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Hi

 

I left the property on 7th Last Month. Its 6 flats with a communal entrance. My friends were staying with me sharing the rent. But the tenancy agreement is only in my name.

 

The Agent didn't give me an oppertunity to restore it to the original condition.

 

Will I be liable to pay the excess if the repair bill is over my deposit.

 

I think the agent doesnt want to pay me the deposit. I asked her to give me in writing why my deposit is not returned she said the full report is not ready yet and she threatened when the full report is sent I will be liable to pay the excess

 

It is my friends who are still staying in the flat. I came to know that they havent changed the doors yet.

 

I use to live in a property before from the same estate agent. I stayed in that property one more week after the tenancy agreement was over because the above flat was not ready for occupation. She asked me to pay that one weeks rent to her personal account than to the company account which I did. I think this agent runs some franchisee and she is trying to eat up the money.

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Check your tenancy agreement? When was it taken out? Was it a standard AST? After a certain date your LL was required by law to secure your deposit in one of the nominated schemes and she would have also been obliged to notify you of this within 14 days of you handing it over.

 

Your LL only has the right to deduct from your deposit any damage to the property that is beyond normal wear and tear. I would want to see the receipts for this and it helps that you have friends living at the property.

 

I think the report that your LL is referring to is a figment of her imagination and a means of shutting you down.

 

The lesson here is to ensure that at each new tenancy you insist on an independent inventory check-in/check out. The first is paid by the LL, the second by the tenant. You should be present at them both and sign the reports to say that you accept them.

 

Do not let this LL intimidate you. Make it clear that you will pay what is reasonable, but no more. If your LL did not secure the deposit, she will find the law very much against her and I think will have to compensate you - I'm not 100% sure but I think it's three times the deposit.

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Hi Sali,

 

Thanks for your replies, I very much appreciate that. I didnt take any permission from the LL for subletting. I will check my tenancy agreement and will post here. Thanks again.

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Have a look for the OFT's guide on the application of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract regulations on tenancy agreements. I'm sure there's something in there about a term denying a tenants right to sublet being potentially unfair.

 

 

Here: http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/unfair_contract_terms/oft356.pdf

I have no legal qualifications whatsoever, so please check any input I have for accuracy. And please correct me if you disagree!

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As a LL I would challenge that any tenant who thought they could sub-let without permissionn as it states that it is not allowed in most standard contracts. However, if I found out, I would serve notice on them to quit immediately for breach of contract. I would not want a tenant in my property that I could not trust. However, that aside, I do not think it would be fair or legal to deduct monies from a deposit because of this. I would only deduct from a deposit where there was damage beyond wear and tear.

 

This LL sounds somewhat unscrupulous and I would wonder whether they have fleeced tenants in the past.

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The creation of that document probably kept 50 people employed in the OFT for a whole year!

 

Well, here's how I read it. The guidance (and it is only guidance) to the LL is to ensure that the tenancy agreement is fair and clear. If a tenant signs a contract without challenging any aspect that is not clear or he considers unfair, I would consider that contract to be binding - for both parties.

 

If the tenant then sub-lets without notifying the LL and the LL on discovery serves a notice for eviction, (and sub-letting is one of the breaches that Shelter defines as a reason for eviction), the tenant would have to go to court to challenge the decision. I think that the circumstances would have to be extremely unusual for the court to find in the tenant's favour in these circumstances.

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Hi

 

Thanks for all who replied especially sali. I went through the Tenancy agreement. It is an AST. There are lot of silly errors in it. Like two pages having same page number and incomplete sentences.

 

The points which I think I have breached

 

1. Fitting Locks on four door. Out of which one door wass damaged before i occupied the property.

 

2. Mould in the bathroom which was there before I occupied but she claims its me.

 

3. She says I haven't cleaned the chimney.

 

She never gave me an oppertunity to clean it or restore it to the original condition. Eventhough I had days left on my tenancy to do that.

 

She was aware of people sharing the place. She didn't pick on that. But it seems like a breach of contractual terms.

 

1. I put the doors to add security as the common stairway was a hanging out place for drug users. after repeated request the agent didnt do anything about it.

 

2. I DIDN'T SIGN ANY INVENTRY or any documents which describes the condition of the property.

 

3. I didnt sign the contract on the day. She phoned me 2-3 months later and told me that I haven't signed the tenancy and I went there to sign cant remember what date is that.

 

4. THERE is no other communication between me and the agent at all after the occupation never I got any information regarding the deposit scheme.

 

My deposit is £800.00 She is not willing to return any of it and threatens if the bill comes more than that I have to pay the excess.

 

The contract says the deposit will be refunded after 14 days of the end of the tenancy after making any deductions. But I havent got any communication eventhough I asked her over phone to give me in writing.

 

Do I have a valid point in any of these?

 

Please help all the helps are highly appreciated.

 

 

 

2.

Edited by ichayan
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I think the PC I'm on is wind-up so won't download your file.

 

The important factor here is what date the tenancy started. Did neither you or the LL/Agent date the agreement? Anyway if the agreement was taken out after 6 April 2007 your LL/Agent was required by law to secure your deposit and advise you that this had been done within 14 days of its receipt.

 

If there is a dispute regarding damage or breach of the tenancy terms then the ADR (alternative dispute resolution) service which is allied to the deposit scheme will become involved, otherwise the tenant's deposit should be returned without delay.

 

The onus of proof is on the landlord or agent. They will need to provide reliable evidence, usually in the form of an inventory, or a schedule of condition and photographs, to support their claim for deductions from the deposit.

 

It is important that you do not let yourself be bullied. I'm guessing your LL has broken the law and if she does not want to face a large bill, she will need to return ALL of your deposit. If I was the tenant, I wouldn't even be offering deductions for cleaning etc.

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Check out the stickies on TDS. You should contact (always write Recorded Delivery) to your LL first to ask which scheme the deposit is secured in with a note to say that if you do not hear back by a certain date (give her 10 days) you will apply to the court for recovery of your deposit x 3. Don't be daunted.

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Hi All,

 

Thanks for sali for taking time to repond. This is the letter I have drafted with the help of a post from this forum and customising it to meet my case. Please see if it is okay to sent.

 

Dear Sir,

 

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

 

 

My tenancy in the above property ended on the 07/05/2010 and I moved out of the property on that day. According to the section 1.8.5 of the tenancy agreement, you agreed to refund the deposit less any deductions within 14 days of the tenancy is completed.

You haven’t refunded the deposit fully or partially yet. I request you to refund the full amount of £800.00 within 14 days of the receipt of this notice.

If you are not refunding the deposit because of any concerns regarding the condition of the property when I left it at the end of the tenancy I have disputes.

If you are planning to deduct some amount from my deposit to cover any damages please note:

 

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.

In any of the above cases please provide me with the following documents if you are not sending me a full refund of the deposit £800.00 within 14 days of the receipt of this notice

i. As the deposit was paid after 6 April 2007, you the landlord are required by law (Housing Act 2004) 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.

 

ii. Please provide me with a copy of the check-in inventory detailing the condition of the property which is agreed and signed by me and your agent at the time of me checking in to the property.

iii. Please provide me with a copy of the check-out inventory detailing the condition of the property which is agreed and signed by me and your agent at the time of me checking out of the property.

 

iv. 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.

 

 

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 country 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]

 

 

Thanks

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Well, I guess my advice (and it is just advice because at the end of the day you should always go with your gut feel, because it's rarely wrong) to keep it short and simple.

 

 

[DATE]

 

Dear Sir,

 

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

 

My tenancy commenced on ? and ran until 07/05/2010.

 

As the deposit was paid after 6 April 2007, you the landlord are required by law (Housing Act 2004) to keep the money in a separate account, and to provide me, 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.

 

Once I have received this information I will engage the scheme's alternative resolution service to resolve our dispute over the deposit deductions.

 

If you fail to reply within 14 days after the date of this letter, I will have no other option than to commence a County Court Action for recovery of my deposit.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Signature

 

Send it Recorded Delivery. Now, I'm pretty sure that your LL will not have secured the deposit and will either not reply or try to intimidate you with threats. Stand your ground and follow the action through. Come back here for more help or call Shelter for free advice

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Hi folks

 

sorry this probably isnt the best place to post this one but havent quite worked out how to start a new thread yet.

 

My problem is with a business property. We took over a lease on abusiness premises aprox 18 months ago. naively we signed a contract based on what the sales guy told us and as it was our first business premises we needed to move quickly. We paid or deposit of 2500 and have paid our rent and service charges and buildings insurance to the landlors evry month without fail. We were always honest with these people that we only wanted a one year lease so they give us a contract for three years with a break clause included after the first aniversary with a full repairing lease, however we were a little concerned that the prmises had not been checked over by the landlord before the previous tennant left and therefore took a couple of photos of things like missing gas meters etc.

 

We have now given our notice and the letting agent Ashtennes has sent in a surveyor. They have given us a dilapodations report that comes to 15K for work that to be honest hadnt been done when we moved in. We had been told by the agent when we signed the contract that they would just look around before we handed over the keys and so long as it was left in the same condition as when we moved in that would be fine. It is actually in better condition now than when we moved in and we have even tracked down the previous tennant who is willing to stand up in court and confirm it is in a better state of repair than when he left.

 

i am a very stressed little bunny. we are only a small family ran business so paying this value or not getting my deposit back would finish us off and leave people without jobs.

 

We had hassle before me moved in and had to delay opening for 3 months as the roof was unsafe and the agents had to get it fixed. I think this is why they are trying to get us.

 

any help gratefully accepted i am going to meet with them tomorrow but i feel a waste of time coming on.

:(

 

 

 

Before we moved into th

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I'm sure you realise now that you should have asked a solicitor to check over the lease before signing, but we are all smart with hindsight.

 

I'm wondering if you could go down the county court route to reclaim your deposit (and perhaps costs), producing your photographic evidence and witness. It would only require a small financial outlay and a bit of your time.

 

I think the crooks of this world - like your landlords - know that most people are reluctant to launch legal action against injustice because of the cost and hassle and even then there are no guarantees that the law falls on the right side.

 

However, this sounds as though it may be make or break for your business, so I'd have thought it worthwhile.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Well, I guess my advice (and it is just advice because at the end of the day you should always go with your gut feel, because it's rarely wrong) to keep it short and simple.

 

 

[DATE]

 

Dear Sir,

 

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

 

My tenancy commenced on ? and ran until 07/05/2010.

 

As the deposit was paid after 6 April 2007, you the landlord are required by law (Housing Act 2004) to keep the money in a separate account, and to provide me, 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.

 

Once I have received this information I will engage the scheme's alternative resolution service to resolve our dispute over the deposit deductions.

 

If you fail to reply within 14 days after the date of this letter, I will have no other option than to commence a County Court Action for recovery of my deposit.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Signature

 

Send it Recorded Delivery. Now, I'm pretty sure that your LL will not have secured the deposit and will either not reply or try to intimidate you with threats. Stand your ground and follow the action through. Come back here for more help or call Shelter for free advice

 

Hi Sali

 

I sent it by recorded delivery. My tracking says postman left a note to collection as nobody was there when he tried to deliver it. It is on the process of returning to the sender. What would be my next step?

 

Please advise.

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Is it near enough for you to deliver by hand. Write BY HAND on the envelope and try to get an independent witness to go with you when you deliver it.

 

You also mentioned an Agent in some of the original posts. Make a copy of the letter and address the envelope to them. Again by hand with a witness.

 

Both of them cannot deny receipt. The Agent will be duty bound to act.

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Is it near enough for you to deliver by hand. Write BY HAND on the envelope and try to get an independent witness to go with you when you deliver it.

 

You also mentioned an Agent in some of the original posts. Make a copy of the letter and address the envelope to them. Again by hand with a witness.

 

Both of them cannot deny receipt. The Agent will be duty bound to act.

 

Thank you sali your help is very much appreciated.

 

The recorded delivery was sent addressing the landlord c/o the estate agent as it was shown as contact legal address of the LL in the tenancy agreement. So can I deliver it direct to the lettingagent who was acting on behalf of the letting agent?

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I would say yes, as you have no other address. Is this a pukka high street letting agent? If so, it is very 'odd' that your letter is returned - I think the post office try to delivery at least three times.

 

I'd probably alter the address on the letter to the LL's name, c/o Agent's Name.

 

If you can deliver by hand with a witness, get the person's name you deliver it to.

 

If they say they are no longer the agents, can you prove otherwise? Are they the agents for the people who took over your flat?

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Oh, and keep all your paperwork - receipt for Recorded Delivery, copies of correspondence etc - you will need this if you end up in court.

 

Hi

Sali, thanks for your support.

They are letting agents, they have an office. I addressed the letter to LL c/o letting agent.

 

Cheers

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Hi ichayan,

 

Send the letter to the letting agents addressed to the letting agents. Also include a letter inside addressed to the landlord. Make sure you put on the bottom of the letter addressed to the letting agents that you have enclosed a letter for the landlord. Advise the letting agents working on behalf of the landlord that you expect them to deal wit it and forward any relevant information to the landlord they operate for. This way by letting the letting agents know you hold them responsible as they had/have a vested interest by letting the property, I bet they will make sure the letter is passed on.

 

In short, start with where you can get the letter delivered as the first point/person responsible for acknowledgment and receipt of your letter. Make sure you only put the name and address of the letting agent on the envelope. After it has been signed for they will want to move the issue to the landlord so start doing the work for you.

 

If you paid the deposit to the letting agent they will have to prove it was passed to the landlord. Correct me if I am wrong but this what I am assuming happened. They probably know the landlord is a bit dodgy so will not accept mail for him/her. I am currently looking into who will be responsible for the deposit if paid to the agent. At which point does the responsibility go to the landlord only. Would be good for someone else with experience in that field to comment if possible.

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An Agent will not represent a LL without a contract, so it will very much depend on the contents of that. I know that my contract firmly places the responsibility of the deposit with the Agent. I'm presuming they pick up the interest on the money. However, I suspect (it's never happened to me) that the tenant takes the LL to court. If the LL finds that the Agent has not acted according to their contract, he/she would have to counter sue the Agent. Messy business.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Guys

 

I gathered loads of relevant information for my case here. Could you please advice me further?

 

I left my previous flat because of many maintainance issues.My landlord deducted £135 from the deposit £700 I paid while signing contract.I have all documents including AST and receipts. I doesn't agree with the deductions. I found that she had not potected money in any TDS though she kept money in a seperate bank account.

I enquired about all the paper work including N208 claim form to initiate the claim. Also using various threads in this helpful forum, I came to know about various other requirments.

However, I still have following queries and would be grateful to have your advice.

 

1) The landlord didnt protect deposit in a deposit scheme though she kept money in a seperate bank account. Can I sue her for not complying with TDS to claim three times the deposit?

2) She did unfair deductions and returned £565 out of £700. As she returned £565 of the deposit, does it makes my case weak? I believe I deserved full refund and to avoid this I asked her the inventory list from the beginning but she failed to provide one.I have copies of emails requesting for inventory list.

3) The main reason I left flat was the maintainence issues including smoke alarm, washing machine etc.I can submit copies of email conversation as proofs. Should I include this in N208 claim form ?

4)Since the claim is less then £5000, will it be automatically directed to small tribunal court ?

5)If I win the case, will I be entitled to get court fees in refund?

 

Kindly advice

 

Thanks

Peter

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