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laprice26

Landlord refusing to give deposit back, TDS not used

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Hello All!

 

I have a very sticky situation, and any help that can be given would be greatly appreciated!

 

I moved into a property on 29th April 2007, and moved out on the 28th May 2009. The Landlord is refusing to pay me back any of the £475.00 bond, for reasons I believe to be wholly unfair, and after checking with all 3 schemes have found that he has not registered my bond with any of them. I have told him me may be liable to pay me 3 x the amount back, and have told him this is not my intention, I simply want my bond back. He is ignoring all calls and emails and so have no choice but to take this further.

 

He is keeping money from me for ridiculous things, such as £120.00 for "gardening fees". The garden had huge privets down the side, and though I mowed the garden, I did not do the weeding of the bushes and the privets. So, I offered to get a gardener in to do them before I moved out. I quote "no don't be daft, we love gardening we'll come and do it". Which they did. They are now charging me £120.00 for this service. Had I have sorted it out myself I am confident I could have found a cheaoer quote!!

 

They are keeping £120.00 to relaminate the whole living room floor, as they claim there is a 1 inch scratch down one of the panels. They said they have taken a photo (though I have asked for photos twice and they have not sent them through to me).

 

They are charging £50.00 for new curtains in the main bedroom, even though when I moved in, they told me to "get rid of anything you don't want, including the pictures on the wall". So we did. I even left a pair of curtains in that room which I had brought, they are saying that they are "not as good quality as the ones before", so why tell me to chuck anything I don't want?!

 

a month befroe I moved out, I asked them to come over, and point out any concerns giving me time to sort them. I pointed out things that needed work, I said I'd pay for them obviously, and every single one they said "no no, don't worry, that will take us no time to sort that".

 

Basically, the last 6 months I signed a contract for, and they were supposed to send me through a copy to the house, which never came.

 

This is where it gets tricky sp please bear with me!!. . . when I moved into the property in April 2007, I moved in with a work colleague, we'll call Tenant 1. We both paid half the bond each. Tenant 1 moved out November 2007 but didn't ask for her bond back to make things easier for me as I continued living there. I had to advertise for someone else, and Tenant 2 moved in at the beginning of 2008. The day tenant 2 moved in, the landlord came over, and said "Tenant 2 you just give your bond to [me] and I'll keep the bond I already have to make it easier". Obviously, Tenant 2 never then bothered to give me the bond. I told the landlord this, and he never chased it. As a result, Tenant 2 has made some damages to the property, which I told the landlord at the time when she had done them. (including breaking her bedroom door, charging me £45.00 for that, and also broke the letterbox when drunk he is charging me £50.00 for that) and my point is surely that is not my fault? I told him to get the money from her, getting a bond from Tenant 2 was not my responsibilty??

 

There are so many things, but don't want to bore you! They are the main things. I have said to him I am happy for him to keep £100.00 of the bond, which will cover the general wear and tear, and also he said I left the house unclean, I quote "yes you had given it a good once over but we spent 4 hours really restoring it the condition it was in when you moved in", so to be fair, I said just give me back £375.00 (as tenant 1 is now wanting her bond back). He is still ignoring me.

 

What should I do???

 

Please help!

 

Thank you x

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Hi there, he did, which we signed. There were things like the curtains, pictures on walls etc. But the last 6 months he didn't send a copy through of those things. I have an email which he sent to me when I moved out, in response to my pointing out I was told I could throw anything I wanted away, to which he said "I asked you to look to see if you still had them", I pointed out again that I had thrown them away and therefore did not have them.

 

I have a copy of the cheque to prove I paid a bond though if that helps my situation??

 

The day I moved out, he was on holiday. Instead of inviting me over once I'd moved and he was back to point out these things, he ignored all texts and calls of mine, until he'd already replaced everything so I didn't have time to dispute or rectify these things he is claiming at a cheaper cost.

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Assuming you qualify for the TDS (rent less than 25k pa, not in Scotland, deposit paid after April 6 2007 etc) I think that its important here that a Landlord isnt allowed to unilateraily make deductions from a tenants deposit without agreement from the tenant. Remeber its not the landlords money, its the tenants, and its always the tenants money until the Tenant agrees to give the LL the money, or until he is ordered to do so by a court.

 

The way I see it, what the deductions are for, and whether they are legit or not, its not important. By not protecting your deposit, the LL has failed to provide you with any recourse to dispute these deductions.

 

Its a statutory requirement that the LL protects your deposit. Personally I think from what you have written above that you have a pretty strong case for the 3x penalty (I'm no lawyer though), based on the simple fact that the LL has failed to protect your deposit. Remember this, its not a penalty for failing to return your deposit, its a penalty for failing to protect your deposit. 2 very differnt things. The deductions etc in my mind, are irrelavant. There is an argument that if the deposit hasnt been protected, but is paid back within a reasonably time frame, then the intentions of the statue have been met, but this doesnt apply to your case.

 

I think you should write a LBA to the LL, stating that he has failed to comply with the HA2004, and that unless the deposit is returned IN FULL within 7 working days, you will begin a claim against him on these grounds.

 

Good luck.

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Thank you! I have just sent a letter saying just that, so hopefully I will receive an answer in the next 14 days. . . though I'm not very hopeful. The last time I emailed him asking him for the photos etc was the 15th June and he's still not replied!!

 

Thanks again, I'll keep you posted! x

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Laprice, I'm no lawyer, so please dont take this as qualified advice. In other words, my advice is worth what you paid for it :-)

This is the letter I sent to my LL when he refused to return my deposit. I think legally it has to be done through the post, recorded delivery...

 

DATE

Dear XX,

 

RE TENANCY ADDRESS, POSTCODE, DATES OF TENANCY

Deposit of £XX.00.

 

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

 

After several weeks of trying to get our deposit back from you, and after obtaining legal advice to our position, we have decided to take this matter further. We note that you have failed to treat our deposit in accordance with the statutory obligations of the Housing Act 2004. These transgressions are detailed as follows:

 

Firstly, our deposit was not protected under a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme for the duration of the tenancy. This is a statutory requirement under Section 213 of the Housing Act 2004.

 

 

The Housing Act 2004 states in Section 213(1) that:

Any tenancy deposit paid to a person in connection with a shorthold tenancy must, as from the time when it is received, be dealt with in accordance with an authorised scheme.

 

 

Secondly, we were not notified within 14 days of the start of our tenancy which Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme our deposit was held under. This is a statutory requirement under Section 213 of the Housing Act 2004.

 

 

The Housing Act 2004 Section 213(3) states that:

Where a landlord receives a tenancy deposit in connection with a shorthold tenancy, the initial requirements of an authorised scheme must be complied with by the landlord in relation to the deposit within the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which it is received.

 

 

Finally, this has left us with no recourse of action, should our deposit be disputed. Through a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme, within 10 working days of the end of the tenancy, the landlord or agent must inform the tenant of any proposed deductions. After this time, there is a period of 20 days in which to resolve any disagreement between the Landlord and Tenant. This option has not been afforded to us.

 

 

By not protecting the deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme, this is clear contravention of the spirit and intention of the Housing Act 2004. Withholding our deposit unnecessarily while not providing recourse to dispute is the very behaviour the Act was designed to prevent.

 

 

In essence, our deposit was completely unprotected during the entire length of our tenancy. As such, should our deposit not be returned in full within 7 working days, we shall instigate a claim for three times the amount of our deposit as a penalty for failing to register our deposit with an approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme in accordance with section 213 and 214 of the Housing Act 2004.

 

 

For the avoidance of doubt, this amounts to £xx.00.

 

 

We also will claim for the original deposit that has still not been returned to us. This amounts to £xx.00.

 

Thus the total for our claim will be £xx.00.

 

 

I reiterate that were legal proceedings to be initiated, any court costs, costs associated with attendance and foregone interest would be in addition to our existing claim.

 

Yours sincerely,

Edited by DisgruntledTenant

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Actually, you don't need to do it recorded delivery - LL may choose not to accept and sign for the letter, in which case, he can say he never received it.

 

Best thing is to send two identical letters from two post offices (on different days) and obtain a proof of posting for each one. A judge is unlikely to believe that two letters posted on different days from different post offices did not reach their destination. And LL is unlikely to realise it is a letter from you until he has opened it whereas a recorded delivery letter might make him suspicious.

 

Keep the proofs of posting, of course, along will all documentation (and notes you have made about conversations with LL - and notes of times you have tried to call and not been answered, etc. etc.)

 

And that's a great letter, Disgruntled Tenant!!


Kentish Lass

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

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And that's a great letter, Disgruntled Tenant!!

 

Shucks :p

 

In heinsight, I probably should have quoted the act where it says that the judge has discretion and must order the fine. But that can be added in.

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Thank you all!

 

That's brilliant! Thank you, though I've already sent one :-( Have you an email address I can send something I've compiled to you please? I want to put it as an attachment with my court claim, was wondering if you would glance an eye over it?? x

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Just an update, unsurprisingly I have heard nothing from the Landlord. . . If that is still the case on friday 14th August, I will start a claim. I am going to use the N208 which I believe is the correct one by general concensus!

 

I just have one more question - do I need to submit anything other than that form? All my documents, for example, proof of my requesting the TDS info, letters from all 3 TDS stating that the LL did not use them, copy of the cheque I paid the bond with etc, do I send that with the claim, or wait til I go to Court? x

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Thought I'd give an update - I have been given a date for the Directions Hearing; 5th November.

 

I received a "letter" today from my Landlord, comprising of a cheque for my Bond money back. No note or anything else, just the cheque. I have decided not to cash it or to contact them either, I shall simply take it to court with me.

 

I think that considering I am currently £150.00 down from my court fees, I shall go to the Directions hearing. Hopefully this won't go against me!

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