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View Full Version : Landlord Withholding Deposit, please help.



sjburnell
28-01-2009, 11:22 AM
Hi there,

I moved into a room in a house-share, occupied by the landlord, in June 2008. I've been to hand my keys back yesterday and received a letter stating that they were taking £250 out of my £350 deposit to completely redecorate the room. This is due to there being severe damp and mould also on one wall of the room.

About three months ago there was a lot of damp coming through on the wall facing the outside. The landlord was made aware of this and got a roof specialist out to confirm it wasn't the roof or the guttering causing the damp. He suggested it might be a ventilation problem. From this, the landlord has decided it must've been due to me hanging clothes to dry on a clothes rail once a week (even with the window open). I doubted this but agreed to dry my clothes downstairs in future.

Nothing changed with regard to the damp, it got worse and was still there daily. They offered to buy the materials if I was willing to paint and redecorate, but as I was planning on leaving I didn't bother.

Nothing was mentioned about it again until yesterday when I was handed this letter with reasons as to why the money was being kept back. It had a quote from a painter and decorater for £200 to do the whole room, and a receipt from B&Q for paint and wallpaper.

My deposit wasn't put into the new tenancy deposit scheme, but I don't know if that should've applied due to it being a house share. At the bottom of my contract there is a line that says: "This form of agreement is for use in those cases where the room is party of a house or flat which the owner occupies as his/her only or principal home so that an Assured Shorthold Tenancy is not created.

I don't really know what to do next, after arguing with them for 20 minutes last night as to how it wasn't my fault, we were still no further so I came on here and wondered if anyone has any advice. It would be greatly appreciated.

MrJohnnyB
28-01-2009, 12:31 PM
I was of the impression that your deposit still had to be protected by the DPS unless it was a lodger type agreement, a holiday home, Above £25,000 p/a, or created before 1989.

Either way did you undertake an inspection of the exterior of the property where the damp was to check if it could be anything penetrating the exterior wall such as moss growth or similar. Often if its condensation it will form in corners and around windows.

I think someone should be able to clarify the deposit situation, but obviously if its the case that it should be protected then you can simply just write them a strong worded letter and cite the relevant authority and they'll probably send you the money back, failing that you can take them to court for 3x deposit monies.

Impartial Advice
28-01-2009, 12:38 PM
DPS relates to AST's. If landlord resident no AST therefore TPS not applicable

Poppy
28-01-2009, 12:58 PM
So, you are a lodger. The law does not require deposits for such tenancies to be protected.

Tell the landlord that you want all of your deposit money right now. The true cause of the damp is unknown as no report has been produced by a surveyor or damp specialist. If he does not pay up, say within two weeks, warn him that you are prepared to go to court to recover the money.

MrJohnnyB
28-01-2009, 13:16 PM
Ahh yes didnt see the bit at the top which said occupied by the landlord! Teach me to read things properly eh!