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Landlord Masquerading as live-in in order to avoid deposit schemes - what are my options?

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83 views 1 replies latest reply: 28 July 2016

The situation is how the title suggests, but with a twist. Apparently according to my landlord i have signed a licence agreement, not an AST which permits a deposit to be unprotected.But as i understand it i should have an AST, given my landlord has not inhabited the house whilst i have been there – hence i am not a lodger.

The house is a large one, in which whilst i have been renting a room(18 months) the landlord or her partner have never lived with the other tenants.

Me & the seven other ‘lodgers” have often been disgruntled with how she has behaved, especially since she has tried to charge us for structural issues relating to the house, amongst other punitive charges relating to excessive cleaning charges and obscurity regarding calculation of utility bills.

I’d like to take her to small claims court in order to claim back my full deposit – I have evidence that suggests she isn’t listed on the electoral register at the address concerned, which i feel would go in my favour. However, she does receive bank statements to the address concerned – these are picked up by her mother who cleans the house as part of our bills package.

Obviously, I’d like to know on balance if this would be enough to prove she doesn’t live there?

Further, i believe her partner is listed on electoral register at the address concerned but my contract and correspondence is not with him. How would this affect proceedings, especially if they were cute with the truth?

Potentially I could get statements from other past tenants to corroborate what i have said, how much/if any weight would this carry in court?

I have since moved out, where my landlord has returned only 60% of my deposit thus far despite no damage to my room etc

Any comment I would be  extremely grateful for, before i go down a path i cannot return, along with court costs i can’t afford if i lose..






Hi Nark,

Unfortunately, as you have already vacated, this makes this much more difficult. Indeed, you should have been signed up on an AST and the deposot registered. However, as you have vacated this cannot be enforced now. I keep saying the same thing to Tenants on here time and time again- you must ensure things are done right at the start of your tenancy and that the laws in place to protect you are followed. So many Tenants rent a property and know they should be on and AST and/or that their deposit should be protected but do nothing. Then, at the end of the tenancy, they are surpirsed when they are mistreated and angry when they cant take action. Unfortunately, if you dont enforce the laws, you cant be protected by them!

That said, if the deductions are unjustified, there is nothing to stop you filing a claim with the small claims court to get the funds lost back. However, this is not cheap and is a very involved process so you need to think long and hard about whether this is a sensible course of action.

You can, however, report the matter to your local council for further investigation as I often find landlords like this are very poor at following other regulations regarding safety such as gas safety checks, smoke alarms, etc.

Hope that helps.

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