I moved into a property on the 24th June 2011 that was previously occupied by four people, one of whom moved out and whose place I took. The landlord promised that he would update the tenancy agreement to include my name instead of that of the previous tenant, but this never transpired. The other tenants never paid a deposit when they first moved in, as they had each paid four months’ rent up front and the landlord thus decided to waive the deposit. When I moved in, as the landlord requested, I transferred a sum of £550 via internet banking to an account in his name (£275 for the first month’s rent and £275 as a deposit). However, a month after I had moved in, a variety of issues combined to make me want to leave the house and I sent my landlord a text message to say I would be moving out in a month’s time (23rd/24th August 2011). He said we would have to meet up to discuss this and arranged a time and place but did not show up. I told him I would find a replacement tenant and when this happened, he said that it was fine by him as long as the other tenants were happy with the new person.
I was worried I would not get my deposit back as there was no written agreement and no formal acknowledgement of receipt from him so I decided to hold back on my second rent payment, saying he could use my deposit money to cover the sum (as it hadn’t been secured – I checked) but received messages threatening forced eviction so I made a payment. I have now moved out, having found a tenant to take my place and move in on the 24th August 2011, but have had no contact from the landlord regarding return of my deposit. I have called several times but he has not answered, and I have left several voice messages and sent several texts but heard nothing back. Is there anything you can do to advise/help me?