Question re non DPS compliance..

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  • Question re non DPS compliance..

    Hi

    Hoping the experts here can give me some advice ...

    I've lived in my current rental since Aug 2006 and every 6 months I have signed new AST's ... the last being signed Aug 2007. I have since found out that my LL should have protected my desposit but hasn't! My LL also served notice on me in Dec (originally giving a months notice until I insisted it was actually 2 months!).

    From reading through some posts I am aware that her notice is invalid as my deposit hasn't been protected however I am happy to move out and have since found somewhere new.

    My LL is a odd person and likely to withhold my deposit for whimsical reasons .. If they do - can I pursue it for non-compliance even if I have moved out?

    For info, no detailed inventory was completed - just something called a 'First Schedule' which lists a few items of furniture but not their condition.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Simple answer Yes.

    The deposit should be in a scheme and you should have recieved certain information about that scheme within 14 days.

    Once you leave you can sue for the deposit and x3 "compensation".

    Of course, as you have stated, you dont have to leave as the section 21 is invalid.

    Can I suggest you get the address details of the landlord (if you dont already know them) as this will make it easy to serve the court summons once you have left.

    Comment


    • #3
      You'd have to check the notice you were served to be sure it's a valid S21 notice if you want to stay, but sounds like you might do better finding a more reasonable landlord (there ARE some out there, honest!) rather than fighting it.

      However, you should search on here for threads regarding deposit protection to see the penalties your landlord might be liable for if he has not protected your deposit. First of all he will be obliged (ordered by the court so HAS to do it) to repay your deposit in full, and if you follow the procedure correctly you might even be able to get the court to order your landlord to pay you three times your deposit as well.

      Get searching...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Planner View Post
        Simple answer Yes.

        The deposit should be in a scheme and you should have recieved certain information about that scheme within 14 days.

        Once you leave you can sue for the deposit and x3 "compensation".

        Of course, as you have stated, you dont have to leave as the section 21 is invalid.

        Can I suggest you get the address details of the landlord (if you dont already know them) as this will make it easy to serve the court summons once you have left.
        Thanks Planner ... I believe my LL is planning to move back in once I have vacated so I can use the rental address for correspondance. If by some chance my LL does return my deposit in full, would I be wrong in still claiming the x 3 compensation?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Surrey View Post
          You'd have to check the notice you were served to be sure it's a valid S21 notice if you want to stay, but sounds like you might do better finding a more reasonable landlord (there ARE some out there, honest!) rather than fighting it.

          However, you should search on here for threads regarding deposit protection to see the penalties your landlord might be liable for if he has not protected your deposit. First of all he will be obliged (ordered by the court so HAS to do it) to repay your deposit in full, and if you follow the procedure correctly you might even be able to get the court to order your landlord to pay you three times your deposit as well.

          Get searching...
          Thanks Surrey, I'm sure the notice I served wasn't a valid S21 as I don't think it has all the presribed information required (regardless of the fact that my deposit isn't protected).

          To be honest I'm happy to move out although I don't want to start any action whilst still residing in the property. This is the 2nd time she has asked me to leave early whilst having a 6 month AST claiming she needed the property back. The 1st time she changed her mind and the 2nd time is now although I had to correct her on her notice period.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ah, just remembered something else. A landlord CANNOT use the Section 21 procedure UNLESS the deposit has been protected. So it doesn't matter a jot whether she's served you with a correctly dated notice or not, she won't be able to take you to court to get the place back in any case!

            And Wickerman, is there any excuse for not complying with a law just because you didn't know about it? I don't think so, somehow. If a landlord is going to try to make some money (or even just cover the mortgage) by letting out a property, then it is their responsibility to ensure they comply with the law.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Wickerman
              There is always the option of withholding part of the rent to cover the deposit that you may not get back. I would only recommend this if you are 100% certain that you will not get the deposit back.
              Unfortunately I can't do this as I've already paid my last months rent in full .. In the long run I think it is better if I can prove I kept to my side of the agreement ..

              I personally think it wrong that you could get x3 deposit even if its returned - this would purely be a compensation culture mentality [1] and you would be trying to get something for nothing. The landlord may just be ignorant of the new regulations.

              [1] Not that I am saying you have this mentality however plenty of people out there do.
              Ignornance is no defence of the law ...

              Seriously though, I'd have to think carefully about what to do 'if' my deposit is returned in full - I'm not sure if the fact I wasn't given an inventory is good or not ..

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tori Bellatrix View Post
                ..... would I be wrong in still claiming the x 3 compensation?
                yes ! Landlords are people too - how would you like it.....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by spacehopper_man View Post
                  yes ! Landlords are people too - how would you like it.....
                  Im quite sure that the majority (not all) of landlords that fall foul of TDS where the reason why TDS was brought in in the first place, and quite regullarly withheld depsoits for little or no reason. The laws the law, you have every right to sue for the x3 deposit both legally and morally in mho.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spacehopper_man View Post
                    yes ! Landlords are people too - how would you like it.....
                    Well I wouldn't but I dare say I wouldn't treat my tenants the way my LL has treated me or spoken to me before ... all quite unduly ...

                    Besides, whilst I accept that landlords are people, I'm quite sure my LL wouldn't worry about my feelings when dealing with business matters that she wasn't happy with

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Planner View Post
                      Im quite sure that the majority (not all) of landlords that fall foul of TDS where the reason why TDS was brought in in the first place, and quite regullarly withheld depsoits for little or no reason. The laws the law, you have every right to sue for the x3 deposit both legally and morally in mho.
                      Thanks Planner ..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spacehopper_man View Post
                        yes ! Landlords are people too - how would you like it.....
                        I'd like to think that I would have enough intelligence and honesty not to make the mistake in the first place.

                        Just because LLs are people, doesn't mean they are exempt from the law.

                        If a LL can't be bothered to keep up to date with new legislation, they deserve to be punished.

                        Peter

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, an update! My AST finished today and I have moved out! My LL said she wanted to inspect the property as expected but she gave me a non-neogotiable time for me to be there. I couldn't make it so she said she would inspect the property and meet me later ....

                          After she had inspected, she phoned me to say that whilst the upstairs was ok, she was unhappy with the oven fascia and hob. She said they had been scratched and she would need brand new replacements!! I said to her that the property had been cleaned thoroughly and there was nothing wrong with the items in question and that she had to allow for wear and tear! She then basically told me that she had my money and she could decide what was what ...

                          When I got to the property, she came over and literally balled me out for not taking care of her property, and everytime I tried to talk she literally shouted me down quite agressively! I was really upset with the way she treated me and by what she said - I have cleaned through-out, carpets professionally cleaned, garden professionally tidied, new loo seat, new mats, all nets and curtains cleaned....

                          The bottom line is that she has kept £458 out of my deposit (out of £650) and says I have to pay for a new oven and hob and for it to be fitted (for which she has guessed how much it would cost) ... I photographed these items and apart from wear and tear there really isn't anything wrong with them, They are fully operational and functional - However, when the LL installed them over 18 months ago, they were brand new and she expected them in the same condition.

                          She wouldn't compromise, didn't wish to discuss it and basically told me I'd have to accept it.

                          I may have pointed out earlier that she has not completed any inventory - all I had was a First Schedule which lists 3 items (none of which was the oven), didn't protect my deposit when I signed my renewal AST last August and I now literally feel like I've been steam rollered.

                          I suppose my only recourse is via the courts ...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tori Bellatrix View Post
                            I suppose my only recourse is via the courts ...
                            It would seem so, and I would also suggest a sternly worded letter to her summarising her behaviour, the lack of inventory etc etc etc.

                            Give her the opportunity, in writing, to repay your deposit in full by a given time - I suggest 14 days. State that if she does not repay the deposit in full by then, that you will have no alternative but to seek redress in the courts. Remind her that when you win, she will also be liable for court fees, which is another £100 or so.

                            If you have not had a response to her 7 days later, remind her, state that if the money is not received in 7 days you will not contact her again but will proceed to court. Mention that if a cheque is received and it is subsequently bounced or stopped, that again you will not contact her but will immediately commence court proceedings.

                            AND THEN DO IT. Don't threaten to do something you don't intend to follow up on. If things are as you say, you have an excellent case.

                            While you are waiting for her to send the cheque, fill in your claim, and perhaps get a little bit of legal advice on whether you have filled it in correctly. You might even want to attach a copy of it (unserved) with your "7 days left" letter to show her that you're not bluffing.

                            And seeing as she's been so horrid, you now need to pursue her on the non-payment of deposit into a scheme, as long as you have the most recent AST to use as evidence.

                            Keep us posted.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Many Thanks Wickerman ... I feel I do have to take it further ... if only to get back what's fair from my original deposit ...

                              Comment

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