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Letting agent has not registered our deposit with TDS


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Help please!! My old flat mate and I signed an AST in July 2006 with a letting agent in which the contract stated our deposit will be held by the TDS and any disputes at the end of the tenancy should go through them. We subsquently extended our contract in June 2007 at which point we were sent an addendum to initial contract once again stating that any deposit disputes should be dealt with by the TDS. We ended our contract in September 2008 at which point our agent tried to deduct £441 from our £675 deposit for various things we disagreed with. We subsequently raised this as a dispute with the TDS and awaited their response. After 5 weeks of waiting, I recieved a phone call today stating that our previous address had not been registered with the TDS by the agent and they would therefore not be able to take on our case. I immediately contacted the agent and after a lot of complaining the letting agent eventually agreed to give us the full deposit back in full. However, am I right in thinking that we are actually entitled to 3x the deposit amount? If so, what's the best way of going about getting this? Should we accept the initial £675 and then try and fight for the rest? This whole scenario has just been one nightmare after another!!!

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The guidance appears to be that if deposits are protected before a claim is issued and possibly by the time of a court case, no 3x fine applies.

 

As you have your deposit back I would guess you would be very lucky indeed to win a claim.

 

That said, well done for getting your deposit back - the legislation has worked for you even if it has been a hassle.

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My comment was a gut feeling, not a legal opinion. At the outset of a case like this the OP and flatmate have to decide whether they are prepared to continue the hassle to try and teach the landlord a lesson, or to move on and celebrate the full return of their deposit.

 

My gut feeling was based on the claim that was made in the case where the landlord protected the deposit late, but protected it before the tenancy ended and before court claim was made. In that case, the landlord won on appeal.

 

This case is different from that one because the tenancy ended and deposit (eventually) returned.

 

HMKHB's case is also different because court papers were issued before deposit returned.

 

Only the judge has the answer...and it probably also depends on how competent the landlord is in defending himself.

 

Maybe you should write and offer a settlement under threat of legal action, and see where that gets you.

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