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TDS claim WON today - some details


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Brief details...

 

- paid deposit of £600 in March 2006 with LA signing on behalf of absentee LL (resident in Japan)

- new ASTs signed March 2007 and March 2008

- new LA took over March 2008 but left deposit with old LA and unprotected

- old LA sent cheque for deposit to new LA December 2008 with letter advising him to protect and send me information - nothing happened

- started TDS claim January 2009 with LL and LA named as defendants

- moved out March 2009

- LA returned deposit in full at directions hearing in March 2009

 

Long story here - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/residential-commercial-lettings/181073-complicated-tds-case-have.html

 

Full hearing was this afternoon. LL and LA failed to turn up, though LA had written to court to apologise for absence. DJ agreed with all points I made, was very sympathetic, and awarded me £1800. Judgement was entered against LL and LA and if the money is not recieved within 14 days I can enforce against either or both.

 

DJ said deposit should have been protected when AST was signed in March 2008, and certainly when LA recieved the cheque in December 2008. Also said that she did not need to order return or protection as that had been fulfilled by now, but that was able to award penalty anyway as the legislation had not been complied with.

 

Judge thanked me :D for 'all the hard work' I had put into the preparation and said that the evidence and documents I provided had been very interesting and helpful!

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Well done! Thats great news. Knock another one up for the tenants. Good to see the Judge didnt allow the 'must also' clause to spoil the party also.

 

What documents did you provide as part of your hard work? Just curious.

 

Good luck getting the judgement though, it sounds like winning the case is only half of the battle.

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Documents - all ASTs, various letters regarding deposit, receipt for original deposit, letter from Shelter advising me that the deposit should be protected, copies of letter and cheque forwarded to new LA.

 

Also provided details of some previous judgements that had gone the way I was hoping this claim would, and copy of the Govt guidance on pre-April 2007 deposits.

 

Am hoping LA pays up within 14 days - surely to ignore CCJ would be disastrous for his business? He is also property developer.

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What's the 'must also' clause?

 

Jeff

 

Well done! Thats great news. Knock another one up for the tenants. Good to see the Judge didnt allow the 'must also' clause to spoil the party also.

 

What documents did you provide as part of your hard work? Just curious.

 

Good luck getting the judgement though, it sounds like winning the case is only half of the battle.

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The Housing Act 2004 states that...

 

" (3) The court must, as it thinks fit, either—

(a) order the person who appears to the court to be holding the deposit to repay it to the applicant, or

(b) order that person to pay the deposit into the designated account held by the scheme administrator under an authorised custodial scheme,

within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the making of the order.

(4) The court must also order the landlord to pay to the applicant a sum of money equal to three times the amount of the deposit within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the making of the order."

 

Some judges have taken this to mean that if neither 3 a) or b) can be ordered (for example if deposit has been protected or returned by the time the case is heard), they cannot order 4 as it is prefaced by "must also".

The judge in my case said she was in agreement with my claim that it was a strict liability penalty for non-compliance and that the return of the deposit (after court proceedings had been started) did not alter the fact the law had not been complied with.

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Devil,

 

AS this is exactly the defence that my landlord is using, that because he has returned the deposit (after the claim was lodged and 5 months after we moved out) that the 214(4) cant be applied due to the must also issue.

 

Is there anything pubic I can get about your judge's ruling that I can use as part of my case? Do rulings get published?

 

You help would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks.

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That is excellent news. Very glad for you. Just shows that the system can work, but I suspect the result had a great deal to do with your careful preparation. Well done!

 

"Also provided details of some previous judgements that had gone the way I was hoping this claim would, and copy of the Govt guidance on pre-April 2007 deposits."

 

I would also appreciate it if you could PM with some of these details. I am putting together a file of information to help advise others in your situation and would be grateful for any such information. Thanks

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 would also appreciate it if you could PM with some of these details. I am putting together a file of information to help advise others in your situation and would be grateful for any such information. Thanks

 

Kentish, I have details of about 6 cases, all in favour of the tenant, and all differing by various degrees also. Will send via PM next week.

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Kentish, I have details of about 6 cases, all in favour of the tenant, and all differing by various degrees also. Will send via PM next week.

 

Thanks to you both. I am positive that one of the reasons DevilwearsPrimark won is because she provided the judge with good documentation and examples of other cases which assisted the judge in making her decision.

Kentish Lass

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

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  • 1 month later...

UPDATE - no money arrived within the time ordered so i issued an order for LA to attend court for questioning on his financial affairs to give me an idea how best to enforce.

 

The day after this was served, he sent the court a cheque for the full amount, which is now being forwarded on to me.

 

:D

 

Thanks to everyone who advised me - I'm doing my best to help others with their cases now I have all this information sloshing round my head.

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I am in process of filling out the N208 claim form and would be very grateful if you could possibly PM me with details of previous judgements/court cases as I would like to attach them for consideration by the court? Would that be possible please? Many thanks!

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Hello Devilwearsprimark and everyone,

 

I am in a similar situation and want to take my ex LL to court, I would also be very grateful if you could PM me with some previous judgements and court cases too. Mt deposit was paid february 2007, but we have renewed our AST's in August 2007 and August 2008. I'm desperate for some information and all these court forms are a dyslexic nightmare.

Thankfully we have a new home now.

 

was it form N1 or N208?

 

thanks in advance

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I have lodged the N208 Claim Form (CPR Part 8) with the County Court this afternoon with all the proofs etc. The cost was £150. Yes, it can be quite daunting filling out so much paperwork which has to be precise, but with the help and guidance of the forum members you will not go wrong. I received the help of Kentish Lass and DWP and am grateful to them both. I will PM you the previous cases as sent to me, together with a few extra I found.

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"What happens if the tenant has a tenancy agreement that was taken out before 6 April 2007 but he continues occupying the property after the end of that tenancy?

 

 

If the tenant decides to remain in his existing rented property beyond the initial fixed term of six months, how the deposit is treated will depend on how the tenancy is continued:

  • For a statutory periodic tenancy - ie the tenancy continues with no new agreement - TDP will not apply, as no new AST will have been created.
  • For a replacement/renewal tenancy - This is a new AST and so TDP will apply. The deposit previously paid under the earlier tenancy is repayable to the tenant at the end of that tenancy, so it should be returned to the tenant. Alternatively, if the landlord wishes to continue to hold it as security in respect of the new tenancy it must be protected under scheme."

(taken from Treatment of deposits at the end of the tenancy - Housing - Communities and Local Government )

 

That is the Govt guidance relating to pre-2007 deposits. I know lots of people consider it a bit of a grey area and there are opposing views on here and elsewhere, but I went in with the approach that as the law isn't entirely clear, the best interpretation to use is the one the Govt. are making. The judge agreed with me and said it was quite clear how the law was meant to work.

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