Protection of deposit

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    Protection of deposit

    Hi, please if anybody could give me advice on the below it would be much appreciated:-

    I recently let an apartment on an AST. The tenancy came to an end due to me exercising my break clause. Subsequently the Landlord has been, in my opinion, exceptionally petit in dealing with deductions from the deposit.

    Admittedly, I have been slow to respond to Landlord's emails requesting that I deal with the deposit deductions so I eventually looked at it yesterday evening and whilst I disagree with a lot of the deductions, I did notice that when the estate agent emailed me the tenancy agreement and statement of monies required (separate emails) they did not provide me with a copy of the prescribed information. Sorry, I forgot to mention that the tenancy started in January this year and ended in September and I provided a 6 week deposit.

    What I did notice in the tenancy agreement was the following clause:-

    TDS arrangements

    The Deposit is protected by Tenancy Deposit Solution

    6.1 The Landlord has provided the Prescribed Information.

    6.2 The Landlord agrees that the Deposit shall be held in
    accordance with the rules of the TDS.DPS Scheme number

    6.3 The Landlord shall inform the Tenant within ten Working
    Days of the Tenancy ending if the Landlord intends to
    withhold all or part of the Deposit as detailed in clause 5.

    6.4 Within ten Working Days of the Tenancy ending, the
    Landlord shall inform the Scheme Administrator that the
    Deposit is to be repaid in the sums agreed between the
    Landlord and Tenant.


    What I can see from my records is that the deposit was registered with the DPS within the specified time but at no time did the agent/landlord provide me the Prescribed Information. Do I have a claim against the landlord and if so what is my claim? Does clause 6.1 have any relevance to me making a claim, if I have one?

    As advised earlier, any advice much appreciated.

    #2
    Hmm. But presumably you signed the agreement which indicates you agree 6.1?
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi JKO,

      Yes, I did sign the tenancy agreement but I suppose I was thinking that if it was that easy then all estate agents/landlords would insert into their tenancy agreements a similar clause which would then protect them from not needing to provide the prescribed information which in effect would make the prescribed information redundant.

      Comment


        #4
        The reason landlords put such clauses in our tenancy agreements is so that tenants can't sue us when we have supplied the information, but tenant has mislaid it.

        For my part, I don't take deposits any more, but just charge extra rent to recoup the deposit every 12 months, as I won't take the risk. If you go ahead and sue anyway, I suspect even more landlords will take my position.

        Which would you prefer?
        To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

        Comment


          #5
          6.1 doesn't make any sense.

          How can a deposit be protected already, at the time the tenancy agreement has been signed, and how can you agree that PI has been supplied when the tenancy has not started?

          I don't think that this clause could be relied upon as it is not logically sound.

          Comment


            #6
            I wouldn't pay too much attention to this.

            It also states that the deposit is protected with the TDS, but OP says it is actually with the DPS.

            Originally posted by tenant1001894 View Post
            6.1 doesn't make any sense.

            How can a deposit be protected already, at the time the tenancy agreement has been signed, and how can you agree that PI has been supplied when the tenancy has not started?

            I don't think that this clause could be relied upon as it is not logically sound.
            A deposit can be protected and the PI given before the tenancy has started. No problem.

            Comment


              #7
              You're right. I'm not thinking.

              However, OP should ask for details of the protectin all the same. If the date is later on that than the date on the TA then it could still show 6.1 to be false. Worth looking.

              Comment


                #8
                Are you sure it wasn't handed in to you? When I was looking from disputing the deposit return, I wanted to be sure everything had been done correctly by the agency and was dismayed when I saw nothing about prescribed information until I looked through the all AST and realised they had attached to it so the tenants signed both documents as one. It was only a page or two, so easy to miss.

                Ultimately, you are responsible to check your AST before you signed it. So if you want to sue on the basis of it not being handed to you, the onus will be on you to prove and explained why you signed a contract that said you did.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Notyetagain View Post
                  Ultimately, you are responsible to check your AST before you signed it. So if you want to sue on the basis of it not being handed to you, the onus will be on you to prove and explained why you signed a contract that said you did.
                  Tenancy agreements are (generally) consumer documents, and the way that consumer agreements work is not as black and white as this.

                  The tenancy agreement doesn't overcome the landlord's legal obligations, it does mean that the landlord has some evidence that they did provide the Prescribed Information.
                  If the agreeement says that the landlord will do something with TDS and they did it with someone else, they're equally in breach (and they're not consumers).

                  There's a bit of a misstep here, though.
                  If the tenant thinks the landlord is claiming too much, the deposit scheme has a dispute resolution process, there's no need to start suing each other.
                  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


                    #10
                    Thank you for your replies. In response to the various questions:-

                    1. I have never met the Landlord and have only met the agent on 3 occasions, twice when he showed me the apartment and one time when he collected the signed tenancy agreement from my offices.
                    2. All correspondence including the AST was provided to me by email so I can prove that I never received the prescribed information and the agent/landlord will not be able to provide any email showing that they sent the prescribed information unless they do it fraudulently.
                    3. The AST does not contain the prescribed information.
                    4. When I received the tenancy agreement, I did not receive an EPC - not sure whether that's relevant
                    5. A few days before I moved into the property I received via email from the agent a copy of the gas certificate, under lease, manual and subsequent to moving in a copy of the inventory.
                    6. I received an email from DPS confirming that my deposit had been registered within the specified time.

                    With regards to the deposit, I am in the process of disputing most of the amounts that the Landlord has requested and will be proposing that this matter be dealt with by the DPS Alternative Dispute Resolution Service. However, where I take umbrage is in the fact that when the heating failed inside the apartment for over a month at the beginning of the tenancy, I didn’t request any compensation even though I had to go out and purchase several electric portable heaters (January was exceptionally cold this year). When the oven broke and they asked if I could arrange an engineer, I covered the costs and didn’t even bother requesting to be reimbursed, the satellite feed was weak so I arranged to get if fixed and again covered the cost so then to be charged £21 for a new set of knives because one out of six knives is missing or to be charged £30 to replace some missing rubber on a door stop – I mean honestly does the Landlord really think that I purposely removed the rubber from the doorstop (ironically, I have just seen on the check-in that it was missing in the first place). This pettiness has irritated me. The weekly rent on this property was £1,500 p.w. and the landlord is now making all these charges of £10, £15, £20 and so on – I mean come on, live and let live, surely.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The ADR will take care of the landlord's spurious claims - they won't get the cost of a replacement set of knives for example (they're entitled to compensation for the loss in value beyond fair wear and tear, and that will almost never cover the cost of a replacement anything).
                      There's a formula that the ADR process will follow and a fair value will be arrived at.

                      You could mention to the agent that the landlord's attitude is creating friction, and if they persist you will make a claim against the landlord for their failure to provide the Prescribed Information simply out of spite.
                      Alternatively, see what happens with the dispute process and let some time pass to see if you still care as much (you have several years during which you can make a claim)
                      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

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