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Gowardo

Deposit issues - Can I be sued successfully?

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Hello all,

 

I have shared a home with a two other people and I was the lead tenant, both on the contract itself and on the DPS (Deposit protection scheme) so the deposit has been paid back to me in full. The deposit was originally shared 50/50 between me and another tenant.

 

Now that the tenancy is over, this other tenant correctly wants his share of the deposit back, *but* we have had a massive fall out about a different subject, namely I believe he owes me a considerable amount of money (bigger than his share of the deposit) and he doesn't.

 

Because of this, I am not keen to give the deposit back as I would feel twice cheated.

 

Now, I know that in theory half the deposit is his, but that said, can he successfully sue me if I keep it because he owes me other money? I was the only tenant registered with the DPS, so I imagine I should be fine?

 

Should I get in touch with a professional for some advice? Is there a free service I can consult?

 

Many thanks for any advice you may be able to give,

 

G

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He can sue you for a debt. If he does, then you can countersue him for a different debt. I think that's the way it works.

 

He appears to have good evidence of the money you owe him. Do you have good evidence of the money he owes you. That's what will (help) decide the result.

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Not really, although its quite complicated and I imagine the money he owes me - and the losses I incurred because of his actions - will be reasonably considered in any court of law.

 

That said, I am certain that, being the only person registered with the DPS, I should be the only person in charge of the money and ultimately it is up to me how to distribute it.

 

Does anyone know if that's correct..?

 

I know this sounds like a harsh way to go about things, but I was really screwed around even though it sounds like Im the bad guy..... !

 

Thanks for any help,

 

G

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If he paid his share of the deposit at the start, he is entitled to it back at the end! any court would support that.

Your other issue is entirely seperate and you should either sort it out in a civil way or it could end up in court.

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"I have shared a home with a two other people and I was the lead tenant, both on the contract itself and on the DPS (Deposit protection scheme) so the deposit has been paid back to me in full. The deposit was originally shared 50/50 between me and another tenant."

 

So you shared with 2 other Ts & only 1 (+ you) paid a deposit?

 

Did the AST list all occupants as Ts or did you as lead T sublet any rooms?

 

LL & DPS released full deposit to lead T as per DPS rules but the returned deposit must be shared equally between contributing joint Ts. If you sublet a room to another occupant, you are his/her LL and must return their deposit.

 

So I concur with raydetinu, in either case the deposit remains the property of the contributor and you have no right to withold it without risking an accusation of theft. If he owes you money then sue him in SCC.

 

First, offer him back the deposit in cash but get him to pay what he owes you. Maybe worth having an ind witness.

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Hi,

 

Thanks for all the replies. Yes, I shared with two others, we were all on the letting contract with the landlord/agency, but on the deposit protection scheme I was the only tenant listed / lead tenant so I wasn't subletting, we were all renting the rooms. More importantly though, The deposit though came from my account only when it was paid and was then paid back to me at the end of the tenancy as I was the only tenant listed on the Deposit Protection Scheme. Does that not account for anything as far as you know? As far as the DPS is concerned, the whole deposit came from me and it could have theoretically been my own money alone.

 

The problem with getting him to pay me back is problematic because, first of all, the sum he owes me is greater than the deposit I hold, and also it is hard to prove he does owe me that sum so suing him may be a moot point.

 

I think I may just keep the deposit for now and, if he does decide to sue, I will have to consider my options and perhaps take it from there. What do I realistically risk if I am sued for a relatively small sum such as this, as far as you know?

 

Many thanks again, much appreciated.

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From your info if he sues he will win. What you are doing is technically theft although its on the civil side and not criminal.

 

Any court would find in the other tenants favour.

 

Give the person their money and if you want money owed to you, go through official channels as if he sues you, youll have to give him the money and most likely pay for his costs too.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Hi again,

 

Thanks for your reply again. It is sad to hear in my circumstance, but I imagine that in a vast amount of other circumstances it would be correct for the law to be this way.

 

Thanks v much for your advice all,

 

G

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It's not theft, technically or otherwise, as you believe you are owed the money. Theft requires dishonesty.

 

If I lent you a tenner one night, then the next night I'm short of money and you "lend" me a tenner then it is not theft if the next morning I remember about the first tenner and refuse to "pay you back" your tenner.

 

Only the original poster (and his housemate) know the full story. Ultimately, lack of proof could be your downfall even if you are in the right, though.

 

You say there is only evidence that the deposit came from you. If this is the case, the housemate may not have the required evidence. However, should it go to court you will both be asked to state the truth of the scenario, and you have stated here that you each paid half. So it would be risky not to say the same thing in court.

 

I guess you have to be very clear in your mind that you *are* owed the money, and that there wasn't some other understanding between the two of you.

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Hi Steve and thanks for your feedback,

 

I am certainly clear in my mind that he has paid half of the deposit and I wouldn't lie about that in court. At the same time, I am absolutely certain that, in an ideal world, he should rightfully pay me back more money than I owe him in deposit so I think keeping it would be fair. And actually, as a matter of fact, Im still short a few grand even by keeping his deposit so I still feel like Im losing and paying him back his deposit feels like a massive slap in the face.

 

Either way, hopefully he'll see the light and pay me back the money I am owed (minus deposit I still hold) otherwise I may let it go to court, but I may get some legal advice prior in case I have absolutely no way of winning.

 

Many thanks,

 

G

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Keeping a persons money when it has been handed back to you under contract which states that you will return it to the other person can be considered theft.

 

Regardless, the absolute best course of action is to hand the other party their share of the money, and then start legal proceedings for the money you feel you are owed.

 

Going from everything you have stated here, if he starts proceedings against you, then he has a very good chance of winning. If you still dont pay him his money after the court proceedings, he can then ask for enforcement orders issued against you.

 

It's unfair to you for sure, because you feel you are owed money, but again, in situations like this, you need to play by the rules or you will become MUCH worse off.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Keeping a persons money when it has been handed back to you under contract which states that you will return it to the other person can be considered theft.

 

Hi there,

 

thanks for your feedback as well. The point is that I don't think there is a contract which states that I will return any money to anyone. The only thing that any contract out there states is that I pay the deposit and I get it back at the end of the tenancy on the same bank account where I paid it in from.

 

That's what made me think I was somewhat ok, but it seems like you are right and the best course of action would be to follow your advice at this stage.

 

Thanks,

 

G

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Ok. Maybe i was confused. It happens :) What i was talking about is the deposit scheme you were using. You said that both parties paid in, but it would only be paid out to the main tenant. If this is right, could you check that contract and see if it states anywhere that you need to pay the moneys back, or to share it back with other named tenants.

 

I could be wrong, but if the other tenant does take you to court, it could be the main crux of your defence. If it doesnt state anywhere that you must give it back, then technically you could be allowed to keep it. Im not sure though if the court would say to give it back to the other tenant as a "goodwill gesture" or whatever.

 

I know in other situations ( not tenancy related), that plenty of people have won their money back, as the other party didnt have a right to keep it.

 

 

As you said in a previous post though, it might be a good idea to get specific legal advice if you are not sure of our advice here. If you choose to do that, make sure you find a solicitor that does the first half hour free, and make sure he specialises in this area of law.

 

 

Good luck Gowardo, and keep us updated. Feel free to ask for more info if you want as well.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Hi there,

 

Thanks again :)

 

Yes I had checked the agreements already and nothing states I should be distributing it back at all. Just states that the DPS will pay it back to the account it was paid from and the only name which appears as "Tenant/LeadTenant" on the DPS website and/or agreement is my own. Also, even though the actual deposit originally came from myself and my housemate, as far as the DPS and Letting Agency are concerned, they have always ever received and paid money back to myself on my own account so the third person was never involved at all. His only involvement was in the housing contract as a tenant.

 

Either way, thanks for the advice, I probably will get legal advice just in case, I don't want to be caught out, but I feel really wronged as well so its a hard situation.

 

Thanks again all,

 

G

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