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Various issues - need help please..

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449 views 2 replies latest reply: 07 January 2015
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Tenant

We moved into a private rented property on 1st June 2013.

We paid a £750 deposit & £750 as a month up front.

we have had various issues with regards to repairs since we moved in. 5 in fact that the landlords have not sorted despite notifying them.

The Gas boiler hadn’t had a service since 2011. Despite asking landlord to arrange a safety inspection, (& this was a requirement by law) this wasnt completed until sep 2013.

I have recently checked to see if our deposit has been put into a tenancy deposit scheme. As far as I can see it hasn’t. I have checked with 3 links i got online of registered schemes.. ais there only 3 it can be put in to or is there a possibility that they could of used another one? (The 3 i checked were ‘My Deposits’, DPS & TDS.. )

All of landlords post is still coming to the property and landlord kept texting me asking me to leave it outside under the wheelie bin for her. After a while I got irritated doing this so suggested she maybe chaged her address as because they haven’t gone out of thier way to help us out with repairs i didnt see why I should go out of my way to for them.

She didnt respond, so I sent her a text to state all post would be returned to sender from them on.

The next day I was letting my aunt in and found a letter in my porch. the landlord was also walking towards me and said ‘There’s a letter for you there, take us to court if you want’ Confused I ignored him as he got back in his van.

It was a Section 21 (b) to state they would not be renewing our contract at the end of the term & we they were happy for us to leave earlier if we wish. (looked like it was just a generic letter printed off of ther internet – although it had a faint solicitors name at the bottom of it.. if they had sought a solicitors help to get the letter sent, would the solicitor of sent it to me??

I got home yesterday from work & Im pretty sure they have been in the property while we were at work. (probably to catch post before i got home) I’m pretty sure there were a few things that had moved around within property as im quite particular & know where i leave things!

So, it been pretty hostile & basically they have been rubbish landlords.

My questions are –

* could they of protected my deposit with anyother scheme other than the 3 I’ve checked?

* Have they the right to serve th section 21 (b) if they havent protected my deposit?

* there was an inventory done that was part of the contract but only listing things like blinds, bathroom cabinet, sky dish ect. nothing about condition of walls etc. We took photos of damaged walls & flooring when we moved in to cover ourselves. does the contract or iventory even stand without them protecting my deposit?

* Am i able to set up CCTV (linked to my pc and not interfering with the property) so I can see if they are entering when we are not there? & if I see they have been entering what can I do about it?

Many thanks in advance – im sure ive missed some questions out but ive asked the main ones – thanks

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Administrator

Ok this is a seriously bad landlord.

It’s not up to you to track down your deposit – legally the landlord must put the money into a scheme AND provide you with the details within 30 days of receiving the money from you. No, usually they cannot serve you with a section 21 notice if they have not protected your deposit (if they had actually consulted a solicitor no doubt they would have been told that). So your landlord is breaking the law. There is info here on what to do about the unprotected deposit – including the fact that you can apply to a county court for compensation as a result of the landlord not protecting the deposit, in addition to getting the deposit itself back.

In terms of the CCTV, not entirely sure on the legality of that – perhaps ask Shelter or the CAB but if it’s not damaging the property then presumably it’s up to you what you record in the space you’re legally entitled to occupy and getting proof of the landlord’s intrusion seems logical. The landlord absolutely cannot enter the property without giving you at least 24 hours notice and without your consent (unless in a genuine emergency like a burst pipe) – that’s another fundamental legal principle and breaching it could give you grounds for a claim of tresspass or harassment. More info on that here

The inventory will most likely still stand so keep all your proof but the question is whether the landlord can even withold anything from the deposit if it hasn’t been legally dealt with – suspect not but check with Shelter. Remember that when it comes to damage deposits the landlord can only take for actual damage you have caused to the property and not for wear and tear (info on that here).

Have to say it sounds like your landlord is annoyed because of the tension and behaving spitefully as a result – unfortunately they also seem to be completely unaware of their legal obligations, both of which are unprofessional and poor landlording (if there is such a word). Don’t be intimidated by the ‘solicitor’ letter, you have rights and you’re entitled to uphold them. If they try anything else along these lines and you want forum opinion feel free to come back here – for legal advice, as I said, Shelter and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Good luck!

Alex

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Administrator

One other thing – when it comes to determining who keeps what with a deposit this isn’t up to the landlord. They tell you what they want to keep and why, you decide whether you don’t agree.  If there’s a dispute then it’s arbitrated by the free dispute resolution service with whichever organisation is protecting the deposit. Both sides will normally have to produce proof. Usually, the undisputed amount is returned straight awau and then the dispute resolution service decides that happens to the rest (just in case the landlord has actually protected the deposit somewhere…).

We are annoyed for you reading this catalogue of errors and know how stressful this kind of situation can be, so really hope you can resolve it and find a better landlord (they are out there).

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