I left during a joint tenancy, entitled to deposit on full return?

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  • I left during a joint tenancy, entitled to deposit on full return?

    I apologise if this has been covered before or in the wrong forum but I have not found any other threads with the information I'm looking for yet.

    In October 2009 i moved into a house with a friend. It was a joint tenancy, 6 month AST we each paid half of the £1000 deposit. We then renewed the 6 month AST in april 2010.

    Because of not being able to find permanent employment in the area we had another friend move in to help with rent (on the day we moved in the agent said they didnt mind who lived in the house as long as the rent was paid) I then moved in with my dad at the end of July 2010 to limit costs but paid rent til the end of the AST.

    I contacted the agent and filled them in on my situation but due to the rent being behind they said i wouldnt be able to use my deposit to cover overdue rent or be taken off the tenancy.

    The other tenant continued to live in the house on a rolling periodic(?) and was planning to only stay there another 6 months so i said I'd wait til he moved out to get my share of the deposit back.

    Fast forward to Jan 2013 and I hear through a friend that the other tenant had finally moved out. We havent really spoken much in the past 2 years so i send him a message to ask if he had any issues moving out. I asked about the deposit and and he said he was waiting to hear. I emailed the agent to make sure they had current contact information and they informed me that the deposit had already been returned in full to a forwarding address which they then gave me. This turned out to be my friends parents address. So i contacted him again and he asked for my bank details and said when it cleared he would send me my share.

    2 weeks passed and no news so i contacted him again. He then told me that he was unwilling to return my full share of the deposit due to expenses getting the house up together before moving out.

    He has offered me £200 of my original £500 as he said had to spend £300 on carpet, a van and to cover time taken off work to move. I asked for proof of expenses but have not recieved a reply.

    So I guess what I am asking is, As I wasnt taken off the joint tenancy am I entitled to the £500 I paid when we moved in? Or because I "bailed" should I just take the £200 and put it down as one of lifes lessons?

    Thank you for your time. Apologies again if this is in the wrong place.

  • #2
    At the end of the 2nd fixed term (when you were living with Dad) did you ever give formal notice to the agent? If so, did you give this notice before or after the end of the fixed term?

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    • #3
      If you had served valid notice to quit after the joint tenancy became periodic, this would have ended the whole [joint] tenancy at notice expiry.

      But if would appear that you didn't serve notice, so the joint tenancy remained in place, along with your liability for rent/damage during that periodic joint tenancy.

      You're actually quite lucky that all you are facing is a slight depletion of the deposit, as opposed to the LL pursuing you for several months of unpaid rent (in the event that the other joint T hadn't paid).

      Nevertheless, if the other T has pocketed your 50% of the deposit refunded by the LL then you have a case to claim against him for return of that money.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
        At the end of the 2nd fixed term (when you were living with Dad) did you ever give formal notice to the agent? If so, did you give this notice before or after the end of the fixed term?
        I told the agent i wanted to leave at the end of august, the fixed term ended 2 months later. But I probably put it more like a question than a formal notice.

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        • #5
          You need to serve written notice in order for it to be valid. A 'phone call or oral notification has no record normally.
          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.

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          • #6
            Understood.

            Originally posted by westminster View Post
            You're actually quite lucky that all you are facing is a slight depletion of the deposit, as opposed to the LL pursuing you for several months of unpaid rent (in the event that the other joint T hadn't paid).

            Nevertheless, if the other T has pocketed your 50% of the deposit refunded by the LL then you have a case to claim against him for return of that money.
            If I was to put in a money claim for the deposit, even for a lesser amount to split costs of "repairs" is there anything to stop the other named tenant to turn around and say I owe him however many months rent? And put in a claim for that?

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            • #7
              You presumably had a private arrangement (oral contract) with the other T to pay half of the rent to the LL. The lodger he took in in your place presumably paid your 'share' of the rent, in which case the other T wouldn't have been left out of pocket.

              There is nothing to stop the other T counterclaiming, however, the question is not whether he can claim but whether he would win the claim. He'd have to prove he'd suffered a loss.

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              • #8
                Ahhhh ok. Thank you. I was never told during my time away from the house that there were any issues paying the rent, or even that there were any problems with the house until i asked about getting my deposit back.

                Is it adviseable to seek legal advice before considering a money claim?

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                • #9
                  It's certainly not worth paying for legal advice in respect of a claim of £500 maximum. But no-one can predict whether the other T would try a counterclaim against you...qualified lawyer or not; and no-one can know, at this stage, whether that counterclaim would have legs.

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                  • #10
                    Ahhh ok. Fair point.

                    Still waiting to hear from him about his "expenses" but if i hear nothing i shall look into claiming.

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                    • #11
                      Your deposit should only be used to pay for any T damage and rent owing at end of friend's T.

                      It reads as if he is claiming some of your deposit towards his moving costs? Some friend!

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