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Hi all,

 

I'm sorry if I'm posting something that might be already addressed in other thread, but I think my situation is quite peculiar. I moved in the UK at the begin of October 2008, sharing the house with a living in landlord. At the beginning everything was going fine, and I didn't push (even id I asked) to have any written contract. We agreed verbally with the landlord that the rent was on month by month basis, and I don't have any receipt to prove that I paid 390£ deposit (I have several mails from the landlord in which he says how much the rent and the deposit would be). In three months ago my girlfriend joined me, and I asked (verbally) to the landlord if it was possible for her to live in the same house, and how much more was the rent. We agreed in 80£ and since she joined me I've been paying this extra money.

Lately the landlord changed the attitude towards us, and he started sending mails in which he says that we cracked a window (that is not true) and that he's keeping the deposit to pay for the damages and for the fact that my girl friend is staying without paying (that is not true since we agreed 80£ more). When I tried to talk to explain everything he didn't want to discuss, and after a couple of days sent a mail saying that I was frightening him and that he will call the police if I try to talk with him again. I gave him 4 weeks notice about the fact that I'm living (I sent it by recorded mail, but he didn't open to the mail-man, but I gave the notice also verbally), now I'm concerned about my deposit. Do I have any chance to receive my money back if I challenge him in the court?

I'm not from the UK, and this is a nightmare, we don't go out from the room when we are at home, and we are constantly frighted about what he can do.

Sorry for the long post, any advice is welcome.

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Your landlord's behaviour certainly seems a little odd, to say nothing of suspicious.

 

I'm sure some more knowledgable folks will be along to help, but as far as I can see your real problem lies in the fact that - by your own admission - yours is/was an oral contract, which I'm afraid isn't worth the paper it isn't printed on.

 

Under the Housing Act 2004, landlords must - by law - either not take a deposit, or, if they do, must place it into an approved scheme. If they fail to do this, the Housing Act is quite clear that you can take them to court and receive not only your deposit back but three times the amount in reprisals.

 

Many landlords declare they are taking an extra months rent rather than a deposit, but then treat the extra money like a traditional deposit. This practice is legally sound, the only major difference being that at the termination of the tenancy, that money can only be levied against rent arrears, nothing else. If there are no rent arrears, even if the tenant(s) have damaged the property, the full amount must be returned.

 

Unfortunately, since there is no written contract in your case, I can't see that you really have a leg to stand on. You certainly could try taking your landlord to a Small Claims court if they don't return your deposit, but your lack of signed, written evidence for your situation isn't going to help.

 

I also don't think your emails between you and landlord will help. There's a world of legal difference between me telling you I'm going to provide a service, and actually signing a binding contract to say I will make good on that promise.

 

You could try informing your landlord of your intent to seek a return on your deposit through the Small Claims Court if he tries to keep it without legal proof that it is wholly or partly being kept for payment of either rent arrears or property damages (which must also be proved). Again, without a written contract, you're effectively playing a bluff hand, but if your landlord's behaviour thus far has been deranged as you say, it might prompt some action.

 

The only other thing I can think of is that Citizens Advice may be able to help, or at least advise. Their site (with details of their local offices) is available at Citizens Advice website.

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From what you have posted you would appear to be only a lodger. Lodgers have very few rights and there is no requirement for a deposit paid by a lodger to be protected in a scheme.

 

Assuming your in England/Wales, you will need to threaten your former LL with county court, and if you can reach agreement, follow through with a N1 court claim.

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Thank you for the replies,

 

I know I'm a lodger and not a tenant hence I have almost no rights. My concern is if I have any chance to get back my deposit if I threaten my former LL with the small claim court. I have nothing but mails and a piece of paper in which he wrote down how much money did I owe him (it's written with a marker and signed only by him, I don't think it has any value). Moreover the LL is (or claims to be since his behaviour looks far from what I execute) a lawyer so I'm afraid that at the end I'm going to lose more money.

Can you tell me if I do have any chance? If at the end I have to pay the court expenses how much would it be? (just the order of magnitude)

Thank you again

Edited by rootto
removed my name

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You will need to prove someway that you paid this sum of money. Cheque stub, bank statement etc.

 

The cost of small claims are minimal. £45 to lodge your claim (cheaper if you do it online I think). This amount will be reclaimable from your former LL. Theres no award of costs to the otherside should you loose.

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Thank you,

 

for the reply. The only written thing I have to prove I paid the deposit, are emails in which the LL asks for it (before I paid it), then several mails in which the LL intimidate me saying that he will use the deposit for damages I didn't cause. Do you think emails are enough? I have bank statements to prove I paid all the rent so far, but when I paid the deposit I had no bank account and I gave the sum in cash (silly silly me!!!).

I'm still living in the same room (I'm moving in a new place monday) , and he last night he sent a mail saying:

 

"I will get bailiffs to evict you tomorrow"

 

I really scared.

Thank you

Edited by rootto
removed my name

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Thank you,

 

for the reply. The only written thing I have to prove I paid the deposit, are emails in which the LL asks for it (before I paid it), then several mails in which the LL intimidate me saying that he will use the deposit for damages I didn't cause. Do you think emails are enough? I have bank statements to prove I paid all the rent so far, but when I paid the deposit I had no bank account and I gave the sum in cash (silly silly me!!!).

I'm still living in the same room (I'm moving in a new place monday) , and he last night he sent a mail saying:

 

"I will get bailiffs to evict you tomorrow"

 

I really scared.

Thank you

 

Well it will be down to balance of probabilities! chances are any judge will agree that you paid *some* deposit.

 

He has no need to get the baliffs to remove you, he could simply wait until you go out, chnage the locks and move your stuff onto the street. As Monday is quite a way off, I would suggest you make alternative arrangements just in case.

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Thank you for your reply.

Since the last post I changed my accommodation and I'm trying to fill the N1 form in order to send it together with the letter before action. I'm not from the UK and I'm not really familiar with legal english, so I have a doubt about what to write in the "Particulars of Claim". This is what I wrote so far:

 

The Claimant requests to the Defendant to return the full deposit (£390) paid at the beginning of the tenancy of the premises at XXXXXXXX. The Claimant believes that the premises were left in the same condition as they were in at the beginning of the tenancy.

The Defendant wants to keep to full deposit as compensation for (1) a crack in a window located the “utility room”, (2) various damaged items in the house and (3) the extra costs caused by the stay of the Claimant's partner at the premises.

The Claimant believes that (1) has not been caused by him nor his partner. The Claimant believes that being the “utility room” shared between both the Claimant and the Defendant is not possible to demonstrate the Claimant's responsibility.

The Claimant believes that (2) are not exceeding the normal “wear and tear”, stating the fact that these items were not brand new at the start of the tenancy. The Claimant, at the beginning of the tenancy asked to Defendant for the inventory, but the Defendant did not provide it.

The Claimant agreed with the Defendant to pay an extra amount of money, identified with £80 per calendar month, to cover (3). The Claimant paid the extra amount of money for the following months: April, May, and June. The Defendant refused to accept a settlement proposed by the Claimant, in which he offers to cover a fair part of the additional costs (in terms of utilities bill), in case these exceed the amount agreed.

Is this written in the proper way? Shall I remove all the description, and simply say that I want my money back?

Cheers

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A deposit of £390 was paid to the defendant on xx(date)xx as a deposit in respect of a lodging agreement for xx(address)xx which began on xx(date)xx. I gave the correct xx(period of notice)xx notice on xx(date)xx and left the property on xx(date)xx with the required monthly rent of xx(£)xx up to date.

The defendant claims the full deposit amount of £390 as compensation for:

(1) a crack in a window located the “utility room”;

(2) various damaged items in the house xx(list them)xx; and

(3) the extra costs caused by the stay of the Claimant's partner at the premises.

The claimant considers that the property was left in a similar condition to that when occupied. In the absence of a check-in inventory and schedule of condition the Claimant considers that:

(1) the window damage has not been caused by him nor his partner. The Claimant believes that being the “utility room” shared between both the Claimant and the Defendant it is not possible to demonstrate the Claimant's responsibility.

(2) XX(Consider each item in turn)XX

(3) the Claimant agreed with the Defendant to pay an extra amount of money, identified with £80 per calendar month, to cover Claimants partner. The Claimant paid this agreed £80 extra per month for April, May, and June. The Defendant refused to accept a settlement proposed by the Claimant, in which he offers to cover a fair part of the additional costs (in terms of utilities bill), in case these exceed the amount agreed.

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Hi all,

 

sorry if I'm posting on this old thread, but it might be useful to have everything on the same place.

I've started a small claim against my ex LL, and I've received his defense together with an Allocation Questionnaire.

First of all, in the defense the LL is admitting that a deposit was paid ( I had nothing to prove it) and that all the rent was paid up to date. The LL is claiming that the deposit was withdraw due to: damages (250£) overstay of my partner (160 £).

I'm now filling the AQ, and I'd like to know if I have to state my reasons in the section G (Other Informations). Essentially my reasons are: 1) the damages have not been cause by me and there is no inventory to prove the opposite, 2) I've paid £80 more per month to cover my partner staying. In the defense the LL says that he worked away from home (which is partly true, since he was at home during the weekends) for 6 months. I suppose he wrote this statement to claim that I'm the only one responsible for the damages. Can I use his statement to say that if the LL was away from home for such a long time, I have to be considered as a tenant and not as a lodger?

In the defense the LL admits that he received £80 for my partner staying (my partner stayed with me for 3 months hence the £160 withdrawn from the deposit). I have statements in which is clearly shown that I paid the extra £80 for all the period in which my partner was living with me. Do I have to attach the statements to the AQ? In the LL's defense there are some points which are true (I misunderstood about the possibility to use the address to receive my partner's mail) and some other which are not true because we agreed something else verbally. In my opinion. those points are not relevant for the deposit matter: do I have to point it out?

In the defense the LL is also assessing several false statements, one of this (which I consider quite offensive) is that I left pubic hair in the fridge. Do I have to write in the section G that some of the points stated in the LL's defense are false, and that some of them are also offensive? Obviously I can't prove that the facts are false, but I think is common sense that nobody leaves hair in the fridge. Some of the statements of the LL are completely against the common sense.

 

Do you have any other advice, about what I can write in the section G? Do you know if I have to pay for the hearing once I submit the AQ?

Sorry for all the questions, but I don't know how to handle the situation.

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sorry if I'm posting on this old thread, but it might be useful to have everything on the same place.

This is the correct thing to do, then we can look back at the history of your query.

 

First of all, in the defense the LL is admitting that a deposit was paid ( I had nothing to prove it) and that all the rent was paid up to date.
That's good!!

 

The LL is claiming that the deposit was withdraw due to: damages (250£) overstay of my partner (160 £).

 

I'm now filling the AQ, and I'd like to know if I have to state my reasons in the section G (Other Informations).

I suggest that you list each of the LL's defence items followed by your response. The judge needs to have all the information and documentation you can give e.g. your statements (you can copy them and black out anything that is not relevant if you wish, but it is not necessary).

 

1) LL wishes to deduct £250 for damages

Any damage have not been caused by me. There was no inventory agreed at the beginning so LL unable to prove the opposite.

 

2) LL claims only £80 (agreed amount to cover partner staying) received by him

I paid £80 more per month for April, May and June to cover my partner staying. Please see statements attached at Appendix 1.

 

3) In the defense the LL says that he worked away from home for 6 months.

LL was in fact at home every weekend, only absent during the week.

 

Can I use his statement to say that if the LL was away from home for such a long time, I have to be considered as a tenant and not as a lodger?
not a very sensible option!

 

In the defense the LL admits that he received £80 for my partner staying (my partner stayed with me for 3 months hence the £160 withdrawn from the deposit). I have statements in which is clearly shown that I paid the extra £80 for all the period in which my partner was living with me. Do I have to attach the statements to the AQ?
already covered above

 

(I misunderstood about the possibility to use the address to receive my partner's mail)
why is this a problem?

 

and some other which are not true because we agreed something else verbally. In my opinion. those points are not relevant for the deposit matter: do I have to point it out?

In the defense the LL is also assessing several false statements, one of this (which I consider quite offensive) is that I left pubic hair in the fridge. Do I have to write in the section G that some of the points stated in the LL's defense are false, and that some of them are also offensive? Obviously I can't prove that the facts are false, but I think is common sense that nobody leaves hair in the fridge. Some of the statements of the LL are completely against the common sense.

 

As I have said, just list each item and follow it with a statement (e.g "not true" or "not true and extremely offensive")

 

Do you have any other advice, about what I can write in the section G? Do you know if I have to pay for the hearing once I submit the AQ?
Not sure at what stage payment is required. You can always ring the court, they are very helpful.

Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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Hi all,

 

I'm here to ask the last (hopefully) question regarding my deposit problem. After filing a Small Claim, and replying to the allocation questionnaire (thanks for all the hints) more than one month ago I received a letter from the Court saying that the defendant was requested to produce evidence that my deposit was regularly protected. I knew that as lodger, my deposit didn't need to be protected, but I supposed the Court knows the law better than me. Last week I wrote to the Court to ask about my case, and they replied saying that the Defendant didn't comply with the last order made (didn't produce any evidence) and that they are waiting my request for a judgement form. What does it mean?

Shall I fill the this form: http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/news/forms/docs/n225_0406.pdf and ask for my money back? In the form there are only two option, and in my opinion both are not completely right. The first option is "The defendant has not filed an admission or defence to my claim" which is not right because he presented a counterclaim. The second is " The defendant admits that all the money is owed" which is not right at all. I guess the closest option is the first one, but I'm not sure. Also in the section D, do I have to include the Small claim expenses?

 

I don't want to be greedy, but I know that for an unprotected deposit the Defendant has to return 3 times the money. Do you think my problem falls under the unprotected deposit case? I just wanted my money back, but I had to waste time and I have also been offended by the defendant, so having a bit more of what I was aiming could be nice.

 

Thank you for, at the end of this story (once I get my deposit back=I will write a post to summarise my case, I hope it might be useful :)

 

Cheers

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As a lodger the deposit doesnt have to be in a tenancy deposit scheme, so nope, you wouldnt be able to claim the 3x penalty.

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Ok thanks for the advice. Can you please tell me if the form I linked is the correct one?

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Hi Firstly, sorry for hijacking this thread but i have searched everywhere and cannot find the button to start my own thread?:(

I have a few questions as my LL has not returned my deposit and has been 2weeks now.

I rented in October 2007 and LL did not protect my deposit and/or inform me in writing of the details of the scheme.

I am not sure if he protected my deposit(will find out).

I only received a letter in April 2008, general letter apologising for not sending "detailed" information on the deposit scheme. I received the certificate in December 2008 which states deposit was protected from date of tenancy 15/10/07 and at the bottom has "date deposit protected" 30/10/07. Is this over 14days!? Also i think(will check) i paid deposit before 15/10/07 in order to get the keys to move in. I do think the date (30/10/07) is dodgy.Is it because the landlord is a member of a scheme then the scheme will just issue certificates and cover the LL anyway ??? We renewed rental for another year, if the LL had not paid in deposit within 14 days initially can i still sue them for that, even though we rented for a 2nd year and deposit allegedly stayed in TDS for another year and they just changed the "ending after date"

 

Help appreciated as soo annoyed how they sent an end of tenancy letter saying check out inventory will be taken off my deposit £115!! It annoys me as the contract said they would do the initial inventory for free on the basis i pay for the check out inventory,a)they never did an initial inventory b)they didn't tell me it would be £115 for some bloke to have a look around!!(was unfurnished so not much to invent!)

Further this letter insisted on final receipts for all utilities!!!!professionally clean carpets which we did as per contractual agreement. Professionally clean the whole place and have a receipt, this i refused as not contractual. the reply was "you have too as it is required as a requirement"" WTF????

However i believe they will delay giving deposit back or not at all, OR take more out of the deposit and give back a paltry couple of hundred quid from £1500.

What makes me madder is the place was brand new when we moved in and brand new when we moved out, but we were nearly killed by a faulty boiler which had a gas leak and no safetey certificate, but were reasonable , now they behave like money grabbing animals.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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Hi, JLS. If you go to the "Residential and Commercial Lettings" main page, you'll see towards the top of the page a button marked "New Thread". Then you'll be able to start a new thread.:D

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