Cookies must be enabled for this site to function properly

Topics / Deposits 

start a new discussion

Will I get my deposit back or will landlord make something up?

0 helpful votes
This is the number of people who have indicated that they have found this discussion useful.
579 views 3 replies latest reply: 20 June 2015
Photo
Tenant

OK,

So I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. I’m not the most sociable individual, preferring to be on my own over being in a room full of people. 

My live in landlord has noticed this and made a point of it.  I try to be sociable but there are times when I really just don’t jump in as I wouldn’t have much to say. This started when two new people moved in, after it was just me and said landlord for about a month, who I got on really well with.

There was a bit of an argument a few days ago (notably about two broken mugs, issues with buying stuff for house, which I do weekly, and generally about me being more withdrawn as I don’t like group conversations), and it feels this created a rift in the group, with the landlord seeming fairly happy. The saddest bit is that I’ve overheard them twice talking at great lengths about me.

I think I overheard them talking about finding someone new or raising up the rent, but what struck me most is that I feel I overheard one of them saying to make stuff up so that the landlord can get more money back from me out of the deposit.

This of course has caused quite a lot of paranoia for me as I’ve heard them twice, either laughing behind my back or talking about making up stuff. Of course I can’t wholly know for sure they were saying these things but I do know theyre talking about me.

The mood since the argument has been perfectly fine, with everyone happy, and nothing overly odd, so it’s quite difficult for me to know what to do next.

There was no inventory when I moved in though I don’t know if he, the landlord, also made an itinerary, so could they lie about some things?

My contract ends at the end of this year so they can’t do much until then (they might put up rent at the end of contract if I stay and renew), but is there anything I should be doing to cover myself from him once it does get to the end. Is there anything I can do in the mean time so protect myself?

This is the second time I’ve lived with people but it felt quite hurtful to hear them laughing about me behind my back. Am I just being too paranoid?

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Photo
Administrator

Hi Jack

I’ve also lived with people I’ve fallen out with simply because we were different – I think it’s happened to everyone at some point. Try not to take it personally even if they are making it personal. They obviously have some pretty serious issues to bully someone in their own home like that.

Find out which scheme is protecting your deposit – there are three (listed here) and have a look at their rules for deposit return so you understand what counts as damage and what doesn’t and what counts as proof of damage. If the landlord hasn’t taken an inventory then he can’t prove that damage occurred after you moved in so that affects him too. An inventory not signed off by you too has very little value. With your deposit, it remains your money until the landlord can prove a right to hold on to anything – remember that. If the landlord tries to make deductions you don’t agree with you’ll have the option to dispute this with the deposit protection scheme as the independent mediator and they will ask the landlord for proof, so you don’t have to accept what the landlord says.

Perhaps it might be worth putting in writing to the other tenants that you overheard them. Maybe say that you would prefer that everyone in the flat simply got on but you’re aware there are differences in personalities and lifestyles. Maybe say that you hope this can be resolved and you can all live happily but you’re not prepared to suffer a financial loss as a result of this situation. Set out exactly what you heard in terms of making you responsible for any damage by lying about it. Date the letter and sign it and keep a copy. That’s the only thing I can think of that would give you some degree of evidence about the potential collusion with the landlord and maybe warn them that it’s not a good idea. However, you’d have to judge for yourself whether that would make your current living situation unbearable.

If you think you’re being paranoid then it might be worth just trying put it behind you and waiting to see what happens when you move out. If they do lie about anything then they don’t really sound clever enough to lie with proof – which is what they’d need to do in order to make you responsible for damage.

I hope things work out.

Alex

Photo
Tenant

Hello Alex,

Thanks for that information. I feel that they’re actively ignoring my presence (the couple), whereas the landlord and I seem to be getting on OK.

I’ve tried searching for the deposit protection stuff and can’t seem to find any info on where mine is located. Is this worth asking the landlord about it or is it good for me to hold back just in case they haven’t put it into a scheme, ensuring I’ll have protection of getting it back legally? I’m happy to hold back if it presents leverage in case things get ugly.

My sister has previously been a landlord so I will consult her for the best course of actiion. I’ll also start looking for a new place in a while just in case.

I don’t remember doing any inventory checks or etc. is it worth me currently documenting the room and house so that they can’t present information against me? I was thinking of make an inventory dated for now, then make another a day before I decide to move out, so I’m backed up for a few months.

Thank you for spending the time to write a reply. You have definitely presented me with some useful information.

All the best,

Jack

Photo
Administrator

Hi Jack

The inventory really needs to be agreed between landlord and tenant to be useful as evidence. You can take photos of things as long as the photo is time and date stamped but the issue would be proving who did what damage in between the photo being taken and you moving out. However, I do think it’s often worth going overboard documenting things just in case – I always do!

It’s up to you re deposit protection. If it hasn’t been protected you can take the landlord to court for 1-3 times the amount of the deposit so you could actually end up with more. If you’re happy to go through the process of a court claim then just make sure you can prove the deposit isn’t protected (if the landlord can’t produce evidence of this that might be enough). Not protecting a deposit is a really stupid thing to do as a landlord as it’s legally required and instantly gives a tenant a huge bargaining chip.

Good luck and glad it helped.

Alex

Showing 1 - 3 of 3 Comments
start a new discussion

Post a reply