No signed Tenancy Agreement + deposit??

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    No signed Tenancy Agreement + deposit??

    Hi there

    We moved into our flat 6 months ago where we signed a tenancy agreement with the estate agents who were originally taking over the management. At last minute, the estate agents took the old agreement away and told us to sign the new one as the Landlords had decided they wanted to take over the management instead.

    We never returned or signed these documents.

    Now we're moving out and we have the Landlady from hell who is threatening to take away our deposit due to the smallest things I would describe as wear and tear. I've read somewhere that unless you have a SIGNED tenancy agreement, that no-one can take away your deposit no matter how bad the property is left.

    Please can someone shed some light as to whether this is true?

    Thanks

    #2
    No, it isn't true.
    Not having a signed agreement might make it more tricky for the landlord to make certain claims.

    Your deposit should be in a government approved protection scheme, which will have a free process for resolving disagreements of this kind.
    When you moved in, you should have been given the details of where it is.
    The landlord can't deduct anything from the deposit without your agreement.
    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


      #3
      Ok thanks.

      We know our deposit is with DPS. Surely an adjudicator has no choice but to side with us with the deposit dispute and there is no signed agreement which states what we as tenants much do or how we should leave the flat.

      The flat is perfectly clean but shes complaining about things like a crack in the plaster and the wardrobe hinge being rusty etc

      Comment


        #4
        If there is no inventory or condition form signed by you then it is most probable that the money would be returned to you from the scheme, as there is no hard evidence of the condition. Just go through the adjudication of the deposit scheme

        Comment


          #5
          The landlord is entitled to claim compensation from tenants for any loss in value that occurred during the tenancy beyond fair wear and tear.
          That isn't affected by the existence of a signed agreement.

          If the agreement contains something specific - you have to pay to have the carpets cleaned, for example, the landlord might have a problem claiming that.
          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


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            If the agreement contains something specific - you have to pay to have the carpets cleaned, for example, the landlord might have a problem claiming that.
            Why? That's a contractual obligation.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
              Why? That's a contractual obligation.
              because no contract was signed?

              Comment


                #8
                The difficulty with having no written agreement is evidencing the terms of the agreement. If you can, you can, and if you can't ...

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'm not sure the tenants would be able to successfully argue that they're not bound by the terms of the agreement.
                  They've (presumably) complied with some of the terms - rent, deposit, living in the property - so the agreement not being signed isn't fatal.

                  It does make any claim more difficult to enforce, because there is some uncertainty, where certainty is better.
                  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
                    Ok it seems there is no right or wrong answer here. There was no inventory signed either btw.

                    Although the 3rd point down on the following link clearly states if you have no signed agreement then your deposit is safe?

                    http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/201...ncy-agreement/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The absence of a written agreement doesn't prevent a LL claiming against T for loss/damage/deterioration of the property, or rent arrears, but it does make it impossible to claim against the deposit, directly. But AFAIK, there's nothing stopping a LL who has obtained judgment for any such costs seeking a third party debt order where a deposit is held.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by sorchaedwards View Post
                        Although the 3rd point down on the following link clearly states if you have no signed agreement then your deposit is safe?
                        You are mixing up the use of the deposit and anything you might owe the landlord.

                        If the landlord has a valid claim against you for a loss in value of their property, you are required to compensate them for the loss.
                        It's conventional and convenient to use a deposit to make that process easy, but the landlord could make the claim even if there was no deposit (one thing doesn't affect the other).

                        The deposit is the tenant's money, and so the landlord can't do anything with it without the tenant's agreement - which is the point in that link, normally the tenancy agreement contains some sort of agreement to deduct things from the deposit.
                        And, if there's no signed agreement, the tenant hasn't made that agreement.

                        However, there is an agreement, you just haven't signed it - which makes things less clear than would be helpful.

                        However, with no check-in / inventory, the landlord hasn't got a chance of claiming anything.
                        Last edited by jpkeates; 24-01-2017, 13:02 PM. Reason: quote added for context
                        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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                          And, if there's no signed agreement, the tenant hasn't made that agreement.
                          Originally posted by StuartH View Post
                          The absence of a written agreement doesn't prevent a LL claiming against T for loss/damage/deterioration of the property, or rent arrears, but it does make it impossible to claim against the deposit, directly.
                          That's a shortcut that isn't correct, IMO.

                          A tenancy deposit has to be taken for a reason so there must be an agreement even if oral and it is customary for the deposit to be intended to compensate at least for damage. Thus, I think it would be unreasonable for a court to deny any deduction.

                          Then, in any case, the prescribed information require that the agreement regarding the deposit be made in writing. So if the landlord has correctly filled the PI and got the tenant to check and sign them then I don't see what prevent a landlord from using the scheme's ADR without written tenancy agreement.

                          This is when there isn't any written tenancy agreement.

                          If the tenant simply didn't sign the tenancy agreement then one would have to look at the circumstances: If the document was given to the tenant before he moved in then I can't see the lack of signature as crucial.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            There are no damages to the property anyway. My LL just seems to think she is going to take our deposit for extremely fair wear and tear. She is also insisting that she is going to hire a professional cleaner in and gardener and take the cost of our deposit. We haven't even moved out yet and the flat is spotless!

                            I would like to see how she would act if someone had actually trashed the place. We have been clean and good tenants.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by sorchaedwards View Post
                              There are no damages to the property anyway. My LL just seems to think she is going to take our deposit for extremely fair wear and tear. She is also insisting that she is going to hire a professional cleaner in and gardener and take the cost of our deposit.
                              I shouldn't worry: she isn't going to get very far with those proposals ...

                              Comment

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