'Deposit' paid to previous tenant, not protected?

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    'Deposit' paid to previous tenant, not protected?

    I need urgent help!!

    Four years ago as a young 20 something year old I moved into the house I'm still renting (there are three other tenants too all on individual contracts). The estate agents never asked me to pay a deposit to them or the landlord, but to pay the previous tenant £650. This was also told to all of the other tenants who live here or have moved in within the last 4 years.

    Now rather than just make a judgment and ask if I am mad or stupid, yes I have established that I am already!! But please, please will somebody offer me some advice on what the situation may be now?! You see I am looking to move out.

    Many thanks

    #2
    Well, you can try asking the LL to pay you the previous tenant's deposit (which he is still holding). If he refuses, then one option is to claim against the LL in the county court.

    I've no idea what the outcome might be. Obviously, it's not straightforward as you didn't actually pay a deposit to the LL; you'd have to argue that you (somehow) 'took over' the previous tenant's deposit. (Do you have any evidence of paying the money to the previous T?) It might help if the other Ts in the house would agree to provide witness statements that the agent asked them to pay a 'deposit' to the outgoing T, too.

    I don't suppose you know where to find the previous tenant? You could try a tracing agent, e.g. findermonkey.co.uk. Then he could ask the LL for his money back, and give it to you...

    Is the agent a member of ARLA? If so, you could complain about the agent to them. http://www.arla.co.uk/

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