Non DPS held deposit and Section 21(1)b

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    Non DPS held deposit and Section 21(1)b

    Hello there.

    My wife, son and I have lived in our current property for 18 months and have now been served a section 21(1)b as our landlord wishes to move back to his family home in order to fix it up and re rent it at an inflated price.

    Our deposit was handed over at the beginning of our tenancy but was not placed into a DPS until the contract was re signed for the second year of the tenancy with some amended agreements (i.e having a dog will be allowed, deposit has been payed already).

    We believe this to be an illegal serving of a section 21(1)b due to the non protection of said deposit within 30 days of receipt and no information being presented to us about it when it was eventually protected one year after the tenancy began.

    Coupled with the fact that the landlord was not present at the move in and no inventory was done along with a serious damp issue that despite many phone calls has not been dealt with we feel that we may about to be ripped off of our deposit and kicked out illegally as the landlord has proven to be of a should I say shady nature.

    We have been perfect tenants and always pay our rent on time but with my wife now pregnant again this is creating a real stress as we do not feel that we should be moving right now, especially as it may be an illegal serving.

    This is what we feel is a fair departing:

    1 for us to move out as soon as we have found another place to live and not to be forced out of the door.
    2 for our deposit to be returned in full as soon as possible.
    3 for us to continue paying rent on time until we have moved out making sure all rent is payed to date.
    4 for us to continue our tenancy with respect to upholding the contract and looking after the property.


    THE QUESTION:

    Is it possible for me to reach this understanding by contacting a LL or is it too late at this stage and should I really be thinking about court proceedings to dispute the section21(1)b.

    Thank you for reading and I look forward to your response(s)

    #2
    If the deposit was protected at the start of you current tenancy and you were given the necessary information,
    it is possible to server a s21 notice.
    This is because the current agreement is valid, even if the prior one wasn't.

    How long is a initial period of the second agreement and when did it start?

    If you weren't given the prescribed information and the deposit wasn't protected, the notice is invalid.

    Either way, the notice is simply a stage in the process, you don't have to leave the property - the Landlord will have to go to court to take the next steps
    - which will incur him some costs that he will probably deduct from your deposit.

    It would definitely be sensible to contact the Landlord - if the Landlord feels confident that you will move out at an agreed point (after the birth) it might set his mind at ease as it means he won't have to go through a complicated and time consuming process to evict you (that might take months anyway).

    If there was no inventory, you might both struggle to agree on the return of the full deposit, but that's a separate subject, once you have sorted out the main issue.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Well the tenancy first started in Nov 2012 and was continued from Nov 2013 by signing a new tenancy contract which was for one year. (expires Nov 2014)

      The only information we received was a letter from the DPS in Nov 2013 stating that a deposit was under their protection.
      However there was no leaflet or certificate given to us by our landlord as instructed by the DPS in order to comply with their regulations according to their website.

      We would like to avoid staying post section21 without taking legal action ourselves rather than forcing her to apply for possession via the courts.

      We have decided to seek legal aid to see that we are within our rights to stay until we find another place solely on the basis of the deposit regulations not being adhered to but to be honest the way he has been this last month has made us doubt that an amicable departure will be reached. (quite forceful and a little rude asking us to leave before the 2 months are up).

      It's a shame as we have always got along very well but I think he is on financially unstable ground and the pressure is making him quite aggressive.

      The deposit regulations were not fulfilled and our money went unprotected for one year.
      That's practically a £2000 interest free loan which he will no doubt now try to withhold for some random reason (the carpet seems duller than when we moved in etc...) without seeing the condition of the property as he has been in France since 2004 and has no idea on of the properties repair since then and there has been 3 different tenants since.


      Thank you for your reply and advise.
      I very much appreciate the time taken and the insight provided.

      Comment


        #4
        Unprotected does not necessarily mean abused - or used. While some Landlords we hear about certainly do go against the regulations and have no intention of putting deposits in schemes and every intention of classing them as some perk, some others are simply ignorant (which is no excuse) of the regulations and will always keep the deposit safe and untouched, but in their custody. A £2,000 interest free loan would not be the case then... interest 'made' on that would be very little, of course.

        I am not saying it will work out well here, just that you shouldn't predict the worst until it happens.

        If the fixtures and fittings are as old as you say, then the fair-wear-and-tear angle comes in... 10 years is quite a long time to expect a carpet to last and it could be argued that even if it was cream and is now rather worn and a dark brown in colour, and it can't be cleaned any better than that, that is all par for the course. Deposit deductions on that basis - without, as said, a great Inventory showing it to have a lovely pile and cream colour as you moved in - would be hard to justify. Seems you hold a lot of the cards but, of course, the Landlord will eventually be able to evict you once all admin. and paperwork is sorted, so you should prepare.

        In this respect, your 1, 2, 3 and 4 sound eminently reasonable to me... but always best if you can leave on good terms.

        Comment


          #5
          I agree entirely.

          It is ignorance rather than profit on his part but I have to think of my family so I will be pursuing along these lines anyway.

          I am certainly not one of those angry tenants looking for profit or to "screw someone over" so I will write to him and be honest and offer some solutions that we can agree on.

          The only way this will go to court is if he can't put his ego to one side and take the mutual ground that I will offer.

          Thanks very much for your wise words and I will heed your warnings and not act without first trying to find an agreement with the LL.

          Comment

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