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benjymaan

deposit potentially unprotected + no inventory

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Hi Guys, I seem to be finding conflicting information online so I thought I'd come here for some help, if anybody is willing!

 

This is regarding a 4bedroom shared flat on a joint tenancy I have moved out of over the preceding weekend

 

I have called mydeposit and the tenancy deposit scheme, both have no record of a deposit at our address. The DPS have no record at our address after two seperate people calling and asking for the info

 

The landlord has told me over the phone that it's in the DPS - but it looks like it isn't, none of us has ever received a single letter or email regarding the DPS, and we haven't received the "prescribed information" from the landlord.

 

I've just found out that we need the deposit ID in order for us to get our money back, so I emailed the landlord asking for it (have yet to receive a response).

 

The landlord frequently mentions that he has "lots of photos" of how the place looked before we moved in. In fairness the carpet has a few stains on it from cigarettes being stubbed out in cans and then the cans being spilt, but this will come out from a carpet cleaner, there's also about 3 or 4 chewing gum marks, but these can come out (the landlord is saying he may need to replace the carpet, and the place cost him 2,000 pounds to carpet, this does include the whole flat and it's the living room that has a bit of a screwed carpet so I hope he doesn't try and say that is going to cost him 2k to repair)

 

We have never seen these photos or signed or seen any kind of inventory.

 

I would ideally like to just get all of my deposit back minus some reasonable costs and not to go through the courts, but I have a feeling from speaking to previous tenants at that address that the landlord is very unscrupulous when it comes to these things, and if he tries it on and it looks like I'll be entitled to the 3x, I will take him to court to teach him a lesson if it looks like I might win.

 

What I would like to know is the following -

 

Is every one of us calling the DPS and them having no record of us at that address sufficient evidence to start mounting a claim? or is there any kind of "official" way of us knowing that the landlord hasn't protected our deposit. They were quite unresponsive on the phone when I pushed to just be told whether there was a deposit with them, they just fobbed me off by saying that due to data protection all they could say was that was "no record" of us at that address, but to get everyone else to call them and find out, after the others calling them there is still "no record".

 

If the deposit is protected, but we have signed no inventory (although he claims to have photos of the place) does this mean he isn't allowed to take any money out of the deposit? I gathered from other posts that if there is no signed inventory, he can't take any money from us? But there are photos apparently and I'm not sure if these are signed by a third party or dated or anything.

 

He certainly hasn't given us any prescribed information if it is protected, so does this mean I should automatically get all my deposit back?

 

 

If anybody can help I would be much appreciative - I will keep updating to let you know how it goes.

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Just got the email back from my landlord, he said that he has gone through the dps and just like our tenancy (a joint tenancy signed by four of us) we are "all on one scheme"...

 

Doesn't sound right to me, can anyone clarify?

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Quite simply, if he has nothing to hide and has done nothing wrong then he will have no problem with giving you the registration ID number for you deposit, as you have to contact the DPS to allow its release.

If he is not forthcoming with this, it is just another indication that your deposit is not protected.

If possible, you should ask the DPS, and the other schemes to confirm either via email or in writing that they have no record of a deposit registered for the address, this will help should you have to go to court.

The next step is to write a letter to him, which should be served to the address on your tenancy agreement (unless you know this to no longer be correct, in which case you serve it to the address you do have and the one on the agreement). This letter should contain details of his legal obligations in reagrds to the deposit and ask that he return it within a reasonable time period e.g. 7 or 14 days, or he maybe liable for the penalty set in place by the law. Always make sure the letter is sent signed for post (recorded or special delivery) so that you can confirm its receipt with the post office and request a copy of the signature if needs be.

I believe there are some good template letters in other threads on here if you have a search.

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Thanks Amy,

 

I'm going to have trouble waiting, although he is genuinely on a course, it seems strange that he could even have correctly registered a deposit with the DPS as a "joint" one?

 

Can anybody clarify whether it's possible that we were "all on one scheme"?

And does anybody know if he's even entitled to keep any money for a carpet if there is no signed inventory on entrance or exit? carpet was basically new when we moved in and he said he has receipts for it.

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He can put joint tenants onto one scheme with DPS - myself and my fiance are joint tenants and i'm named as lead tenant and he as joint tenant on the same scheme.

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The DPS have always sent the tenant ID code to my tenants by letter. I suspect the DPS would only release information if given a correct name and address. To be honest it does not sound like there is a deposit in your name.

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It is quite possible to have multiple tenants on one scheme, we have three named tenants on our contract and the total deposit is protected, though the landlord must give all the details as it forms part of your tenancy agreements

does the inventory which should be agreed by all parties with each holding a copy,an agreed short hold tenancy is a legal document.

It might be worth checking your carefully to see if the deposit and inventory are mentioned on each copy, the housing advice dept. of your local council may also be able to help.

 

Good Luck

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Hi Guys,

 

Thanks for being so helpful so far, here is an update on the situation.

 

Turns out the landlord did protect the deposit with the DPS, we just didn't receive any correspondance in email or in the post.

 

I am named as the lead tenant with no other tenants. I am also named incorrectly, as Ben Ben instead of my full name, and the other tenants aren't even mentioned.

 

Landlord claims he has photographic evidence of the property looking spotless, we have never seen or signed these photographs, and he has made up a load of damages and has started the repayment claim for the full deposit going to him. There is also no inventory.

 

Landlord did not send us the prescribed information at any point during the tenancy.

 

He has made up a whole load of completely unfair charges, including things like the outside front door now having graffiti on it, obviously not done by us.

 

Carpet cleaning for £300 and then that didn't work so he's charged us for replacing the carpet at a cost of £1400.

Cream coloured walls being in fine condition and then charging us for repainting at a cost of £300.

 

Two builders had to come and work in the flat on Wednesday last week - to replace the struts to the stair case, replace all light bulbs (I have now found the photos of all light bulbs working the week before you moved in) replace fittings to light bulbs, replace and fix lost flush on upstairs toilet, replace lost and broken pull light switch in upstairs bathroom, mend 2 broken plug socket hanging off the walls in the bedrooms, replace missing skirting board in the kitchen, Mend the shower door…. There costs including materials came to approx £ 550.

 

We never broke a plug socket, no skirting boards are missing, no broken pull light switch, shower door needed a screw tightening that i didn't have a small enough screwdriver for. To be fair the flush was slightly broken, but he said he'd fix that as we couldn't find the right part anywhere. He says he has photos of the light bulbs working but they definitely weren't all working when we arrived. Fittings are fine to the light bulbs.

 

He says he has photos of these, but I have never seen the photos, and certainly not signed them, no inventory either.

 

Where do I stand with a dispute? Does him having photos and not giving me a chance to see or dispute them go in my favour or his? What about him not giving me the prescribed information?

 

 

Any help would be much appreciated guys!

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Ok - no check in inventory - SIGNED BY YOU - therefore landlord cannot cannot prove that the condition at the end of the tenancy is any different from the condition at the start. Secondly, if he WERE able to prove damage, he cannot charge for a new carpet -only a proportion of the cost commensurate with the damage claimed.

 

Since the deposit is with the DPS you claim the deposit - he then has to object - and prove the damage with the check-in and check-out inventory which should both be signed by you - and without these he can prove nothing. The mechanics of the DPS are not perfect - favourite for you if he tries to deduct stuff is to go to arbitration but some landlords are realising that they can delay things indefinitely by doing nothing! He doesn't get the money, but then neither do you. Just have to see how things work out.

 

By the way - is it only you that has moved out or have all your fellow tenants moved out too?


Kentish Lass

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

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He's already initiated the repayment process, I'm just waiting for the dps to get back to me with my repayment ID now, as he never provided the correct information or registered me under my actual name (not to mention the others weren't even mentioned on the dps scheme) so I couldn't get it by calling in.

 

What I really want to know is how much it matters that he "has photos", if he hasn't done the prescribed information, and hasn't registered us all properly. Is this something I need to take him to court over or does the independent adjudicator take that into account too?

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