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TDS issue - should I pursue my small claims court claim?

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Hi

Have trawled through the threads but finding a situation like mine is proving hard.

 

I'll be as brief as I can - any advice much appreciated.

 

Moved into rented property with housemate in May 2007.

Agency showed us around and took our deposit but LL has handled everything else (all communications etc).

Deposit was put straight into a TDS.

6 months later it was not protected by the scheme anymore and remained unprotected in any scheme for remainder of our tenancy.

Problems occured during tenancy regarding upkeep of property (leaking roofs, doors, faulty kitchen white goods etc) which LL either took a long time to solve or did not solve at all.

Several letters were exchanged - LL accused us of not keeping property up to scratch, we responded strongly stating our viewpoint which is that we were not in the wrong.

Upon exit from property (Jan 2010), we had property professionally cleaned, a carpet replaced and an arrangement with the council to remove large amount of rubbish and old carpet from outside property.

LL wrote to us enclosing a cheque for our deposit having deducted approx £220 (on total deposit of approx £1100) claiming house was not cleaned, rubbish was not collected and several other things all of which were unfair/untrue.

We have receipts for cleaning, reference number from the council for rubbish collection and recorded delivery receipts for all letters we have ever sent to her some of which she responded to, some which she did not - many issues she did not resolve.

With no TDS to intervene, we wrote stating we disputed LL's claims and wanted our full deposit back. We did not hear back.

Approx 5 months later (having done some research), we wrote again stating that as we had not heard back, we would pursue the matter in the small claims court.

LL wrote back re-iterating reasons for taking money off the deposit and adding new issues with the state of the house when we left (mainly petty) but also included some utter lies about things we had said or done and also included photos - some of which showed contents of the rubbish bags we'd left outside, emptied inside the house(!!!!).

LL claimed to be disappointed that we had threatened the small claims court and threatened to "counter sue" us for loss of earnings because we had not allowed the agent to show people around in the last 2 months of tenancy (simply not true!) and the state of the house when we left.

Issued the claim via moneyclaim and then housemate (not me - whose name the claim is in) received a phonecall from the *agency* (as opposed to the LL) who offered to pay us the difference so that we could have our full deposit back on the condition we put it in writing that the matter is over.

Requested that they put this proposal in writing to us but they refused.

Have since heard nothing and now about to pursue the claim with moneyclaim - as the 14 days have elapsed (it's actually about a month now).

 

What I want to know is what chance we have of a)claiming our full deposit back (and the court fee) and b)of claiming the 3x deposit penalty from the LL

As far as I was concerned, we have a good case- however, having read this forum and much earlier posts, I am concerned that as I am not living in the property any longer, this could affect things.

 

I would appreciate any advice.

Many thanks

Blag

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I know I said I'd keep it brief and it went on for a bit but would really appreciate some advice.

I'm concerned that the deposit was put into a scheme straight away when we moved in and therefore we might not be eligible for compensation etc.

 

Any words appreciated.

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Why was it not protected anymore?


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 believe the agency which took our deposit on behalf of the LL failed to keep up to date with the tDS terms or something? I believe the deposit was returned to the agency after 6 months. As far as I am concerned, it is still the LL's responsibility to make sure it's in a scheme? Thanks for your interest.

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Has anyone got any advice? I'd be very grateful.

Thanks

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I agree that you seem to have a strong case here.

 

Deposit is not protected, hence the three times deposit would seem to be applicable, especially as the full deposit has not been returned to yourself.


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 too agree that you seem to have a case - BUT - if you want to claim the 3x payment, it is what is known as a "Part 8" claim and WILL NOT be heard in the small claims track.

 

 

This gives you 3 problems...

  1. It is more expensive
  2. It is much more complex - you probably need legal representation
  3. Heaven forbid you should lose - but if you did you could be liable for the landlords legal costs (£000s ?)

I have heard comments from a legally experienced advisor, that you would need iro £1000 to commence such a claim unless you have legal aid. Of course, you get it back off the landlord if you win, and can enforce the judgement.

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Many thanks for your responses - I really appreciate it.

Snorkerz - what is it about my case that means it would be known as a part 8 claim? And why would it not be heard in the small claims track?

I have already started the ball rolling in small claims - the 14 days have now more than elapsed and the only response has been a letter threatening to launch a counter claim for her alleged loss of income - she is suggesting that we refused to allow the agent access to the property for them to show prospective tenants around (absolutely not true and no way of proving it anyhow as far as I can see!).

Thanks again.

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The guidance on this is here:

 

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/docs/infoabout/housing/section-214-application.pdf

 

While you had a valid tenancy, you had exclusive occupation rights, so there was no obligation on you to allow ANYBODY to view the property.

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Hi all (and Snorkerz in particular)

 

Been out of action for a few weeks and now back on the case with my claim. Despite looking into the Part 8 guidance, I still don't quite understand why my claim would fall into that category rather than small claims.

What I would like to know is, seeing as I have already paid the £70 for the small claims court and that plenty more than 14 days have elapsed, would it do me any harm to pursue this through that channel? I'm wondering if it might come to light at the court that I could feesibly pursue three times the deposit and that maybe to avoid this the landlord might just meet me halfway or make some kind of payment? And at worst, it might be ruled that she has to pay the full deposit back in the first instance?

Many thanks in advance for any advice offered.

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up. Any help appreciated. Many thanks.

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up.

Sorry to bang on but any advice appreciated before I proceed with small claims court.

Thanks.

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