Unprotected deposit Mark 2!

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    Unprotected deposit Mark 2!

    My daughter plus 4 other students have just moved into a house in Brighton. They all paid deposit and 1st months rent on August 10th. Yesterday I asked my daughter to forward me dps document so I could keep safe, she didn't know what I was talking about! We check all schemes and couldn't find.

    Long story short I called the agent this morning and they were very rude about it and said it was on the notice board at the house, it wasn't. This afternoon my daughter received an email from mydeposits and it's been protected today but worse than that they've stated 'deposit received' August 30th! Isn't this fraud?

    So what to do? I have her bank statement showing money transferred on August 10th.

    Also they took the inventory themselves with none of the students present and the washing machine is broken! Theyve reported but a week has passed with no action.

    Each of them is paying £540 pcm for this sh*t hole...

    #2
    (Presumably..) PI was served later than 30 days of deposit payment date so they can still sue for up to 3x deposit.(Don't tell agent/landlord!)

    Did tenants take loads of photos on move-in & report errors in inventory to landlord & agent? If not, recommend they do, now.

    To perhaps be charitable as you are presumably not a named tenant then the agent does not have to speak to you. Suggest any issues are put in writing/email to agent, copy landlord, by tenants. Suspect I might guess who drafts them...
    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


      #3
      I assume PI stands for prescribed information? That was attached to the AST they signed so actually they've done that correctly. The deposit was paid before the tenancy was signed, I wasn't happy about this but was told this is how student lets are done?!

      All of the students want me to act on their behalf but I'm going to ask them to send an email confirming that in writing.

      I'm trying to find out how the inventory was done. They didn't take photos but I'll ask them too as nothing has changed yet!

      Many thanks.

      Comment


        #4
        Presumably there is evidence as to when deposit was actually paid. Apart from the irritation that you are dealing with twit of agent/landlord there is no rush to sort out issues with deposit.

        What date exactly was deposit paid & when does DPS show it being protected?
        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


          #5
          Presumably there is evidence as to when deposit was actually paid. Apart from the irritation that you are dealing with twit of agent/landlord there is no rush to sort out issues with deposit. (If s21 is invalid it is, 6 years to sue for 3x deposit).

          What date exactly was deposit paid & when does DPS show it being protected?
          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
            I have my daughters bank statement showing the transfer of deposit and 1st months rent on August 10th 2016. The others can provide the same. Deposit was protected today, (funnily enough), it states deposit received August 30th. This would of course mean it was within the 30 days but this is why in addition to failing to protect it in time aren't they also committing fraud?

            They're poor students, if they can have the deposit back they will want it!

            Comment


              #7
              Actually it works out nicely for the tenants.

              The prescribed information given to the students isn't valid.
              The deposit wasn't protected, so it's, essentially, a set of incorrect statements (which don't satisfy the initial requirements of the protecting body).

              If the deposit was paid by someone other than the tenant, that person/those people would need a copy of the Prescribed Information as well.

              The deposit has no been protected, but late.
              Which means the tenants have access to the dipute resolution service and know the deposit is safe.
              The landlord can't easily serve notice on the tenants (not usually an issue with students, though) and will have a nearly impossible time trying to claim any deductions from the tenants.
              The tenants can make the landlord's life a bit of a misery, but that's for later on - no point flagging anything up.

              If the inventory was done by a third party who can attest to its accuracy, there's no actual requirement for the tenant to agree it.
              The requirement is for the landlord to be able to show what condition the property was supplied to the tenant(s).
              Obviously, a signed document is wonderful for that, but it's not essential.
              And, as above, the landlord isn't going to want to go down any dispute because of the deposit protection issue.

              The washing machine needs to be sorted, though.
              A week is long enough to know what's going to happen, even if it's going to take a bit longer to actually sort it out.
              There's no issue with the inventory - no one checking a property for a condition report does a wash to check the machine works.
              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
                Originally posted by mkgirl View Post
                They're poor students, if they can have the deposit back they will want it!
                They don't want the deposit back now.

                At the end of the tenancy, they will be able to defend themselves (robustly) to any claim for deductions.

                They're entitled to sue the landlord for the deposit in full plus a penalty of 1-3 times the deposit value.
                But don't do that during the tenancy, as it leads to difficulty getting things done.

                It also means the landlord can't give them the most common form of notice (which isn't a big deal if they're students with a 10 or 12 month fixed term).
                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


                  #9
                  Allow me to offer an alternative viewpoint as to when you may want to take action.

                  While taking action during the tenancy can lead to a difficult relationship with the landlord/agent, your daughter and friends have the advantage that they probably signed a fixed term tenancy for the year and are at the beginning of that so retaliatory eviction wouldn't be a worry.

                  Taking action now, (or when the bank/phone statement comes in,) allow you to do so while everyone is together instead of worrying about contacting that other tenant that has gone on exchange, graduated, or whatever. If the landlord/agent do fight the case, it can easily take up to a year for it to reach court.

                  One major plus if the case goes all the way to court, and for it to do so during the tenancy is that because the deposit is now protected, the court is required to order the whole deposit to be returned* whereas if the case reaches court after the tenancy ended and some or all of the deposit has not been returned, the court can set off deductions from the depsoit to be returned.

                  If I were your daughter & friends, I would wait until your phone statement to come in and include that in the evidence along with a witness statement from you to show that you phoned the agent in the morning, then in the afternoon the deposit was protected. Obviously include everyone's bank statement to show when the deposit was paid.

                  Normally, the fact that the agent has protected the deposit once made aware of it would reduce the penalty, the creative dating of when it was received would I hope push it towards the 3x end.


                  * HA2004 s.214(3) gives the court the option either to order (a) the return of the deposit, or (b) for the deposit to be protected. If it's already protected, the court must order the other option. There's a precedent for this, but I can't find which one it is at the moment.
                  I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                  I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hmm, not binding as it was County Court but reported on Bailii: Khuja v Chowdhury [2015] EW Misc B18 (CC) (14 May 2015)
                    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      mkgirl, does your dau TA state she is a joint tenant, together with other 5 student occupants for the whole property or room only + common area's?
                      In a joint T there is only 1 Tenant and only 1 deposit,in cleared funds. A cheque can take 3 working days to clear, but would appear on the statement as a deduction for the date shown on the cheque.
                      It is permissible to provide PI in AST if deposit is duly protected within 30 days of signing.

                      What is unclear, you state DPS email app confirmed deposit was protected on 28 Aug, but only received today, or do you mean email was confirmation that deposit was protected on date of email?

                      Dau can sue for deposit non-protection until approx. Aug 2022 (6 yr), but no Judge should consider before end of fixed term or T legally vacated.
                      LL can deduct agreed costs from deposit for T damage/rent owing, but not from any 1-3x Penalty award, but he can claim separately via SCC etc if he knows T will have sufficient funds to pay

                      OP how many dau's have attended Uni/College, with dates, since you joined the Forum in 2012?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by mariner View Post
                        Dau can sue for deposit non-protection until approx. Aug 2022 (6 yr), but no Judge should consider before end of fixed term or T legally vacated.
                        Huh??? Are you suggesting a T can only sue after the fixed term? According to what?
                        I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                        I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you for all the advice. The tenancy is joint with one lead tenant. They all paid on or before August 12th, I now have proof from all. The certificate states deposit received August 30th and it was protected yesterday, sept 26th. However it was received August 12th and therefore needed to be protected by Sept 12th. they've essentially tried to get away with protecting late rather than holding their hands up. The admin girl even said ' it's a busy time and we confused it with another'! Im due to discuss this with the MD tomorrow. I think they would be better to get their money back now rather than at the end of the tenancy and they agree. I have a feeling they will mess them about re repair etc regardless! My Daughters deposit will be going into a savings account in my name! She won't be spending on pizza and shoes 😂.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The tenants should be careful that they don't regard the lack of deposit (assuming that's the end result) as freedom to leave the place in a less than ideal state.
                            Any damage will still be charged for, it will just be less easy to collect.

                            I'd be interested to see what the agent agrees to, it's very difficult to reach an agreement not to pursue them later.
                            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


                              #15
                              I'm inclined to agree Re lack of deposit and perceived lack of responsibility for looking after the place. If it was up to me I'd advise leave deposit protected and pursuing at end of tenancy but it's not up to me! I haven't had a chance to speak to them yet as my work commitments have prevented but I hope to resolve tomorrow. I'll let you know!

                              Comment

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