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Started December 2011 and ran for 6 months.

 

Looking back, the issue that was arising was where landlords were protecting deposits at the start of the tenancy and not reprotecting them when the tenancy went periodic.

 

In 2015 the law was changed so that the protection at the start of the tenancy was assumed to have been renewed automatically when the tenancy went periodic.

 

I suppose it is plausible that the failure to protect might be recognised a second time when the tenancy became periodic.

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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!

 

Sorry I think this post is completely unacceptable.

 

It appears that the landlord has failed to protect the deposit and as such the law is that he is liable to a penalty.

 

A claim within the law is within the law. It is not spurious or vexatious or frivolous.

 

I think you've made your (non-legal) point. If you have facts to back up your claim then you should put them forward. In the real world, a judge that did not apply the law because he thought it was unfair to a law-breaking landlord would see his or her judgment appealed.

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You were legally required to remove all your belongings WHEN you vacated.

 

They could potentially charge for storage? We would at least be able to have the items returned if this were the case. Otherwise, they still disposed of the items without informing.

 

So now what?

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Sorry I think this post is completely unacceptable.

 

It appears that the landlord has failed to protect the deposit and as such the law is that he is liable to a penalty.

 

A claim within the law is within the law. It is not spurious or vexatious or frivolous.

 

I think you've made your (non-legal) point. If you have facts to back up your claim then you should put them forward. In the real world, a judge that did not apply the law because he thought it was unfair to a law-breaking landlord would see his or her judgment appealed.

 

As said, it is not guaranteed that a judge will impose a fine 1-3 times the amount of deposit.

County court is not an american trial with super attorneys, surprise witnesses and a jury, but an office with a judge in a suit(no robes) conducting a kind of informal meeting to discuss the dispute and find a solution.

Hearing that the LL returned the deposit in full will inevitably lead to the question: What have you lost???

Nothing.

At that point the judge will be pretty good at awarding a nominal sum (a penny as said) and give the op a reality check.

County courts are there to recover losses, not as a legal earner.

Thinking about car insurance, a county court will only rule to put the claimant in the same position they were before the accident.

They won't make them richer or get them a brand new car (betterment) even if the third party had jumped a red light which is against the law.

As pointed out, if the op wants to go ahead and sue the LL he will be up for a good ear ticking and will probably lose money in the process.

Regarding the precious items left at the property: What proof have you got of leaving them there?

And can you prove their value?

Remember that LL could simply say: I didn't find anything, I employed a cleaning firm to strip the property for redecoration and they didn't find anything.

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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.

 

County court is also known as small claim court.

They don't punish, they solve civil disputes.

Magistrate courts and higher deal with punishing offenders but cps needs to prosecute, unless you are prepared to bring private prosecution and waste your money.

In any case, a magistrate will not make you richer in this hypothetical scenario and you would still end up with nothing.

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County court is also known as small claim court.

They don't punish, they solve civil disputes.

 

The penalty of between 1 and 3 times the deposit is an exception to the normal practice of awarding only compensation for losses, and it is specifically written into law that a judge must award a penalty of no less than the deposit (in addition to the return of the deposit).

 

See for example:

 

https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2015/04/deposits-penalties-and-discretions/

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Not in this case, unless the op was renting Windsor castle.

What are you on about? The OP has nothing to do with which cases are heard in a county court and it isn't limited to small claims. It also includes fast track and multi track. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_procedure_in_England_and_Wales

 

"The County Court hears all Small Claim and Fast Track cases. County Courts designated as 'civil trial centres' may also deal with claims allocated to the Multi Track."

 

In other words, all small claims are heard in county court (as are fast track claims) but that doesn't mean that all cases heard in county court are small claims. County court is not (or at least shouldn't be) referred to as small claims court. Why not fast track court?

 

(I accept that for most people, the claims that are issued are allocated to the small claims track but that isn't what you said. What you said was "County court is also known as small claim court" and it was this single sentence that I was clarifying)

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What are you on about? The OP has nothing to do with which cases are heard in a county court and it isn't limited to small claims. It also includes fast track and multi track. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_procedure_in_England_and_Wales

 

"The County Court hears all Small Claim and Fast Track cases. County Courts designated as 'civil trial centres' may also deal with claims allocated to the Multi Track."

 

In other words, all small claims are heard in county court (as are fast track claims) but that doesn't mean that all cases heard in county court are small claims. County court is not (or at least shouldn't be) referred to as small claims court. Why not fast track court?

 

(I accept that for most people, the claims that are issued are allocated to the small claims track but that isn't what you said. What you said was "County court is also known as small claim court" and it was this single sentence that I was clarifying)

 

County court is also known to a lot of people as small claim court.

A lot of professionals use this name and also local cab.

In this particular case there would be no trial, no jury, no reference to high flying multimillion pound cases.

It would be a small claim.

The judges at county court in small claim track most often than not (and maybe wrongly) do not stick to the letter of the law, but take a more common sense approach.

That's why it is usually pointless to pay a solicitor for small claim track.

No loophole helps people in front of a county court judge, they look at hard facts, not a little codicil in a medieval law.

In fact, a lot of defendants file documents late, submit evidence on the day etc.

This is very often allowed despite being against the rules because county court judges resolve disputes, they like hearing clear facts and not solicitors vomiting points of law.

As suggested in many of my posts, in this case a judge will be less than impressed with the claim because the op did not lose anything and most likely he/she would award a single penny.

Not as unusual as you might think.

I said to the op to go ahead and file the claim, I would be interested in the outcome but my money is on the nominal award.

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County court is also known to a lot of people as small claim court.

 

The judges at county court in small claim track most often than not (and maybe wrongly) do not stick to the letter of the law, but take a more common sense approach.

 

No loophole helps people in front of a county court judge, they look at hard facts, not a little codicil in a medieval law.

In fact, a lot of defendants file documents late, submit evidence on the day etc.

This is very often allowed despite being against the rules because county court judges resolve disputes, they like hearing clear facts and not solicitors vomiting points of law.

As suggested in many of my posts, in this case a judge will be less than impressed with the claim because the op did not lose anything and most likely he/she would award a single penny.

Not as unusual as you might think.

I said to the op to go ahead and file the claim, I would be interested in the outcome but my money is on the nominal award.

 

You are getting completely confused between Civil Procedure Rules and law.

 

Civil procedure rules dictate when evidence must be filed and so forth. The rules give the judge discretion about how strictly to apply the rules sensibly, and a judge may decide to accept or reject evidence that is supplied late.

 

The judge cannot make up the law though.

 

In this case, if the judge finds the deposit was taken and not protected he *must* award a penalty. He has no discretion other than setting a penalty between 1 and 3 times the amount of the deposit.

 

Rather than just repeat yourself, can you provide evidence of cases where the judge agreed the deposit was not protected and where the judge said that no penalty would be made as the tenant lost no money.

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you left a load of rubbish there as far as LL was concerned becuase you dont make any arrangement about storage. What woulf you expect of you left a load of old newspapers and a take -away box? the LL put them into storage for a year beacuse you might want them? I you want storage to be chared retrospectively then waht about insurance? who pays as you certainly didnt. the more you push this point the more it will amke someone decifing on a tariff for damages to just deduct all of these things from the amount they first thought of and very soon you will be owing the landlord money. You know that the minimum amount awarded will be the deposit and you alrady have that.I the judge awards that minus the expense of clearing your rubbish (as that is waht it was without any evidence of arrangement for storage) and various other costs that were necessary before the place was let again you may weel be in debt. because the amount awarded is then less than zero you will have to pay the LL costs as well.

Stick to the simple facts of unprotected deposit and do not mention the rest and you stand a good chance you will get awarded something.

They could potentially charge for storage? We would at least be able to have the items returned if this were the case. Otherwise, they still disposed of the items without informing.

 

So now what?

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Stick to the simple facts of unprotected deposit and do not mention the rest and you stand a good chance you will get awarded something.

 

Absolutely. I did not mention it until king12345 started up and then I got carried away. The original claim is as you mentioned, with essentially, no other motive other than that the law provides us with this opportunity.

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Ericsbrother explained it better than me.

Even if the judge awards the deposit, you already got that, so you'll end up with nothing or expenses/costs to pay.

Steve_M seems to think that county court judges "must" do something.

Try telling that to the judge on the day and you will probably be escorted outside by two big men.

If you want to understand how county court works, read through this forum or search for random cases online.

You will find a lot of common sense approach rather than letter of the law.

Example: My friend (qualified plumber) was taken to court because he had fitted a tap supplied by customer and tap had exploded flooding the house.

Even though it wasn't a small claim (I think it was in excess of £30k) the judge looked at the evidence supplied and when he learnt that the damage had been fixed by tap manufacturer, he kicked the claimant out of court and helped my friend file a counter claim there and then to claim costs and loss of earnings.

Is the judge supposed to do this?

No, but he did because the claim was spurious and "pocket lining".

The claimant could have complained because the judge effectively acted as a defence solicitor, but what would have achieved?

Nothing.

I would be grateful if more experienced caggers would confirm that county court claims are not for making a good profit, but to compensate for losses.

The op had £0 loss.

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Ericsbrother explained it better than me.

Even if the judge awards the deposit, you already got that, so you'll end up with nothing or expenses/costs to pay.

Steve_M seems to think that county court judges "must" do something.

Try telling that to the judge on the day and you will probably be escorted outside by two big men.

If you want to understand how county court works, read through this forum or search for random cases online.

You will find a lot of common sense approach rather than letter of the law.

Example: My friend (qualified plumber) was taken to court because he had fitted a tap supplied by customer and tap had exploded flooding the house.

Even though it wasn't a small claim (I think it was in excess of £30k) the judge looked at the evidence supplied and when he learnt that the damage had been fixed by tap manufacturer, he kicked the claimant out of court and helped my friend file a counter claim there and then to claim costs and loss of earnings.

Is the judge supposed to do this?

No, but he did because the claim was spurious and "pocket lining".

The claimant could have complained because the judge effectively acted as a defence solicitor, but what would have achieved?

Nothing.

I would be grateful if more experienced caggers would confirm that county court claims are not for making a good profit, but to compensate for losses.

The op had £0 loss.

 

Sorry this is a silly example because you are comparing a normal case that involves liability for losses based on centuries of case law with a tenancy deposit case which involves no liability for losses but only liablity for failure to follow the law and a statutory penalty specified by written law as agreed by MPs and our dear old Queen.

 

A Judge can help a claimant or a defendant. It is entirely within the Civil Procedure Rules.

 

However, not giving a penalty to a landlord when he has found that the landlord has not protected the penalty is against the law.

 

I've given you an example of a case where a tenant was awarded the penalty. If you google around you will find plenty of similar examples. Here is another which I found in two minutes in which the tenant won the case and got 3x the deposit specifically after waiting to ensure that he got his deposit back before he issued his claim. This is a very similar scenario to hollal's except that in this case the landlord even got around to protecting the deposit - but they did it too late:

 

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?72186-Deposit-Protection-Court-case-won-against-Landlord

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Sorry this is a silly example because you are comparing a normal case that involves liability for losses based on centuries of case law with a tenancy deposit case which involves no liability for losses but only liablity for failure to follow the law and a statutory penalty specified by written law as agreed by MPs and our dear old Queen.

 

A Judge can help a claimant or a defendant. It is entirely within the Civil Procedure Rules.

 

However, not giving a penalty to a landlord when he has found that the landlord has not protected the penalty is against the law.

 

I've given you an example of a case where a tenant was awarded the penalty. If you google around you will find plenty of similar examples. Here is another which I found in two minutes in which the tenant won the case and got 3x the deposit specifically after waiting to ensure that he got his deposit back before he issued his claim. This is a very similar scenario to hollal's except that in this case the landlord even got around to protecting the deposit - but they did it too late:

 

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?72186-Deposit-Protection-Court-case-won-against-Landlord

 

Two problems with the case in the link that might seem similar to that of the op to the careless eye.

1. Landlord was a company, so no excuse for not protecting the deposit. Judge would not have had any mercy if they tried.

2. Most importantly the tenant obtained a default judgement because the defendant didn't defend.

 

I stand by what I said: if the landlord is a private individual, plays a bit dumb, he replies to court papers, wears a suit on the day, acts politely and looks a bit sorry, the judge would probably award a nominal penny (or 1x deposit deducted from what op already had).

It's a win for the op, a costly win.

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Two problems with the case in the link that might seem similar to that of the op to the careless eye.

1. Landlord was a company, so no excuse for not protecting the deposit. Judge would not have had any mercy if they tried.

2. Most importantly the tenant obtained a default judgement because the defendant didn't defend.

 

I stand by what I said: if the landlord is a private individual, plays a bit dumb, he replies to court papers, wears a suit on the day, acts politely and looks a bit sorry, the judge would probably award a nominal penny (or 1x deposit deducted from what op already had).

It's a win for the op, a costly win.

 

You are now claiming that the fact that the landlord is a business makes a difference.

 

Before you said a judge would laugh a tenant out of court because the tenant had not lost money.

 

I've given you a link to two cases. There are plenty of advice links all of which advise that the 1x penalty (at least) is mandatory.

 

Please provide your evidence that involves unprotected tenancy deposits.

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King asks about the role of courts to compensate for losses, yes this is what they do and to that end you will not be places in a position where you are better off as a result. However, as with all things there are exceptions. Suing ofr injury to feelings in a discrimination matter si one, the courts provide that although no loss has been nmade they can make a compensatory award to correct this intangible wrong. Another example useful on these forums is for breach of the DPA and again a compensatory tariff ahs been set that will be recognised by other courts. In the case of the TDS there is again a compensatory order that is designed not no punish landlords for the sake of it but like with parking tickets make them change their behaviour so it is a lawful penalty charge but goes to the tenant. As the judge has a large amount of discretion to take into account the behaviour of the landlord by awarding up to 3x the deposit it also stands that thsi discretion can drop to awarding nothing on top of the returned deposit other than the costs of bringing the action. That would be the 1x deposit as it is assumed in taking action the deposit hadnt been returned in the first place for most claimants or that the LL had retained monies for spurious reasons such as unproved damages etc.

Now, the OP has been threatened with a counterclaim so they have to show what is called "a clean pair of hands" or they will fail to get anything above the returned deposit. If the LL counterclaim is spurious then the judge will undoubtedly make their feelings known by upping the award to say 2x the deposit for their abuse of the court system..

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King asks about the role of courts to compensate for losses, yes this is what they do and to that end you will not be places in a position where you are better off as a result. However, as with all things there are exceptions. Suing ofr injury to feelings in a discrimination matter si one, the courts provide that although no loss has been nmade they can make a compensatory award to correct this intangible wrong. Another example useful on these forums is for breach of the DPA and again a compensatory tariff ahs been set that will be recognised by other courts. In the case of the TDS there is again a compensatory order that is designed not no punish landlords for the sake of it but like with parking tickets make them change their behaviour so it is a lawful penalty charge but goes to the tenant. As the judge has a large amount of discretion to take into account the behaviour of the landlord by awarding up to 3x the deposit it also stands that thsi discretion can drop to awarding nothing on top of the returned deposit other than the costs of bringing the action. That would be the 1x deposit as it is assumed in taking action the deposit hadnt been returned in the first place for most claimants or that the LL had retained monies for spurious reasons such as unproved damages etc.

Now, the OP has been threatened with a counterclaim so they have to show what is called "a clean pair of hands" or they will fail to get anything above the returned deposit. If the LL counterclaim is spurious then the judge will undoubtedly make their feelings known by upping the award to say 2x the deposit for their abuse of the court system..

 

Finally some common sense in this thread.

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As the judge has a large amount of discretion to take into account the behaviour of the landlord by awarding up to 3x the deposit it also stands that thsi discretion can drop to awarding nothing on top of the returned deposit other than the costs of bringing the action. That would be the 1x deposit as it is assumed in taking action the deposit hadnt been returned in the first place for most claimants or that the LL had retained monies for spurious reasons such as unproved damages etc.

 

The penalty of between 1 and 3 times the deposit is separate from the return of the deposit.

 

You will see this if you look at the two cases I linked to. In the second case the deposit had already been returned but the tenant still won 3x the deposit.

 

Also:

 

https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits/tenancy_deposit_compensation_claims

 

You can claim compensation of 1 to 3 times the amount of your tenancy deposit if your landlord:

 

  • doesn't protect your tenancy deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme
  • doesn't give you certain information about the scheme being used
  • takes too long to protect your deposit or give you prescribed information

...

 

You can ask the court to order your landlord to refund your tenancy deposit (providing it hasn't already been returned).

 

http://www.hardwicke.co.uk/insights/archive/articles/protect-your-deposits-assured-shorthold-tenancies-and-rent-deposits

 

Secondly, the penalties under s214 for non-compliance have been altered radically. In particular, the penalty is now between one and three times the deposit - not a fixed rate of three times. The Court has a discretion. The deposit must also be paid back to the tenant, or into an authorized scheme.

 

https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/if-your-landlord-doesnt-protect-your-deposit

 

If the court finds your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, it can order the person holding the deposit to either:

 

  • repay it to you
  • pay it into a custodial TDP scheme’s bank account within 14 days

The court may also order the landlord to pay you up to 3 times the deposit within 14 days of making the order.

 

https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/deposit-protection-from-2015.shtml

 

Penalty - landlords who fail to protect the deposit or give the prescribed information within 30 days of receipt will be liable to pay the tenant between 1 and 3 times the deposit as a financial penalty and the court can order they return the deposit. The landlord cannot serve a Section 21 notice until the deposit is returned. The tenant can claim the financial penalty for up to 6 years after the deposit was not protected.

 

 

This one is a very cynical take:

 

http://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co.uk/blog/i-havent-protected-my-tenants-deposit/

 

Putting it bluntly, you have broken the law, so yes, there can be consequences.

 

  • A tenant, who takes legal action, can expect to be awarded compensation because his legal rights have been denied. A Judge has the power to award between 100% and 300% of the deposit in compensation and may also instruct you to return the whole deposit. This can be an expensive loss, not just because of the compensation, but also if you actually need use the deposit to cover damages.

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"If the court finds your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, it can order the person holding the deposit to either:

repay it to you

pay it into a custodial TDP scheme’s bank account within 14 days

The court may also order the landlord to pay you up to 3 times the deposit within 14 days of making the order."

 

Exactly what we are saying.

Court can order for LL to repay deposit to you.

 

"A tenant, who takes legal action, can expect to be awarded compensation because his legal rights have been denied. A Judge has the power to award between 100% and 300% of the deposit in compensation"

 

Read carefully: ...CAN expect...A judge has the power to award...

 

This doesn't mean ...you will be awarded... or...a judge must award...

 

Judges in county court, especially small claim use common sense and MUST is not a word they like.

The law is clear: the judge CAN award, not MUST award.

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No "can expect" means it will happen if you win the case. I have provided several links why are you picking on one. Collectively it is clear that I am right and you are wrong, and you have provided no evidence whatsoever for your belief other than an irrelevant compensation case.

 

Here is the actual clause from the Housing Act 2004 as amended by the Localism Act, and the word in the law is "must".

 

(3A) The Court may order the person who appears to the Court to be holding the deposit to repay all or part of it to the applicant within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the making of the order.”

 

The Court must order the landlord to pay to the application a sum of money not less than the amount of the deposit and not more than three times the amount of the deposit within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the making of the order.

 

https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/newsletter/february2012/section_213_215.shtml

 

In expectation that you are going to complain about the word "may" in the first part and say that the judge may decide to let the landord keep the deposit for himself I will preempt you.

 

It says "may" because tenants can take the landlord to court while the tenancy is still running (so the landlord still needs the deposit) or after the deposit has been returned (so there is no deposit to return).

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I read the Housing Act and you're right.

It clearly says MUST on point 4. of this page related to deposits

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/34/section/214

 

Pardon me for disagreeing before looking at the Act.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if county court judge used common sense instead of law, they do this all the time as reported.

That could lead to an appeal easily won.

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