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Hello all.

 

Are there any rules governing or guiding out of court settlements for non protection of our deposit?

 

We've moved out of our property and discovered the estate agent/landlord never protected our deposit.

 

Instead the money was scooted into a black hole by the estate agent, and the police are following up on this.

However our legal claim (i believe) is with the landlord not the agent, and any 'understanding' the landlord had with the estate agent is a secondary legal matter.

 

Over 1 month later, we still don't have the deposit back, as it's tangled up between the loss adjusters/insurers/police.

 

We've notified our landlord that it's his responsibility (he says it's not) and said that we'll go to court for the deposit, costs and non-protection fee of 3x deposit. This is the third message we've served to the landlord, and the first time we've threatened to go legal.

 

We are entitled to almost £10,000 from a successful court judgement, but are not particularly inclined to go to court unless we have to. My question is what is a reasonable claim for an out of court settlement? Also, could we liable for the landlords legal costs if the courts fail to award the non-protection penalty? (there seems to be less clarity in practice on this issues than the letter of the law might suggest)

 

Lastly can we ask for a nominal amount to cover the stress and time spent as a result of non-protection/non-return of deposit or would this weaken our court case if it comes to that? (Say, £600 - on top of our deposit for example)

 

I'm naturally disinclined towards litigation culture, but the fact that our landlord is taking no responsibility for our situation (and charging us £25 to replace a lightbulb on top of this) makes me want to assert our rights here.

 

Lastly, we do in some ways feel sorry for our landlord, who may have innocently (if not rather lazily) assumed that the estate agents had done this...

 

Any advice appreciated!

Edited by a tenant in distress
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My question is what is a reasonable claim for an out of court settlement? - No such thing, this would simply depend upon the individual circumstances surrounding the claim and the risk of proceeding with the claim.

 

Also, could we liable for the landlords legal costs if the courts fail to award the non-protection penalty? Yes due to the value of the claim.

 

Lastly can we ask for a nominal amount to cover the stress and time spent as a result of non-protection/non-return of deposit or would this weaken our court case if it comes to that? (Say, £600 - on top of our deposit for example) - time - yes. Stress - no. I would NOT be placing any claim for such punitive damages, the court will frown upon it.

 

Has there been a settlement suggested by the LL?

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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I dont understand what you mean....

 

There is no such thing as a "claim" outside of court, or at least not an enforceable one.

 

Any out of court settlement is just that, a settlement between two parties not legally enforced by a court. As such, there can by definiton be no "rules" surrounding it.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Thanks Mr Shed

Sorry - 'settlement' not 'claim'

 

I guess we're just a little worried about the court costs and proceedings, but do feel that we should be entitled to compensation from the landlord.

I think we feel we're owed something, and the law says that is 'three times the deposit', so we just need to agree what is fair between us.

I do get the point about this being entirely discretionary.

 

Will the offer of the return of our original deposit affect the validity of our claim for non-protection of deposit?

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