Landlord withholding deposit

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  • Landlord withholding deposit

    I've just had a phone conversation with my landlord whose informed me that he isn't returning my deposit. About 2 months ago, we discussed ending the agreement early and both agreed that if we were able to find a replacement tenant that I would be able to leave with the deposit. Now that a replacement has been found, he denies all knowledge of this conversation and claims that his usual procedure is to keep the deposit when a tenant leaves early no matter what the circumstances.
    Is there anything that I can do other than take this as a lesson in getting things in writing?

  • #2
    Is your deposit in a government approved scheme like DPS, MyDeposits or TDS?
    Are there any rent arrears?
    When you moved in, was an inventory/condition report taken?
    Have you moved out yet / Has the new tenant moved in?
    If not, how definate are you that the new tenant WILL move in?


    • #3
      The deposit isn't in any scheme.
      There are no rent arrears, other than the 14 days which I have left to stay here. In fairness the landlord has said I can keep this which amounts to roughly one third of the deposit.
      No inventory was taken before moving in.
      I'm still here, but the new tenant has paid his deposit and first months rent so I'm positive that they will move in.


      • #4
        As soon as the new tenant moves in, your liability for rent ends - even if you haven't got his 'offer' in writing - that's just the way it goes.

        You may have to sue for the final 2/3rds of the deposit, the letter on this webpage may be useful (it has worked for others) but make sure you read the notes too.

        If you do have to sue, and the landlord tries to counterclaim for any alleged damages, he will have to prove to the judge the condition of the disputed item at the start and end of the tenancy. Without an inventory, he is going to find that very difficult.

        I am assuming that the landlord does not live in the same property and that the property is in England or Wales.


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