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Renting - worried about getting deposit back

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hi forum.

 

I've posted a similar thread in a forum on another website, so if anyone uses that one too and gets annoyed by my repetition, I apologise in advance!

 

As above, I'm worried about getting my deposit back on a room I'm renting.

Situation a little bit different in that I still haven't paid it.

Bear with me...

I moved into a place at short notice as was offered a job in Cambridge and moved away from home (Newcastle). It's a short term move, for two months or so, while I look for a new place.

On moving in, I paid the first months rent. Then, I was asked for a deposit - I was a little confused as the need for one wasn't made clear to me before - my flatmates are foreigners and it may have been a language barrier/misunderstanding.

I said I'd like to speak to the landlord (know about deposit protection scheme so wanted to be sure). He came around on Saturday, and said 'oh it's not that kind of scheme'. Fishy. Seems he/my flatmates expect me to pay the fee to one of the flatmates, and then trust them to pay the money back once the two months are up. I have no guarantees here, in fact I haven't got a contract or anything - before smirking I was unemployed for months before and had no choice but to move at short notice and take what I could.

 

Anyway, I apologise for such a long story. Does anyone know if I would be able to safely pay the deposit, and perhaps get it back? Do I have any legal recourse if my flatmate doesn't pay it, i.e. would the landlord then be responsible? And would it help to get a receipt or something?

Flatmates are getting really offish now, haven't seen them for a few days and when I saw them today the first thing they mentioned was about the deposit...

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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In the old days before deposit protection, people would move out and the new people would pay the old people their deposit - possibly via the people that still lived there. It may be that this is what is happening here.

 

As you are only there for two months you might be counted as subletting which may not be an AST and therefore you specifically may not be covered by the new rules (it may be that the existing tenants should be covered if they have an AST and the total rent is less than £25000 per year).

 

You should be able to check whether there is deposit protection scheme in place on the property by calling each of the schemes.

 

I guess it's a matter of judgement what you do as realistically, your legal recourse on a small debt might be more trouble than they're worth. Maybe discuss your concerns with the other tenants. Definitely insist on a receipt for any money paid.

 

If you get a better answer from your other site it would be good to hear it!

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