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Presuming you are in England/Wales and your landlady does not live in the same property then you have an 'AST' and your deposit should be protected in one of 3 schemes.

 

The companies are:

Once you have discovered if your deposit is protected, this letter may help: http://tenancyanswers.ucoz.com/index/my_deposit_isn_t_protected/0-4

 

Don't get excited by any suggestion that you can get three times your deposit back in compensation if the deposit isn't protected - that is almost impossible to get.

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My comments apply only if the premises are entirely within England and Wales, and only if you were granted a shorthold tenancy (under which you - and your spouse/partner/children, if any - had exclusive use of a seperate dwelling, which was not shared with another tenant nor with the landlord), and only if you were over 18 years of age when the tenancy was granted.

 

This posting is supplemental to the information in this forum's "sticky" threads and is NOT to be read in isolation.

 

 

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

 

If you paid a deposit, read the FAQs about the tenancy deposit scheme, under which you might be entitled to sue for compensation if the deposit has not been protected, under the Housing Act 2004, if you were granted a shorthold tenancy:

 

- Tenancy Deposit Scheme

 

- Tenancy Deposit Protection - First High Court Decision

 

- TDS eligibility, implication of breach and legal questions answered

 

 

In practice the tenant must make any claim for penalties at the BEGINNING of the tenancy. Remember, a shorthold tenancy can't be brought to an end by the landlord, by notice, in the first six months, nor during any fixed term; and can't be ended by a section 21 notice at any time after that, either, if the deposit is not protected.

 

If you expressly mention section 213(5) in your claim, then you might win.

 

The claim you need to make is for breach of section 213(5) [provision of prescribed information], not just under section 213(3) [securing the deposit]. If you claim only under section 213(3) you are likely to lose. You must claim under both 213(3) and 213(5).

 

 

None of the foregoing prevents the tenant succeeding in a claim for the return of the original deposit (which the tenant can only sue for AFTER the tenancy ends, as it's security for non-payment of the rent).

 

The tenant will ask for either (a) his deposit back, or (b) payment to him of three times the amount of the deposit - depending whether he is suing after the tenancy ends or during the tenancy. The practical effect of a tenant suing for (b) may well be that a properly advised landlord will protect the deposit if the tenancy hasn't ended, so as to avoid the penalty, in the wake of the above-mentioned court decisions; but the tenant is not specifically asking for that.

 

Suing for the penalty, or merely threatening to do so, might cause the landlord to return the entire deposit to you without any deductions, if the tenancy has not ended, thus resolving any dispute.

 

 

While the deposit is not protected, any section 21 notice given to the tenant is invalid, so will not end the tenancy. But a section 8 notice can validly be given (e.g. for rent arrears).

 

 

Where you paid a rent deposit to the landlord or his agent at the start of the tenancy, you probably won't get it back; so if the landlord is holding the equivalent of one month's rent your best tactic is not to pay the final month's rent, when the tenancy ends, i.e. to let him take it out of the deposit.

Note

 

This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.

 

 

Further information:

 

Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants

 

Renting and Leasehold - Advice from Shelter

 

 

All posts are opinion only

 

 

If you've found my suggestions useful, please click on my star and add a comment

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