Deposit withheld, what to do?

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    Deposit withheld, what to do?

    This is regarding a standard AST (12 month w/ 6 months break), rent paid 6 months in advance, in England, single tenant, lease started earlier this year and LL does not live-in.

    Move out date was agreed by all parties. The date was a bit more than 3 weeks ago. A professional inventory check was conducted at move in/out. The letting agent did not recommend any deductions to the LL. As of now, the LL has withheld my deposit in full. He has not responded to the LA's emails to authorise a release of the deposit. Only response he gave to the LA is that he wasn't able to open the inventory report. The LA has now sent him another version of the inventory report. LL has not responded. LA stance is that the 10 days do not start ticking until the LL can open the inventory report. Apparently the inventory report was in the wrong file format?

    I have requested the return of my deposit using the formal MyDeposits template before move out, and have sent another (more threatening) letter requesting my deposit last week. I would open up a dispute with MyDeposits, but I have personal injury/breach of contract claims against the LL--and these can't be heard by MyDeposits ADR. I don't want to bring these claims against the LL because its time intensive, but will not hesitate if he continues to withhold my deposit in full.

    What to do?

    #2
    I have just had a similar situation as a landlord. The inventory report was delayed and when it was received it was corrupted and took another to days to get hold of. I also wanted to ensure I could not be held liable for the huge utility and council tax debts outstanding at the property and was waiting for a specialist quote to repair woodwork which had been unnecessarily damaged. I kept the tenant up to date. The tenant sent a mildly threatening email telling me that I had failed to return the deposit within a statutory 2 weeks.

    I called the deposit scheme and they confirmed that there is no such duty - the key thing was that communication was being maintained and the reasons for the delay were not unfair. (They were unable to advise on liability for outstanding bills.) They said that after two weeks (after the tenancy finished) the tenant was entitled open a dispute if they were so inclined at which point the full amount of the deposit should be lodged with the scheme until it was determined.

    Obviously, the key thing here is communication. If you are not happy with the way the landlord is handling things, open a dispute so that it can be determined whether he is being reasonable or not. If you want to hide something from the scheme then I guess that option is not open to you - but I can't understand your reason.
    Assume I know nothing.

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      #3
      Suggest you open up dispute with MyDeposits and as regards personal injury/breach of contract send LBA then, if no sensible response, small-claims action of those.

      The landlord can decline adjudication by MyDeposits, if so it's small claims for that also.

      What "breach of contract" & what actual financial loss did you suffer, please?
      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
        Brixtonia,

        That seems very reasonable and very similar to my situation. I guess it can be slightly differentiated in that the LL has now had more than enough time to comment on the inventory report (he's also gotten a hard copy), the LA has not advised any deductions and already confirmed that utility bills/council tax has been covered.

        Not looking to hide anything from the scheme. However, I asked MyDeposits whether breach of covenant/PI claims are considered by their adjudicators and they said no. They only consider disputes directly related to the deposits.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Tzone12 View Post
          .... However, I asked MyDeposits whether breach of covenant/PI claims are considered by their adjudicators and they said no. They only consider disputes directly related to the deposits.
          Which is why I posted
          as regards personal injury/breach of contract send LBA then, if no sensible response, small-claims action of those.
          http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/englan...all_claims.htm
          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


            #6
            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
            Yes, yes I understand. I was just clarifying for Brixtonia so he was clear on why I was not intending on hiding anything from MyDeposits

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Tzone12 View Post
              Yes, yes I understand. I was just clarifying for Brixtonia so he was clear on why I was not intending on hiding anything from MyDeposits
              Oh OK - I get you - sorry. What ArtfulD says - the two will need to be dealt with separatly.
              Assume I know nothing.

              Comment

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