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View Full Version : Who returns T's deposit: L or Agent?



malcolmnash
29-03-2009, 07:07 AM
My wife and I are professional responsible people & have privately rented a house for the last two years each time signing 6 month basic contracts with the landlord

The landlord has made 6 monthly inspections of the property and has had no issues at all

We called him then wrote to him to give our months notice & having previously enjoyed an amicable relationship with him - we have now discovered his true nature now that we have moved out

I called him before we left and suggested that he come around to look a the house so that if there was any problem areas we could discuss them before we moved out so we could come to an amicable agreement on any (although there was none) minor damages to his property and could be deducted from the deposit. There is no damage to the property however I wanted to get confirmation eye to eye that there would be no problem in returning it.

However he refused to come around to view & then subsequently 'appointed' a letting agent who has nothing to do with us to check the property out after we had left.

Needless to say we have received a very nasty letter from this agent claiming all sorts of damages, the house was left filthy, needs redecorating etc etc - they say the cost of repairs/cleaning will - you guessed it - come to just over what our deposit is!

My wife is worried because we have no legal experience & the agent is a real bully - the landlord is refusing to take calls etc - we have responded to the agents letter denying everything & telling them we took pictures before we left - however they too say they have pictures (of what, I have no idea) - They are saying that the condensation spoors in the bathroom (because there was inadequate ventilation) is down to us - as well as some small mold that has appeared in a bedroom, again due to the fact the ll did not repoit the front of the house properly. They say we are 'filthy' - which is particularly upsetting, as we are law abiding, 'clean & washed' citizens

What can I do - we cleaned the house & ther was no inventory or anything like that when we moved in, we have put up with no cooker for 3 weeks during our tenancy as the ll was slow to repair and never held back rent - we have paid our rent on time everytime. We are the perfect tennants - does the agent have any rights to act on the landlords behalf? they say they do - obviously they know their way around these things with their knowledge (I guess) and me & my wife are worried that although we have done absolutly nothing wrong - we are not going to get our deposit back. I am so dissapointed that there are nasty people like this in the world. All we ever did was treat the house like our own & only moved to be nearer to where our childrens friends live, as we lived in a rural area. We moved out a week ago

Please give me some advice - my wife is so very worried - Thank you

mind the gap
29-03-2009, 09:15 AM
Please give me some advice - my wife is so very worried - Thank you

Don't worry. The LL is just trying to make a fast buck here.

Two issues:

1 If there was no inventory, then LL will not have a leg to stand on, legally speaking, if/when you dispute his claim to your deposit. The onus of proof is firmly on him - he would need (a) a detailed check-in inventory supported by photos and agreed/signed by you, of of what the property was like on Day One - together with (b) equally convincing evidence from the check-out inventory, at which you should have been present. The fact that (a) does not exist means he will be whistling in the wind.

2 If your deposit was not protected in a government approved scheme (as it should have been, unless the rent was above £25k p.a. - was it?) the you can claim 3x the deposit if he does not return it to you in full, quickly.

Tell us more about what he has done with the deposit.

malcolmnash
29-03-2009, 14:27 PM
Thank you for that advice - no photos/no check in/no inventory were signed when we moved in, because none were done - there was never a gas test either

We are unclear what he has done with the deposit - we are assuming he has spent it - we took the property one month before it became law to have it protected - Does the 3 times claim on the deposit still apply & how do I persue the deposit? If through the courts, is it simple & any links you can give me please?

Last thing - the agent that he is now using to correspond with us ( he is using them to hide from us) - should we worry about them? And is there any legalities there that we should worry about (as I assuming they - the agents- will know the law - or probably not!!!) Rememeber we had nothing to do with this agency when we moved in

Thanks again for your advice - I can feel the weight of worry starting to lift already - If you could clarify these small points I would be most grateful

mind the gap
29-03-2009, 15:09 PM
Thank you for that advice - no photos/no check in/no inventory were signed when we moved in, because none were done - there was never a gas test either

We are unclear what he has done with the deposit - we are assuming he has spent it - we took the property one month before it became law to have it protected - Does the 3 times claim on the deposit still apply & how do I persue the deposit? If through the courts, is it simple & any links you can give me please?

Last thing - the agent that he is now using to correspond with us ( he is using them to hide from us) - should we worry about them? And is there any legalities there that we should worry about (as I assuming they - the agents- will know the law - or probably not!!!) Rememeber we had nothing to do with this agency when we moved in

Thanks again for your advice - I can feel the weight of worry starting to lift already - If you could clarify these small points I would be most grateful

If you have renewed your AST contract every six months (which is what I am taking your reference to 'six month basic contracts' to mean), then yes, the deposit should have been protected for the first renewal after April 6th 2007.

The fact that you have not been given the tenant's copy of the CP12 (gas safety certificate) is also a matter of serious concern. (It is a criminal offence).

OK, I suggest you do the following. Write a short Letter Before Action to your landlord (not the agent), in which you explain:

(i) that you reject totally the surious and unfounded claims he is making against your tenancy deposit and that you have been advised that no court would uphold them since he has no inventory
(ii) that you have reason to believe that your deposit was not protected in a scheme as required by government regulations and that unless he returns the deposit to you in full within 7 days (specify date), he will leave you with no option but to sue for 3x the deposit plus the orignal, which is the penalty for non-compliance with a scheme. You can attach a copy of your online claim for the 3x penalty to show you mean business.
(iii) you could also increase the pressure on him by asking for a copy of the CP12 (say your legal advisor needs to see it).

This letter in itself will probably do the trick; if he has any sense, he will realise he is onto a losing wicket and hand your deposit back.

He may huff and puff a bit, but hold your ground and don't be bullied.

If he is mad enough to go to court over this, he is virtually certain to lose, and you will get the 3x penalty + original deposit + costs.

As to your relationship with the agent - you do not need to go through them if you feel that is not in your interests, since your contract is with the LL not with the agent. You may choose to send a copy of your letter to the agent so they know what is going on. But you don't have to do anything they tell you to, if you prefer not to.

Good luck.

PS Even if, by some miracle, he has protected your deposit, he cannot just keep it. he must dispute its return to you via the scheme arbitration service, who will find against him claim. Then you can throw the book at him for not complying with gas safety regs. He is dead in the water, either way! Don't worry.

malcolmnash
29-03-2009, 16:27 PM
Thank you again - now not worrying at all - last request for information

You have advised to send him a copy of the online claim - can you please let me know where we make the online claim

Once again, most grateful to you

mind the gap
29-03-2009, 17:32 PM
Thank you again - now not worrying at all - last request for information

You have advised to send him a copy of the online claim - can you please let me know where we make the online claim

Once again, most grateful to you

It's a N208 claim form for you county court - available online. You may find this thread interesting:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t65430.html

mind the gap
29-03-2009, 17:46 PM
It's a N208 claim form for you county court - available online. You may find this thread interesting:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t65430.html

This is the form itself (below). You have to print if off and fill it in. Do one for yourself and one for the LL; tell him the date you intend to send it off, unless he produces your deposit in full.

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n208_1000.pdf

malcolmnash
31-03-2009, 18:34 PM
Thank you for all your advice - I will keep you posted through this site

herculiez
01-04-2009, 12:37 PM
Hello,
any help would be so great for me as i really don't know much about the law in this case. so my landlord asked me for a deposit of a high amount. the amount was over the legal amount for a tenency deposit, but i did not know this at the time of signing the contract. also the Landlord did not protect my deposit by putting it into a savings scheme... now the contract is over, and i have found out about the laws the landlord broke in the contract, and the Landlord is refusing to return part of my depoist becuase he clamined that i left the house in a dirty state, and that i broke a light bulb. and that he is keeping some of my deposit to pay for heating, water, and electricy.
does the landlord have any right to my Money.? seeing that he broke the law.?

Thanks...

Bel
01-04-2009, 13:25 PM
What is the amount of the deposit?

SALL
01-04-2009, 14:04 PM
What was your annual rent? Was it an AST?

jeffrey
01-04-2009, 14:07 PM
My landlord asked me for a deposit of a high amount. The amount was over the legal amount for a tenancy deposit.
What does the bit that I've underlined mean? What 'legal amount' do you think is the limit and why?

chris2289
01-04-2009, 15:15 PM
did you fill out an inventory when you moved in that contain the state of the property and its content when you moved in? If you did you can always refer to that and compare it to the state of the goods now.

mind the gap
01-04-2009, 16:08 PM
did you fill out an inventory when you moved in that contain the state of the property and its content when you moved in? If you did you can always refer to that and compare it to the state of the goods now.

It will not be upt to OP to prove that he left the property clean, but to the LL that he (OP), left it dirty. The inventories, or lack of them, are the LL's problem.

herculiez
01-04-2009, 18:00 PM
1000€ was the amount of the deposit. the contract is a german tenancy agreement. and accourding to the German §§ 535 ff. BGB (rental law). the deposit legally must not be over 3 months rent.. and my rent was 300€ a month.

Bel
01-04-2009, 18:03 PM
1000€ was the amount of the deposit. the contract is a german tenancy agreement. and accourding to the German §§ 535 ff. BGB (rental law). the deposit legally must not be over 3 months rent.. and my rent was 300€ a month.

We only deal with England and Wales stuff on this forum sorry.

justaboutsane
01-04-2009, 18:05 PM
Ah now this where we cannot help you. This forum is for England and Wales.

Poppy
02-04-2009, 11:24 AM
This forum is UK-wide. The majority of members can attempt answers pertaining to England and Wales. There are few members with knowledge of Northern Ireland and Scotland laws.

jeffrey
02-04-2009, 11:31 AM
This forum is UK-wide. The majority of members can attempt answers pertaining to England and Wales. There are few members with knowledge of Northern Ireland and Scotland laws.
...and still fewer competent to advise on German law!

Labno
18-04-2009, 17:24 PM
Hello,

Can anyone tell me if i have to give back the bond or deposit to a tenant that has just left and is in £1800 arrears? They want to know if the bond will be taken off the final arrears reducing the arrears owed?

Cheers.

mind the gap
18-04-2009, 17:31 PM
Hello,

Can anyone tell me if i have to give back the bond or deposit to a tenant that has just left and is in £1800 arrears? They want to know if the bond will be taken off the final arrears reducing the arrears owed?

Cheers.

What does the tenancy agreement say about using the deposit for unpaid rent once the tenancy is ended?

Is the deposit in a scheme?

hafgrape
05-05-2009, 13:36 PM
Help required. Landlord won't repay deposit.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All, advice would be much appreciated I've read a lot of threads but none of them quite apply.

We rented a property in Nov 2007, it was an assured shorthold tenancy and the agreement we signed stated that the deposit would be held under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme of the Agent.

The tenancy ended on 31 Dec 08, we checked through the property with the landlady and there were no disputes (indeed she asked us to go back and help the new tenants work the washing machine). However we have not received our £1,300 deposit back. I contacted the agent who said that the landlady had taken the deposit and said she would protect it herself, we never received notification of this nor a certificate from the landlady. Apparently the agent is allowed to do this and it's the landlady's responsibility to provide us and the agent with evidence of the scheme used. Of course we didn't question this at the time as we thought it was protected as per our agreement.

We have spoken to the landlady several times and she says she will pay it but can't afford it at the moment. We wrote to her registered post 3 weeks ago asking for details of the tenancy deposit scheme she says she used and also for repayment of our money - we've not had a response.

What I'd like to know is what we do next. In the absence of a deposit scheme to pursue is the next course of action to go to small claims court? If so do we claim the deposit only or detail the fact that there is no evidence of a deposit scheme. Does the agent have any responsibility?

Any advice would be much appreciated as we could really do with the money.

Thanks

SALL
05-05-2009, 14:11 PM
Help required. Landlord won't repay deposit.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All, advice would be much appreciated I've read a lot of threads but none of them quite apply.

We rented a property in Nov 2007, it was an assured shorthold tenancy and the agreement we signed stated that the deposit would be held under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme of the Agent.

The tenancy ended on 31 Dec 08, we checked through the property with the landlady and there were no disputes (indeed she asked us to go back and help the new tenants work the washing machine). However we have not received our £1,300 deposit back. I contacted the agent who said that the landlady had taken the deposit and said she would protect it herself, we never received notification of this nor a certificate from the landlady. Apparently the agent is allowed to do this and it's the landlady's responsibility to provide us and the agent with evidence of the scheme used. Of course we didn't question this at the time as we thought it was protected as per our agreement.

We have spoken to the landlady several times and she says she will pay it but can't afford it at the moment. We wrote to her registered post 3 weeks ago asking for details of the tenancy deposit scheme she says she used and also for repayment of our money - we've not had a response.

What I'd like to know is what we do next. In the absence of a deposit scheme to pursue is the next course of action to go to small claims court? If so do we claim the deposit only or detail the fact that there is no evidence of a deposit scheme. Does the agent have any responsibility?

Any advice would be much appreciated as we could really do with the money.

Thanks

If the LL didn't protect the deposit, you can claim 3 X deposit. Do search on deposit protection to get all the information you need. Send LL a letter before action to give her one last chance to return your deposit. If still no response, take her to small claims court.

mind the gap
05-05-2009, 14:20 PM
I have sent you a pm about a Letter Before Action you can use.

actcrazee
07-05-2009, 14:41 PM
Hiya,

Who is required to pay back my deposit directly to me? The letting agent or landlord?

jeffrey
07-05-2009, 14:57 PM
You as T have just one contract: with L. You pay a deposit to L, even if it is received by A on L's behalf; so your rights are against L only.

agent46
07-05-2009, 15:25 PM
You as T have just one contract: with L. You pay a deposit to L, even if it is received by A on L's behalf; so your rights are against L only.


Mmmm.... not sure that's the correct analysis. Since the deposit protection provisions in HA 2004 came into force, LA holds the deposit as stakeholder (trustee) for both LL and T. Therefore if LA fails to repay the deposit to T, T also has an action against LA for breach of trust.

jeffrey
07-05-2009, 16:07 PM
Er, the Agent should not be holding T's deposit at all if it was supposed to be placed with an approved deposit-holder!

agent46
07-05-2009, 16:26 PM
Er, the Agent should not be holding T's deposit at all if it was supposed to be placed with an approved deposit-holder!

Er, an agent can hold the deposit if he is a member of one of the insurance backed schemes. :rolleyes:

The second sentence of Hafgrape's post makes it clear that the agent would be holding the deposit (see below).




We rented a property in Nov 2007, it was an assured shorthold tenancy and the agreement we signed stated that the deposit would be held under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme of the Agent.


FAO: Hafgrape - in my view, the agent can also be liable as well as or instead of the landlord for failure to protect a tenancy deposit.

Whilst a principal (the landlord) is liable for the acts and omissions of their agent at common law, in relation to the special statutory scheme for dealing with AST deposits, the position has been changed by the Housing Act 2004 s.212(9)(a), which provides:

s.212

(9) In this Chapter—

(a) references to a landlord or landlords in relation to any shorthold tenancy or tenancies include references to a person or persons acting on his or their behalf in relation to the tenancy or tenancies, and

Therefore, when s.213 refers to landlords having to take certain actions in respect of the deposit (protection, service of prescribed info etc) and, by s.214, makes them liable for certain penalties in default of this (return or protect deposit + pay T a sum equal to 3X the deposit), the Act is imposing liability on an agent, if the agent received the deposit.

jeffrey
07-05-2009, 16:46 PM
But that's no help if T signed something which the Agent failed to carry into effect.

agent46
07-05-2009, 16:54 PM
But that's no help if T signed something which the Agent failed to carry into effect.

See my "FAO: Hafgrape" advice for how he/she might well have a right of action against the agent (if the deposit was paid to the agent).