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Hi new here hope you can help.


I moved in to a house that belonged to someone I work with and gave her a deposit of cash and the first months rent in a cheque.


All was fine for a couple of weeks but she started turning up with no warning which made my partner very unhappy.


She would come to the house to store things in the shead, my partner was convinced that she was entering the house while we were at work but we have no evidence as such although things have gone missing.


The ll then split with her partner and sent me a threatning text saying that she wanted me out of the house but as she is not capable of asking nicely I took offence as her manner was violent.


My partner decided then that we would leave as she felt it was a threat for the kids to be around these people.


Before we had the chance to move she sent some of her friends round (no notice) to swap some of the furniture around.


Sadly every time I asked for a contract she put it off so I have nothing signed.


We are now in our new house and very happy with it, but want the deposit back as I feel cheated out of my money.


Have emailed and texted her for my money a few times but she is ignoring my messages.


Please can someone help as I am not sure what to do as she did not protect my bond.


I have been to get court papers and am thinking of issuing them on her, any idea what would happen if I do this.


Partner concerned as she does not want the ex ll getting hold of the new address.


Thank you for any help.

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You should definitely issue the claim but there are a couple of thing that you need to be aware of. Landlord and tenant law is extremely complicated but does provide a lot of protection for tenants. Part of this protection is that you are allowed quiet enjoyment of your home and having the ll/ll's family come round whenever they feel like is certainly not quiet enjoyment no matter how justified they feel. Its actually harassment, which is an offence.


In fact, because you felt so threatened by this harassment that you felt compelled to leave, I would argue that you've been illegally evicted, but I'm not a lawyer. If you can afford it, it might be worth talking to a solicitor to get a view on how bad what she's done is. Do you have any letters, e-mails or other evidence?


Oh, and don't worry about not having a written agreement; it almost doesn't matter what the agreement says - it's the reality that counts. (As an aside, and to justify what I've just said, I had a "house share agreement" in which I was referred to as a sharer throughout. The judge ruled that, in reality, it was a tenancy and I was awarded damages for illegal eviction).


The other thing that you are probably unaware of is that there is a legal requirement for all landlords to put the deposit into one of the government approved schemes. The penalty for failing to do so, and I bet your ex-ll hasn't, is 3 X the deposit, so I'd included that in your claim as well. Having said that, because the legislation is poorly drafted, its a bit random whether it gets awarded or not so best not to expect it.


So, as well as the deposit, I'd claim some damages for the harassment/illegal eviction and the 3 X deposit penalty


Court itself, if it ever gets there, is a very informal affair and nowhere near as scary as you might think. The hearing isn't held in a formal court, its held in a judge's chamber and has more of a feel of an office meeting in that everyone sits around a desk and discusses the disagreement before the judge makes a decision.


Can you post up the particulars of claim with all personal details removed?

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bedlington83 is perfectly correct regarding the "no contract" issue. If you moved into the house and paid rent, you were automatically under an AST, regardless of what that landlord might like to think.


This means, not only should your deposit have been protected and you issued with the information within 14 days of paying it as to where and how you recover it, it also means that your LL cannot legally carry out the process to evict you in less than 6 MONTHS from the date the tenancy started (i.e when you moved in) unless you were 8 weeks or 2 months in arrears with the rent. Also the process for such recovery of the property is detailed and specific involving the issue of the correct s.21 notice, and application to the court for possession.


Your LL is therefore in serious breach of the law since not only has LL not permitted you "quiet enjoyment" of the property, LL has also illegally evicted you. This is a very serious CRIMINAL offence and judges do not take kindly to LLs who treat tenants this way.


My advice is, if you don't feel you can consult a solicitor on this (which I believe you should do as you can sue LL for serious damages here) then please go and have a chat with someone at Shelter ir CAB. They are so very helpful and I am sure will back up what I have told you.


This person has treated you appallingly. I think you should go for it. She needs to be taught a lesson.


Best of luck in your new home.

Edited by Kentish Lass

Kentish Lass

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

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