View Full Version : Another retained deposit question!

17-11-2005, 16:05 PM
I know there are a few of these but I couldnt find one that fitted my circumstance exactly and wanted some advice. I moved in to a brand new flat and then a year later gave notice, and moved out. I did everything by the book and paid my rent on time every month. There was no inventory provided by the landlord when I moved in. Since I have left I have been chasing my deposit of £1000 and have been told that I won't be getting any of it back due to 'heavy markings' on some of the walls and cleaning costs for a couple of rooms. He 's said he's had to repaint several rooms. Of course no such work needed doing and the house was cleaned comprehensively before I left. I'm wondering who the court is more likely to believe?

17-11-2005, 16:09 PM
Unsure how none fitted your circumstances.....this is a very run of the mill standard deposit question, and there are loads almost exactly the same on the forum.

That said, I can answer in one sentence. The landlord has absolutely zero basis for the withholding of any deposit, and the court will rule in your favour.

17-11-2005, 16:18 PM
Appreciate your speedy response. I've been poring over every single post - and didnt realise it would be as straightforward as you said. I thought mine might be a bit more complex. Thanks again.

17-11-2005, 16:22 PM
No problem Minky. Issue small claims proceedings against the landlord.

Just to clarify for you(and other who may contradict me) as to why he cannot withhold anything:

- No inventory almost certainly equals no proof of condition of property at the start of the tenancy. This means nothing to compare the end condition to, so they cannot prove legally whether you did or did not cause marks.

- They also need to show proof if you challenge legally of the poor condition at the end of the tenancy. If you say this is simply not the case, then they will have no proof.

- I suspect that the property will not have been returned completely 100% blemish free compared to the condition at the start. However the areas you mention sound like fair wear and tear to me anyway, or at least an element of it, and they cannot deduct on this basis.

- EVEN if all of the above were not true the amount they are withholding is frankly ludicrous for the "damages" you have mentioned.

19-12-2005, 13:57 PM
Hi there - this is still on going. Went to small claims court. The landlord filed an acknowledgement to get an extra 14 days to put his case together. After a month he didnt reply to the court giving any defence and I applied for judgement to be granted against him. This was successful. Now, he has apparrently appealed this decision. Any idea from anybody if an appeal to overturn the decision is going to happen and what the reasons might possibly be?

19-12-2005, 17:27 PM
Did the Landlord turn up at the court hearing? If not and the decision went against him, he can try and appeal all he likes, unless it centres around a point of law and not of fact (ie he's arguing you took him to court on wrong legal basis, or the judge made a mistake in law, not that he's quibbling over the size of marks on wall) he simply won't be allowed to appeal. He's just trying it on to buy time.

If i were you I'd enter judgement and if he doesn't pay up then get an order attached to his propety. He'll soon cough up, no landlord worth their salt wants a CCJ registered against them!

20-12-2005, 10:16 AM
HI there! Just to clarify I did enter judgement against him as he didnt supply a defence in the 28 days period. However now the judgement has been issued against him, he is appealing it. Can he do this?

06-01-2006, 11:32 AM
Just an update to this - the landlord sent the defence claim forms back to the wrong address and now the case has been sent to the district judge to review. Anybody know if this judge will just chuck it out?

06-01-2006, 12:31 PM
If the landlord defence reveals a tryable issue, then the judge has to set judgment aside - he can do this unconditionally, or conditionally. When a judgment is entered by default, it gives the claimant all that he claims without argument on the basis that the defendant is not interested in defending it (i.e. has not filed a defence to say that what is claimed is wrong) - here we have a case where the defendant did file a defence, albeit at the wrong place - this has now been corrected and so there is a defence now filed after judgment has been given by default. It would be patently unfair to force the defendant to pay something which he has stated a defence to - so the judge will allow judgment to be set aside and a trial listed provided there are tryable issues and a reasonable excuse for filing late.

Conditions can be imposed - but I think that unlikely in this case. There may be a hearing to decide the question of set aside or not and there may or may not be costs awarded or in the cause (the latter meaning the winner can claim the costs of the set aside hearing).

06-01-2006, 12:35 PM
It is just so irritating that he is eeking this out when I feel so blatantly robbed and that a judgement in my favour is as plain as day!

18-01-2006, 16:54 PM
Hi all - I have an update and need some further advice. It appears I have to go to court as the landlord files the defence in the wrong court but indeed filed one. His defence is incredible however:

1. He appears to have faked several letters and invoices that I have never seen or received covering his tracks and appearing as if he communicated with me all along. He also said he sent me photos of the alleged damage. Of course I would definitely like to see them as I'm assuming he hasn't got any. But what if he has fabricated these too?

2. I have only received one letter from him telling me I was not going to get any of my deposit back. He never mentioned the next point....which was that he has counterclaimed for a months rent I still owe him. I had a 2 months notice period in my contract and wrote to him to give him my notice and asked if it could be one month instead because I had a job to go to in another part of the country. He agreed and I even had prospetive tenants coming round looking at my flat. The last thing I knew, one of them was due to move in the week after I left. HOWEVER now he says he agreed to my notice but not to me only giving one months notice. For all the obvious reasons, he seeems to be trying it on again. But where do I stand?

18-01-2006, 19:01 PM
Minky, as a tenant you only have to give ONE months notice once your fixed term has expired! He CANNOT sue you for the extra month! Good luck.

19-01-2006, 09:40 AM
Just to explain - I was in the middle 8 months in to a 12 month contract, and my contract said I had to give 2 months. Whats the best way to handle my situation?

19-01-2006, 10:10 AM
Well if you left before the end of the 12 months contract then the landlord can charge you for rent until the end of the 12 months if he doesn't find a tenant to replace you. He must however search actively to replace you.

Unless he agreed to let you go at no cost but you should have got that in writing.

19-01-2006, 12:51 PM
Well if you left before the end of the 12 months contract then the landlord can charge you for rent until the end of the 12 months if he doesn't find a tenant to replace you. He must however search actively to replace you.

Unless there was a clause in the contract allowing early termination, in which case you'd need to adhere to the mechanism outlined.

19-01-2006, 13:24 PM
Indeed after 6 months there was a 2 months notice period clause. I am hoping the court will see this landlord counterclaim was a knee jerk reaction to being sued by me, as he certainly hadn't mentioned it up until recently. (Although he has allegedly sent me letters that back up his claims - for such important documents none of them were sent by recorded)

21-01-2006, 18:32 PM
Re post 9

Minky have you claimed interest on your deposit since making the claim?

The Court rate of allowable interest against the debt works out at 8% and is better than you can get from a Building Society.


See from the latest posts that there is a problem with the ending of the contract and if the landlord can prove his case the ball might be on the other foot.

21-01-2006, 22:51 PM
Another update! Today i received confirmation in writing from the lettings agency that a new tenant moved into the flat 4 days after I left! I'm assuming therefore that I do not have to fulfil my outstanding notice period?

On the other point - how do I go anout claiming interest now? I'm at the allocation questionaire point and didnt claim for interest originally. is it too late to do so? Thanks for all of your help so far.

22-01-2006, 03:33 AM
The notes provided with the N1 Claim Form I obtained directly from the Court advised that one should insert the following clause on the claim.

The claimant claims interest under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% a year from (I think you should insert here the date the deposit should have been returned) to (date of issue of Claim form) and also interest at the same rate up to the date of judgement or earlier payment at a daily rate of ).00022 x the amount of claim (equivalent to 8% per annum)

When you return the Allocation Questionnaire I am wondering if you might include a letter to the Court (with a copy to the landlord) seeking consent to amend the claim in accordance the above provisions. You can at the worse get a polite refusal and confirmation that you are too late!!

A Claim can be amended downwards if new information comes to light - hopefully in your case it can be amended upwards

Perhaps wait the agreement of a more experienced member that there is no harm in following my suggestion.

06-05-2006, 09:05 AM
Hi all - just to let you know I went to court yesterday and won my case. Thanks to all for their advice and help originally. The landlord didnt even turn up nor provide any evidence to the court in his abscence so a judgement by default was issued. If you are in my position - don't give up and get what is rightfully yours!

06-05-2006, 18:39 PM
Well done. http://forum.battlewars.de/html/emoticons/applaus.gif

I thik this is quite a common thing. Landlords try it on, witholding the deposit. The tenant threatens court and the landlord tries it on even further, hoping the tenant loses their nerve. Tenant sees it through, dodgy landlord doesn't turn up and loses.

The fun part will be actually getting your money. Nice to see some feedback as well.

07-05-2006, 10:10 AM
Yes for sure - getting the money is another thing altogether! But I feel vindicated that I won, as just the feeling of being wrongly accused is pretty stressful! I'll let you know if and when i get the money!