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Deposit gone, and then some!

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Author Topic: Deposit gone, and then some!  (Read 461 times)
Newbie
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« on: September 27, 2019, 12:06:31 PM »

Greetings all, I'll keep this as short as possible...

Just ended a tenancy after 7.5 years sharing with one other.
Landlord insisted on a professional clean & carpets proffessionally cleaned (even after me saying that I fully expected carpets will need replacing) & we paid that upfront (280).

We have been informed we owe 1840 for work to be done. This is now via the landlord, the estate agents say we have to go via them now.

Painting 400 - due to blue tac & bike tyre marks, & walls filled (I can't argue that)
Light dimmer 50 - (this stopped working years ago, we just couldn't be bothered to report it)
Blinds - 300 (cheap office style blinds, on two small'ish windows - again, they broke easily (IMO!) years ago, we just did nothing about it)
Bedroom carpets 511 - due to carpet moths (can't argue this - we had the issue with the moths each year and had to fight them off with expensive liquid on the carpets each summer, they had left some bad bald patches)
Lounge carpet replacement 469 - due to red stain (agreed)
Hall carpet replacement 100 - (agreed it does need replacing - just wear and tear though)
Smoke alarm battery 5
Light bulb 5

Original deposit was 1500. So we are -340. We received a letter about 2 years ago, and I think the general context was that the deposit had been moved. Am waiting for other tenant to confirm this as I believe he has the paper work - he thinks it was moved out of the DPS...

I like to think of myself of a fair person, and I appreciate work had to be done. So will be guided by any advice given - is this extracting the complete urine or fair game?

Thanks

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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2019, 01:45:17 PM »

I would have thought the landlord would allow something for fair wear and tear. I would be very concerned as to where your deposit is! Has the other tenant
bagged it? It cannot be taken out without the tenants say so.
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2019, 02:06:43 PM »

Thank you for your reply. No, the other tenant hasn't got it, he is just trying to find the paperwork. The estate agents say its with the landlord now, and I think that ties in with the letter we received a couple of years ago to say it had been transferred (out of the DPS we think - tbc)

My gut feeling is they know they have us over a barrel, but I don't think we should hand over any more money.
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2019, 03:11:13 PM »

Look up depreciation and fair wear-and-tear. Over a tenancy of 7 years anything that had value once will have a value of roughly 0 now. The Landlord doesn't get to claim the full cost of replacement, you see?

If a carpet has, say, an expected lifetime of, say, 10 years and say it was brand spanking new when you moved in, say, 7 years ago... and now, say, everyone agrees it needs replacing... then the Landlord is due, say, 30% of its value... because it's said they've had 7 years usage from it. It has said to have served its purpose for 70% of its expected lifetime. You could say this.

That same approach is applicable to anything... believe it or not.

Even better, if the Landlord already had the carpet for 3 years before your 7 year tenancy started... its value after 10 years is 0% of its original value.
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2019, 03:11:48 PM »

Thank you for your advice Hippogriff, much appreciated. We constructed a fair (in our opinion of course!) reply saying that we would be prepared to pay for 25% of carpets etc, but no way near the 1,840.

Her reply is that the check-out lady said that anything that wasn't reported before the end of the tenancy is then fully down to the tenants to cover the cost of. Including carpets. She also stated that she has two kids and she does not need to get the carpets changed and the walls repainted every ten years.
She also does not consider any bike tyre marks on the wall or blue tac marks 'wear and tear'. She only budged by 100 on the blinds, saying the original quote was wrong.

I asked about the deposit and she confirmed it is still with the DPS, but now in her father's name due to the tenancy ending in Feb and the short term lease with right to break. But nothing is coming up on the DPS website search, no matter what surname I enter.

(Adding to all of this, I found out today that it ended very badly with the previous tenants (one of them happens to be a postman for my workplace) - they sensed a huge sting coming their way (obviously way more on the ball than me) so had to bump them for the last months rent to cancel the deposit. Landlady apparently went absolutely nuts.)

To be honest, as she isn't being very fair about this - we no longer in the mood to be either. Where do we stand? Do we need more info on the deposit?

Thanks
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2019, 11:59:08 PM »

You should already have all the information on the Deposit... where is the Prescribed Information?

If you don't have this, and you were never presented with it, then your Landlord has already broken the law. Ask your Landlord for full details of the Deposit right now, so you can go and search for it... advise that you intend to raise a Dispute with the Scheme if you like... that way an objective third party with adjudicate in a binding way. But get those Deposit details first. Advise your Landlord that if a dispute happens they won't have a choice in deciding how much they're willing to accept / how much depreciation they're willing to consider - it does not matter what timeframe your Landlord changes carpets in... or paints walls in... it's not about them.
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2019, 12:07:02 AM »

You don't need to "report" wear and tear over 7+ years... you "report" damage.
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2019, 02:10:55 PM »

Thank you again HG. This is the response we have for now:

I can see what you are trying to suggest with regards to the DPS scheme unfortunately you boys are not in luck - Dad sort legal advice at the time you asked for a rolling break clause - see solicitors feedback on the subject below.

The forwarded email as follows:
Its dealt with under s 215B of the Deregulation Act 2015.
If the deposit has been properly protected at the start of the tenancy ( and the prescribed information served on the tenant) there is no need to re-protect it/serve prescribed information when the tenancy ends and the tenant holds over as a statutory periodic tenancy. The deposit continues to be held without any further ado.

Is this a case for the CAB now?

Many thanks
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2019, 02:12:13 PM »

... that was after we simply asked for the full deposit info so that we could see via DPS search engine
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2019, 04:11:09 PM »

They think you're fishing for a non-protection claim, which explains some of the defensiveness. However, the easiest way for them to kill that off would just be to give you the details - Ha ha boys, read it and weep! etc

I wonder if they've suddenly realised that they've ballsed up somewhere, and the deposit isn't protected any more. It can happen, especially with an insured scheme. There's no longer any requirement to re-protect the deposit when the tenancy renews, but it does have to stay protected throughout.

Ask again politely. Don't threaten. If the deposit is protected they should know all the details - otherwise how are they going to access it themselves?
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2019, 10:10:24 AM »

Thanks, appreciate all the advice. Well I asked for the full details (politely, and for the third time) and we got:

The deposit is being held where it was before. I am now away until Monday.

And suggesting we call her dad. Not going to be doing that, sticking to emails so its all documented.

My feeling is that she is just being awkward about it now, she knows we dont have the original paperwork.

Im thinking next step CAB
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2019, 01:51:29 PM »

You don't need the CAB at this stage.   You can find where your deposit was protected using these online tools: http://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits/check_if_your_tenancy_deposit_is_protected?src=hpban-s

Please use them and then tell us the answer.
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2019, 09:01:18 AM »

Thanks Mortimer - we have been trying the 3 search sites and nothing has been coming up.

BUT now the other tenant has just found the attached letter from MyDeposits (March 2019) saying the deposit is no longer protected. Ive just contacted them to ask for more info.

EDIT - having trouble attaching, will type out in following post if needed...
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2019, 10:24:53 AM »

If you weren't served details about your Deposit at the start of the tenancy, then there is a valid Deposit protection claim.

If the protection lapsed at any point during the tenancy (whether renewals or when going from a fixed term to monthly rolling) then there is a valid Deposit protection claim.

But - the key part for you here is simply this (at this moment in time) - you don't agree with some of the requested / demanded deductions - therefore you want to raise this with the objective third party that is the Deposit Protection Scheme... if the Deposit is protected then there won't be any problems doing that. If it is not protected then it won't be possible. So you could say - "Actually, you don't know where I'm going with this... I'm not concerned if my Deposit was protected, or not, what I want to do is raise an ADR request for the deductions you have demanded, which I do not agree with - without this information we will not be able to proceed as I am not willing to agree to your demanded deductions under any circumstances, so we need an objective third party to rule. Please provide all of the details of the Deposit so I can approach the right Protection Scheme."

It certainly seems like your ex-Landlord is starting to feel the pinch... you could enjoy turning the screw nice and slowly here. The Landlord can prevaricate, of course, and there's time limits at play... but this all sounds like something worth fighting, not just rolling-over for.

If you are 100% sure that your Deposit was not / is not protected... then, if you really wanted,  you could start with a LBA now... Shelter has samples for you... this could be fun - https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/downloads_and_tools/sample_letters

Maybe start here, the bit that says - "If your deposit is not returned within 10 days of your tenancy ending, write to your landlord about possible court action."? I think I would tease this one out... although you may have other things going on in life... like life.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 10:30:58 AM by Hippogriff »
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2019, 10:58:24 AM »

It's worrying that the other tenant didn't tell you about this letter at the time.  Did they give any kind of permission or consent for the landlord to draw down the deposit?
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2019, 11:07:36 AM »

Good point... in fact, if there is a Lead Tenant (and one assumes it would be the other person)... hmm, all communication should really be via that other person (not the OP here).
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« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2019, 11:10:57 AM »

Exactly.  Considering what the landlord's solicitor has said, it's possible that there's correspondence that this poster doesn't have.
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« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2019, 01:35:05 PM »

Did they give any kind of permission or consent for the landlord to draw down the deposit?

It appears from what we've seen so far that the landlord believes that they still hold the deposit so, unless they are mistaken* then the deposit is still held.

We now know it ceased to be protected in March, but we have no evidence that it was re-protected without delay.




*e.g. the landlord's father has repaid the deposit to the other tenant and neither has mentioned it to either the landlord or the OP, which doesn't seem likely.
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« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2019, 02:44:41 PM »

The Landlord has claimed...

The deposit is being held where it was before. I am now away until Monday.

I would be shaking this particular tree gently, but persistently, to see what falls...
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« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2019, 05:40:57 PM »

Once again - all your replies and comments fully appreciated. Wed have probably given up a long time ago otherwise!

Updates:

I called MyDeposits - the deposit was protected in Oct 2012, I.e. 8 months after we moved in. Was told this was enough of an offence anyway. And it ceased to be protected in March this year as the letter suggested. They gave me the number for Justice For Tennants.

I then called DPS - no protection there

Then called TDS - nowt there too

Called Justice For Tenants - very helpful guy there. Said we have a very good case. Suggested preparing for SCC if it needs to go that way. They are going to email some more info over and Im going to request org tenancy docs from agency.

To answer a few prev questions:

We cant remember if served the deposit details from the start, we obv remember paying it though!
We think the letter was in a pile of (what we thought was) junk. To be honest, we are a bit useless and lazy with things. Still on very good terms, he is following this all just happy for me to do the Columbo work. Ive literally just updated him.
We dont know if either of us were down as lead tenants.

HippoG - thanks for the shelter link, about to have a gander. Will ponder how to shake that tree whilst it doesnt interfere with life :)

Cheers all

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« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2019, 06:01:41 PM »

Edit: original 8 month delay of protection not actually relevant now as past the 6 year rule
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« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2019, 11:31:41 AM »

Edit: original 8 month delay of protection not actually relevant now as past the 6 year rule

It's still relevant as it provides context to the later breach. It wasn't a one-off mix-up worthy of no more than the minimum sanction: they've got form. phallus in uno, phallus in omnia, as the law books nearly say.

Indeed, you could argue that they concealed the original breach (Given that they're blatantly lying to you now, I doubt they exactly advertised it back then, did they?) so the six years would run from when you reasonably might first have become aware of it.
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« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2019, 11:33:13 AM »

I have a new favourite Latin phrase.  :)
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« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2019, 01:00:31 PM »

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_test

As opposed to a more simple case of arguing about some unilaterally-imposed, and probably unjustified, deductions, this is now starting to look much more like a Deposit Protection case. Likely leading to s if you follow this through... and making any Deposit Deductions requested seem like small beer. A 1,500 Deposit... hmmm... take your time, do things right, give as good as you got.
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« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2019, 01:51:34 PM »

All noted, and always good to brush up on one's Latin (loved that)!

Well we asked one more time for the *full* info on the DS, quoting much of HG's 'ADR' segment. The father has now replied stating he is concerned about our notes, the money is still with HSBC, and we are to stop hassling his daughter & phone him.

So communicaton has almost reached end of the line with them for the time being. The ball is rolling in the background anyway...

One other useful fact I spotted yesterday (and should've seen straight away) is that their solicitor quote is from January this year, i.e. two months before the auto-unprotect.

Have a good day all
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