how do I deal with a difficult landlady?

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  • how do I deal with a difficult landlady?

    dear all,

    I have rented a flat from foxtons, I've been living there since oct04

    the landlady is very difficult to deal with and foxtons is not helping at all

    Im moving out of the appartment and she doesn't want to return the deposit - with no reason

    I've talked to foxtons but they don't care, they told me to talk to her and try to negociate (with is impossible) or to call the solicitors, that foxtons has nothing to do regarding the deposit

    The flat is in perfect conditions (even better than when I moved in) and she has nothing to prove that I've done something wrong

    Im very upset. I feel frustrated and impotent. I have no energy anymore.

    Who should I contact to get help? Is there any association / person that really protects to you?
    Which are my rights with the agency? Is it their duty to deal with my deposit and to chaise the landlady?

    Thanks a lot,


  • #2
    The agency is not responsible - the contract you have is with your landlady - they are just agents.

    Have you actually moved out of the property yet? And do you have a signed inventory? Do you have your landlady's residential address?

    Here is some info from Shelter about how to seek redress through the HM Courts through the small claims process (they have another site that covers Scotland) if she does not pay the deposit back in a reasonable period of time. Have a look at the moneyclaim online site where you can kick off a claim online - like Shelter, they even have sample letters for you to use as part of the negotiation process.

    This action should be a last resort and you should be able to show that you've tried to negotiate so keep copies of your communication with her and send it by registered mail.
    Last edited by Beeber; 02-06-2007, 18:59 PM. Reason: To add an additional URL


    • #3
      Thanks for this Beeber, it's very helpful

      I haven't moved out of the property yet. I was trying to sort things properly by talking but there's no way to talk to her. I can only talk to her on the phone and she can hardly speak English.

      I pay my rent to Foxtons and they give it to her. And I paid my deposit to them (6 weeks) (plus 300pounds for the "services"), that is why I though that the agency had something to do with it.

      I don't have any inventory. I didn't get one when I moved in.

      And yes, I have my landlady's residential address. Does this help?

      She is so difficult, she has done so many things (as for instance, entering the property w/o permission), I was complaining to the agency and they said they would talk to her. It's a long story...I knew she was going to be difficult until the last minute... The agency think she is crazy and they don't looks like they don't want to loose time talking to her.

      Pfffff...Im so frustrated


      • #4
        Foxtons was an agent of the landlord. The ulitmate responsibility for the deposit lies with the LL.

        Why do you think that she is not going to return all or part of the deposit to you?

        Has there been an arrangement for the Check out condition/inventory session yet? That normally is not done until the day you move out. You or your representative should definitely be there when it is done, so if there are any problems, they can possibly be rectified there and then.


        • #5
          cause I talked to her on the phone and she said she will not give it back because she doesn't want to. She is a mad woman, but she has my money

          the check out condition/inventory session has not been arranged yet

          thanks for this!


          • #6
            Landlady issues

            Take pics, keep all copies of correspondence, send via registed post.

            If she still does not pay, and you have to take her to court, and if you case is ligitamate, and you win, and get judgement against her, and she still doesn't pay................CALL THE BALIFFS IN...........this will all cost you money however you will be entitled to the costs back.

            Whether she is potty or not the baliffs wont care, they will have a warrant to execute.

            Depends on how much the deposit is and how much you want to persue it!!!

            As a letting agent I have a dislike of landlord who do not pay back deposits for an unfair reason.

            If your case is strong..............go for it
            The above opinion, and or information, is based on my day to day knowledge and practical experience, also the professional code of good practice that i follow as a qualified Letting Agent. With over 25 years of experience letting properties.


            • #7
              Thanks for this Vin!!
              Very helpful


              • #8
                i know a landlord or two and some video the properties before letting them out.
                you should do this

                does the landlord have to register with the council, who must deem them 'fit' to be a landlord?
                Phone up the council private sector liason officer for advice. (they have them in Scotland don't know about the rest of the UK)


                • #9
                  dodgey L.L and deposit probs


                  I'ver been to court twice with former L.L's who have refused to return my dep for crap reasons, and won.

                  My advice is, go to the agent (Foxtons is a big, well known agency and should know how to deal with these kind of matters, not say they don't want to know) and ask them where the deposit is being held. It is more than likely held by them in an idep account and not with the L.L. Either way, they have to tell you, and if they are keeping it in a sep accoubnt, they have to help out here.

                  Get you inventories (check-out and check-in reports) together and compare the details. Note down exactly why the L.L wants to withold the deposit. They have to give u a reason and should have done already.

                  Tell the L.L via the agent (send copies to both) that the L.L has 2 weeks to explain in writing why they r witholding your money and to return the dep in fulll or you will be taking court action.

                  Keep all letters/emails etc for evidence.

                  Foxtons cannot just lose interest. Like I said, foremost, ask where your dep is being hled. They have to tell u, if they don't they r also breaking the law.

                  Get back to me if u need further help.




                  • #10
                    dep probs prt 2

                    ps - if there was no check in inventory the L.L is going to find it v. diufficult to prove why she is witholding the fact, she can't prove it.

                    the agent cannot turn their backs, they r as responsible for u as a tenant as her as a L.L and push them on the above (my laswt point).



                    • #11
                      If there wasn't an inventory done when you moved in, the landlord hasn't a case. They can't prove anything.
                      Get your own checkout inventory done by an independent company if you want to.
                      Pursue the landlord for the return of the deposit via the courts if necessary.
                      They will have great difficulty proving anything.



                      • #12
                        Don't forget that if it comes to court action, you must persue this against the landlord/lady, not the agent. This is because your contract is with the landlord only (your AST) The landlord has a contract with the agent and it is he/she who has to take court action against them if necessary.

                        Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


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