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Deposit has not been lodged and Landlord is deducted unfair charges from my deposit.


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Hello, iv just currently finished my 12 month contract with my landlord along with 4 other university students. Three of them are continuing to live there for another 12 months and myself and one other are leaving. I contacted my landlord regarding the deposit which was £2475 (£495 each) and he told me that we were in arrears amounting to £500 for about 6 weeks and that he is charging £390 out of each our deposits (£13 per tenant per week of the late payment so thats £65 a week) I thought this was abit excessive and unfair considering i have paid all my rent on time.

 

when i challenged him on where the deposit was lodged he seemed uneasy and avoided the question on several occassions, before saying it was lodged with himself under the landlords association. After abit fo research i understand this is not possible. The contract states he was suppose to have lodged the deposit under mydesposits.co.uk however after checking it seems he hasnt lodged it. My landlord has sent a cheque in the post of £400 .. however not the full £495.

 

Also i feel it is important to state that my housemate who deals with paying the landlord has stated that we are not in arears and he has bank statements to support this, also when i rung him again he changed the amount we owe to 220 so it all sounds abit dodgy to me. I think he will end up paying the full deposit to me however im abit peed off that hes tried to con me as im a student and as such dont know whether i should pursue a claim to sue him for 3x as much . WHAT SHOULD I DO?

 

THANKS

Edited by MaleOx
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As you have already discovered, the 2004 Housing Act introduced the requirement that all AST tenancy deposits be protected in a government approved scheme.

 

The first thing to do is confirm if any of the 3 schemes do hold your deposit, but the landlord has failed to advise you. By completing this form an email will be sent to all 3 schemes - they will normally reply yes or no within 3 working days. (PM me if you have probs with the form)

 

If you discover that your deposit is not protected AND your last tenancy agreement was after 6th April 2007, send this letter (keeping a copy and obtaining a free certificate of posting from the Post Office). It should be sent to the LANDLORD, not the agent, at the address specified for the service of documents on your tenancy agreement. This may be the agents address, but still address the letter to the landlord.

 

 

Dear Mr XXXXXXXX

 

RE: 123 High Street, Anytown, AT1 2AA

 

On the XXX of XXX 20XX I/We paid you a tenancy deposit of £XXX in respect of the above property.

 

The Housing Act 2004 introduced the concept of "Tenancy Deposit Protection" and obliges private landlords to protect/register all tenancy deposits with one of 3 approved schemes.

 

I/We have verified with all three schemes that the deposit you hold was NOT protected by any scheme. This is unlawful.

 

You must refund the outstanding balance of my/our deposit IN FULL within 14 days. If you fail to do so, I/we shall sue you for the balance due PLUS the statutory penalty for non-protection of deposits, which is three times the value of the deposit.

 

Yours sincerely

This letter makes reference to a penalty of 3x the value of the deposit. This is specified in the 2004 Act, but is not a simple claim, and you should take legal advice before contemplating it.

 

However, if you haven't been repaid within 14 days, you can commence a claim for the deposit only at http://moneyclaim.gov.uk. There are fees, but if you are on a low income, you may be able to reclaim them. HOWEVER, if you are entitled to have your court fees waived, moneyclaim will charge you and then expect you to claim it back. If you do it off-line and fill in a form N1 and an EX160 (both from http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/) and send them by mail, you won't have to pay any fees upfront. If you do have to pay, presuming you win your case, the landlord will be ordered to refund any fees you have paid.

 

The small claims process is quite simple and doesn't require the services of a solicitor. However, you might find it useful to obtain a book on the process - a number are available from your local library or Amazon.

 

If the landlord doesn't pay, you may have to take enforcement action which could include freezing his bank account or having a charge put on the rental property.

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Thank you for your reply. I have yet to recieve my deposit and the 10 days have expired. However my housemate is saying he has spoke to him and he is posting it today with 20 pounds deduction. I have sent a letter before action asking where the deposit was lodged over the 12 month tenancy however i have yet to hear anything, also like you said i checked with the schemes and they do not have him registered either. Im sure i wil recieve my deposit with the deduction this week however i havnt agreed to this. Even so if i get most of my deposit back can i still take him to court for not protecting the deposit? what should i do?

 

Thanks

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