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eneiand
11-02-2010, 12:52 PM
Hi all. Any advice is appreciated. My wife and I are leaving our apartment soon for pastures new after a difficult year in our current place.

To prevent cashflow problems we would like our deposit back asap. We don't trust our LL and have every reason to believe that he may attempt to make unfound claims on our deposit after carrying out his checkout inspection.

We have spoken about paying an AIIC registered inventory clerk to carry out an inspection for us to pre-empt unfound claims he may make. Is this any more effective than taking photos ourselves etc?.

The only information I have that may be relevant is that upon moving in the landlord took some photos randomly and promised us an inventory which never appeared.

Thanks for any advice.

Poppy
11-02-2010, 13:22 PM
Has the landlord informed you where the deposit is protected?

If you and landlord have not signed an inventory when the tenancy started, then the landlord almost cannot rely on a few photos later.

eneiand
11-02-2010, 13:26 PM
Hi Poppy.

I know that the deposit is protected with mydeposits. We found the flat through a letting agency initially who placed it in the scheme.

Poppy
11-02-2010, 13:32 PM
You need to be a bit patient. If the deposit is not returned and deductions agreed within a reasonable period of time after the tenancy has ended, then you can initiate a dispute or take the landlord to court.

I would not return a deposit before the tenancy had ended. Any cashflow problems is for you to solve.

eneiand
11-02-2010, 13:32 PM
Do you think there is any benefit to us to pay for a clerk to do an inspection?

eneiand
11-02-2010, 13:35 PM
You need to be a bit patient. If the deposit is not returned and deductions agreed within a reasonable period of time after the tenancy has ended, then you can initiate a dispute or take the landlord to court.

I would not return a deposit before the tenancy had ended. Any cashflow problems is for you to solve.

Thanks Poppy. To clarify I dont expect the deposit back before the tenancy has ended, just as soon as possible after it's over.

If he were to make a claim on it that we dispute, is the remainder released to us while that dispute takes place?

Poppy
11-02-2010, 13:42 PM
I don’t think it is necessary for you to employ an inventory clerk. I suggest that you ask your landlord to come and inspect the property one month before vacating to give you an idea of the things he wants you to clean and repair to ensure the full deposit is returned.

If you are not inclined to trust this landlord, it is advisable to take photographs of the property at the end of the tenancy. According to mydeposits the dispute process is evidence-based, the photographs would be part of that.

It is my understanding that undisputed amounts will be returned quickly from the landlord.

Cipher
11-02-2010, 13:47 PM
The landlord has upto 10 days after the tenancy has ended to let you know if they wants to hold any amount back for damages, rent arrears etc.
Im not sure if the remaining undisputed amount gets paid to you whilst dispute is being resolved. Read the documentation that you should have received regarding your deposit or visit the site (http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants/tenant-how_it_works2-end.htm) for more information.

Cipher
11-02-2010, 13:49 PM
Information for Tenants (mydeposits) (http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/pdf/mydeposits_Information_for_Tenants.pdf)

Lawcruncher
11-02-2010, 14:04 PM
I would not return a deposit before the tenancy had ended.

That is fair enough.


Any cashflow problems is for you to solve.

That is fine up to a point. However, letting is a business and landlords should act in a business-like manner. If they expect the rent to be paid on the dot, they should be equally sharp about inspecting at the end of the tenancy and, if there is no dispute, ensuring that the deposit (which let us remember is the tenant's money) is returned with all speed. Whilst it may not be possible in every case, what excuse is there for a landlord in not personally or through an agent inspecting on the day the tenant leaves if he has sufficient notice?

If landlords, even those with no intention of ripping the tenant off, say to tenants that they will get round and deal with the matter when it suits their convenience, is it surprising that some tenants tell their landlords to take the final instalment of rent out of the deposit?

Sad S
11-02-2010, 19:21 PM
The landlord has upto 10 days after the tenancy has ended to let you know if they wants to hold any amount back for damages, rent arrears etc.
Im not sure if the remaining undisputed amount gets paid to you whilst dispute is being resolved. Read the documentation that you should have received regarding your deposit or visit the site (http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants/tenant-how_it_works2-end.htm) for more information.

When Landlord uses mydeposits, he L holds the deposit himself. So I would imagine that it's up to him whether he gives you the undisputed amount in the short term. How quickly do you need the money?

Perplexed
11-02-2010, 23:40 PM
I think that an inventory clerk will want to check the property against the original inventory, more specifically, one that would have been compiled by them. I don't think they would be happy or even able to do a check-out where there is an inventory compiled by someone else or even no inventory at all.

On the other hand, for an inventory to be valid, this would have to have been signed and witnessed at the start of the tenancy, so if the LL failed to provide one he shot himself in the foot. Without an inventory he'll have a job proving you caused any damage.

The downside however, is that if there is a dispute over the deposit this will take a long time to resolve either way. Mydeposts usually ensure they sit on the money for a whole month, and if you have to go to court (remember, the LL has the right to refuse arbitration) that will take even longer.

Hope that helps.

eneiand
12-02-2010, 11:31 AM
When Landlord uses mydeposits, he L holds the deposit himself. So I would imagine that it's up to him whether he gives you the undisputed amount in the short term. How quickly do you need the money?

I've spoken to mydeposits and they inform me that the undisputed amount should be returned to me within the 10 days. I also have confirmed that it is the letting agency who physically has the cash and not the landlord. Today I called the bank and they granted me a overdraft should we need it in the meantime so hopefully everything will be ok!

Thanks for your comment.

eneiand
12-02-2010, 11:33 AM
I think that an inventory clerk will want to check the property against the original inventory, more specifically, one that would have been compiled by them. I don't think they would be happy or even able to do a check-out where there is an inventory compiled by someone else or even no inventory at all.

On the other hand, for an inventory to be valid, this would have to have been signed and witnessed at the start of the tenancy, so if the LL failed to provide one he shot himself in the foot. Without an inventory he'll have a job proving you caused any damage.

The downside however, is that if there is a dispute over the deposit this will take a long time to resolve either way. Mydeposts usually ensure they sit on the money for a whole month, and if you have to go to court (remember, the LL has the right to refuse arbitration) that will take even longer.

Hope that helps.

Hi Perplexed, that's the realisation I was slowly coming to myself. A clerk would need the previous inventory to be of any use. There is none, at least there are only photo's which may or may not still exist. The landlord took some random photo's and told me we would get an inventory. I followed up a couple of times but he never provided it.

barrybarry
12-02-2010, 13:29 PM
Hi,

I used mydeposits recently as a tenant so thought I'd share what happened:

- Landlord refused to return the non disputed amount, then assumed radio silence after a lot of back and forth
- went to dispute resolution with mydeposits for full amount
- landlord refuesed to respond to mydeposits and refused to lodge disputed amount
- landlord had their membership suspended and mydeposits decided in the absence of an inventory, any proof of the alleged damages or indeed any contact that we should get the money.
- the money arrived 10 days later - despite the landlord not actually lodging it with them (which was surprising as I thought it was non-custodial).

Anyway, the whole process took 6 months, but the mydeposits bit was about 2/3 months, during which time we did rack up overdraft charges.

I would say lodge a dispute as soon as the landlord doesn't comply, and make sure you have a lot of photos and any evidence - emails to the landlord, contract etc. It was worth it as taking the landlord to court would have been hideous - they were properly dodgy from the start.

My current landlord is great, but as I have to supply references as a tenant I wish there was a similar system for lanndlors. Also a credit check - my last landlord was balancing a v shaky property portfolio that meant they never had any cash. The void when we left probably creted the need for them to use our deposit for mortgage payments......

Cheers

eneiand
12-02-2010, 13:39 PM
Hi,

I used mydeposits recently as a tenant so thought I'd share what happened:

- Landlord refused to return the non disputed amount, then assumed radio silence after a lot of back and forth
- went to dispute resolution with mydeposits for full amount
- landlord refuesed to respond to mydeposits and refused to lodge disputed amount
- landlord had their membership suspended and mydeposits decided in the absence of an inventory, any proof of the alleged damages or indeed any contact that we should get the money.
- the money arrived 10 days later - despite the landlord not actually lodging it with them (which was surprising as I thought it was non-custodial).

Anyway, the whole process took 6 months, but the mydeposits bit was about 2/3 months, during which time we did rack up overdraft charges.

I would say lodge a dispute as soon as the landlord doesn't comply, and make sure you have a lot of photos and any evidence - emails to the landlord, contract etc. It was worth it as taking the landlord to court would have been hideous - they were properly dodgy from the start.

My current landlord is great, but as I have to supply references as a tenant I wish there was a similar system for lanndlors. Also a credit check - my last landlord was balancing a v shaky property portfolio that meant they never had any cash. The void when we left probably creted the need for them to use our deposit for mortgage payments......

Cheers

Thanks for your input. Our landlord is dodgy but it is the agency who holds the deposit at the moment. Am I right in saying that radio silence on the landlord's part would mean that the agency would still have responsibility to return the money within 10 days?

sb247
12-02-2010, 14:38 PM
its very hard for a landlord to make deductions if he cant prove how much/little damage there was at the start of the tenancy. If it ended up disputed, whatever independent party will see that there is no way to calculate the damage. the photos will help the landlord if there is genuine damage but helps nothing if he tries to use them to make fake claims. Im not 100% but pretty sure the landlord hasnt covered himself as much as he should of done.

Hope this helps :)

barrybarry
12-02-2010, 16:09 PM
Hi,

Yes, I think that still stands even if it's the agency. If you get no joy just go strait to abitration - you get regular updates from mydeposits and I found it a lot less stressful than pursuing the landlord. They will need proper proof to take your money - as other people have said the onus is on them to prove you caused the damage rather than the other way round.

Good luck!