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Where the landlord deducts money from the deposit, or fails to return it at all, the tenant's legal rights are as follows.

 

 

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

 

• Deposits paid after 6th April 2007 are protected by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, a statutory arrangement imposed by the Housing Act 2004. Details of the scheme are set out at: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/landlords-tenants/117280-tenancy-deposit-scheme.html#post1184266

 

• The Landlord must enter into a scheme. The penalties for not doing so, or not providing details of the scheme to the tenant, are severe: the landlord will be ordered to pay three times the amount of the deposit to the tenant.

 

Note: Deposits paid before that date are only protected by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme if the tenancy is formally renewed on or after that date, by the signing of a new tenancy agreement, not if the tenancy merely continues by default.

 

 

Deductions from the Deposit

 

Whether or not the deposit is protected by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, the money nevertheless belongs to the tenant and is subject to the following rules if a dispute arises concerning it.

 

Golden Rule: If there is no initial inventory, the landlord has no grounds for withholding the deposit (unless there are rent arrears). This is because the landlord, without an inventory, is unable to prove what the state of the property was at the start of the tenancy. Therefore it is not in your best interest, as tenant, to insist on an initial inventory.

 

• On leaving at the end of the tenancy, take plenty of photographs of the premises (with that day's newspaper in the picture), showing their condition, in case the landlord later claims that you left the place in a dirty or damaged condition.

 

• The landlord is the person who owes you the deposit, not the letting agent; so if you have to go to court to recover the deposit it is the landlord you must sue.

 

• The first step is always to write to the landlord (not to the letting agent), using the letter below. This is called a "Letter Before Action" (LBA) and must be sent before a court claim can be started.

 

 

How to find out the Landlord's Address

 

To sue for the return of your deposit, you sue the landlord.

 

Do not try to sue the letting agent. The landlord is liable for all acts of the agent, as the landlord is the principal, and it is the landlord with whom you have the contract.

 

Also, you will want to enforce any court judgement against the landlord. His biggest asset may well be the property you were renting. The letting agent might have no traceable assets, whereas the landlord is a sitting duck.

 

See: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/landlords-tenants/116744-got-judgment-how-get.html

 

 

The Landlord's Address :

 

• The landlord's address is normally stated in the tenancy agreement.

 

• As you were renting a property from the landlord, you can write to him at the property you were renting, as that is certainly his address.

 

• H M Land Registry will, for a fee of £3, send you a copy of the Register Entries for the property you rented, which give an address for the landlord. See Land Register Online

 

• By law, the letting agent must tell you the landlord's real address, provided you request that information while you are still the tenant. The agent must give you the address within 21 days of your requesting it. But it is too late to make that request once the tenancy has ended.

 

• Withhold the rent. By section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, the landlord must give you an address in England and Wales at which you can sue him. No rent is due until he gives you that address.

 

• Talk to the neighbours. They will usually have a good idea of who really owns the premises.

 

For further information, see this link: Landlord's Address and Contact Details - LandlordZONE

 

 

The following is a Letter Before Action (LBA), which you must amend according to your situation :

 

Dear Sir,

 

I am writing to you concerning my tenancy of the premises at [address].

 

I request that you return my deposit of £_______, as the premises were left clean and in good repair when the tenancy ended. Allowing for fair wear and tear, the premises were left in the same condition as they were in at the beginning of the tenancy.

 

As the deposit was paid after 6 April 2007, you the landlord are required by law to keep the money in a separate account, and to provide the tenant with a written statement detailing (a) exactly what the deposit covers and (b) when the money will be returned. Please provide evidence that you have complied with this statutory duty.

 

The deposit must not be regarded as extra rent, to be used to improve the condition of the property.

 

Any amount deducted from it must be equivalent to the amount needed to replace “like with like”. For example, if the carpet was worn at the start of the tenancy, you cannot retain the amount that would pay for a brand new carpet.

 

You cannot deduct the replacement value of any item, even if it was brand new at the start of the tenancy, as this would be "betterment". You can only deduct from the deposit a percentage of the item's value, based on (a) its on condition at the start of the tenancy (which you must prove using the inventory from the start of the tenancy), and (b) the expected life of the item.

 

Nor can you make deductions from the deposit for general “wear and tear”. The tenant is only liable for damage that creates extra cost; the deposit is not there to provide a redecoration fund. You must redecorate at your own expense.

 

You must in any event prepare a dilapidation schedule, and you must have the relevant tradesmen give a written quotation (not an estimate) for each item of cost that you include in it.

 

I request that you give me receipts or invoices for work carried out, or quotations for work yet to be done.

 

The onus is on you to prove that there are circumstances justifying the retention of any part of the deposit, and to date you have not provided any such evidence.

 

I will therefore be in a position to demonstrate that it is unreasonable for you to keep any part of the deposit, should you be unable to produce the requested evidence and matters proceed to court.

 

You must remember that the deposit is my money. You must account for it properly. It is a common misconception that the deposit belongs to the landlord, but that is not the case and withholding it without proper grounds is unlawful.

 

I require your reply to arrive no later than 14 days after the date of this letter, together with your cheque for any amount not in dispute. If I receive no satisfactory reply by then, I will begin a County Court action for recovery of my deposit without further warning.

 

The Court can order you to pay back the deposit, and the proceedings are very straightforward. Also, the Courts are very sympathetic to tenants whose landlords do not fulfil their statutory obligations.

 

I look forward to hearing from you within 14 days.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

[signed]

 

 

Note: This letter is only an example, you must modify it to meet the actual circumstances of your case. For instance, if you accept that you are responsible for some damage or cleaning that needs to be done, say so in the letter. Acting reasonably may earn you credit from the court.

 

 

To sue the landlord in the County Court for the return of the deposit -

 

The following statement is an example of what to put on the Claim Form as the "Particulars of Claim", but you must modify it to reflect the actual facts in your case:

 

" I claim the sum of £______ plus interest, being the amount of the deposit which I paid on (date) under a tenancy agreement of premises at (address of premises).

 

If there was a written tenancy agreement, add this :

The tenancy was an assured shorthold tenancy. It was created in writing by a tenancy agreement dated (date) made between (name and address of landlord), the landlord, and (names and addresses of tenants), the tenant. The tenancy was for a fixed term of ___ months, commencing on (date), at a rent of £____ per calendar month.

 

If there was a verbal tenancy, add this :

The tenancy was an assured shorthold tenancy. It was created verbally by an agreement made on (date) made between (name and address of landlord), the landlord, and (names and addresses of tenants), the tenant. The tenancy was for a fixed term of ___ months, commencing on (date), at a rent of £____ per calendar month, payable monthly.

 

In all cases, add this :

The tenancy was terminated on (date), by (state method of termination: e.g. 'the expiry of the fixed term', 'notice given by the landlord', 'notice given by the tenant', or 'agreement of both parties'). The tenant left the property on (date). "

 

 

Notes:

• Your immediate landlord MUST be a defendant to the claim, even if there is a reason for also suing someone else.

• The landlord will have to prove the amount of any deductions from the deposit, to a standard satisfactory to the Court. The onus will be on the landlord to prove the original inventory and any alleged damage (known as "dilapidations").

 

 

For further information about suing the landlord, see this link: How to Start Proceedings - The Claim Form

 

Download link (to download this form, right-click on the link, and select "Save Target As..."): Form title "Claim form" (County Court form number N1):

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n1_0102.pdf

 

 

 

Advice & opinions on this forum are offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.


Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

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I just read this great tip which can help with protecting your deposit: take lots of photos of the place at the very first day. Print or develop the asap. Post these out to yourself. When the package arrives, do not open the envelope. Open only if needed, in front of witnesses.

The postmark will bear the evidence of the time the pictures were taken.

 

Funky little tip, from Sunday papers, not bad, eh?


[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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It's a good tip. That is also how amateur musicians copyright their own music before sending demos to record labels. Always works! :)

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not to burst the bubbe, what about envelope steaming? what alsp proves that the envelope was totally sealed when sent, i.e. it wasnt folded in when sent and licked on the day needed? and what proves the contents of the envelope you send?

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Will the date on the photo that is normally created with digital cameras not work?


Just some guy. I try to help, but all advice is my opinion.

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I'm not sure of the finer details of the envelope method - but its been used for years and I understand its been held up in court on a number of occasions.

 

As for digital cameras - this is a tricky one, as timestamping can ultimately be forged.

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I can tell you now that there is no point in counting on digital cameras.

 

Remember the old flatt battery syndrome?

 

01-01-2000 00:00

 

I could take a load of pics aroudn the world, flog em on ebay n say they're authentic minute old Millenium photo's of famous places lol

 

Believe me, being a qualified programmer? A digitised item wouldn't stand a chance with me if it was plugged into a computer and had a date to change on it >

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My deposit was paid in Feb 07 so before Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

 

Dont really know where this leaves me - perhaps the next step is to put something in writing?

 

I am sure she is taking liberties - am i right?

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My deposit was paid in Feb 07 so before Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

 

Dont really know where this leaves me - perhaps the next step is to put something in writing?

 

I am sure she is taking liberties - am i right?

 

Start a new thread and detail the problem a little more. Will see if I can advise then.

 

Strike that, you already have. sorry. lol

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This thread has been left unlocked so we can post helpful hint, genius ideas, template letters and share experiences with regards to deuctions from deposit/withheld deposit.

 

If you have a query or if you want to seek advice in your own case, please go back to a main forum and click New Thread button on the top of the forum. Before posting, please check if you can find a answer in the "sticky" section of the forum and read http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/residential-commercial-lettings/118080-questions-new-posters.html#post1197730

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[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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I can tell you now that there is no point in counting on digital cameras.

 

Remember the old flatt battery syndrome?

 

01-01-2000 00:00

 

I could take a load of pics aroudn the world, flog em on ebay n say they're authentic minute old Millenium photo's of famous places lol

 

Believe me, being a qualified programmer? A digitised item wouldn't stand a chance with me if it was plugged into a computer and had a date to change on it >

 

What about the EXIF data?

Edited by dave

If you feel that we have helped you, or you would like to help keep this web site running so that others can continue to get their money back, please click the donate button at the top of the forum.

Advice & opinions of Dave, The Bank Action Group and The Consumer Action Group are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability.

Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

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I was speaking to a photographer who regularly takes images for evidential purposes, for which he invariably uses film as digital images are not acceptable for evidential use.

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The best way to ensure the authenticity of the date on the envelope is to right the address on the back of the envelope and fix the stamp in such a position that it covers the edge of the flap. I have done this to ensure that no one else has opened a letter. The postage frank helps to proove that it has not been opened.

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not to burst the bubbe, what about envelope steaming? what alsp proves that the envelope was totally sealed when sent, i.e. it wasnt folded in when sent and licked on the day needed? and what proves the contents of the envelope you send?

 

By sending in a Secure RoyalMail SD bag, once sealed unable to open without damaging it. :)


Thanks

- Hobbie

 

--------------------------------------------------------

Under no circumstances should you speak with a Debt Collections Agency via telephone, request that all future correspondence is done in writing, a letter template for this can be located here.

 

Any views expressed are solely that of my own, any advice or information offered is provided in genuine good faith, and should be checked prior to acting upon.

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No idea if Ed is still active here anymore, but the "Golden Rule" above is now generally taken to be wrong.....although an inventory is very important, it is not the "be all and end all" - there are other ways to prove the base condition. Could either Ed or a mod edit the post, as it is now very misleading....


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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Questions for you all, i have had my deposit returned to me, but not my rent as i was asked to move out before my conract ended does rent act in the same way as deposit?

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Questions for you all, i have had my deposit returned to me, but not my rent as i was asked to move out before my conract ended does rent act in the same way as deposit?

I wouldnt have thought so, thats probably why they just refunded the deposit as they knew you would have to fight harder for the rent

Can you give more details?

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I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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poolking - you have already created a thread on this, please dont post in the sticky as well...


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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badger, you are a star... lol I didnt think if that! excellent idea! I mentioned this to my partner and she said "why not iron the stamp on the envelope with the steam on full". I tried this and it creates and excellent seal.

 

I also enquired at the postoffice and they can confirm AND sign that the envelope is sealed properly :) The tellers will stamp and sign the envelope witha 'SECURE CONFIRMED' stamp.

 

nice 1, thanks!

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I know four students who have lost 800 pounds of their money, before being accepted as tenants because the landlord raised the bar of acceptance. The estate agents in London said it was a holding fee and as they didn't meet all requirements i.e perfect guarantor credit scores etc... they could do nothing about it. I am absolutely disgusted with this coming from a reputable estate agent who would see students done like this. They kept them waiting for two months and only told them the bad news at the last minute. Now the students have less money and no time to look again....Thanks estate agents..:-?

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Hi Guys

 

My partner and I are currently going through a dispute with our previous letting agent, same story as a few on here; they are making unreasonable deductions from our deposit. We began the tenancy 2 years ago so it was before the new Deposit Protection scheme.

 

They want to take £450 in the name of the landlady for Gardening Decorating and cleaning carpets.

 

As we were unaware of our rights we offered £130 for carpet cleaning but felt the other quotes were excessive and unreasonable.

 

We have asked for previous inspection reports and the signed Inventory.

 

They paddle round the issue and refuse to mention the Inventory but keep telling us they are waiting for the Landladies reply to our offer. It is now 5 weeks since we vacated the property.

 

What would our next action be..? and would I be correct in saying if they didn’t produce the Inventory signed by us we should withdraw our offer and request our full deposit is returned. And what is an acceptable time frame for a resolve?

 

Thanks for any help in this matter its very much appreciated

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Hello,

 

I have been reading the messages with regard to unfair deposit deductions and wondered if you could offer me some advice please.

 

My daughters tenancy ended and in our opinion was left in a much better condition when she moved out than when she moved in. An inventory was taken at check showing the condition of the property. An inventory was not taken at the check out and the only matter raised was that the grass needed cutting. Following the check out with the letting agents the landlady went into the property at a later date and added to the inventory. She had not been present at the check in. the inventory from the check in shows that the property was not in a good condition when my daughter moved in. For example the whole house needed repainting. Carpets needed replacing some of which were. As the landlady would not pay for underlay we paid for this to be added. My daughter repainted most of the rooms with paint provided by the landlady. She now wants the walls to be repainted as two walls were not magnolia. However my daughter could only pick from colours that were provided by the landlady, as she said only pastel colours could be used. The skirting boards were also painted as at check in they were chipped and marked. We feel that the property is in a much better condition now then at check in. But the check out does not show this as nothing was recorded. Please can you advise appropriate course of action as we are considering going to small claims court for return of the deposit.

 

Thanks

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Sorry Stevie 62

 

First time used forum thought I was writing new thread, but see its on your query, will redo my question.

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No problem tasco, im new here too, think i done the same somewhere else

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Hi Guys

 

My partner and I are currently going through a dispute with our previous letting agent, same story as a few on here; they are making unreasonable deductions from our deposit. We began the tenancy 2 years ago so it was before the new Deposit Protection scheme.

 

They want to take £450 in the name of the landlady for Gardening Decorating and cleaning carpets.

 

As we were unaware of our rights we offered £130 for carpet cleaning but felt the other quotes were excessive and unreasonable.

 

We have asked for previous inspection reports and the signed Inventory.

 

They paddle round the issue and refuse to mention the Inventory but keep telling us they are waiting for the Landladies reply to our offer. It is now 5 weeks since we vacated the property.

 

What would our next action be..? and would I be correct in saying if they didn’t produce the Inventory signed by us we should withdraw our offer and request our full deposit is returned. And what is an acceptable time frame for a resolve?

 

Thanks for any help in this matter its very much appreciated

Stevie hi and welcome

I assume you havent had to sign a new tenancy agreement in the last 2 years?

 

You need to write asking for your full deposit back, give them 14 days, if there was no check out inventory then they cant prove what it was like

Also you are entitled to see breakdowns and quotes for the alleged work that was done

 

Same for you tasco, get writing and keep everything in writing dont phone them


I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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