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  1. Hello all. Are there any rules governing or guiding out of court settlements for non protection of our deposit? We've moved out of our property and discovered the estate agent/landlord never protected our deposit. Instead the money was scooted into a black hole by the estate agent, and the police are following up on this. However our legal claim (i believe) is with the landlord not the agent, and any 'understanding' the landlord had with the estate agent is a secondary legal matter. Over 1 month later, we still don't have the deposit back, as it's tangled up between the loss adjusters/insurers/police. We've notified our landlord that it's his responsibility (he says it's not) and said that we'll go to court for the deposit, costs and non-protection fee of 3x deposit. This is the third message we've served to the landlord, and the first time we've threatened to go legal. We are entitled to almost £10,000 from a successful court judgement, but are not particularly inclined to go to court unless we have to. My question is what is a reasonable claim for an out of court settlement? Also, could we liable for the landlords legal costs if the courts fail to award the non-protection penalty? (there seems to be less clarity in practice on this issues than the letter of the law might suggest) Lastly can we ask for a nominal amount to cover the stress and time spent as a result of non-protection/non-return of deposit or would this weaken our court case if it comes to that? (Say, £600 - on top of our deposit for example) I'm naturally disinclined towards litigation culture, but the fact that our landlord is taking no responsibility for our situation (and charging us £25 to replace a lightbulb on top of this) makes me want to assert our rights here. Lastly, we do in some ways feel sorry for our landlord, who may have innocently (if not rather lazily) assumed that the estate agents had done this... Any advice appreciated!
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