Deposit taken by agents who have since dissolved not paid into DPS

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    Deposit taken by agents who have since dissolved not paid into DPS

    Hi,
    Looking for some advice...back in 2008 my ageing Dad paid money to letting agents to find him a tenant etc etc. This was done, a tenant found, agreement signed by tenant, agent and my dad. The agents took and signed for £600 deposit from the tenant. It has now been brought to my (even older by now!)Dad's attention, that the money was not paid into any of the 3 DPS schemes and he is concerned that he will be liable to pay the 3x deposit amount back to the tenant when they move out. I have tried to find the letting agents who have since dissolved the company and now have different companies in their names. We have contacted the police as we feel this money has been stolen and the police are not interested as they say it is a civil matter. We have contacted our local MP who has not provided any useful information or help.
    Really I would like to know if when the time comes will it be my Dad/me who is taken to court as the 'landlord' to pay back fine +deposit or as he really had nothing to do with the deposit, did not sign for it and paid someone to act in his behalf will the real crooks be made accountable?
    Hope this makes sense really need advice from someone who knows what they are talking about!!
    Many Thanks

    #2
    Are the tenants expecting to be moving soon?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by culdrein View Post
      Really I would like to know if when the time comes will it be my Dad/me who is taken to court as the 'landlord' to pay back fine +deposit or as he really had nothing to do with the deposit, did not sign for it and paid someone to act in his behalf will the real crooks be made accountable?
      The agent acts purely on behalf of the LL. He took the deposit on behalf of your father, the LL. Legally, it's the same as if the T paid the money direct to your father.

      Your father is liable for returning the deposit to the T at the end of the tenancy. He is also liable for protecting the deposit, but it's too late now to comply. There are strict time limits; the deposit must be protected within 30 days of receipt.

      Court proceedings are not inevitable, however.

      There would only be court proceedings if the T brought a claim against your father.* There are two possible types of claim.

      1) If your father failed to refund the deposit at the end of the tenancy, the T could bring a straightforward claim for return of the deposit only. This would be a 'small claims' track claim.

      2) Whether or not your father refunds the deposit, the T could bring a claim for failing to comply with deposit protection. The court would order your father to pay the T between 1x and 3x the value of the deposit.

      If your father refunds the £600 in full to the T at the end of the tenancy, without attempting to claim any deductions, then it may well not occur to the T to bring a non-compliance claim.

      ====
      * I am not sure why you think the T could claim against you unless you are joint LL with your father.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by westminster View Post
        2) Whether or not your father refunds the deposit, the T could bring a claim for failing to comply with deposit protection. The court would order your father to pay the T between 1x and 3x the value of the deposit.

        If your father refunds the £600 in full to the T at the end of the tenancy, without attempting to claim any deductions, then it may well not occur to the T to bring a non-compliance claim.
        Such a claim should be avoided at all costs - although Westminster is quite correct about the penalty for non-compliance, your father could also be exposed to the court fees (which should be over £1k) and any legal costs the tenant incurs (Solicitor - £150/hr?).

        In your fathers shoes, I would be approaching the tenant to offer the deposit back. A bit of a 'story' about the agents actions and how he thinks it is so unfair that they treated the tenant unfairly by not protecting the deposit.

        Comment


          #5
          If you are certain that the 3 DPS schemes have not been given the
          deposit ( You have been in contact on the phone etc. )
          then the tenant will not have any information from any DPS firms,

          Go see tenant, return the deposit of £ 600.
          Your excuse could be, we return the deposit, as we don't take
          deposits any more. ( Therefore, no deposit, no protection needed )

          Or, go see tenant, return the deposit of £ 600 stating due to
          agent problems, we give you the deposit back, but if you would
          like to give it us back, we will put it in a protected account and
          you will be sent information who has it.

          Best to at least return the deposit ( you have had approx £ 20000
          in rent over 4years, so £ 600 will be no loss to you.)

          If tenant asks about previous protection, just say all that was with
          the agents who now cant be traced.

          Just a suggeston.

          R.a.M.

          Comment

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