Potential deposit issue!

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    Potential deposit issue!

    Hi Folks,

    I have had a tenant for the last three years, I have used a letting agency.

    The letting agency have recently gone bankrupt (taking a few months rent with them) and to top it off, the tenant is moving out.

    I contacted the agency about the deposit, as they initially said the deposit was held in a DPS. The tenant was given a reference number which didn't check out; they had no record of my tenant.

    I have spoken to the tenant and they have told me a solicitor gave them advice to say that I was ultimately responsible for the return of the deposit, which makes perfect sense.

    I re-contacted the agency who have now said that they don't think the tenant ever gave them a deposit and that I should ask them for a receipt or other proof that one was paid.

    The tenant is moving out tomorrow and has asked for the deposit back, I have not yet had the discussion with her about proof of the deposit because I don't want to 'rock the boat' before having some advice. She has been a good tenant, but I don't want to float the bill for the deposit if there never was one.

    This was my first tenant and I have absolutely no idea of the protocol when they move out, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance

    What does tenancy agreement say about deposit? I'm afraid that if it is mentioned there, you are unlikely to get away without repaying it. I would smile sweetly while you do lest tenant sue you for 3x penalty for not protecting it.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.


      Hi, thanks for the reply.

      The tenancy agreement states that the tenant must pay a deposit of £550, there is no mention anywhere that the deposit HAS actually been paid.


        How likely, on the balance of probability would it be that your house would have been let out without a monetary amount for a deposit being taken? I'd put money on the fact it has been taken, even more so that the T seems to have sought legal advice on the matter. The LA is asking you to ask the T for a receipt as they know they probably didn't routinely issue them to T's
        "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

        What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.


          The sad thing - probably for you - is this... just as the Tenant says, no matter whether you employed an Agent or not - you, as Landlord, are entirely responsible for the protection of the deposit. So the biggest problem you have is this... you, as Landlord, simply don't know where the deposit is. I think the first step would be to try and get in touch with all the Deposit Protection schemes and find out whether they have a deposit that matches - I'm sure you don't need a reference number for this - they should be able to search on address / Tenant name / Letting Agent name for you... at least then you'll know whether a deposit is protected, or not.

          Let's assume you find out it's not with any of the schemes... then I'd start to suspect the bankrupt Letting Agent is lying to me, or is so messed-up they truly haven't a clue... regardless, as Wannadonnadoodah says, it's kinda unlikely the Tenants got as far as renting your property without paying someone a deposit.

          At that point... you could be liable for 1x to 3x the deposit if the Tenant decides to sue you. I don't say "if they decide to sue you and they win" because they will win, so it's just if they decide to sue you. Add to that the fact that they've been there for 3 years... was that a single fixed term of 6 or 12 months followed by it moving to a statutory periodic tenancy... or was it one fixed term after another? The reason is that you can be liable for 1x to 3x the deposit for each tenancy if it wasn't re-protected each time. Your situation might be as good as 2 hits... a single fixed term moving to SPT or as bad as 6 hits... 6 month fixed term followed by another, followed by another, followed by another etc. - I only say this because that's what Letting Agents like to do, to get renewal fees from both sides.

          Can you investigate with the deposit protection schemes as soon as you can and try to find out if any of them has the deposit? Can you then come back and let us know what you find, and what the time periods of your tenancies were?

          If you can't find the deposit and you are nervous about being sued, there is always good faith negotiation.

          My ASTs also state that a deposit of £X will be paid, but the Tenants don't get to the point of signing the AST if the money hasn't reached my bank account. I'll assume your AST will have been the same (as anyone reasonable would, I expect).

          Best of luck!


            Suggest LA prob used MyDeposits protection scheme, There are 4? approved schemes in total.
            Surley OP has monthly statements from LA?
            On the face of it I would suspect LA is at fault and LL resp.
            You can defer repaying deposit for 10 days to allow time for property inspection and calculation of any T damage. Not much point though if no move in inventory avail.
            LAs need closer monitoring than most Ts IMO


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