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I'd like some advice please, if I may.

 

My other half has sent a letter to our previous landlord asking for 2x the deposit amount as they did not protect the deposit. They have acknowledged that they did not protect the deposit. They claim that as a goodwill gesture, and because "you were clear you needed the full amount to purchase your new house", they did not deduct for repairs, redecoration and a deep clean, which they claim was needed over and above wear and tear. They also claim there were outstanding utility bills.

 

Initial thoughts please?

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They will need to provide evidence. In any event, I think that the issue of an unprotected deposit is a separate issue.

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Only a Judge can require a LL to pay a non-protected deposit.

You can suggest you will accept 2x deposit in return for not making a Claim, but why would he believe you, as you can take Court action for 6 years after the date when deposit should have been protected.

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but why would he believe you, as you can take Court action for 6 yearslink3.gif after the date when deposit should have been protected.

 

Because it would literally be dishonest to make a deal and then break it. The court would likely take that into account and could throw out the case or award less than 2x the deposit meaning the tenant owes the landlord.

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We offered the x2 payment and the issue be closed with prejudice, waiving our right to revisit it at a later date. We would have kept our word but I don't know if we would legally able to waive that right in a binding manner, or whether we would always have retained it.

 

Either way, we'll probably proceed with the claim. I believe the counter claim is nonsense. Perhaps we should ask for the receipts of the cleaning costs. We have never been approached for anything and received the full deposit back so does that not show they were originally happy that nothing was owed? Counter claiming like this sounds like it's an attempt to mitigate costs.

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If you proceed to a claim and win, a judge can order between 1x and 3x the deposit, and can decide based on the conduct of the landlord.

 

Purely as a guess, a landlord who returned the deposit quickly and without a fuss at the end of a tenancy and appeared to be unaware of the rules might get a 1x judgement.

 

A landlord who attempted to retain the deposit without justification, and lied and caused lots of problems might end up with a larger judgement against him.

 

Where on the spectrum is your landlord in your opinion?

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Either way, we'll probably proceed with the claim. I believe the counter claim is nonsense.[...] Counter claiming like this sounds like it's an attempt to mitigate costs.

Have posts gone missing? This is the first I've read of a claim and counter claim.

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I believe the judge would consider only issues relating to handling of the deposit. Not issues related to slow repairs and so forth.

 

If I had not protected the deposit but had returned it quickly, I would probably bank on being fined only 1x the deposit.

 

The following is speculation as you've not provided much background: If there were a check-out inspection with a few items on it then there might be scope for a counter claim. They may have initially pragmatically decided not to raise issues due to them realising their failure to protect the deposit. If you sue then their pragmatic approach has not worked for them, so they may instead claim.

 

On the other hand it may be a groundless threat designed to dissuade you.

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My other half has spoken to a solicitor and he's advised that after the initial assured shorthold tenancy ends it becomes a periodic tenancy which is another opportunity to become liable for not protecting the deposit. Anyone heard this before?

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If I correctly understand, you left the property and received full deposit back.

Now you want to sue him because he didn't protect the deposit.

That's nasty!

Anyway, don't be fooled into thinking that a county court judge will apply the law by the book.

They'll probably tell them off and give them a strong advice to protect the deposit in future, but it is not guaranteed that they'll make a judgement to line your pockets.

You haven't lost anything so the judge will ask why you have started a claim.

Whatever you answer the judge will know that the only reason is to line your pockets and nothing else.

A symbolic award award of 1 penny would be appropriate and most likely for bringing this frivolous case to court and waste judge's time.

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We stupidly left some items in the house without realising and they did not contact us despite knowing where we'd moved to. Having disposed of the items we are now hundreds of pounds out of pocket. As I understand it they have an obligation to make reasonable efforts to inform us before removing the items.

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We stupidly left some items in the house without realising and they did not contact us despite knowing where we'd moved to. Having disposed of the items we are now hundreds of pounds out of pocket. As I understand it they have an obligation to make reasonable efforts to inform us before removing the items.

 

Of course is entirely their fault for disposing of something so precious that you forgot about it.

Good luck to you, you will need lots of it if you end up in front of a judge.

I bet he will not have any sympathy whatsoever and will award a nominal amount (1 penny sounds appropriate in this case)

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You seem a little hostile to the situation. The level of preciousness of an item does not always have a direct bearing on whether you forget something or not. To forget is a somewhat human trait - are you saying you have never experienced such a thing? Do they not have a legal obligation to let us know that we've left some stuff behind before disposing of it then?

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My other half has spoken to a solicitor and he's advised that after the initial assured shorthold tenancy ends it becomes a periodic tenancy which is another opportunity to become liable for not protecting the deposit. Anyone heard this before?

 

The law was amended a couple of years ago to get rid of this inadvertent loophole.

 

When did your tenancy start and when did it become periodic?

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You seem a little hostile to the situation. The level of preciousness of an item does not always have a direct bearing on whether you forget something or not. To forget is a somewhat human trait - are you saying you have never experienced such a thing? Do they not have a legal obligation to let us know that we've left some stuff behind before disposing of it then?

 

That would be a completely different matter to the non protection of your deposit.

The judge wouldn't want to hear about it at all.

In fact, I think that if you mentioned that because he disposed of some stuff, in revenge you're suing him for non protection of the deposit, the judge would be less than impressed.

If you want to be told that you will end up with a profit, we can say that, but it won't be true.

The hard reality is that you received your deposit back in full.

Bringing a claim to court would only be considered an attempt to line your pockets and nothing else.

By all means, if you have proof that you left expensive items at the property and he disposed of it without asking you, bring a claim for that.

But be warned that you need evidence of what you left there and its value.

Saying that you left your grandmother wedding ring without receipt, pictures, email from landlord confirming that he found it, It's only hearsay.

Otherwise any tenant could bring a claim against their landlord making up that they left expensive stuff at the property when vacating.

It's up to you to take the advice or not, but why ask if you have made up your mind?

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still only 1 offence. the key word is OPPORTUNITY.

My other half has spoken to a solicitor and he's advised that after the initial assured shorthold tenancy ends it becomes a periodic tenancy which is another opportunity to become liable for not protecting the deposit. Anyone heard this before?
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you left stuff behind when the check out will have said something like I will remove all of my property and clear the rubbish etc. usual stuff. anything left behind can be considered rubbish unless you have made some agreement with teh LL for its safekeeping or you have been evicted. Neither of these apply so consider yourself lucky you arent being billed for rubbish disposal as well. The more you try and up the ante on a straightforward claim the more you are looking like grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory. You could end up with nothing to show for it all other than an costs order against you for unreasonable behaviour.

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The law was amended a couple of years ago to get rid of this inadvertent loophole.

 

When did your tenancy start and when did it become periodic?

 

Started December 2011 and ran for 6 months.

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That would be a completely different matter to the non protection of your deposit.

The judge wouldn't want to hear about it at all.

In fact, I think that if you mentioned that because he disposed of some stuff, in revenge you're suing him for non protection of the deposit, the judge would be less than impressed.

If you want to be told that you will end up with a profit, we can say that, but it won't be true.

The hard reality is that you received your deposit back in full.

Bringing a claim to court would only be considered an attempt to line your pockets and nothing else.

By all means, if you have proof that you left expensive items at the property and he disposed of it without asking you, bring a claim for that.

But be warned that you need evidence of what you left there and its value.

Saying that you left your grandmother wedding ring without receipt, pictures, email from landlord confirming that he found it, It's only hearsay.

Otherwise any tenant could bring a claim against their landlord making up that they left expensive stuff at the property when vacating.

It's up to you to take the advice or not, but why ask if you have made up your mind?

 

If the landlord is lawfully bound to protect the deposit and must pay a penalty for non-compliance to encourage future compliance, must it be of concern why the landlord is having compliance with the law forced upon him? Can I do the same with my car insurance?

 

I'm not claiming to know anything in particular which is why I'm here asking for advice.

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If the landlord is lawfully bound to protect the deposit and must pay a penalty for non-compliance to encourage future compliance, must it be of concern why the landlord is having compliance with the law forced upon him? Can I do the same with my car insurance?

 

I'm not claiming to know anything in particular which is why I'm here asking for advice.

 

Two different kettle of fish.

Car insurance is in place as a safety net, protection of the deposit is merely a financial matter to sort disputes out of court.

In this case there was no dispute because the LL returned the deposit in full.

If you take him to court you will regret it because he didn't act unreasonably but you are.

As said, judges in county courts do not apply the law by the book and have a very dim view on spurious, vexatious and frivolous claims like yours.

You didn't lose any money: FACT!

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The potential penalty of 1-3 times deposit are referred to as a penalty within the legislation aren't they? The penalty is there not to 'line my pockets' but to penalise the wrongdoer. The fact I stand to benefit is a by-product. Should they not be penalised in accordance with the law in case I gain from it?

 

Incidentally, I'm not sure I mentioned this but they were aware of their need to protect the deposit as it was in the tenancy agreement so their claim of not knowing is false.

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