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Private landlord won't repay non-protected deposit

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Hi,

 

I have spent quite a lot of time on this forum to try to get some info regarding my problem, though most of what I've read is very helpful, I was hoping you could get me some advice for my particular situation...

 

I have rented a room in a house during 6 months and lived with the landlord. I've moved out of the house 4 months ago. On my departure, the LL gave me £100 out of the £280 deposit back in cash and said to me she would make a bank transfer soon for the rest but I'm still waiting for the money and she is now completely ignoring me. What can I do knowing that:

 

1) The deposit was not protected, as I lived with the LL, the LL doesn't have to protect it.

 

2) The only written agreement I have is a receipt of the deposit I gave her (£280) when I moved in, saying that a one-month notice was needed before moving out (no info regarding when I would get the deposit back)

 

3) I mostly paid her cash, weekly (except the last month, by bank transfer after giving her notice of my departure). I have always given her the money directly and on time.

 

4) I don't have a receipt of part of the deposit (£100) she gave me back on my departure, but my boyfriend who was helping me to move out was there when she handed me the money and said she would repay the rest (£180) later.

 

5) I have a text message from her saying the money would be in my bank by the end of September

 

6) In this same text message, she is making-up things, saying the night I gave her notice, she found out I had stopped the direct debit without notice and paid her one week late (which is not true), therefore she would deduct one week from the deposit she is supposed to repay. But before I gave her notice, I had never paid her by bank transfer, only cash and a direct debit had never been set up. Also, I had really paid her one week late, why wouldn't she have said anything about it when I left as we lived together?

She is lying, which shows she is clearly trying to get away with this.

 

7) My LL does no longer show any sign of cooperation, she's ignoring me.

 

I have stopped trying to get in touch with her but told her I would be taking legal advice to recover the deposit, saying that she has had sufficient opportunity to to repay my deposit but she has failed to do so in the time frame she had previously indicated in her text message to me.

 

So basically, I am trying to get my deposit back, worth £180, from my old dodgy LL. I know I should have been more vigilant but at least now that's lesson learned for me!

 

I am going to call the Citizens Advice Bureau to get some help but from what I have read on this forum and on the Internet, my only alternative here would be to send her a letter (from two different post offices with proof of postage, keeping a copy of the letter with me) giving her 14 days to repay the rest of the deposit otherwise I will have no alternative but to take this dispute to the small claims court.

 

Do you have any extra advice?

 

Thanks a lot! :-)

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I doubt CAB can offer advice other than write Letter before Action to LL as you describe. If £180 not forthcoming, then follow through via SCC claim. LL will have to prove reasons for witholding.

If you paid all rent in cash I hope you got a signed receipt each time. Take them with you to Court.

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Thank you for your advice, this comforts my intention to first send the landlord a letter before action, and then maybe take the dispute to the small claims court if necessary.

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