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Tenancy Deposit Refund (Live-in landlord)


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Dear member, Sorry for long post ahead:
Location: Medway.
County: Kent
 
I'm looking for opinion to get back my deposit. I will try to keep it short and precise.
 
My live-in landlord didn't returned my deposit. Can I pursue it after 2.5 years?
 
Moved UK with family in Sep 2020 in Gillingham as a doctor and after 15 days quarantine in hotel moved to a home with live-in landlord.
 
We suffered harassment from the landlord with whom we were sharing this house on shorthold tenancy agreement (later discover we were lodgers) in September 2020 till March 2021. We paid a deposit of £900.
 
They were fine with us initially but soon started arguing on petty things. arguing with my wife when I was not around, trying to bully as we were new in UK and doesn't now much about anything. And after a heated conversation we decided to move and landlord asked as to vacate.
 
We desperately started to look for rental property but it was difficult to secure due to the peak of pandemic and Christmas/New year holidays in December 2020. Meanwhile we had a dispute as he said he will deduct our deposit for the damage of a mere dustbin in the shared kitchen and he mentioned that he has many links as he is living here for 15 years, warned me that I could not imagine what he can do with me and he has already kicked 2 doctors from the NHS before and we have to accept the deduction at all costs as we have no choice.
 
During the peak of winter, they starting restricting the heating time despite requesting them repeatedly that me and my kids are asthmatic which is cold triggered but they refused. I have all evidence as WhatsApp conversation.
 
due to abusive behavior we decided to move out so left the house in December and moved to hotel. while leaving the property he said he will deduct half deposit for dustbin, and the wall leakage ( looks pipe break or seepage due to rain and we immediately informed him when it was still wet/ have video evidence). When we were not agreed over it, he started abusing, humiliating and threating that go to court for your deposit etc.
 
During our stay, they continued to blame us for minor things , pressurizing us to cleaning on their turn, cursing our kids on playing. I have evidence of harassment, restriction of heating and abusing, withholding our post that we vacated to a hotel temporarily as we are suppose to get the new rental property on 1st Feb which was also declined by lettings as they gave bad reference. We have taken all the pictures before and after rental agreement and property was in same condition.
 
When we left the property, after a couple of days they also held our parcel (grand parents sent it) and when we reach to collect landlord again abused and called police that we are attacking their home, luckily I filmed the whole incident and showed the video to police and then police forced them to handover our parcel.
 
Now I wanted to get my deposit back so what could be the best way to proceed.
 
Please be kind to your responses as remembering those couple of months still a nightmare to us.
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Hi

 

If you had a Shorthold Tenancy Agreement then that is exactly what it is. (do you still have a copy of it) as that live in Landlord can't suddenly say you are a Lodger as you should then have a Lodger Agreement not a Shorthold Agreement.

 

If you do still have a copy of that Shorthold Agreement can you post a copy up here for use to see what it says redacting any identifiable information
see our How to Upload.

 

Were you paying Council Tax?

 

If this is a Shorthold Tenancy Agreement this you should consider contacting that Local Councils Private Renting section and asking them if the Landlord is registered with them as most Landlords in the UK now need to be registered with the relevant Local Council (note this is not a requirement if a Lodger and a Lodger Agreement in place) the reason we need to see your actual Agreement.

 

If you do have a Shorthold Tenancy Agreement then your deposit is required to be protected in a Tenancy Deposit scheme and you are required to be provided with a copy of the prescribed Terms of that Scheme by the Landlord (note this is not a requirement if a Lodger)

 

If your Agreement is as a Lodger then I am afraid the only way for you to get your Deposit back from that Live in Landlord would be to
take them to Court and you would firstly need to send them a Letter Before Action (LBA)

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Hi,

 

Thank you for your brief response. All the information is get is that if the landlord is a live-in landlord then no matter if its AST or any other tenancy agreement , our status was of a lodger and we were lodgers. So I think I need to send LBA as you mentioned in last line.

 

Here I'm attaching agreement copy. 

 

Also to mention that I have many whatsApp correspondences where I requested repeatedly to not turn off heating when temp was -1 or 0 as my kids were suffering with cold but LL refused and said that 8-10 hours heating is enough in 24 hours,

and kept heating off from 9AM to 4-5PM in Nov-Dec. well don't want to go in details but just wanted to get my deposit back.

 

Please advise further.

 

Tenancy Agreement-1.pdf

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Hi

 

Well just read the Tenancy Agreement and the Live in Landlord has shot himself in the foot here as you are correct due to that Landlord being a Live in Landlord you can't hold an AST therefore that AST Agreement that the Live in Landlord got you to sign is wrong.

 

Yup you are still going to have to go Court route for return of your deposit and issue an LBA first.

 

Also have a wee read of this link:

 

WWW.CITIZENSADVICE.ORG.UK

Rights and responsibilities of subtenants (excluded occupiers) who live with their landlord.

 

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And it's not out of the question that he will just cough up the money on site of a claim form anyway.

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Hi

 

Just something else to consider as well from reading your Agreement with this Live in Landlord.

 

Rent Means Clause:

 

£900.00 per calendar month. Include all Utility Bills (Council Tax, Electric, Water & Gas)

 

How can you be sure that the Live in Landlord actually notified the Council Tax Office of the relevant Local Council that you were actually living there? (bear in mind in the UK it is the individuals responsibility to ensure they contact the council to check this i.e. it was your own responsibility to make sure this was correct with the relevant local council but you have it stated in your Agreement with that Landlord which put this Landlord in a difficult position)

 

What you could do is contact the Local Council to check that this Live in Landlord had actually notified them that you were resident in his property with that Agreement stating that Clause.

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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