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Difficulty getting deposit back

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213 views 1 replies latest reply: 07 March 2016
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Tenant

Hi Just after some advice

It has been 23 days since we were checked-out of our former property but haven’t recieved our deposit from the letting agent.  We recieved an email last Tuesday (14 days after check-out) with the invoive for the return of our deposit, they claimed it had taken this long as they had to find out the cost of a lighbulb we had agreed to replace (that was the only deduction).  It stated the money would be in our account within 3 working days.

I have tried spoken to the agent on Tuesday who told me he would get straight back to me that day, he didn’t and had to leave a message today.

What action can I take?  They are in breach of their own contract which states all deposits will be returned within 14 days of checkout and MyDeposits 10 day.  I have spoken to MyDepoists who told me I need to email requesting it back to keep a ‘paper trail’ I soon receieved the invoice after this.  Any advice about a next step?  I know I can start a resolution on Friday, but this could then take 3 more weeks. 

Thanks

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Administrator

Hello

Make sure you have something in writing that states that there will only be one deduction – there is a time limit with deposit protection schemes within which you can access their free dispute resolution service. Outside of that you’d have to go to court to dispute deductions you don’t agree with so some agents cheekily force tenants to wait it out and then make ridiculous deductions. I think the limit is 3 months.

It’s the landlord who has the tenancy with you so the agent is putting the landlord in breach of contract and if you suffer loss as a result of this you could potentially sue the landlord (I’m not a lawyer so get some advice from Citizens Advice if you want to go down that route). Given that the agent’s behaviour is opening the landlord up to legal action, why not contact the landlord and tell them what’s going on? The contact details should be on your tenancy agreement or you can find them by searching the Land Registry – the landlord could force the agent to move.

You can also start making complaints about the agent to try and put a rocket under them. First, complain to the agents themselves and then start complaining to the professional body they are a member of – e.g. ARLA or the Property Ombudsman. Make sure you put everything in writing so they know you have proof/evidence. Agents won’t want to be investigated by these bodies and you may be able to get help compelling the agent to take action or seeking compensation for their actions.

Alex

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