Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    As this is my first post on this forum, I will give some background information before I ask my question. I rented a 1 bedroom furnished flat in Croydon from 05/05/07 until 05/05/08 on an assured shorthold tennancy. The rent for the property was £595 a month. The deposit was calculated at £686.54, and was paid to the letting agency and passed on to the landlord. The tenancy agreement states that the landlord must pay the deposit into the Deposit Protection Scheme, which I assumed they would follow and thus did not ask for the details. It later transpired that the landlord had failed to enter the deposit into the scheme. I did not discover this until a few weeks after I moved out, when I requested that the deposit be returned to me.

    The landlord became uncooperative and refused to repay the money, claiming that I had caused marking to the paint on walls which cost him £350 to have redecorated, and £170 for miscellaneous cleaning costs, a total of £520. I denied that I made any such damage to the property, but the landlord insists that I did and so has retained the entire deposit. The landlord failed to perform an inventory when I moved it - I did take photographs of the property when I moved in, however, so that I had a reference point for the state of the furniture. The landlord declined to meet me at the end of the tenancy to perform an inventory, and to check the state of the flat. Unfortunately I was not able to take photographs of the property when I moved out . All of the bills/council tax etc was fully paid when I left , however I had forgotten to disconnect my cable service, which I did immediately on discovering the error - I was informed by the landlord a few weeks after I moved out.

    I initially agreed to pay the cleaning costs of £170 as a gesture of goodwillicon, but reading the posts on this forum the amount seems excessive for a 1 bedroom flat. I have refuted the £350 for the painting on the grounds that I didn't cause any damage to the flat, and the landlord has no evidence either way.

    I have read a few threads on this forum relating to this kind of issue but cannot get any clear indication of the best course of action to take. From what I understand, I am entitled to claim three times the deposit as the landlord failed to enter it into the DPS as required, however there is another thread that says that because the tenancy has ended, I am no longer entitled to claim anything. I am confused by this - I don't understand the law as it is written and so need advice.

    What would be my best course of action? Should I write to the landlord and demand the full deposit be paid to me, or should I pursue this in another way? Also, does my offer to pay the £170 cleaning charges affect my chances of a successful claim? I'm worried I may have shot myself in the foot by trying to be diplomatic with the landlord.

    I apologise for the length and long-winded post but I felt it would be best to give all of the information in one go.


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    You can definatley 100% claim. This is exactly what TDS is for, to stop Landlords such as this unilaterally witholding tenats deposits.

    I can see no reason why you shouldnt sue now for non-complaince. You can sue for the deposit return + x3 the deposit a total of £2746.19 + court fee which will do nicely thanlyou.

    Heres some wording that we came up with previously;

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...s-wording.html

    The two schools of thought are N1 county claim or N208. There are pros and cons with them both, which are all in the thread. I would consider this pretty clear cut and would go for the N208 route. The benifit is that the landlord wont be able to defend such a claim with "this and that was dirty or there was a mark here and a scratch there argument".

    You first need to do a letter before actionicon (LBA) given the landlord 14 days to cough up or you will take the matter to the county courticon without further notice. You should print out the N208/N1 (which ever you choose) fill it in as suggested and send it along with the LBA to show your LL you mean business.

    Get back if you need more assistance. (By the way I have made the assumption that the deposit wasnt paid before 6th April 2007 in order to secure the tenancy starting 5th May - if this is not true tell me!)


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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    Firstly, thank you for the extremely quick response Planner , I really appreciate it. I can confirm that the deposit was paid after 06/04/07, so I am covered. With the wording of the claim, should I phrase it any differently than my original post (omitting the forum-related banter, of course)? I have never had to deal with anything like this before (this was the first property I have rented) and I'm keen not to make any silly mistakes, as it's a lot of money. With the letter before actionicon, is it a simple case of "Dear Mr Landlord, please repay the deposit of £686.54 within 14 days or I will take the matter to court" or should I go for the 3 x deposit etc? Sorry to ask so many questions, but I really have no idea what I'm doing.

    Also, is it worth including the part about the 3 x deposit + costs in the LBA to the landlord?



  4. #4
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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    Your options are go for the deposit back through a regular claim or go for the throat with a x3 + deposit claim. Your LBA and accompanying court form will need to make it crystal clear to the landlord the consequences of ignoring you. The idea is to get a suitable response WITHOUT having to take the matter to the county courticon.

    Assuming your going for the TDS non-compliance (which I would do if the situation was reversed);

    Your Name and Address
    Phone Numbers
    Date (Right Jutified)

    Landlords Name and address

    (In Bold and Centred) letter before actionicon

    Dear Mr "Theif"

    In light of the ongoing issue concerning the return of my £xxxx deposit for xxxx (insert address), it has come to my attention that under Chapter 4 of the Housing Act 2004, my deposit should have been placed in one of the registerd Tennancy Deposit Schemes, with details of the holding scheme forwarded to me within 14 days of you recieveing this deposit. You will be aware that penalties for non-TDS complaince are an absoulte offence for which there is no defence. The penalties of non-compliance are the full return of the deposit without deductions + x3 the depsoit amount, in this case a total of £2746.19.

    The sum of £2756.19 is now due. If I do not recieve it within 14 days I will submit the attached N1/N208 (delete as appropriate) to the County Court without further notice, at which point you will also become responsible for the court fee and my reasonable costs.

    I look forward to your prompt response.

    Yours Sincelry


    Mr I am going to teach you one hell of a lesson.


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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    Thank you for the templateicon Panner, it's extremely useful. I'm working on completing an N208 form and I have a quick question regarding it. On the thread you linked to, it has an excellent templateicon for submitting on the form, however it talks about the interesticon on the amount owed. I was going to calcualate this from 14 days from the end of the tenancy (which is when the deposit should have been repaid by) until the end of his 14 day notice period, which would be 29/05/2008 until 26/08/2008. Following the instructions in their "how to complete the N208 form" form, I calculated the amount at 0.00022 x 2746.16 for the daily rate of £0.60, multiplied by the number of days at 88, giving an interest of £53.17 and then added this to the original 2747.16 giving £2799.33 as the total amount owed by the landlord. Is this a reasonable thing to do?



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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    Hmmmmm. I would leave it off to be honest. Over £2700 not do you?!

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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    Those are fair points. The only reason I ask is because the guidance on completing the N208 talks about calculating the interesticon which I assumed I should do, and I thought it would look strange if the lbaicon had a different amount on it than the N208. I'll just remove any reference to interest in the LBA & N208, that way they'll be the same (and I won't look greedy). Especially seeing as, as you point out, it isn't owed to me until the court order it to be and it just looks petty.

    Anyway, thanks again for helping me out with this Planner, I've been putting off dealing with this for weeks because of the stress it causes. It'll be good to finally get this weight off of my shoulders.


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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    I know the link says claim interesticon but thinking about it in retrospect... it does seem a touch greedy!!

    Good luck, make sure you keep us updated.

    And a KEY KEY KEY point. Dont get dragged into a discussion about deductions for cleaning etc from the deposit. This has nothing to do with non-TDS compliance. If the landlord wants to claim for this, he will have to bring a counter claim against you. This is definatley NOT what your claim is about. You must remmember this.

    And I trust you read ALL the posted thread for the pros and cons of the N208 route?


    Paul


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    I personally disagree with Planner(sorry mate ) - I would personally claim interesticon. After all, the interest is YOUR money. However, you could only claim it on the original deposit amount, not the 3 x deposit for compensation, and this probably makes it a bit pointless for the amount of interest it would be.

    Failing that, I 110% agree with everything Planner has said - good luck!!

    7 years in retail customer service

    Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years


    By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

    Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

    Please click the star if I have helped!!
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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    I guess you'd want to claim interesticon if the period was several years, but it's not worth doing for 88 days, so I'll drop it. If he brings up the rubbish about me causing damage to the walls etc, what should I say?

    I thought I understood the N208 but you've cast doubt into my mind... I'll re-read it.


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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    Hi, planner,i got the very similar case, I rent a 4 room house with other 3 friends from October 2007-August 2008, during rent time, i haven't received any reference letter from anyone of the three DPS company, on our contract, we should receive a inventory letter, but until now, we did get any, we moved out the house in September 2008, we did deep clean, but the landlord try to hold our deposite(3900pounds!!!).H e never answer ours call, he never meet us, the only way to reach him is by email or text message. After we moved out, he send an email with 13 deduction of my deposite, some of it is not my problem. But he insist that i did it.it's been two month since we moved out, he still hold out deposite, I asked him for our DPS reference, he said he sent to our before. i said i did not get it, could you please send me again. but he never replied to this message. He is very smart, every time i asked him about when you gonna pay us or how much you will pay, he never answer my question, he just ignored!I am still waiting now,i cannot bothered with him anymore. I call DPS,TDS and another DPS company, they all checked for me and said there is no registration from your house, that mean my landlord did not put my deposite into the scheme.but i don't know why he insist that he paid into DPS. and i asked the agency to get the reference from him, but agency said he won't give it to him either. Now i want to take him to court, what do you think? can you give me some suggestion? thanks planner.


  12. #12
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    Default TDS County Court Claims

    Hi Planner,

    I have seen your name on quite a few websites in TDS county courticon Claims forums. Could you please provide me the results of the cases based on this subject. I have followed 2-3 forums on this subject upto the end but could not find any results. i.e these cases: lefont & Leigh123

    TDS County Court Claims - Page 5 - LandlordZONE Forums

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...nce-suing.html

    Please reply ASAP. I want to send letter before actionicon very soon.

    Thanks.


  13. #13
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    Question Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    Hi there, im new to this so please bare with me,i moved out of my rented house 4 weeks ago it has taken me till today to get my deposit back,but i found out on wed that the landlord did not put in with th TDP where he said it was held that we also have the paperwork to say it was held,i have emails from all 3 schemes to say they did not hold it,just wondered if anyone could advise me as to weather to sue the landlord for this,i would not be so annoyed but he has made excuces for the last 4 weeks as to when i would get it back,he then has the cheek to have taken 120 off for a small amount of wallpaper come off the wall without even telling us he was going to take that amount,and the day before he gave me it back we told him if it wasnt in the bank by the following day we would seek legal advise cos we know he didnt put it with TDP then funny enough it was in the bank the next day,but i dont know what to do as i think he has charged me way over the top for a small job.sorry its long could anyone advise please.xxx


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    I tried to claim with Claim Form (CPR Part 8) but the Slough Court returned my documents and asked me to use the standard Claim form (Part 7 claim form).


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Deposit being held by landlord - was not entered into deposit scheme

    This is my first post, so bear with me.

    We rented a 2 bedroom house since Aug 2006 till Nov2009. We had paid a deposit of £1025, in Aug 2006. The tenancy agreement was initially for 6 months and then it got renewed for a year in Feb 2007 and again for a year in Feb 2008 and again for a year in Feb 2009. In none of these renewals was the deposit put in deposit protection scheme. Noe the landlord has decided not to return the deposit, not only that he has charged us a £1000 more for damages. I was planning to claim the deposit as it was not put under the Deposit protection scheme, but was confused since the deposit was paid in Aug 2006. But the contract was renewed a couple of times after April 2007. Are we still in a place to claim TDS. Please please please let me know.



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