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tds_query

A new TDS Renewal Claim in the making

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Help Please :)

 

I have a case that I intend to take to court. Base details are as follows.

 

Tenancy Started in 2005, typically we have 12 month AST renewals since then. We went on a periodic early 2009 and have since moved, there is a dispute over the deposit which the Agency has ultimately invited me to take him to court for the remainder.

 

I had to ensure I had reasonably attempted every other avenue for claiming back the money before small claims. It was then I discovered in the 2008 AST contract it stated a desposit was required and this would be registered with TDS. Investigated TDS- then I found out about the 3 x deposit etc. So contacted TDS. Deposit wasnt registered. Contacted Agency, and they said they didnt have a signed contract from us for 2008, as such we have been on a Periodic contract since then, and that is the reason the money wasnt put into the scheme.

 

The case of claiming the contract is void - I think I can handle. Since I have some pretty strong evidence it is and has been honoured (I have a signed copy with proof of payment).

 

So the big question is TDS, the 3 xtimes deposit, and how it is treated in renewals.

 

Naturally, in my case as the 2008 contract states a deposit is required, it would be reasonable to assume from the the contract that the deposit would be treated as returned to me and paid back such that it could be registered with the TDS scheme and comply with the law.

 

If they did argue that the deposit wasnt ACTUALLY received after 2007, and hence doesnt apply to the provisions in 2007 to the Housing Act 2004 - could I argue that this is a breach of contract, the breach resulting in a loss of the 3 times deposit?

 

I am planning to take this court - so I am looking for arguments for and against at this stage. I am still compiling evidence and sifting through the paperwork, to try and make sure I have all my bases covered, plus reading up on the other threads around this.

 

Any help on this would be really appreciated.

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Seeing as you have a signed contract for 2008, I'm guessing the renewed AST has their signature on it as well, they would find it very difficult to prove it is actually a periodic tenancy and at that point the deposit should have been protected.

 

However if it is proved that there was no need to put the deposit into a scheme, I cant see that you have anything to claim for. The 3X deposit is a penalty for not protecting the deposit as required to, if appropriate. If in this case it was not appropriate or required because there was no renewal of AST where has the breach of contract come in?

 

Just out of interest, has he repaid the deposit you paid right at the start of the tenancy?

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The renewed 2008 AST does indeed have the signature from the agency and signed by the landlord. Statement of deposit being required, and TDS scheme it would be registered under.

 

the deposit has mostly been repaid, although its taken 2 months - originally he witheld it all for cobwebs, toilet cleaning and a relatively small patch of discolouration on the kitchen vinly floor. It took 6 weeks before the first payment of £790 was paid back, another £60 came last week following my TDS query, leaving around £70.

 

My problem with them is the stress and hassle: I'll make whatever deductions I like - take me to court if you dare - a bully boy tactic. I have personal motivation against people like this.

 

Prob worth mentioning - the property was completely redecorated before we moved out - it was vastly superior/cleaner to the state when we moved in (all of this can be substantiated). If he had just repaid I would have been happy.

 

The protection of deposits - the main thrust I think is to help prevent the above. ie deposits being retained unfairly. Thats why I think the penalty is there (re consulatation on secondary legislation doc).

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Just looking at my last bit of detail. Should add there is still a dispute over the remainder.

 

I should also add, we've raised issues on the property over the years, not many were resolved. The rear of the garden of the property originally was overgrown with weeds, when we cleaned it, turned out there was an old tire, pieces of twisted metal, broken glass and rubble. Not very safe for the kids. We cleared it all. It also took a week from when we rented to clean and redecorate the property.

 

The deposit at the end, was witheld for cobwebs, toilet cleaning and the vinyl - however, the cobwebs and toilet cleaning were false claims (I made a video of the property when we started tenancy, and one when we left) - I can substantiate the dates. I think the agent was trying to get me to go back so he could charge for an additional visit to ensure the items had been addressed. The vinyl floor initially we were told it would be hundreds of pounds. I raised an objection as my video clearly showed the floor was originally damaged. If they were claiming complete replacement - this would be betterment - since the original damage was worse than the discolouration patch caused by us. I would have agreed to pay an above fair and tear charge for the vinyl - but never got the chance because he blocked my email and told me to take legal action if I wanted to go further.

 

I dont think he was actually intending for me to do it

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The renewed 2008 AST does indeed have the signature from the agency and signed by the landlord. Statement of deposit being required, and TDS scheme it would be registered under.

 

If the above is indeed the case, then the deposit should have been placed in one of the schemes and you should have been notified of the details with 14 days of the date of the renewed AST.

 

You say you took a video of the property at the beginning of the tenancy. Was there a proper check-in and inventory accepted and signed by you? If not, they cannot retain ANY of the deposit. No proper check-in inventory means they have no evidence of the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy and therefore cannot prove any damage whatsoever at the end of the tenancy.

 

You need to think about whether you just want your money back, or the hassle of suing them for 3 x deposit.

 

I would write to the Agent and the Landlord with copies of their signed pages of the AST and tell them that unless you receive the balance of the deposit within [10?] days, you will be suing them for 3 x deposit for their non-compliance with the Deposit Protection Regulations.

 

You might decide to sue them as well. It has been done. Judges are fed up with Landlords trying to wriggle out of these regulations. However, you need to check out this subject as much as you can, as you might lose, and it might involve you in costs.

 

Best of luck.


Kentish Lass

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

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I received an inventory from them - my view was it was a bit lax/non descriptive - and from a prior experience losing about £1000 on a deposit - made a video of the property this time. Hence - I could always refer to that (this is because what I consider fair condition - to someone else may be poor condition - or vice-versa). I offered to show my tapes to the agency - but they were not interested. I accepted the discolouration to the vinyl was due to us, altho didnt agree it necessitated it being replaced. I volunteered the evidence of the original state (a cut in the vinyl about a foot long). I pointed out the original damage was worse than what we had caused - so by their own argument - it was in need of replacement when we moved in.

 

This agency has a reputation for witholding deposits unfairly. I actually know of others who rent through him (and one friend).

 

The way I see it, is if I let him get away with it - he will continue to do it to others. If I win, it will be a bit of a slap that will make him think twice before doing again. If I lose, he wont enjoy this anymore than I will. I am more than prepared to possibly lose a few hundred for this.

 

I am still researching - for instance I have read of some a case where the Judge has ruled in favour of the landlord because deposit was fully repaid before court. Hence, I wont accept any further payment from him until court anyway. Just trying to map out every argument/counter that may occur - and avoid losing on a technicality.

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