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liam22
22-12-2011, 13:49 PM
Hello,

I'm trying to get legal advice and thought internet forums would be a good place to start. Thanks in advance for reading and hopefully you will be able to offer me some good advice on where I stand with my issue and what to do next.

I moved into a room in Morden (South London) on the 4th July 2011. When I moved in I was given no contract and no inventory was given with how the room was given and should be left when I leave. I was not told that my landlady was sub-letting the property from somebody (who I know nothing about). She also sub-lets another room in the property to a single tenant and the whole 2nd floor of the property to another family.

So, I gave her 6 weeks’ notice of leave early November and have now moved out of the property.

I was told to get my deposit (£400) that I would need to fix a draw that some beading needed replacing, a new bin would need to be bought, a plug extension would need to be returned and the carpet near the door would need a new metal strip laying because my cat had apparently pulled and damaged the carpet. I am convinced that my cat has not done this damage but I decided it’s only a £10 job, ill just do it.

All problems have been sorted apart from the carpet as she will not allow me to carry out the work as she wants it done professionally. I text the lady and arranged for a carpet fitter to go round and replace the metal strip with a wider one to cover the damage but there was no answer. I text and arranged another time for the man to go round and again, with times agreed, no answer although she claims somebody was in. I was told by the lady that I should have given the carpet fitter her phone number but he didn’t want the hassle of phoning her. He wanted to do the job and leave. He has now said he won’t do the job as he's been messed around twice.

Anyway... (I’m nearly done :(nerd): )

The last message I send her was basically explaining that I have tried to sort out the carpet but not getting anywhere. I’m happy for you to take £20 out of my deposit and just send me the £380 but she replied:

Liam, I told you to give him my number, not certain why this is hard for you. Someone was in the house when arranged. Really you just waste your own time.

This was the last contact I had with the lady. I tried to ring her twice but no answer.

So now I’m not sure where I go/do. I’m happy to take her to court if need be to get my deposit back.

I’m convinced my deposit is not in a 'protection scheme' but not sure as I lived with the landlady she needs to secure the deposit or I’m not sure she is paying tax on the rent she is making renting out the other rooms in the house.

Any advice on what to do next or what my rights are would be very grateful!!

Thank you in advance!

Liam

westminster
22-12-2011, 14:35 PM
If you lived in the same house as the LL, then you did not have an assured shorthold tenancy, so the LL wasn't obliged to protect the deposit.

Legally, the deposit is your money and if you bring a claim against the LL, she would have to counterclaim and prove (to the satisfaction of the court) that she has suffered a financial loss of £400 in order to keep it. She'd need evidence - such as a check-in inventory - to support a counterclaim.

Do you have a receipt for the deposit, to prove you paid it?

First step is to write a letter before action to the LL (keep proof of posting, and a copy of the letter). Ask her to the return the deposit and give a deadline for this (10 days is reasonable); say that you will start a county court claim if she doesn't refund you by the deadline.

If she doesn't refund you, you claim start a claim very easily online - https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

The claim will be allocated to the small claims track; court fees are low and will be added to the claim. Small claims is designed for use by 'litigants-in-person', i.e. you don't need a solicitor or legal advice - but you will probably find it helpful to buy or borrow from the library a book on small claims procedure.

liam22
22-12-2011, 14:48 PM
I didn't get a receipt for the deposit but it does state in her out-inventory that we paid £400 (actually it states £440 but i think thats a typo by her lol)

Thank you very much for your helpful advice!

Liam

liam22
22-12-2011, 15:02 PM
Another quick question:

Should I ask for the whole £400 back as she has no evidence that I damaged the carpet as no in-inventory was issued? I have made a more that reasonable attempt to have the damage repaired ( even though it wasnt me ).

Thank you.

westminster
22-12-2011, 15:07 PM
I didn't get a receipt for the deposit but it does state in her out-inventory that we paid £400
Do remember always to get receipts when you hand over money to a LL, especially if paying cash (since there are usually bank records for other forms of payment - but you might still need evidence to prove a payment was a deposit, and not rent, for example).


Thank you very much for your helpful advice!

You're welcome, and ask again if you have any questions about claims procedure.

westminster
22-12-2011, 15:10 PM
Should I ask for the whole £400 back as she has no evidence that I damaged the carpet as no in-inventory was issued? I have made a more that reasonable attempt to have the damage repaired ( even though it wasnt me ).

Yes, claim the whole £400, since you deny liability for the carpet damage.