Does deposit require protecting under Periodic contract?

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    Does deposit require protecting under Periodic contract?

    Hi

    When my tenant moved in at the end of November 2011 she signed a 6 month agreement which has now lapsed and is currently running as a Periodic one. At the time of signing the contract she was only able to pay less than half the deposit and promised to pay the rest in the new year. This outstanding amount failed to materialised. We have not registered the deposit we have as were waiting until receiving the full amount.

    I now want to issue a section 21a and want to know what to do regarding the deposit i have in cash? Do I still need to register it as the contract is Periodic? or should I return the amount to her and if so how - should I get her to sign receipt for it? I do not want the section 21 to be invalidated because of the deposit...

    Looking forward to your advice!

    First Time Landlady

    #2
    You are obliged to protect any sum of money received as a deposit, and to provide T with the prescribed information, within 30 days of receipt. You've missed that deadline.

    If you wish to serve a valid s.21 notice, you must first return the deposit money to the T. Yes, get a receipt for it.

    (Note that returning the deposit doesn't protect you against a possible claim for non-compliance by the T. The maximum penalty is 3x the deposit amount, plus you could be ordered to pay the T's legal costs).

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your speedy reply - I will definately return the cash to her then before serving the S.21 - I was going to use the s21 form on this website - is that one okay?

      do you know the average legal costs? - just trying to get a rough idea of total costs in case she did sue.

      Comment


        #4
        In the case of no win no fee companies, it could be expected to be in the few thousands
        All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by suzwar View Post
          Thanks for your speedy reply - I will definately return the cash to her then before serving the S.21 - I was going to use the s21 form on this website - is that one okay?
          Personally, I would use the one on this link. http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-lib...and-forms.html
          the s.21 periodic one.

          Do you know the requirements for a s.21(4)(a) notice? At least two months, also expiring at the end of a tenancy period? Do you know how to work out the tenancy periods?

          Comment


            #6
            Please make sure that you write a letter detailing that you are returning the deposit to her, and ensure that she signs it.
            Even better is to deposit it into her account personally.

            The chance of her suing is slim to nil.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you so much - your advice is most appreciated.

              Comment


                #8
                I'll use the form in your link then.

                Her tenancy is from 28th of month. so I have to give 2 clear months notice so if I want to issue this month it has to be with her before 28th June and expiry on the form is 27th August?

                I plan send this by registered post rather than in person (although I might inform her about it beforehand).

                Other than sorting out the deposit issue and issuing the S21 there's nothing else i need to do legally?

                Thanks again!

                Comment


                  #9
                  DO NOT send it using any method of delivery that requires a signature.

                  Return her money today, tomorrow if possible.

                  After she has received her deposit back, post two copies of the letter from separate Post Offices by 1st class mail asap, but by Mon 25th at the latest. With an expiry date of "after"(the letlink has this already) 27th August 2012. Ask for a free certificate of posting.

                  Ensure you have a photocopy of the notice sent.

                  Edit: What does your tenancy agreement say about serving notices?
                  It may be prudent to serve by hand also. If she signs it great, if not try and get a witness.
                  Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by suzwar View Post

                    Her tenancy is from 28th of month. so I have to give 2 clear months notice so if I want to issue this month it has to be with her before 28th June and expiry on the form is 27th August?
                    Assuming the six month fixed term commenced 28th November 2011, thus expiring 27th May 2012, and assuming rent is payable monthly, then yes, that is correct -

                    Refund the deposit, and get evidence of having done so, then serve notice before 28th June, with expiry date of "after 27th August 2012" (the word 'after' is essential, and is included on that form template).

                    I plan send this by registered post rather than in person (although I might inform her about it beforehand).
                    As thesaint says, DO NOT send by a signed for service. Ideally, deliver by hand through the T's letterbox with a witness present, or, if you follow thesaint's advice re posting, remember the 25th is the latest date for posting as the notice will not be deemed served till two working days later.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      It says it can by served by post or in person - so I shall do as you suggest and serve by bothmethods to cover all bases!


                      I have a meeting with her tonight so will return the deposit then. Just trying to draft a letter for returning the deposit- any suggested wording? I know it should be simple but just paranoid about getting this wrong.

                      Thanks for you help - so glad I joined this forum!!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks - Ill definately NOT send registered then. I will send two original notices - one post and one letterbox.

                        Thank you.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by suzwar View Post
                          It says it can by served by post or in person - so I shall do as you suggest and serve by bothmethods to cover all bases!
                          Yes serve it by hand tomorrow(not tonight), and post it using Royal Mail as detailed above.
                          I would send two by post. It is overkill, but could save you hundreds of pounds in the long run.

                          Originally posted by suzwar View Post


                          I have a meeting with her tonight so will return the deposit then. Just trying to draft a letter for returning the deposit- any suggested wording? I know it should be simple but just paranoid about getting this wrong.

                          The letter is just something basic along these lines.

                          I "Mrs landlord" am returning in cash the amount of £**.** today the 22nd June 2012 that was paid as a deposit on the **/**/2011. for the tenancy at "** Any Street, Anytown".
                          This is the full amount of the deposit paid to me.

                          The balance of the deposit was never paid by "Mrs tenant".

                          Mrs tenant acknowledges receipt of this money


                          Signed Mrs Tenant

                          Signed Mrs Landlord
                          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                          Comment


                            #14
                            That's fantastic - will follow all advice received to the t!

                            Thank you so much!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              UPDATE and further advice needed!

                              My meeting with the tenant did not quite to go plan - she is a 'tricky' customer and claims toknow a thing or two about tenancy saying she has rented herself in the past.

                              When I brought up the subject of returning the deposit to her on the basis that she had not paid it in full and I was too late for the dp scheme (she is more than aware about this and (gulP) the 3 x penalty!) so I wanted to be all square with her in this matter, I could see her hesitate in signing and therefore taking the money back (£300). She said that she believed that because she paid a month in advance that this too should have been registered with the scheme in addition to the 'deposit'.

                              I did not want to argue with her, so just said I would check it out hoping that she was wrong. In effect she is saying we would owe her £700 month + £300 deposit she had paid. When I said I needed to check this, she wrote on a piece of paper:

                              "Rent in Advance + Deposit should ALL go in to scheme or no deposit or scheme".

                              She warmed to this idea, and then seemed to be claiming that the first months rent she paid usat the beginning of the tenancy would have gone in to the scheme as well as the £300 deposit,and she implied that in fact we was not paying not a month in advance but at the end of the month.!! I hope I have explained that clearly!?

                              My Contract dated 28th November 2011 with her states:


                              "Payment is to be by standing order in advance by equal monthly payments on the 28th of each month, the first payment of which is to be made on the signing of this agreement"

                              Then with regards the deposit, is says:

                              "The landlord hereby acknowleges receipt of £300 by way of deposit."

                              Please tell me that I only owe her £300!! and that it is okay she is paying at the beginning of the month and not the end - is this standard practice?

                              Thanks!

                              Comment

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