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Relevent person and the security deposit

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Housing act Section 214 says:


Where a tenancy deposit has been paid in connection with a shorthold tenancy, the tenant or any relevant person (as defined by section 213(10)) may make an application to a county court on the grounds— ……………………………


Section 213 (10) says

relevant person” means any person who, in accordance with arrangements made with the tenant, paid the deposit on behalf of the tenant.




I am a parent and I paid part of the deposit on behalf of my son. There were four tenants and other parents paid equal amounts. The tenancy ended last month and we know that the deposit was not protected.


The LL was alerted to this and he was trying to wiggle out of the law saying that it was not a deposit but 6 weeks rental in advance. The Short-hold TA however identifies it as security deposit.


My question is since the housing act says ….. any relevant person (as defined by 213(10) my make an application to court….. Can I claim the deposit back and 3 X compensation as I am one of the relevant persons ?. I am named in the contract as a guarantor along with three other parents.


As a named guarantor in the contract can I alone make a claim? Do I have to name all other tenants in the action? If I make a claim as the relevant person do I claim the entire deposit or only my part of the deposit that I paid? I am the only one dealing with this and others have gone away in different directions (some gone abroad and difficult to get hold of). The LL has gone quite and not answering any calls. I have written to him asking the deposit back in full as we do not appear to have any disputes as such. But he is playing games and now it looks like he is not going to give the deposit back easily. It was definitely unprotected. I have verified that with all three schemes and the LL has also verbally acknowledged that it was unprotected.


What is my position as the parent and guarantor to get the money back. I need my share of the deposit to pay another deposit for the next contract of my son.


In short:

My main question is can I sue the LL as a relevant person for not protecting the deposit?

If I am allowed to sue as a relevant person do I ask for the entire deposit and 3 x deposit as compensation or the tenants will have to claim the deposit and 3x. ?

With the consent of the tenants can I alone sue the LL on their behalf as a relevant person ?.


Any help and clarification on how I should go about this is much appreciated.



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I would have thought that you alone can sue for the portion you paid. If you wanted to sue for it all, I would have thought that you could add the other tenants as joint claimants. Iamnotalawyer.

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I would have thought that you alone can sue for the portion you paid. If you wanted to sue for it all, I would have thought that you could add the other tenants as joint claimants. Iamnotalawyer.

Thnaks for th ereply Steve_M

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You are certainly the relevant person and have the right to bring an action for return plus 3 x penalty.


The matter turns on the question, "what deposit?"


A court might claim that "the deposit" can only mean the whole deposit as I guess the AST only mentioned one deposit. Now the legislation puts tenant and person only in the singular but courts recognise that there are joint tenants and they are very unlikely to rule against you on that count.


So you cannot really make a claim for your bit of the deposit, but what you should do is make the application to court, making it clear that you are demanding that the LL pays the deposit (singular) plus the penalty proportionately to those who paid it to him in the first place.


Thus the court will order him to pay a total sum and it will be up to him to split it. Costs will go to you, of course. So you don't need to find the other parents.


That LL doesn't just pay you off is yet more proof of the insanity that greed engenders.

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Many thanks for the reply.


I would like to hear whether any other parents who have put up deposits for their

sons and daughters have encountered similar situations and their methods of dealing with greedy landlords.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is an update. LL paid back part of the deposit keeping a large portion without any explanation. Sent a message through the agent that I will be taking legal action as the relevant person and LL paid back the deposit in full.

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Good for you Ian, well done!

If you dont ask, you dont get!



Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p



I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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That's Good. If you are able to, do inform the other parents because they will be able to use your success to demand for themselves.


I would imagine that the agent told the LL "Pay now or it will cost you a lot more later."

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