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Trouble getting a deposit back for a London room

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159 views 1 replies latest reply: 28 July 2016
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Tenant

Hi all,

Really hoping you can help me on this. My fiancee moved into a room in a shared flat in London 2 years ago. There are three rooms to the flat and each tennant pays rent seperately to the letting agent. When she moved in she paid her deposit which is secured by the TDP scheme and the flat received a contract which still had the previous tennant’s name on. Despite chasing them to update the name, this never happened.

Now, the time has come to move out. She gave them verbal notice of 4 weeks and told her she should find a replacement for the room. I found this a bit odd as I don’t see it has her responsibility to find a tennant but without a contract she couldn’t check. They wanted to raise the rent by £100 for the new tennant too. So she advertised on SpareRoom.com and had 8 viewings with no interest whatsoever. 

Tomorrow is moving day and they are reluctant to give her deposit back without a new tennant for the room. They have insisted the other two flatmates write the letting agent an email to state they are happy she is moving out and will cover the missing rent between them for the empty room. This is obviously out of the question as it’s not their responsibilty to cover the rent of an empty room. 

There is also no Gas Safety Certificate issued for the flat. Can we use this as leverage to get the deposit back? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

James

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Agent

Hi James,

A lot of issues to tackle here…

Deposit- as a Tenant you (and I know you have written on a partners behalf) have a duty to ensure the laws in place to protect you are followed. As the deposit has been registered, this will be protected. The fact there is no signed Tenancy Agreement in place makes the Landlords position very weak indeed. If they are unwilling to return this, all she needs to do is raise a ‘dispute’ with the allocated regulator and they will review, rule and allocate funds accordingly.

Gas Safety- this should be reported immediately to the local Environmental Helth Dept to enforce. Whilst this is a serious breach this doesnt mean she can just walk away.

Notice- usually in the UK Tenants are only required to give 1 months notice. As long as no ‘minimum term/contract’ was agreed to then this can be served at almost any time by a Tenant. I do hoep she served this in writing and therefore has proof of when this was served?

I do advise you seek independent legal advice on this matter however, from tjhe information you have supplied, she should be entitled to leave and (even if acheived through a dispute) should get her deposit back.

Hope that helps.

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