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    Deposit

    I had an assured shorthold tenancy on a property with a colleague which finished on January 16th 2007. I provided one months written notice and my colleague decided to remain in the flat. The landlord has stated that because my colleague has remained in the property and is paying the rent by himself now that i am not entitled to my £325 security bond which was paid at the start of the tenancy. Is this correct?

    #2
    Did you have a joint AST with your colleague or did you each hold a separate one?

    Was it a fixed term tenancy that was set to expire on Jan 16th and did you leave then, later than that date or quit your tenancy agreement prematurely? Or a periodic tenancy (If you stay for beyond the fixed term, and your landlord doesn't give you a new fixed term agreement, your tenancy or licence will automatically become periodic, which means that it rolls from week to week, or month to month, depending on when the rent is collected).

    Did you review and sign an inventory at the start of the tenancy and is it only on the grounds of alleged arrears that the landlord is witholding the return of the deposit or did they indicate that there was damage to the property?

    The information from Shelter about joint tenancies warns tenants that they are all equally responsible for paying the rent and keeping to the terms of your agreement and that a landlord may be entitled to keep the deposit if there is any rent owing or damage to the property at the end of the tenancy. (advice applies to England so let the forum know if the property was in a different location)

    However, it is also the case that when a joint tenancy is ended properly by one of the tenants, it ends for all and any remaining tenants should negotiate with the landlord to have a new one in place.

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-3130.cfm

    If you provide further information, the forum members will indicate whether this deduction is justified or if the landlord was not entitled to retain any or all of it.

    Comment


      #3
      There is no damage whatsoever in the property. The argument from the landlord is that because the tenancy was originally a shared tenancy and my ex flat mate has remained in the proeprty after i handed in my notice and left then i am not entitled to my half of the security bond back.

      The letting agency say that the tenancy should have ended on the date it was due to expire, the security bond returned, and then if my ex flat ate wanted to remain in the property then a new tenancy should have been raised.

      I cant seem to get a straight answer and if im entitled to my £350 deposit then i want to ensure i get it back as i am now looking for a new property to move into.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by g_conaty View Post
        The argument from the landlord is that because the tenancy was originally a shared tenancy and my ex flat mate has remained in the proeprty after i handed in my notice and left then i am not entitled to my half of the security bond back.

        The letting agency say that the tenancy should have ended on the date it was due to expire, the security bond returned, and then if my ex flat ate wanted to remain in the property then a new tenancy should have been raised.

        I cant seem to get a straight answer and if im entitled to my £350 deposit then i want to ensure i get it back as i am now looking for a new property to move into.
        As you've been advised, the letting agent are correct here. But either way, isn't the simple answer for you to get your £325 from your colleague whose still in the property, rather than the landlord? That way the LL retains his £650 deposit and you get refunded.

        Comment


          #5
          If only it was as simple as that. I moved out of the property only two months into the twelve month tenancy, however, i continued to pay my portion of the rent. My ex flat mate has since tried to obtain money from me by altering electricity bills and even making allegations that the landlord had been in touch with him stating that the rent wasnt being paid on time when in actual fact the rent was on time every month and the landlord had never made such contact. He is, in a word, awkward and if i try to approach him to ask for my security deposit back then i wont get anywhere. I was hoping that the onus would be on the landlord or letting agency to return my £325 deposit back to me.

          Comment


            #6
            Most of the above answers are poor.
            1. It only takes one tenant of two or more to end a tenancy.
            2. There is no requirement to give any notice to end a fixed term, only a periodic tenancy, but as you did let them know they are duty bound to act on it.
            3. It is up to the landlord or his agent to have drawn up a new tenancy for the remaining tenant.
            4. You have ended your tenancy and there is no lawful reason for your deposit to be retained.
            5. Put these points in writing to the agent and state that if you don't receive your money in full within 7 days you will sue the landlord (you can't sue the agent) for its return together with your legal costs.
            Should work a treat, but if not don't be put off as you will win.
            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

            Comment


              #7
              Paul is dead right. Just to add as well, it should be noted that they will severely struggle to deduct anything from your deposit(if they try), as they did not perform a check at the end of that tenancy, so they cannot prove any damages done by yourself.
              Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

              Comment


                #8
                After three days of trying to speak with someone at the letting agency they finally returned my call this morning and stated that they have spoken to my ex flat mate who has stated that he will be more than happy to return my half of the deposit to me. My initia reaction is that he will tell them one thing and then do the complete opposite, however, i will contact him in order to try and sort the situation out in as civil a manner as possible. Should that fail then i will act accordingly and send a letter to the landlord with a copy of the letter to the letting agency explaining that if they do not return my deposit to me i will file a claim with the county court.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                  1. There is no requirement to give any notice to end a fixed term, only a periodic tenancy, but as you did let them know they are duty bound to act on it.
                  2. It is up to the landlord or his agent to have drawn up a new tenancy for the remaining tenant.
                  I have read previous posts on this area, and still can't get my head around the above.

                  Notice was given by one person on a joint and several tenancy, agreed. However, surely the tenancy then changes to periodic on the same terms as the original fixed term because the tenants (or at least one of them) did not part with possession by the end of the fixed term, and remained in occupation.

                  Whilst the agent or landlord could draw up a new tenancy agreement for the remaining tenant(s) what if they refused to sign? The owner would then surely have to start eviction proceedings and name all tenants on the last agreement being that it was joint and several?

                  The deposit also I can't see as clear cut - it would depend on the terms of the tenancy surely. Even the new custodial deposit scheme states that deposits will only be returned in the name of one tenant and this person should be nominated and arrange to distribute it appropriately. On the assumption that a professional inventory and condition report was undertaken before occupation, how can the owner arrange for an independent exit inspection to be conducted for any dilapidations to be assessed, if any, if the property is still lived in by one of the tenants? And if no exit inspection is done, how can any deposit be returned?
                  On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If Notice ends a tenancy, the tenancy - by definition - can't continue as periodic. Ended=ended.
                    What might happen, however, is that continuing occupant becomes tenant of new periodic tenancy- not referrable to old one that ended.
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Does this mean that i am entitled to my deposit back and if so do i need to speak with my ex flat mate, the letting agency or the landlord?

                      The thing which annoyed me was the fact that the letting agency were happy enough to take the money from us at the start of the tenancy but they have been nothing but unhelpful since to a point where when i contacted them to enquire about it they just fobbed me off saying it was nothing to do with them.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by g_conaty View Post
                        Does this mean that i am entitled to my deposit back and if so do i need to speak with my ex flat mate, the letting agency or the landlord?

                        The thing which annoyed me was the fact that the letting agency were happy enough to take the money from us at the start of the tenancy but they have been nothing but unhelpful since to a point where when i contacted them to enquire about it they just fobbed me off saying it was nothing to do with them.
                        If old tenancy ended, deposit thereon should be refunded by L, direct or via agent. New tenancy is entirely separate, and any new deposit arrangements between L and new (sole) T would not concern you nor require L to retain your old-tenancy deposit.
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by g_conaty View Post
                          Does this mean that i am entitled to my deposit back and if so do i need to speak with my ex flat mate, the letting agency or the landlord?

                          .
                          Suggest you follow Paul F's step by step plan.
                          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                          * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                          You can search the forums here:

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I think that is what im going to do. I just wanted to be sure of where i stand before i start writing letters and suggesting legal action.

                            Thank you for all of the replies.

                            Comment

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