PDA

View Full Version : Claiming for 3x my deposit



LucindaB
30-03-2010, 15:20 PM
I signed a assured shorthold tenancy agreement and paid my deposit in feb 2009. My agency did not mention a deposit scheme nor did I receive a certificate.

7 months later I received a letter informing me that my deposit was being removed from the DPS. 4 months after that I received an email stating that the landlord had registered with 'my deposits' but had not received my deposit.

I filled out an N1 court form claiming 3 times my deposit as I believed it was not protected. Since sending this form I have received confirmation that my deposit is now protected.

My agency received a court summons today and called me, he was very angry with me. He said that I will have to pay his solicitors fees if I lose. Is this true? (I am a student and therefore I do not have to pay the court fees).

Also do you think I have a good case for getting 3x the deposit back? Or will the courts not issue the fine as my deposit is now protected? And therefore, should I perhaps cancel my claim?

Many thanks.

mjbfire
30-03-2010, 15:55 PM
Did you take legal advise before going to court?

My view is that you very unlikely to get anything, as the deposit has now been protected, see other posts.

The other stange thing I don't think the DPS would release your deposit without your agreement. So maybe it was never protected with the DPS??? if so very bad LA and/or LL.


Did you talk to your LL or LA about the deposit not being protected before you starting court action. If you didn't, as a LL, I wouldn't be very happy, and if I was you, I would look out for a S21(Eviction Notice) coming your way very soon. So i would either start mending bridges with LL/LA or find somewhere else to live.

LucindaB
30-03-2010, 16:08 PM
So it doesn't matter that at some point my deposit was not protected?

Yes I got legal advice. They told me to first contact the agency and ask for my certificate. I wrote a letter explaining my concerns, which I had no reply to. I also asked them in person and they told me my deposit was protected but still did not give me a certificate. Therefore, I filled out a court form, was this wrong? Should I cancel the case?

I did not realise I could be evicted for doing this!

If I lose the case will I have to pay solicitors fees?

Snorkerz
30-03-2010, 16:40 PM
So it doesn't matter that at some point my deposit was not protected? The law has recently been clarified that late protection is not going to result in the award of the 3x protection.

Yes I got legal advice. They told me to first contact the agency and ask for my certificate. I wrote a letter explaining my concerns, which I had no reply to. I also asked them in person and they told me my deposit was protected but still did not give me a certificate. Therefore, I filled out a court form, was this wrong? Should I cancel the case? You probably should cancel the case. All the landlord has to do to not lose the case is to either return or protect the deposit. It is also worth noting that these claims are not dealt with on form N1 and are never dealt with in the 'small claims' so you would be exposed to your opponents legal costs. Your case should primarily be against the landlord - it is his obligation - although the agent can be pursued if needs be
I did not realise I could be evicted for doing this! A section 21 is a no-fault eviction - you could be evicted because the landlord doesn't like the colour of your car! However, the s21 can only be used when you are at or outside the fixed term of your tenancy agreement, and a s21 notice is not valid if the deposit is unprotected when the notice is served.
If I lose the case will I have to pay solicitors fees?Yes

mjbfire
30-03-2010, 17:04 PM
Sounds like you did things in the right order, just some T go straight to the court when they see 3times deposit, without talking to anybody.
But your lawyer should have told you, that it be unlikely for you to get 3times the deposit as they have now protected it, so even lawyers don't know the law, hope you didn't pay them to much.

It would be upto the LL not the LA to serve a notice, so I would write a letter to the LL, telling them whats gone on, and that you wish to stay on.
Which hopefully if he got other P, he will make sure the LA have protected everybody elses. As if the LA goes bust, he as LL will still has to pay out the deposits.

LucindaB
30-03-2010, 17:26 PM
When I filled out the court form my deposit was not protected, but the LA protected it in the time the courts were processing my claim.

I don't think I can be evicted as I have a 12 month tenancy agreement which is not due up yet, and I have not breached any parts of the contract.

mind the gap
30-03-2010, 17:29 PM
When I filled out the court form my deposit was not protected, but the LA protected it in the time the courts were processing my claim.

I don't think I can be evicted as I have a 12 month tenancy agreement which is not due up yet, and I have not breached any parts of the contract.

No, you cannot be required to leave before the end of the fixed term; I think what others meant (by their references to 'eviction') is that when the relationship between LL and T breaks down to this extent, it is likely that the T will be served a s21 as soon as legally possible, i.e. not given the choice of staying on after the fixed term ends.

mjbfire
30-03-2010, 17:55 PM
Soz, Feb 2009 now March 2010 thats over a year,

If you initial had a six month contract and then signed another for a year, that would possibily explain the mess with the deposits. As they was trying to move it when you signed a new contract, as you need to reregistered it.

LucindaB
30-03-2010, 18:16 PM
We paid the deposit in february 09 but the tenancy agreement did not start until July 09 (student house).

Thanks for all your advice.

westminster
30-03-2010, 19:53 PM
mydeposits' rules state


C1.1.2 We may allow a Member to Protect a Deposit after 14 Days have elapsed from receipt if the Member provides us with a satisfactory explanation. We may refuse to Protect a Deposit or charge a late Protection penalty fee to Protect a Deposit later than 14 Days from receipt.
NB1:We may cancel Membership if more than 1 request arises under C1.1.2.
NB2:The Deposit Protection Certificate states the date that the Member received the Deposit and the date that the Protection commenced. A Tenant may issue Court proceedings against a Memberfor late Protection.


C1.1.3 We will not Protect a Deposit after 14 Days have elapsed from receipt by the Member in the following circumstances:
.....C1.1.3.2 The Tenant(s) has initiated Court proceedings for non-Protection of the Deposit

Are you sure that the deposit was not protected when you issued the claim as unless the landlord has lied on the submission forms it seems unlikely that mydeposits would have agreed to protect it in the circumstances you describe. Is it possible that it was protected but that you just hadn't been given the prescribed information? What dates are stated on the DPC? What date did you issue the claim?