Sub tenant contract and deposit dispute

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    Sub tenant contract and deposit dispute

    Hi,

    I am a student who rented out a room to another tenant who was renting an apartment from the landlord.

    My deposit was given via bank transfer during late August to the person who was subletting. It was agreed I would move in on the 1st of October. I was told by the sub letter that I would take his larger cleaner room and he would move into the remaining smaller room. He also said indoor parking was available for which I could rent out. It was agreed I would rent the room out for £400 per month with all bills included. We agreed that we would live together and then I would take over the apartment after Mid December (as he was leaving the UK). After mid November I would have to sign another contract with the landlord directly- for the WHOLE apartment and then I would sublet the second room.

    He changed his mind.

    He told me I could not have the original room until he moved out Mid December. I also discovered that according to the managing agent I could not legally rent out the parking space (security reasons etc). I moved half of my stuff out into the new apartment by the 20th of September.

    I chose not to move in on the 1st of October- and was in a state of panic. Had I been duped? ...I asked for my deposit back soon after as I felt it was better to avoid a possible dishonest subletter situation.

    My deposit has not been protected by a scheme I have discovered, although the tenancy agreement from the National Landlords Association signed by the sub letter says he would protect it within 14 days of receiving it. Over 1 month later there is no sign of protection.

    I told him via text I would no longer be moving in shortly after October the 1st. I asked for my deposit back, but he told me he used it towards rent to the main landlord.

    I have never met the main landlord by the way (I know, I was stupid).

    In order to secure a place for a further month for myself I paid my current landlord rent till the end of this month. The subletter has told me is most likely vacating the premises this week, and the most he can give me (possibly) is half of my deposit.

    I have explained to him the law of legally protecting deposits etc and he has said he is not bothered (he is leaving the country soon). I do not want to lose my deposit as it is A LOT of money as a student.

    What are my rights please? Who is the dispute with- him or the landlord?

    He is telling me the landlord will most likely change the locks if I stay in the apartment for 1 month rent free (to reclaim my losses)- despite the agreement stating I can stay until the 30th of November. I have not paid any rent on top of the deposit as I need to get advise on the next step. He also told me the landlord has let the place out by the end of this week to SOMEONE else.

    Is it lawful for me to live in the room agreed- as I have an agreement signed by the subleter even if I am yet to pay the 1st month rent (due to the subletter being dishonest about the room I would get)? Can I sue the landlord, or the subletter for not protecting my deposit? If he has not protected my deposit can he no longer serve a section 21?

    What is the best way to resolve this so I am not at a financial loss? (I have not spent a single night over at the place, by the way).

    This is urgent.

    Thanks

    #2
    You would have been a 'lodger' of this person that rented you the room, a lodger's deposit is not required to be protected in any type of scheme.

    You have no case against the (main) landlord because you have had no dealings with him.

    If you have been offered any cash back into your hand then take it quickly before that's spent as well.

    If the person that is cheating you is a European citizen then suing him may be the way to go, court warrants can be enforced anywhere in Europe. You will have 6 years to pursue the debt.

    I'm sure others will comment as well.

    It's unfortunate but it looks as if you're learning a valuable lesson quite early in life.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


      #3
      Take the money offered and find somewhere else to live.

      I am not sure what the "deposit" was for, as you don't appear to have signed any contract with the "person with the room".
      Was it a payment to hold the room, a kind of fee for making the arrangement?
      Or was it a deposit against any damage to the room or failure to pay rent?

      Not that it really matter - just move on.
      Last edited by jpkeates; 14-10-2014, 09:35 AM. Reason: added last sentence
      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


        #4
        jta,

        Hi, yes I agree that I have no case with the main landlord. And yes, the person cheating me is a EU citizen. He is saying he is transferring half to me today, will check shortly.

        Comment


          #5
          jpkeates,

          Hi, I used a NLA AST tenancy template that you can get online. It says on the tenancy deposit section (which the sub letter has ticked and signed his name) ''A deposit of _____ is to be be paid in cleared funds on the signing of this Agreementand is held under the terms of an authorised tenancy deposit scheme (as per Clause 5 of this
          Agreement) the details of which will be made available to the Tenant by the Landlord within 14 days of receiving the Deposit.''


          Thanks

          Comment


            #6
            It doesn't matter what documents you and your landlord signed, the law says that you were a lodger. A lodger's deposit does not have to be protected.

            Comment


              #7
              Which is interesting, but you were not going to be an Assured Shorthold Tenant.
              You were going to (probably illegally) rent a room in someone else's property.

              You were almost certainly going to be a lodger.
              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


                #8
                jpkeates,

                I'm pretty certain the landlord knew the person was subletting- all signs point to it. I don't think I was a lodger- but subletting a spare room

                Comment


                  #9
                  Mrs Mug,

                  The person I had a contract with was a mesna tenant and I was a subletting from him. I was not a 'lodger' per se.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by queryhelp View Post
                    I was a subletting from him.
                    That is exactly what a lodger is.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by queryhelp View Post
                      The person I had a contract with was a mesna tenant and I was a subletting from him. I was not a 'lodger' per se.
                      Sticking "per se" after the word doesn't make it so.

                      You weren't even a lodger, you are "going to be a lodger".

                      In property terms I don't think you have any rights at all.
                      In contract terms, you might have a claim against the "person with the room" for non-performance of an agreement to let you be a lodger.

                      At no point have you ever been an assured shorthold tenant.
                      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


                        #12
                        queryhelp - did you and the person from whom you are or were subletting both sign the tenancy agreement? I am not so sure that you have little or no rights, depends on the answer to the question?
                        pm
                        Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Yes, we both signed it. He signed it and sent it via email, by the way.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                            Sticking "per se" after the word doesn't make it so.

                            You weren't even a lodger, you are "going to be a lodger".

                            In property terms I don't think you have any rights at all.
                            In contract terms, you might have a claim against the "person with the room" for non-performance of an agreement to let you be a lodger.

                            At no point have you ever been an assured shorthold tenant.
                            The aggression in this response was really unneeded

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I don't read it as aggressive. If he'd meant to be im sure HE WOULD HAVE SHOUTED WHAT HE WAS WRITTING.
                              "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.

                              Comment

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