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TerryCarter
01-04-2008, 11:43 AM
Me and my partner are about to start proceedings to sue our landlord for his failure to protect our tenancy deposit of £850.

We have now moved out of the property and the landlord has given us back our deposit. (after weeks of unecessary negotiations and messing us around)

I have been told I will have to pay an initial £105 to start the claim.

I cannot afford to do this. Is there any other way to submit the claim? I've had to use the deposit we got back from him to secure another property.

I only earn £15000 a year and my partner is at home with our son so does not work.

Is there any sort of legal aid or anything I am entitled to to cover the costs of this claim?

jeffrey
01-04-2008, 11:49 AM
Me and my partner are about to start proceedings to sue our landlord for his failure to protect our tenancy deposit of £850.

We have now moved out of the property and the landlord has given us back our deposit. (after weeks of unecessary negotiations and messing us around)

I have been told I will have to pay an initial £105 to start the claim.

I cannot afford to do this. Is there any other way to submit the claim? I've had to use the deposit we got back from him to secure another property.

I only earn £15000 a year and my partner is at home with our son so does not work.

Is there any sort of legal aid or anything I am entitled to to cover the costs of this claim?
You should first contact local CAB. The "no win, no fee" solicitors could also help, but one cannot normally claim one's fees in a Small Claims Court action- so they'd probably refuse to act.

tenant29
01-04-2008, 15:45 PM
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/DG_066373

You can claim 3 times the deposit from your landlord..

TerryCarter
01-04-2008, 15:51 PM
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/DG_066373

You can claim 3 times the deposit from your landlord..

Hi,

I am aware of this and that is what I want to start the claim for, the landlord is not willing to just give us £2550. Therefore I need to have the court enforce this on him.

This claim costs £105 to issue to him

Esio Trot
01-04-2008, 16:19 PM
I am aware of this and that is what I want to start the claim for, the landlord is not willing to just give us £2550. Therefore I need to have the court enforce this on him.

And there is a good possibility that the court won't do this.

The law says in effect that once the court has ordered the landlord to either protect the deposit or return it, then 3 x compensation has to be awarded.

If the landlord has already protected it or returned it, is the court still obliged to order 3 x the deposit?

This is new legislation. You have six years to lodge a claim, and as your money is tight I would recommend you leave this until there have been a few cases and a pattern has emerged. Don't be a legal guinea pig unless you can afford to lose the case.

cas84_utd2
07-04-2008, 09:16 AM
With reference to the above, if you refer to the Housing Act:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/ukpga_20040034_en_19#pt6-ch4

The Landlord has to deposit and supply the prescribed information within 14 days of taking the deposit.

(2) Subsections (3) and (4) apply if on such an application the court—
(a) is satisfied that those requirements have not, or section 213(6)(a) has not, been complied with in relation to the deposit, or
(b) is not satisfied that the deposit is being held in accordance with an authorised scheme,
as the case may be.
(3) The court must, as it thinks fit, either—
(a) order the person who appears to the court to be holding the deposit to repay it to the applicant, or
(b) order that person to pay the deposit into the designated account held by the scheme administrator under an authorised custodial scheme,
within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the making of the order.
(4) The court must also order the landlord to pay to the applicant a sum of money equal to three times the amount of the deposit within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the making of the order.

So yes, the 3x deposit compensation applies.

Bel
07-04-2008, 09:52 AM
But if the court cannot do either option 3a or 3b as they are not relevant now, can the court do 4?

jeffrey
07-04-2008, 09:58 AM
But if the court cannot do either option 3a or 3b as they are not relevant now, can the court do 4?

I doubt it. Options 3a and 3b are mandatory, whilst option 4 is an 'also' requirement- so Court cannot 'also' do option 4 if not doing 3a or 3b.

cas84_utd2
07-04-2008, 10:12 AM
thats not great news for me...

Bel
07-04-2008, 10:20 AM
Why?

Doesn't your LL still have some of your deposit?

cas84_utd2
07-04-2008, 10:45 AM
We are 10 months into the tenancy (2 months remaining). The LL has not protected deposit (confirmed with all 3 schemes). We have started the claim process and the LL has been served with the claim by the court.

But now you're telling me that if the LL protects the deposit NOW, then despite not complying with the initial requirements of an authorised scheme within 14 days of taking the deposit, and despite not providing the prescribed information within 14 days of taking the deposit, the court will not make any order, as he has subsequently protected our deposit (10-11 months after taking it)????

So what's the point of the legislation... a LL can choose not to protect the deposit on the assumption that the tenants don't know anything about it and won't act, but then if they do act, at the first hint of court action the LL can then subsequently protect the deposit and get off scott free? Have I got that right?

Probert31
07-04-2008, 11:45 AM
I believe that because the landlord is holding the deposit and is not a member of the scheme you are right to have started court proceedings. Even if when ordered to he places it into a scheme he will still be liable for up to three times the deposit paid. However, we are only just 12mths into the deposit schemes and there is not very much case law available in regards to how the courts will react.

PJ67
07-04-2008, 11:52 AM
This claim costs £105 to issue to him

Terry,
I think the small claims online charge 5 or 6% of the sum claimed, which you will be added to the amount claimed back. This is a quick and easy method and you should be squared up within 28 days (assuming its uncontested etc)

cas84_utd2
07-04-2008, 12:47 PM
I believe that because the landlord is holding the deposit and is not a member of the scheme you are right to have started court proceedings. Even if when ordered to he places it into a scheme he will still be liable for up to three times the deposit paid. However, we are only just 12mths into the deposit schemes and there is not very much case law available in regards to how the courts will react.

Yes but what if he places it into a scheme NOW. Ie. After he has been served the claim documentation by the court, but BEFORE the hearing. So he has done it before a court order could possibly be issued (ie. before the hearing), but he still did not comply with the initial requirements within 14 days. Who can provide an answer to this little dilemma!!??

Probert31
07-04-2008, 13:53 PM
They have a legal obligation to write to you within the first fourteen days of the letting to inform you of how the deposit is being held. If he were to join a scheme now then it will be documented what the start date is and therefore he would still be in breach. Therefore he should be liable for 3x deposit, but as I said I am unaware of any case law in regard to this and you might be one of the first to see what the court decides.

Bel
07-04-2008, 23:15 PM
I would think it makes a difference that you are still without deposit at least when you apply to the court.

If you paid the court fee you may as well proceed; there is no point to give up now and hopefully your fee will be charged to the LL once it gets to court, and 3X deposit with luck.

Keep us informed.