No deposit after 14 days & not protected tenant help.

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    No deposit after 14 days & not protected tenant help.

    Hi,
    Myself and my partner have left our previous land lady's tenancy to a new home. Our previous LL has sent us an email saying that our home is clean but that there are stains that she could've removed using her own cleaner and she is not happy with the professional cleaners (that we hired) work.
    We left the house spotless and what she is talking about are normal wear and tear caused by furniture, we took photos so we're confident in that respect.
    However, she has not replied to our emails asking for the deposit back or with which deposit scheme its in - we've checked and it doesn't seem to be in any of the 3 main schemes. I'm scared she hasn't protected it. Now the tenancy has ended and it's now 14 days since we asked for our money back, I see we can send a letter saying we could take her to court but we don't really have the money to do that because obviously she does! I don't think either if us would get legal aid either as we both work full-time.
    I'm so worried as we had to take out a loan to pay for this deposit.
    Can anyone give us some advice please?

    #2
    I would assume that if you don't know which scheme the deposit is in, you were not given the prescribed information which would tell you that.

    If the landlady is determined to hang on to your deposit, it is unlikely that you are going to get it back without threatening a court action. While the courts can award between 1 and 3 times the value of the deposit for non-compliance, this should not be seen as a barrier to reclaiming the deposit. In fact depending upon its size you could be able to deal with this entirely in the small claims track. Going through small claims is designed for people who are going to be doing it themselves and is forgiving. The costs are also not high and can be reclaimed.

    In my opinion the best course of action you can take at this time is to send a letter before action, requesting the return of your deposit, obtain a free certificate of posting from the post office, in your letter you should point out that you are entitled to bring a claim for between 1-3 times the value of the deposit due to the prescribed information not having been recieved by you and possibly suggest that you would be willing to settle this matter for the prompt return of your deposit.

    Comment


      #3
      Use the link below to check if your deposit has been protected.

      If not, there are template letters to send to your landlord.

      http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...es?src=hpban-s

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for replying. It doesn't seem as if my tenancy has been protected when I used the online search facilities of each checker.
        However, My LL has replied saying that it's protected "via a stakeholder" but hasn't given me any other details or any information about when the deposit will be returned or what she intends to do next.
        Surely I should still be able to have info even if the deposit is held "via a stakeholder"? What does that mean for me? Is it held under a different name?
        Last edited by KathCrescent; 09-07-2013, 08:33 AM. Reason: To clarify.

        Comment


          #5
          Deposit protection comes in 2 parts:

          1 - Protect the money

          2 - Issue the full documentation from the scheme used to the tenant.

          If the LL has not done BOTH of these within 30 days of receiving the deposit, they are in breach of the deposit regs.

          Ask your LL in writing for the full Prescribed information from the scheme they used. As you have already left the property, this should hav ebeen supplied to you at the point the deposit was protected. If the LL cannot provide this information, you can take the court route to claim 1-3x the deposit for failing to comply with the regulations.

          Stop "talking" to the LL, start putting this in writing, as you will otherwise just end up with a ping-pong slanging match between you with no proof of the situation and no progress either!

          Comment


            #6
            Alright, thank you very much for replying. Incidentally is this a small claims matter as its under £5000?

            Comment


              #7
              No, the claim for 1-3x deposit must follow a specific court route via the County Court Part 8 claims process. Fees could reach £1K and the judge will decide the penalty, so could be 1 or up to 3x the dpeosit amount. If you are successful, costs are usually awarded against the LL.

              However, the LL will likely not know this (they seem to have failed to understand so far), so tell them in writing that if they are unable to confirm the date and details of the deposit protection within 7 working days of the letter OR return your unprotected deposit in full, you will take further legal advice in the recommended legal penalty of 1-3x the deposit. Use the title "Letter before Action" on your letter, and keep free proof of posting fromt he PO counter. You need to have proof you have given the LL the opportunity to respond to strengthen any claim you make.

              There is nothing to stop you proceeding with the claim if the LL fails to respond, and you may qualify for help with legal costs if you are on low income/benefits. There have been a number of successfull claims since the rules came in, but for now, concentrate on using the "threat" of the claim to persuade the LL to return your money.

              Otherwise, if you do not want to launch to whole non-protection claim, you can use small claims process to reclaim just the deposit value if you prefer, but again, the "letter before action" will help build proof of your case.

              Comment


                #8
                If you follow all of the links below, you will find a letter to send to your landlord if your deposit wasn't protected and your tenancy has ended.

                http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...es?src=hpban-s

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you both for your help.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Wait a minute. It's been only 14 days since you left? I don't think that's too long or long enough to take things this far. Maybe the LL hasn't yet figured out exactly what she's going to do especially if she doesn't live local to the property. Maybe she's going to try her hand at removing the stains. Maybe something else. i.e. Maybe she just has to figure out exactly what she will claim from you IF anything. My personal opinion is that sending a letter of legal action after just 14 days is nasty and mean. Call her or write to her again asking nicely/politely what her intentions are, explaining you just wish to understand where you stand. Give her at least 2 more weeks before you take it further. Just my personal opinion and what I would do.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If the OP can prove the deposit was not protected, full deposit amount should be returned anyway.

                      OP says they have tried to contact LL and no response and it is 14 days since that contact, not necessarily 14 days AFTER they moved out.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
                        If the OP can prove the deposit was not protected, full deposit amount should be returned anyway.
                        The non-protection of a deposit does not prevent a landlord making deductions from it.

                        In my world, I would return it in full to avoid antagonising the tenant into making a s214 claim, but the landlord doesn't have to. Even on an s214 claim he can counterclaim for damages etc.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Do s214 claims now have to be started under the Part 8 procedure?

                          I'm considering starting a claim against my Son-in-Laws' LL for non-compliance re PI. Only because she is trying to claim all his deposit and more for a property he left in the same condition as he received it.

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