Questions about return of deposit via mydeposits

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    #16
    Hi,

    My student landlord didn't protect our deposit for 8 months. Only after notifying him twice did he get around to protecting the deposit.

    I'm now out of the house and my deposit has been refunded, and I've got a new place and passed the stage where I need a landlord reference, so now I want to be quids in for some beer money.

    What's the easiest way to proceed to make a claim? Shelter's website has a fairly simple looking step-by-step process, or I can go to a no-win-no-fee lawyer and give up around 20% of the winnings. Have any other people here gone through this process? How hard is it to do yourself versus using an ambulance chaser law firm?

    Thanks!

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      #17
      Was this halls of residence or a private landlord??

      Go with Shelter's excellent advice, it's free. You might get an immediate result from initial letter.

      Stupid, ignorant landlord: (Yes, there are likewise stupid, ignorant solicitors, agents, even tenants).

      Best wishes to all.

      Artful, Landlord.
      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


        #18
        A private landlord. The house may well have been an unlicensed HMO too. It doesn't fall under mandatory licensing requirements but is within the city council's additional licensing area, but there is no HMO license.

        One no-win-no-fee company quoted quite a hefty potential return from this.

        Some of my mates who lived in this same house before me were there for 3 years too, so I wonder if the landlord had properly protected the deposit and licensed the HMO then too...

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          #19
          If the property was an HMO and wasn't licensed and should have been, the local authority may assist you in persuing a rent repayment order which would be more lucrative than a deposit penalty.

          If the tenancy was joint and several, all of the joint tenants will need to agree to take any legal action.
          They won't all have to be involved, but they'll all need to agree to it happening and being conducted by one or more of you.

          If you were on individual contracts it's up to each individual.

          If the landlord has returned your deposit, it's quite a complex process (you shouldn't be able to do it through the small claims process) and you'd probably need a solicitor to help (the process is quite strict and lots of claims fail because the admin isn't 100%).

          A no win no fee will reduce the amount you receive but will more greatly penalise the landlord, because the fees will be extortionate.

          A simple letter to the landlord should probably give you the best return without unduly penalising the landlord.

          Protecting the deposit late and returning it is probably on the light end of what a landlord can fail to do (where getting the paperwork wrong is the minimum and not protecting it at all and keeping it is the other end of the scale), so I'd expect a court would award a 1 or 2 times penalty if it went that far.

          Your view of the landlord is important.
          If they were a terrible landlord causing you lots of grief, penalising them for their error is probably fair enough.
          If they were a decent and well meaning landlord who didn't know what they were doing, you should probably take a good look at yourself first.

          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


            #20
            An alternative way of looking at it, rather than the "good landlord bad landlord" rhetoric, is that if I hadn't paid my rent for 8 months would he have allowed me to continue living there?

            Maybe he'll have to get rid of the new Mercedes and get a Polo

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              #21
              Originally posted by oscarvl View Post
              An alternative way of looking at it, rather than the "good landlord bad landlord" rhetoric, is that if I hadn't paid my rent for 8 months would he have allowed me to continue living there?

              Maybe he'll have to get rid of the new Mercedes and get a Polo
              "Rhetoric"?

              This is a zero sum game, your beer money gain is a loss to someone else.
              So, I'd say your view of the landlord should be essential to your decision.

              The morals of this are also zero sum, the more decent your landlord was, the less decent you are for penalising them (you have experienced no loss to date).
              If the landlord deserves it because of their actions, fine, but being a landlord isn't a negative in itself.
              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


                #22
                If you had a decent experience why do you think you deserve to have lived rent free? Yes your LL made an error, but just because the law says you can get a RPO doesn't mean you should. There is what is right under the law and what is morally right.

                The effect of this sudden increase in RPOs will be LLs leaving the market and rents for other tenants going up.

                If you hadn't paid your rent for 8 months the LL would have had to incur quite large costs to evict you - again its about what is fair. You paid rent you got a place to live, LL returned your deposit where is the problem?

                No doubt your LL is one of the taxpayers who hard earned money you borrowed for beer money whilst at Uni, so why not leave them be and go out and earn your beer money.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Sigh! .......
                  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


                    #24
                    For a bit of clarity, I have merged three threads, since this has been going on for over a year.
                    I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Hi Moderator, these threads actually concerned two separate landlords.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Well that’s not entirely obvious, though not your fault of course. I still think that since the situations are so very similar, previous advice is applicable to your latest situation, and so there’s still value in merging the threads.
                        I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

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                          #27
                          The tenant does seem to be unlucky!
                          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


                            #28
                            I'm horrified so many students are victims of this crime.

                            Isn't it time student landlords complied with the same rules ad all other landlords?

                            Comment

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