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no deposit return - can I file criminal charges?

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:mad: Hi all.

My case is long and complicated but I try to keep it neat.

I have been living in a shared house for two years. Moved out June 06. Landlady didnt return my deposit claiming she had to pay over 800 pound for cleaning. I left the house spotless and did take pics but unfortunatelly my laptop got stolen so I dont have those pics anymore. However, she does not have pics of the state the house was in when I moved in so its her word against mine as far as I am concerned.

She never sent me a bill of the cleaning only a break-down of the costs that frankly could have been written by anyone. Since Aug 06 I have been writing to her to send me copies of bills and proof of her payment to a cleaning agency. - no reply.

I sent her two letters - nothing. I have been in touch with an advice agency who have been trying to contact her for almost 4 months via phone and mail (recorded delivery and normal post) - again nothing.

Now, the agency is advising me to leave matters as apparently I dont have a strong case. I dont agree with that but I suppose they have to say that because we dont know whether the landlady could provide any bills etc.

Anyway, my question is: can I go to the police and file charges?

I know I can go ahead with the small claims court and assuming that she will ignore those letters too will win by default. However, this will not help me in getting my money back as they will not actively try to find her.

I think the only way to find her would be by filing charges at the police.

I am German and understand that in Germany you can only file fraud charges if it is in the interest of the public (which it would be since she is a landlord and could rip of other people like me). ALso, once you win a criminal case you can then claim your money back by the civil rights courts.

Can anyone tell me whether these proceedings are similar in England?

What are my chances?

Is there any other way to get in touch with her? (she is not a registered landlord, all I know is that the address I had was that of her mother and that she has not sold the properties she is renting in Manchester, therefore I am assuming that she is still the landlord).


I hope you can help me because I feel ripped off and its my money. I cant believe that it seems so easy to get out of your responsibilities as a landlord by just ignoring the issue. There must be a way. Please help.


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thanks for your reply. personally i believe it is fraud but then again i am not a lawyer. i know i should try the small claims court but as i mentioned once i won the case i cant instruct bailiffs or apply for an attachment of earnings order because she doesnt seem to be living at her old address anymore. the courts will only try to contact her at her last known address and if she doesnt respond then its tough luck for me. thats why im thinking of filing criminal charges as the police will then search for her (as far as i know anyway).

but you seem to know more about this. could you tell me why it isnt fraud? im obviously not very objective in this case but surely she has commited a crime. thanks.

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It just isn't fraud as far as I can see, more like theft but try reporting it to the police, like so many other things (which are definately criminal) the police will try fob you off with it being a civil matter.


If you know of a property that is currently owned by her then I believe you should be able to find out the address of the owner from the land registry. Also if you went through an agency they may know her current address.

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