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Deposit return after Landlord death

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607 views 3 replies latest reply: 11 March 2014
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Tenant

My partner and I were renting a property privately from a landlord and were exiting the property at the end of July. The house we were renting was owned by our landlord and his wife although all of our agreements and documentation were only with the landlord. The landlord wanted us to leave the property at the end of the tenancy as he was getting divorced from his wife and so the property would be sold and this would be part of the divorce. We were planning to leave anyway as were going travelling and then relocating on return to the UK.

All dealings we have had with the house, which we’d looked after well, had been with the landlord who we had a good relationship with. Unfortunately, a few weeks before we moved out the landlord died. We therefore made contact with the wife and arranged a day for her to come round and check the house and discuss the paying of the bond. She didn’t turn up on this day and gave reasons why. We felt it was right not to make a fuss of the deposit at this time as her husband had just died. We left the property on the agreed date leaving the house in the best condition possible and went away on our planned travels.

When we returned to the country I had not heard anything from the wife although we’d left our contact details so I made numerous attempts to telephone her. She never returned my calls so I text her to which she responded with quite a nasty message suggesting the bond wouldn’t be returned in full due to damage, which we dispute exists, and we would have to wait for probate. I therefore resolved to attempt to get the deposit returned by other means and have tried to seek free legal advice.

I have contacted all of the deposit protection services and none of them have a record of a deposit being paid, which I know to be against the law, so they couldn’t help.

Having been in contact with different local and legal services I am at a loss as to how to get the deposit back with out paying for solicitation.

I know probate can take a long time but I would like to resolve this without having to contact the wife, whom I don’t trust, and as our agreement was solely with the sadly deceased landlord.

Anyone who has any suggestions on how to progress on my predicament will be much appreciated, I wish I’d come across this forum sooner to ask for help!

Thanks in advance.

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Agent

your best option is to file a claim with the small claims court which you can do yourself and online. The mere fact that your landlord acted illegally will mean the return of your deposit and you could in fact claim for more.
your claim should be against them both as they are both the legal owners.

the cost of this is minimal—-

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Other

This is the best course of action, through the Small Claims Court, and it is always remembering in future to ensure you get paperwork from a secure government backed deposit scheme.. The check out should have been done with all parties present and any problems discussed at that time, then a Landlord/Agent has 10 working days to repay the deposit.. As the Landlord acted illegally with the deposit, you could be awarded upto 3 times the deposit amount.. But if estate is subject to probate, it suggests he died without a will or not valid will, or it has been contested, so you would have to put your claim in with the estate trustee’s and it can take some time, sometimes 18 months to 2 years, depending on complexity of estate.

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