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Landlord trying to keep deposit for flatmates due rent

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Hello,

 

I have been renting an apartment for the past year with a previous friend. We each paid a £500 deposit to cover a month's worth of rent (£1000 in total) . Long story short, my flatmate failed to make two of her rent payments so the landlord is trying to claim back the whole deposit to cover each of the £500 she failed to give him.

 

We are on a joint tenancy so I understand the landlord has the right to do this as technically we were both liable for the rent even though I paid all of my 'half', however the question I have is do I have any chance of seeing my £500 again? The deposit is currently in the deposit protection scheme where my landlord has requested the full amount back. Should I go into a dispute even though I know I would probably loose? The only small thing I have on my side is that my landlord was not a very good one and we had issues with the flat when we moved in that were never resolved even though I emailed him several times that I have records of (the shower leaked so badly it caused a damp patch on the ceiling of the apartment below, the drains smelled of sewage, the blinds in the bathroom were mouldy). Would this give me any leg to stand on in claiming a bit of the money back or is this not worthy to get some of the deposit back?

 

In terms of my flatmate we are no longer in contact however I have messaged her several times asking her to pay at least one month of the rent so I could get my deposit back at least, to no avail. She already has a lot of debt against her name (unpaid loans, unpaid phone bills ect.) so is there any chance I could claim my lost £500 from her another way or would going through the courts be a waste of time due to her previous unpaid debts she hasn't repaid.

 

I know I was silly signing a joint tenancy with her but hindsight is a beautiful thing and now I'm just trying to look for a way to resolve it and get a part, if not all of my money back!

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If the deposit was in your name, and secured in your name only, then the LL cannot do that. If ti was a joint deposit.... then i think they can.


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..

 

 

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As it was a joint tenancy you are both jointly liable for the full rent. So probably yes the landlord can take unpaid rent off the deposit. And even if he couldn't he could still sue either of you for unpaid rent, so he could recover it from you if you have money and flatmate doesn't. It's tough but that's what joint liability means. I expect you could take action to recover her share from her via small claims procedures, in principle anyway, but if you can't find her and she has no money that's probably throwing good money after bad. If it's any consolation you won't be the first flat-sharer who has discovered the hard way that they've flat-shared with someone who then dumped them in it and disappeared. It's all too common.

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