Unprotected deposit and dispute over deductions

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    Unprotected deposit and dispute over deductions

    I have a question regarding unprotected tenancy deposits and end of tenancy disputes between the LL and T. We moved out of a house at the end of last month that we had rented for 3 years from friends on the basis of a AST. We were never given confirmation that the deposit had been registered under a deposit protection scheme. They have now written to us that they will only refund £200 from our deposit of £2000. We are willing to accept a small deduction as there was some staining to the carpet in one of the rooms and damage to the linoleum in one of the rooms. During the tenancy they did not undertake any maintenance or upkeep of the property which was not in good condition and they are now demanding that we cover the costs of items that either clearly fall under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenancy Act 1985 (eg. the repair of a front gate) or were caused by normal wear and tear (eg. redecorating expenses when the walls had not been painted before we moved in). We feel this is unjust and thus are willing to pursue this all the way to the courts.

    My question is how does the fact that they failed to duly register the deposit affect our current position? Unless we come to an agreement then we are willing to file action under Money Claim Online (apparently it would be riskier trying to persue them for failing to duly register and protect the deposit). The inventory we signed at the beginning of the tenancy for the most part only listed furnishings, which they had left in the house (and which they later took away during the tenancy).

    The lack of deposit protection does not materially affect your position - there are 2 separate issues:

    1) Lack of deposit protection - for which you have no recourse now

    2) Money owed for repairs/damage etc which is still under dispute.

    So, concentrating on the latter, other than negotiation, which is the most painless option, you are really only left with the courts. From the brief details given, you would appear to have a good chance of success as there will be a good amount of wear and tear to take into account after 3 years, but it is worth noting that just because something is covered by s11 does not automatically mean you can't be charged for it.

    I did say above that the non-protection doesn't materially affect your situation, but make sure it is mentioned in your correspondance with the landlord and in your court particulars of claim - this way the judge will observe the 'reliability' of your landlord and that will help you if the judge has to make any difficult decisions over whom to believe.


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