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bowcreek

I was lodger - Landlord returned partial deposit - Just delaying rest

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Hello fellow members - I am looking for your help and advice here on the below matter.

 

I along with my wife stayed as lodgers in a property with live-in landlord from May 2012 to Dec 2012. I paid GBP250 as deposit in cash to him and paid the rent monthly via bank transfer. He wrote me a receipt of deposit on a simple A4 paper with his signature on it.

 

When we left the property in end of Dec 2012, landlord said he will return the deposit in full by 7th January to which we agreed due to the trust I had on him. But I didn't see any money coming through to me, When I contacted him via e-mails he mentioned about some personal problems and promised to pay in sometime.

 

After repeated reminders via e-mail when I knocked on his door one day in April, he gave me 1 current date and 1 post dates cheque of GBP125 each. The one with current date went all okay and got GBP125. But when the date of other one was about to come, he asked me to stop as he had some financial issues and asked to me if I can wait a bit and I agreed.

 

After that I have been requesting him via e-mails to pay back the rest and he is just giving me a new date every time since May. He comes up with excuses like he is not in town and busy or missed to go to bank, or his bank card got lost / blocked and what not. we have exchanged around 40 e-mails since then and I think I have been considerate enough with his problems for past so many months. One thing to notice here is he never mentioned about any damage etc. and always said he will return. But I have waited enough now.

 

I can't wait anymore for my money to be paid back to me and hence looking for some help.

 

We have agreement renewing every 2 or 3 months and I have all the Lodger agreements, his hand written paper mentioning confirming that we left in december and also the hand written receipt of deposit given to him GBP250.

 

Many thanks

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Hi Bow

 

 

What does your Lodger Agreement say about the Deposit?

 

 

Also have a read of this link on Lodger Agreement: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?393994-Lodger-Information-Pack-**Correct-as-at-June-2013**


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@stu, your link only appears to relate to Council or HA tenants that wish to take in a lodger, not owner-occupiers.

OP is a little sparse on lodger agreement.

I would suggest after attempts to recover deposit so far, OPs only course of action is to issue LBA, threatening Court action for return of outstanding £125, and to follow through if not received.

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Thanks both - Someone suggested to send him a "Letter Before Action" giving him a "reasonable" amount of time to return the money, or let him know I will take him to court.

suggested duration is 14 days, then anytime after the 14th day, lodge a court claim for the money.

 

Till date I have been communicating with him over e-mails and if anyone reads those, it can easily be figured out that he owe me the money and been delaying it with lame excuses. Also as I mentioned he wrote 2 cheques to me, one of which he asked me to hold, so I still have that one.

 

I would imagine cheque and e-mails alongwith other agreements etc. will hold some credibility ?

 

Cheers.

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Hi

usually a LBA has the desired effect. By giving him 14 days to pay, this gives him the time to get the cash together. How he gets it is his problem, not yours.

 

Obviously by sending the LBA, you must be prepared to follow through and yes, the correspondence you have will be useful if you end up going to court.


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You could but I would follow it up with a recorded delivery letter. This ensures that once signed for, he cannot deny receiving it (unless he replies to the email of course)


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It is clear that he is tired of thinking up excuses so I would recommend the LBA and give him exactly a fortnight to pay up otherwise you will proceed with legal action to recover the debt plus costs and interest at taxation which is 8%pa simple interest. Calculate the amount in total and include that in your letter. If you get no response then you should file a claim via the small claims procedure and then if he squeals you only accept the full payment including your costs, not just the original sum. When you win your court case he will have to pay your travel to court coats, lost earnings etc so when you fill out the forms make sure that you know approximately how much these will be.

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Great ! thanks guys for your help. I sent him an e-mail (which I would call last mail from me) requesting to return money last friday the 3rd Jan 2014 stating that this is my last personal request to return the money without forcing me to take a legal action and gave him the deadline as Friday the 10th Jan. As expected, he hasn't responded to my e-mail at all, which indicates he doesn't wish to return the money.

 

As advised by you, I now want to proceed with LBA via an e-mail and a recorded delivery letter to him giving him a formal notice of 14 days. Would you like to review the lodger agreement and other docs etc. which I have?

 

Would someone be able to suggest how that letter should look like. I have no experience in dealing with court/legal issues and hence the lack of confidence. I wouldn't hesitate in appreciating the help and advice fellow members/experts on this forum have given me during another instance few months before when I asked for some help on another matter !

 

many thanks in advance .

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---------------[ATTACH=CONFIG]48569[/ATTACH]Lodger Agreement Attached. --------------

 

Lived there from May till dec end, have 4 contract copies (look same with different dates).

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Hello Guys ! Please could you have a look and advise when you have some time...

 

Regards

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Hi

I suggest a letter something like this but please note, I am no expert!

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

 

Dear XXXX

Having spent considerable time and effort in attempting to resolve the issue of refunding my deposit (£xxx) and your apparent unwillingness to comply, I am left with no choice but to issue proceedings against you in the County Court however, I am willing to allow you one final opportunity and in line with Pre-Action Protocols, for you to refund me.

 

I am willing to allow you (7/14) days to remit the £xxx. The (7/14) days will start from the date you received this letter which has been sent by trackable methods. Should this amount not be in my possession within the timeframe above I shall file this matter with my County Court with no further recourse to you.

 

 

I hope others can make this better than I can


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Hi

I suggest a letter something like this but please note, I am no expert!

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

 

Dear XXXX

Having spent considerable time and effort in attempting to resolve the issue of refunding my deposit (£xxx) and your apparent unwillingness to comply, I am left with no choice but to issue proceedings against you in the County Court however, I am willing to allow you one final opportunity and in line with Pre-Action Protocols, for you to refund me.

 

I am willing to allow you (7/14) days to remit the £xxx. The (7/14) days will start from the date you received this letter which has been sent by trackable methods. Should this amount not be in my possession within the timeframe above I shall file this matter with my County Court with no further recourse to you.

 

 

I hope others can make this better than I can

 

 

thanks a lot :) . In that case I will just await response from our fellow members on forum if they would like to say/highlight something.

 

Cheers

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Great ! thanks guys for your help. I sent him an e-mail (which I would call last mail from me) requesting to return money last friday the 3rd Jan 2014 stating that this is my last personal request to return the money without forcing me to take a legal action and gave him the deadline as Friday the 10th Jan. As expected, he hasn't responded to my e-mail at all, which indicates he doesn't wish to return the money.

 

As advised by you, I now want to proceed with LBA via an e-mail and a recorded delivery letter to him giving him a formal notice of 14 days. Would you like to review the lodger agreement and other docs etc. which I have?

 

Would someone be able to suggest how that letter should look like. I have no experience in dealing with court/legal issues and hence the lack of confidence. I wouldn't hesitate in appreciating the help and advice fellow members/experts on this forum have given me during another instance few months before when I asked for some help on another matter !

 

many thanks in advance .

 

 

Hello Guys - I got landlord's reply on e-mail today. His response is as below which looks same as his other responses for last 1 year. Should I respond and let him know he doesn't need to worry about what I will have to spend and its not a matter of getting the small deposit of GBP 125 back but its about him fooling me around while keeping my money unethically for a year and wait till 5th Feb? Or should I not respond at all and wait if he deposits the money? Or just carry on with LBA ?

 

 

i will send your money on around 5th february. if you want to go to solicitors and court its up to you. you will pay lot more than the deposit.

anyway. my work is sometimes is good sometimes is bad and i have not been well for 3 months to work properly

your money will be in your account in this date

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My advice is this:

do nothing for the moment. Wait until 5th feb, and when the money is not in your account, just fill in the MCOL form and sue for the return of the deposit. Any costs involved will be paid to you if you win. Time to stop messing about, and see if he puts up, if not.... take him to court, and do not enter into any more correspondence with him.


I am not a solicitor :!::!:

 

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My advice is this:

do nothing for the moment. Wait until 5th feb, and when the money is not in your account, just fill in the MCOL form and sue for the return of the deposit. Any costs involved will be paid to you if you win. Time to stop messing about, and see if he puts up, if not.... take him to court, and do not enter into any more correspondence with him.

 

Partially agree. You have the proof he owes you and has agreed he owes it. All the guff about solicitors means nothing as the small claims court is designed to work without the need of solicitors.

 

Where I disagree with The Carpet Cleaners is that you should wait. This deposit refund is now over 12 months old. If he was willing to pay, he would have done so much earlier. You will get your filing fee back as well.

 

What you could do is send one last email saying that the 5th is unsuitable as you have been waiting long enough. Say that you will have no need for solicitors as it is a small claim and also remind him that if you do sue and get judgement, this will affect his credit file for 6 years (on the assumption he doesn't pay up immediately) and that the cost of taking him to court will be added to the bill.


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Partially agree. You have the proof he owes you and has agreed he owes it. All the guff about solicitors means nothing as the small claims court is designed to work without the need of solicitors.

 

Where I disagree with The Carpet Cleaners is that you should wait. This deposit refund is now over 12 months old. If he was willing to pay, he would have done so much earlier. You will get your filing fee back as well.

 

What you could do is send one last email saying that the 5th is unsuitable as you have been waiting long enough. Say that you will have no need for solicitors as it is a small claim and also remind him that if you do sue and get judgement, this will affect his credit file for 6 years (on the assumption he doesn't pay up immediately) and that the cost of taking him to court will be added to the bill.

 

My response as below. Please feel free to add anything which you think is worth adding. (BTW the solicitor word etc. was added by me in my last e-mail to him just to put little pressure on him).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi xxxx,

 

Its not about the deposit itself anymore but it's about you fooling me for a year and keeping my money unethically while giving me false assurances every time I asked to return the deposit.

 

5th Feb is not acceptable to me as I have waited long enough already.

 

Just to let you know it is a small claim and if I sue you and get judgement, along with legal action this will affect your credit file for 6 years (on the assumption you don't pay up immediately) and the cost of taking you to court will be added to the bill in addition to other expenses incurred by me and interest on the deposit.

 

Let me know what your thoughts are before end of day tomorrow.

 

Regards,

xxxxxxxx

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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That's fine apart from 'unethically' That doesn't need to be there.

 

If memory serves me right, if the respondent (the landlord) does not pay the judgement within 28 days then it goes on his credit file. If paid before, it will be as if no judgement was obtained.


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So in case if he doesn't respond to the court letters etc. later on, what happens? Just his credit file reflects that ? What are the legal actions/penalties?

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Once you file the papers at court, they send a copy to him or you can choose to serve. If he fails to acknowledge or acknowledges the 'debt' then you will get judgement. If he defends or partially admits the debt then a court appearance will happen although there is the opportunity for mediation.

 

If he does nothing, you can apply for judgement in default and then is he still fails to pay (although I am not 100% sure) you can send the bailiffs in.

 

Hopefully it won't get that far.


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Hello again guys . I am back with expected news again.

 

Landlord hasn't deposited any money in my account even when he said to do so around 5th Feb.

 

This concludes my correspondence with him finally. No more personal correspondence from now on.

 

So should I be sending him the "letter before action" now or straight away file the case?

 

Kind regards

Bowcreek

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Basically you have sent him the LBA (last letter) so proceed with SCC claim.

If you still have the post-dated cheque, present it, if it 'bounces' LL will have to pay the 'referred to drawer' bank fee.

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Basically you have sent him the LBA (last letter) so proceed with SCC claim.

If you still have the post-dated cheque, present it, if it 'bounces' LL will have to pay the 'referred to drawer' bank fee.

 

Thanks but the thing is when he said he will deposit the money around 5th Feb I didn't the letter I had drafted in my post on 16th January 2014, 10:14.....

 

So I just didn't respond to his mail and as per the suggestion from another fellow member I did nothing and waited for 5th Feb to come.

 

So I haven't sent him that e-mail / letter telling him I am suing him .

 

Cheers

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Present the cheque dated 5 Feb, see if it bounces, then send LBA.

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Present the cheque dated 5 Feb, see if it bounces, then send LBA.

 

Not sure if I mentioned in first post, but he asked me not to drop that other cheque when I was about to present it and wrote to him an e-mail to tell that I am about to present the second cheque (one went all okay with the bank and I got 250-125 = GBP 125 back)

 

Relevant part of e-mail chain pasted below

 

From me to him...

===========

Hi xxxx - Hope you all are doing well. Can I drop the cheque now?

 

 

Regards

 

His reply to me

===========

Hi bowcreek

i though you already had done -)))

I closed that account 2 days ago because my card has been cloned. i had opened another account.. i should be getting my new cheque book and car within 10 days from the time i opened the account. can you send me your detail 10 days from today and i will transfer it to your account dont send it now as i will forget. send it to me in 10 days.

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