Dispute over Deposit

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    Dispute over Deposit

    Hi All,

    I moved out of a property in August 2011 and have still not received my deposit back. After much chasing the landlord has finally answered my attempts of contact and come up with a list of charges, such as cleaning and repairs, to claim that I should surrender my deposit.

    My questions are,

    What if any proof should a landlord supply to prove a cost has been incurred which can be deducted from a deposit? i.e. receipts from cleaning companies or photography evidence?

    If the landlord doesn't notify the tenant of a dispute in a timely manner does the deposit then automatically become the property of the tenant again? Essentially, because the landlord has left it so long before telling me the deposit is in dispute has he forfeited any right to make deductions?

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated
    thanks
    A.

    #2
    A LL is not required to provide any invoices, only his estimate of cost.
    If it goes to Court, then judge will decide if estimates are reasonable, based on move-in/out inventories less allowance for fair wear & tear.
    I fear your only recourse may be to sue LL for return in County Court.
    If deposit was ever protected, after 9 months I would expect LL to have acquired it by the 'single claim' procedure. If so, the scheme should have attempted to contact you first, if you provided them with a tel/txt no.

    Comment


      #3
      Please tell us i) is the tenancy in England and Wales?; ii) when did the tenancy begin?; and iii) do you know if the deposit was held in an approved government scheme and if so were you ever provided with information about the scheme and its rules? Answer these and we can help you further
      Disclaimer:

      The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.

      Comment


        #4
        Ok so,
        i) the tenancy was in England
        ii) it began in August 2010
        iii) I received no information that the deposit was in any scheme at all, in fact, the deposit was held with the agency and transferred to the landlord without warning, informing or consent.

        Thanks again,
        A

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by zanzan View Post
          If the landlord doesn't notify the tenant of a dispute in a timely manner does the deposit then automatically become the property of the tenant again?
          The deposit is always the property of the tenant. It is held as security by the LL. If LL/T fail to agree on any deductions, then T may claim in the county court for return of his money; the LL would have to counter-claim for any alleged damage/unpaid rent, etc.

          Essentially, because the landlord has left it so long before telling me the deposit is in dispute has he forfeited any right to make deductions?
          It's not quite a case of a 'right to make deductions', but a right to claim he has suffered a loss, entitling him to keep some or all of the deposit.

          LL has at least six years in which to claim against you for any alleged loss.

          If you want your deposit back, then bring a claim against the LL, asking for him to refund the deposit. You can start a claim at Money Claim Online. If the deposit is less than £5K, it will be allocated to small claims track of the county court, where the court fees are low and you don't need a solicitor to represent you - it's meant for people DIYing their claim.

          Comment


            #6
            Do you remember signing a condition report at the start of the tenancy?
            Are any of the claims the landlord wants to make against your deposit valid?

            You need to write a 'letter before action' to the landlord (not agent) telling him what you want (return of £X within Y days) why you want it, (because you dispute any incorrect claims the landlord is making) and what will happen if he doesn't comply (legal action).

            Then if he doesn't comply, you sue for the disputed amount.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
              Do you remember signing a condition report at the start of the tenancy?
              Are any of the claims the landlord wants to make against your deposit valid?

              You need to write a 'letter before action' to the landlord (not agent) telling him what you want (return of £X within Y days) why you want it, (because you dispute any incorrect claims the landlord is making) and what will happen if he doesn't comply (legal action).

              Then if he doesn't comply, you sue for the disputed amount.
              Thanks for the words of advice it's greatly appreciated.

              We did fill out and sign something that documented the condition of the apartment when we moved in. Some of the claims made are valid, they equate to around a quarter of the total claim.
              I'll draft a letter in the morning and see where it gets me.

              Comment

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