.

    My landlord was sent e-mail confirmation that I would like to claim my deposit back - my next communication was from DPS which stated the distribution and that this payment would be cleared within x days. When I questioned this distribution i have been advised by both parties that it is too late to carry out any dispute or take any further action other than legal action off my own back.

    So my question; does the tennant have any legal rights to view/approve the distribution of the deposit prior to it being repaid?
    Or can the landlord imagine a percentage to be paid to the tennant and then this is accepted unless legal action is taken? (as has taken place on this ocassion).

    Thanks in advance for your responses,

    Andrew

    #2
    The DPS will have tried to contact you if the LL wanted to deduct funds from the deposit. If they were unable to do so then the landlord would have had to go through their "Single Claim Process", which involves sworn statements etc.

    What does the DPS site say when you log into it with your details? Have you, at any time, given your landlord your DPS 'repayment ID'? Did you ever get either a receipt from the DPS for your deposit, or instructions on how to reclaim it (from your landlord)?

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      #3
      Hi,

      Thanks for your reply.
      I've never had contact from DPS so i'm assuming the landlord completed the "Single Claim Process". When I log onto the website the status is 'Closed', I provided my landlord with the repayment ID, and then days later I received an e-mail from DPS to confirm the amount being distributed. Following from this I communicated with my landlord who advised the reasonin. Following from this I have had no success in speaking with DPS in order to raise a dispute.

      Comment


        #4
        Okay, what seems to have happened is that your landlord has used YOUR repayment ID with DPS and, in effect, pretended to be you, accepting the deductions. The letter that the repayment ID comes on, clearly makes it clear that this should be kept confidential - so they will not take any further action. What you have done is akin to giving your PIN number to someone with your debit card.

        I would confront the landlord, and if you don't get a suitable response ASAP, send him a letter threating court unless he pays within 14 days. If you haven't been repaid within 14 days, you can commence a claim for the deposit 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


          #5
          How much has the LL kept of your deposit and would you have agreed any deductions at all - in other words, are you aware of any damage/cleaning required when you left?

          Also, was there a detailed inventory check and Schedule of Condition carried out at the start of the tenancy?
          '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


            #6
            Originally posted by Andrew LAU04 View Post

            So my question; does the tennant have any legal rights to view/approve the distribution of the deposit prior to it being repaid?
            Or can the landlord imagine a percentage to be paid to the tennant and then this is accepted unless legal action is taken? (as has taken place on this ocassion).
            The legal position is that the deposit is your money, and if the LL claims any deductions which you dispute, he must prove that you caused him a loss (i.e. prove damage, unpaid rent, etc). The LL can't just 'imagine a percentage', and yes, the T has a right to dispute the distribution of the deposit.

            Assuming Snorkerz is right, and that what happened is that you mistakenly approved the deductions, your only recourse is to bring a county court claim for return of the deposit as per Snorkerz' advice/links.

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