Landlord trying to keep deposit due to flatmates unpaid rent | The Tenants' Voice
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Landlord trying to keep deposit due to flatmates unpaid rent

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361 views 1 replies latest reply: 11 September 2017
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Other

Hello,

I have been renting an apartment for the past year with a previous friend. We each paid a £500 deposit to cover a month’s worth of rent (£1000 in total) . Long story short, my flatmate failed to make two of her rent payments so the landlord is trying to claim back the whole deposit to cover each of the £500 she failed to give him.

We are on a joint tenancy so I understand the landlord has the right to do this as technically we were both liable for the rent even though I paid all of my ‘half’, however the question I have is do I have any chance of seeing my £500 again? The deposit is currently in the deposit protection scheme where my landlord has requested the full amount back. Should I go into a dispute even though I know I would probably loose? The only small thing I have on my side is that my landlord was not a very good one and we had issues with the flat when we moved in that were never resolved even though I emailed him several times that I have records of (the shower leaked so badly it caused a damp patch on the ceiling of the apartment below, the drains smelled of sewage, the blinds in the bathroom were mouldy). Would this give me any leg to stand on in claiming a bit of the money back or is this not worthy to get some of the deposit back?

In terms of my flatmate we are no longer in contact however I have messaged her several times asking her to pay at least one month of the rent so I could get my deposit back at least, to no avail. She already has a lot of debt against her name (unpaid loans, unpaid phone bills ect.) so is there any chance I could claim my lost £500 from her another way or would going through the courts be a waste of time due to her previous unpaid debts she hasn’t repaid.

I know I was silly signing a joint tenancy with her but hindsight is a beautiful thing and now I’m just trying to look for a way to resolve it and get a part, if not all of my money back!

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Tenant

Hello, 

Unfortunately, you’re in the most unfavourable positions. It is likely you will never see your money back.

1. Joint tenancies are tricky because all joint tenants are co-responsible for the entire property, including rent, bills, damage, etc. It doesn’t matter who didn’t pay rent or who is innocent. Being joint tenants you’re responsible for all the rent. 

This means that your landlord is right to seek compensation from your joint deposit, even though you have no fault for your housemate’s actions. 

2. Your housemate is already in debt with loans, bills, etc. It’s likely possible to get a court judgement on her. But you’re going to have a very hard time actually enforcing her. It’s very likely that she simply can’t get the money and if she does there are other institutions which are going to compete with you for back payment.

I usually advise people to not let go and chase justice, but in this case I don’t know if I wouldn’t be wasting your time. 

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