Issues with a deposit for a sub-let on an AST

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    Issues with a deposit for a sub-let on an AST

    Hi there,

    I realise there rather a lot of past posts covering deposits on an AST. However, I don't think any of the situations described quite corresponded to mine, so here's my post. Any help much appreciated.

    I took a room in a shared house on an AST from a Landlord in September 2013, on a ten month contract. Things went wrong at uni and I decided to move out and sub-let it from November to the end of the contract. I found a sub-tenant, who signed a standard AST I had from the university housing service. I took a deposit of £250, which I didn't put in a scheme, foolishly. In case it matters, I should mention that he only signed the end of the contract, not the page related to the deposit.

    The tenant is now three months behind, with no intention of paying the next and final month's rent either, as far as I can tell. He says that he is out of work and unable to pay. I have recently started a small claims court action in pursuit of the cost (just over £1K for the 3 months so far). He has just written to say that he thinks I 'failed to adhere to the tenancy deposit scheme' and that he will pursue a claim unless I drop the small claims court claim and forgive the last months rent.

    What's my situation? Since he is a sub-let, am I obliged to use a DPS scheme? If I put the deposit in one now or return it to him, will that help?

    #2
    One more thing: the landlord knew about the sub-let and consented to it.

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      #3
      So the AST you had with the sub-tenant named you as landlord?? If so yes, you needed to protect deposit within 30 days. He can sue you for up to 3x deposit as you didn't. Return deposit (or get written agreement to us against arrears) then issue S21.

      No point startuing small-claims (IMHO..) until you've got him out & regained possession... as only then will you know what he owes...

      Cheers!
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        As you didn't follow the correct procedure with the deposit, you risk being instructed by a court to return it (with up to three times the same amount as a penalty).
        However that's the very worst case, assuming that the subtenant can a) be arsed and b) successfull.

        I would personally return the deposit (which will hurt!).
        Then evict (or wait until he leaves) and seek to recover the full amount via money claims on-line.
        He owes you the money and you'll eventually win - his threat of the deposit is a good one, but somewhat undermined by the fact that as soon as you realised your error you returned it (even when the sub-tenant owed you money).
        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).

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          #5
          Returning the deposit will indeed hurt! It sounds like the best way to go, though. Thank you both for your advice.

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