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studentadviser
01-10-2009, 10:44 AM
Hi,
My first post so apologies if this has already been answered, I have searched the forum and can't find the info.

Students left at end of AST, landlord promised deposit back but has made excuse after excuse (ie cheque in the post). LL is not arguing that he has any deductions to make. They came for advice and now clear that deposit wasn't protected when it should have been.
Have advised them to write again making final request for deposit and pointing out that if not refunded they will issue claim not just for return of deposit but for none protection including the 3x deposit penalty. Hopefully this will prompt the refund, which is all they really want as they had no problems during tenancy and LL was OK.
If not they will send a letter before action and a copy of N208 (from reading forum posts this is the correct form to use?) that will be filed if money not forth coming.
I am anticipating a few more groups in similar situation so my question is can anyone help with sugested wording for the 'Details of Claim' section and should the amount of the claim be the deposit amount or the deposit plus the 3x times penalty?

westminster
01-10-2009, 12:40 PM
Form N208 is the correct form. See
http://painsmith.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/proper-place-for-tds-claims/

Court fees on the Fast Track can be up to £1000 to reach the hearing stage. Students should first check whether they are eligible for legal aid. If not, they may be eligible for fee remission.
http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/fees/index.htm
Either way, because of the potential cost consequences (aside from court fees, the claimant may be exposed to the defendant's legal costs), it would be advisable for students to seek proper legal advice before issuing a claim. Discontinuing a claim can have cost consequences, too.

All cases are different, so it would be difficult and also irresponsible to suggest a generic wording. However, here is the statute on deposit protection (s.212-215, HA2004)
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2004/ukpga_20040034_en_19#pt6-ch4

Note that some LLs may avoid the penalty if they return the deposit or belatedly protect it (though one or two of the schemes do not allow this). Different judges take different views as to whether to apply the penalty in such cases, and it's often described as a lottery. See
http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2008/10/deposits-another-county-court-decison/
and also click on the link to read about other deposit claims

Don't forget there is always the simpler and less risky option of claiming just for the deposit back, which would be allocated to the Small Claims Track.

studentadviser
01-10-2009, 13:29 PM
Thank you for that.
There are some very interesting case reports on the site you directed me too.
Our intention at this stage is to use a drafted N208 to prompt a landlord into refunding an unprotected, undisputed deposit after the end of a tenancy. We would take further advice on a case by case basis before starting a section214 claim.
Prior to TDP we used the small claims track to claim for deposit refunds but are hoping that the threat of 3x will serve as 'nudge' to landlords to give deposits back.:)