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Someone PLEASE help- tenancy deposit protection- i've now moved out, landlord BIG CROOK


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Hi There

 

I'd really appreciate any help anyone can offer.

 

I'm a young girl in my early twenties and have been living in a rented property since last June, and moved out yesterday.

 

The property was DISGUSTING and in a state of disrepair- I've put up with mice, no heating, no water, windows that don't shut (and that's just to mention a few things).

 

When I moved in last June, my landlord took from me 2 months rent (£620 per month)... He told me £620 would be kept as a deposit until I left the property. However, the wording on the lease says "2 months rent in advance". Now, this money is clearly a security deposit despite the wording because of the following reasons:

 

1- The money was never used as rent. Despite paying "2 months in advance" on 6th June, I then paid my first full month on 1st July (and this is written/demanded in my signed contract)

 

2- I then continued to pay £620 per month (at the start of the month, to cover the month) with my last payment being on 1st March. So once again, the "rent in advance" was never used as rent in advance.

 

3- My landlord then withheld some of this money for marks on the carpet (despite having deducted money from the previous tenant's deposit for the same reason)... so it was therefore used as a security deposit, because if this was "rent" then he had no right to withhold money. He gave me a receipt to say he had returned the money, less money for the carpet and we have both signed it.

 

So.... other than his wording, this was 100% a security deposit and this is what I had been told verbally- it was never used/intended as rent in advance from either myself or my landlord.

 

Now, I have checked with the three tenancy deposit protection agencies, and none of them have a deposit registered for myself, or the address I was living at.

 

What are my next steps? I have kept copies of my contract (original), receipt of him taking the deposit, receipt of him returning (some of) it, receipt of my written notice to him and I made sure that (despite him asking for cash payments for rent) I paid him by bank transfer so have record of all my rent leaving my account for his.

 

I have spoken to county court and they have sent me type 8 court papers for a small claim, but these aren't easy to complete, I don't know where to send them to or with what money, and can I represent myself???

 

Am I entitled to claim 3 x my deposit under the tenancy deposit protection scheme (he is not a live in landlord, the property is private and he does not, that I know of, receive over £25k in annual rent for the property)

 

I'd really appreciate any help what so ever

 

Thanks

 

gg

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Yes you can complete the papers yourself and yes you can represent yourself in court (but I should warn you it's not a walk in the park).

 

This is a quote from The Deposit Protection Service:-

What happens if a deposit has not been protected?

 

Where a Landlord fails to comply with Tenancy Deposit Protection, there are two sanctions:-

  1. Unable to use Section 21 notice Currently, a landlord can serve two months' written notice in the prescribed form under Section 21 of Housing Act 1988 on a tenant in order to terminate a tenancy at the end of a fixed term, or after a fixed term has expired. If necessary, a landlord can obtain an order for possession of an AST in the County Courts under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. However, where a landlord fails to comply with Tenancy Deposit Protection, no Section 21 notice may be given in relation to the tenancy until such time as the legislation is complied with.
  2. Payment to the Tenant Tenants can make an application to a County Court under Housing Act 2004 if they believe that their deposit is not being safeguarded, or where they have not been given the prescribed information about the scheme in which the deposit is safeguarded within 14 days of the landlord receiving the deposit.
    Where the court is satisfied that the landlord has failed to comply with these requirements, or the deposit is not being held in an authorised scheme, the court must either order the landlord to repay the deposit within 14 days of the making of the order, or order the landlord to pay the deposit to the custodial scheme administrator.
    The court must also order the landlord to pay the tenant three times the deposit amount within 14 days of the making of the order.

The Deposit Protection Service

 

 

 

Before you start I would strongly recommend you get advice and help from your local CAB and Shelter. They will help you fill in the claim forms, sort out what paperwork you need to exhibit, tell you how many copies you need of everything etc.

 

When you are ready take the claim form, witness statement, exhibits etc to the court. The court will tell you how much it will cost to commence proceedings and the fees can be reduced to nothing if you are on various benefits.

 

I hope this helps you.

My posts are offered informally, without prejudice and without liability. You should seek the advice of a qualified insured professional.

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