House flooded. Where do we stand 5 years on re tenancy deposit

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    House flooded. Where do we stand 5 years on re tenancy deposit

    we started renting a house in April 2007. The property was flooded 2 months into the tenancy so we handed back the keys and moved into alternative accomodation. We gave no assurances we would move back after the renovation work was completed as it caused us a huge loss at the time. We said we would contact them nearer the time. We also moved all possessions out of the property. The landlord was great and helped us find a new home which was with one of her friends who had a property to let for a short time. We were given no deposit back as she said it was to be used against the new property with her friend. Fair enough. In 2008 the work was completed and we decided to move back in as the quality of the work was immaculate. 5 yrs on and with no arrears our landlord is trying to keep our deposit as she claims the paintwork is bad. It was newly painted 2 days before we ended the tenancy and our photos prove how good the standard is. (the estate agents selling on her behalf advertised it as "excellent decorative order"). She didn't do an inventory check and didn't view the property herself yet insists she is getting a professional in at our cost. She also claims we used substandard paint and the house should be painted with a specific brand! Noone went round the house with us and we had to post the keys through the door. The point I'm aimlessly getting to is that as we handed back the keys and paid rent to a new landlord should our deposit have been protected when we returned to the house? She has said it isn't because we moved in pre-legislation. This was the original tenancy though in 2007 but we moved back in 2008, so we were led to believe a brand new tenancy had started. If it isnt protected when it should be surely she hasnt got a leg to stand on. Am I right in thinking that a verbal agreement with the new landlord and regular payment of rent constitutes a contract with him. If so, how can she claim we were still tenants of hers. She says we had access to the property which we didn't as the locks were changed due to front/back door being replaced. Please help - we have requested the full return of our deposit which she refuses so I have advised we will take it to small claims court. Do we have a case. Also after the flood there was no new inventory. Surely the old one becomes null and void as the downstairs of the property was completely refurbished. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

    Please use paragraphs.

    You can have a 2nd contract with a new landlord, it doesn't mean that your old one ended.

    Did you sign another tenancy agreement when you moved back in 2008?
    You said you were "led to believe". What does this mean?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


      At the time of the flood, LL supplied temp alt accommodation and you later re-occupied orig premises on same contract terms. Was the rent the same for both properties?
      Did you sign a new AST at any time after moving back?
      If not, IMO deposit did not require protecting, so your only recourse is SCC to sue LL for deposit return. He will still have to justify amount claimed. Hopefully your leaving photo's will support your contention. Why did you repaint & did you get LLs permission to do so?


        Sorry about the paragraphs. I copied and pasted but agree it looks awful.

        The rent was the same when we went back but even so surely that doesn't mean it's the same contract. We surrended the keys as soon as we had chance to get our possesions out and never confirmed we were going back.

        The problem we have regarding "being led to believe" is it was all done verbally. Stupidly we agreed and didn't sign a new contract. Silly now but we were homeless at one point.

        I dont know if its important but the second house we rented was sold while we were living there. This made us homeless and sleeping on friends floor and had no help from landlord. It was around this time she offered us the house again

        With regards to repainting, we had previously wallpapered. She agreed we could on the condition it was neutral when we left.


          From what you said it seems that you were renting the alternative accommodation from another landlord, is that correct?
          Then, when you moved back to the original house, you again rented it from the original landlord, is that correct?

          If so, clearly there has been 3 distinct tenancies.
          The first one was basically frustrated when the douse was flooded.


            We paid for it directly into new landlords bank


              Jjlandlord - yes thats exactly right.

              Sorry if this sounds daft - my knowledge of this area isn't great. If she claimed for loss of rent while we were paying rent to new landlord could this prove we were not tied to the property at that time.


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