LL agent holding deposit with continuous excuses

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  • LL agent holding deposit with continuous excuses

    I am having real communication problems with the LL letting agent in refunding a deposit. My sister is an adult with disabilities, and after 5 years as a tenant could no longer maintain living in the property, due to the poor condition not suitable for her needs.
    She is now happily settled in appropriate accomodation, thank goodness. However, even though my sister complied with all the requirements, decor well maintained, 4 weeks tenancy notice to quit, the agent still refuses to pay the deposit.

    1st, he delayed the handing of keys over by two days after the 4 week notice ended. I met him at the premises and he had no complaint with regard to the property and the decor. I asked him when the deposit would be refunded, he assured me within 7 days. After returning back from my 2 week holiday, there still was no refund in my bank, I provided details prefering this to cheques being posted.

    2nd,I contacted him to make enquiries with regard to the refund, he then told me he had to check his files to see who the deposit should legally be returned to, I loaned my sister the money at the time, I assured him that was fine and if he felt it had to be refunded to my sister that would be acceptable, just please inform me when doing so.

    3rd, It is now six weeks since my sister quit the property, and still no refund. I contacted the office and was informed by the agents secretary that because my sister was on housing benefit, the final rent paid was more than usual and so they were holding the deposit until housing benefits contacted them for the amount to be refunded. (Obviously they don't do their accounts very well to know what is owing).

    4th, I contacted housing benefits, they assured me that they were happy the appropriate amount of rent was paid, and they expect no refunds. They also stated that this to them is the end of the matter and will not be in contact with the ex-LL, and that there is no reason for the deposit to be witheld.

    5th, I then contacted the agents office again to inform them of a contact telephone number down at housing benefits, and a person there will be willing to inform them of what I had been told. The agents office has no intention of doing any phone calls, they will await for a letter from housing benefit to inform, this is a letter that is not going to be sent as the matter is closed.

    Please if anyone one can assist or point in the right direction it would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • #2
    The usual next step when trying to recover money owed is to give 14 days notice that you intend to take legal action and then do it using the Small Claims court.Your local CAB will help you with this if needed.


    • #3
      Only half an answer from Andy

      Your sister will have to take action against the landlord, not the agent, even though they hold the deposit as it's the landlord with whom she had a contract, not the agent.

      You can address the summons to the landlord c/o the agent if you don't know the landlord's address, and he is duty bound to send it too him/her immediately! Otherwise send it directly (it must be an address in England or Wales) Section 48 landlord & Tenant Act 1987.
      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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