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ex landord blackmailing us to not sue over unprotected deposit

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53 views 1 replies latest reply: 05 October 2016

We left our rented house 2 weeks ago when we originally moved in the house was in a complete state but we agreed to sort the garden cut grass & hedge etc when we moved in aswell as paint the rooms which would be left in a neutral way at the end of the tenancy. 
We had our final check out inspection where the landlord complained that the painting hadnt been done professionally or nuteral (it was all magnolia, very pale grey and very pale blue). He also complained that the garden hadnt been cut for a while & there was rubbish in the garden but agreed if we cleared rubbish from garden and cut grass back he would return our full deposit. 
The deposit wasnt protected. (tenancy started 2012 so it should have been) 
2 weeks on he is now ignoring us and has said if we take him to court over the non protection he will forward a final report to our new letting agents basically stating we trashed his house and left it in a state. Which is simply not true. It wasnt perfect by any means when we left but was practically unhabitable when we moved in. He has no initial inventory and we lost all our original pictures when my phone broke. He cannot prove we have done any damage except show rooms in a less than perfect condition but we also cannot prove that it was a state when we moved in in the first place… 
He is basically blackmailing us as he has simply stated we try to recover what is rightfully ours that he knows he cant contest then he will effectively try to get us evicted from our new house.


We have left the house with marks on the carpet and we painted it rather than had it done professionally which at no point did we agree to have done just that it would be painted.  The carpets have been in for 10+ years and were not beige when we moved in but a really dirty grey colour til we had them professionally cleaned.  This landlord is also ‘friends’ with my father in law and he again told him that if he painted one of the rooms we would then get our deposit back.  All done while he stalled for time to go to a solicitor to claim for damage to his house.  Please bare in mind that whilst we dont think for 1 second the house was spotless or perfect when we moved in apart from some marks on the carpets there was nothing wrong.  Also please bare in mind the carpets were filthy when we moved in and have been in for 10 years there is also no proof on either side the condition of the house when we moved in and he is purely trying to stop us going to court over the non protection.  He has basically said if we take him to court for that he will counter claim for damages, which the house is no worse than we moved in but no one can prove either way, and that he will forward a report to our new lettings agency saying we have damaged his house.  He has also said that we will loose because he has a solicitor who he can afford to pay a lot of money and we dont and cant. (funny how he was always skint when anything needed fixing!) 

Where do i stand? what are my chances of winning regarding the non protection and what about his counter claim and blackmail?? Help i really dont know what to do but really cant afford to lose either way.


Where do you stand ? In the best position possible. 

So here how things go: 

1. Your landlord has not protected your deposit. Your chances of winning are 100% in court. There is no defense against not protecting the tenants’ deposit. Even the most expensive lawyer can’t turn this around. The court has to award you 1-3 times the deposit money. And they still need to give you the original deposit back

Provided you show them the current correspondence, chances are you’ll get more like 2x or even 3x.

2. Your landlord can’t claim for damages if he doesn’t have an inventory to prove damages were made. Your deposit is YOUR LEGAL PROPERTY. He has to prove he is entitled to a part of it, not you. 

3. Contact your letting agent and warn them in advance about your old landlord contacting them. Explain the situation clearly. A landlord with no inventory, unprotected deposit and attempts at blackmail is hardly going to be taken for their word. Your letting agent should understand this very well. 

4. Is he blackmailing you over email, text messages ? This is the very least harassment. If you have this in writing you may go as far as pursuing them in court for this. I wouldn’t, but the evidence alone will help your case in court. 


Here are some article on our website to help you with further information:

Tenancy deposit protection schemes (TDP)

Deposit deductions and disputes

The Tenancy Inventory Check

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