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Deposit Questions

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462 views 2 replies latest reply: 09 March 2016
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Tenant

Hi All,

First post, so apologies if it isn’t that clear.

My flatmate and I moved into out current property in March 2012. About 2-3 months ago, our landlord placed the property on the market for sale. We have since fould a new home and served our notice, tenancy ends July 31st.

Having been going through the referencing process again, our new agent advised that the deposit must be protected within 30 days and provide us with all the relevant details, something I now understand as ‘prescribed information’. Our current landlord advised us of the company holding the deposit, but that was it. So I believe they have failed us on this part.

I asked some days ago now for the details of the deposit, the response I received was an assurance that the deposit was being held in a ‘secure account’, but they could not furnish me with further details (reference numbers, certificates etc).

In addition, our landlord wishes to charge £50 to perform a check-out of the property. There is no record of this charge on the tenancy agreement.

Where do I stand? I believe I have the right to be reimbursed the full deposit amount as thye have failed to provide us with the correct information. According to Tenancy Deposit Solutions (MyDeposits.co.uk) T&C’s, both landlord and tenant must have signed the certificate for it to be valid. Court seems such drastic action, but I will carry it out if I feel they will reign on their obligations.

Do I challenge them now? Demand the sertificate and ask for a full refund of the deposit, or; Do I wait and see how it pans out at the check-out? If they try to claim for stupid things then go in guns blazing?!

Also, on a side note, anyone know how seriously the HSE take the lack of safety inspection certificates on gas appliances? I don’t have one for 2013, 2014 or 2015! I now understand they should be performed anually!

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Administrator

Hi Lewis

First, with respect to the HSE, we have had a few forum posts on here that seem to indicate that complaints about that kind of thing take a long time to deal with. However, it is always worth making the complaint and the threat of it (particularly the threat of the five figure fine the HSE can impose on a landlord) can be useful in your own negotiations.

So, the deposit. You can check the three main deposit schemes yourself here. If you can’t find it in these schemes then it hasn’t been legally protected no matter how ‘secure’ the account the landlord says it is in.

If the landlord hasn’t protected your deposit then you can take them to court for 1-3 times the amount of the deposit. Here is information on how to do it.

In terms of how to proceed, if you find that the deposit isn’t legally protected then you hold all the cards. Nothing at all can be taken from the deposit amount without your consent so the landlord can’t simply say ‘right I’m keeping £500 for X and £50 for the check out.’ Many landlords do do this but they don’t have a legal right to do it as the deposit remains your property until you consent to deductions or until a disputes resolution service from one of the protection schemes decides that’s fair.

It might be worth waiting until 31st to see what they say about the deposit. If your deposit isn’t protected you could point out that this is a breach of your tenancy (it should be in the tenancy) and of landlord and tenant legislation and that you’re well within your rights to claim for 1-3 times the deposit amount as a result. Give the landlord a specific length of time to return the deposit in its entirety or you’ll start a claim. In terms of the check out fee you could simply refuse to pay it or offer to split it but there’s no reason you should bear the cost.

If you find your deposit is protected then you can use the disputes service of that scheme to police anything the landlord tries to do to hold on to the deposit.

Alex

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Tenant

How did it go int he end and did you end up going via the court? 

 

Thanks

G

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