Forum Home Search Login Register
+  Landlord Forum
|-+  General Category
| |-+  Tenant Advice & Help
| | |-+  Deposit protection

Deposit protection

Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Deposit protection  (Read 203 times)
Newbie
Posts: 8

I like property

« on: August 18, 2020, 09:06:57 PM »

Hi, We've recently moved out of a private rented flat. We were there for 20 months and never missed a rent payment or any other bills for that matter. We gave 1 months notice in writing to out landlord, and done everything properly. We since found out he hadn't secured our deposit in one of the approved schemes. We moved out on the friday, then on the Saturday he text us to say he has inspected the flat and everything was satisfactory and refunded our full deposit. I have been in contact with Shelter about him not securing the deposit and they supplied me with a template letter to send him saying he had broken the law and I was prepared to start court proceedings. Aswell as the deposit not being protected, he never gave us nor had a gas safety check in the 20 months of us being there, no electrical safety checks, nothing. He gave us an agreement to sign but no inventory/pictures. He has now replied to my letter, saying that if I take him to court, he will be making a counter claim because we decorated but he never gave us written  permission,  we had a dog there but again no written permission,  he's also saying that there's holes in the wall from a TV bracket etc, again no written permission. We asked about all of the above and more before we moved in, and he said we could do what we wanted with regards decorating, 'its his house but our home was what he said. We asked for it all to be put in the agreement but he just said not to worry, its fine. I took pictures of when we moved out and the place was 100% better than  when we moved in!!!! There are other things he's done, harassment being one. Should I still go ahead and start court proceedings or am I likely to be out of pocket because of, according to him, breaking our agreement, and end up with me paying for decorating etc etc. Or should I contact a solicitor or CAB etc???? Sorry for the long 1st post but I'm a bit stressed and need some advise on what to do!!!! Cheers
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 3607

I like lots of things

« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2020, 09:45:41 AM »

Forget about the counter-claim... it's noise-level compared to what he's thinking of.

I wouldn't jump straight to Court proceedings... I would attempt fair and genuine attempts at negotiation first... start with your high water mark... can I assume it was just one tenancy running for 20 months? What was the value of the Deposit? Let's get some facts and figures on the table and then we can offer up our thoughts... and, no, you don't need to talk to a Solicitor or CAB (or even Shelter, really) as this is usually quite open-and-shut. You've seemingly got an admission from your Landlord anyway... just one that is bundled in with a counter.

Also forget about justifying whether you made things better. It's irrelevant.

Also forget about electrical safety checks... not a requirement. Gas is, but I would - again - suggest it's noise-level to you and you focus on one thing... failure to protect the Deposit.

The good thing is that your Landlord is communicating with you, from a certain point of view, and not putting their head in the sand. Please provide details... and elaborate on what you've already written to the Landlord.
Newbie
Posts: 8

I like property

« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2020, 10:23:43 AM »

The deposit was 625. He has repaid it in full and said upon inspection everything is fine. Weve got that in writing
Newbie
Posts: 8

I like property

« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2020, 10:26:21 AM »

I sent him a letter outlining the fact he hadn't protected my deposit and by law he should have. I said I was open to reasonable offer to not take court action but if we can't agree to a settlement I will proceed with court.
Sr. Member
Posts: 395

I like property

« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2020, 10:43:56 AM »

Don't worry about the counterclaim, your defence evidence is his text saying "everything was satisfactory". Everything else is noise here, including GSC etc. now that you've moved out. Councils & HSE could do something but they're going to focus on places which are actively dangerous / with tenant still living there.
Newbie
Posts: 8

I like property

« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2020, 11:28:29 AM »

So should I still make a claim against him for not protecting my deposit? He has put in his reply to my email that although he repaid the deposit in full, he didn't want to raise the issues hes listed as he didn't want to cause any potential conflict!!
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 3607

I like lots of things

« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2020, 12:26:14 PM »

You should use what you've learned here...

1) other things being irrelevant / noise
2) "everything is satisfactory", plus Deposit refunded in full - as evidence that there's no counter-claim

And open up a line of communication just being blatant - "you're on the hook for this, whatever you do" - so best to negotiate, and avoid Court... then see if the tune has changed at all... use a phrase like "after taking advice..." - at that point you can see if someone is being reasonable, or not... then decide.
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 3607

I like lots of things

« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2020, 12:28:44 PM »

As the Deposit was returned, your ex-Landlord's minimum exposure is 625 plus costs, the maximum exposure is 1,875 plus costs... what are you asking for? It might be better to ask for something concrete in full and final settlement and point out to your ex-Landlord how this benefits them... it shouldn't be the maximum exposure to benefit them... maybe 1x or 1.5x or 2x (middle ground) minus any potential costs... disabuse them of any idea it will transpire they will win. They won't. So... what do you intend to suggest?
Newbie
Posts: 8

I like property

« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2020, 01:33:13 PM »

I'm now thinking to write to him, saying - after seeking advise, I am going to go ahead with my claim against you for not protecting my deposit, as you have already returned my deposit and I have in writing that you were satisfied with the way the property was left, there is no way your counter claim would be successful. I am requesting that to settle this matter out of court, I should be awarded 1250 which is middle ground and no court fees that you will incur on top.

Does that sound OK? Any other things I should add or word it differently???
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 3607

I like lots of things

« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2020, 02:27:02 PM »

You can be very clear - and honest - you can state - "...as the Deposit was 625 and it has already been returned, the only aspect to consider is the guaranteed penalty amount and any costs. Your minimum exposure is 625 plus my undetermined costs and your maximum exposure is 1,875 plus my undetermined costs... so probably a range from 900 to 2,100. I propose a good faith settlement of 1,250 - that being only slightly above your minimum liability and almost half your maximum liability..." then "..the alternative is that I will bring a case against you that I am guaranteed to win and that will bring additional costs and time and effort on the part of everyone..." and "...I encourage you to take advice yourself, or do research, and you will arrive at the same conclusion there is no option for you to win such a case." then set a reasonable deadline for reply.

It's advice, be careful.

I would then probably be willing to negotiate further downwards... don't dig your heels in, it's free money.
Newbie
Posts: 8

I like property

« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2020, 03:15:54 PM »

I have sent a reply letter to my landlord basically saying that I will be going ahead with the claim for his none protection my deposit. He has replied by saying he wont be making an offer for settlement for the alleged claim, and he is going ahead with his counter claim of 1800 plus costs to rectify all the things he stated previously. And has said he'll be submitting his claim as soon as he receives the forms that I submit to him. Surely he can't make a claim against me after he has returned my deposit in full with a text saying upon inspection everything is OK? But if he had used the deposit protection scheme, thats what he couldve done before he returned the deposit? I'm a bit confused now as to what to do, should I carry it through or just let it go as I cant afford to make any payments to him???
Sr. Member
Posts: 395

I like property

« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2020, 04:22:08 PM »

It's ultimately your decision whether you wish to proceed, based on your understanding and willingness to accept the risk vs potential rewards etc.

In terms of the landlord's response, it's clearly being used solely for the purpose of trying to scare you off from making a claim. If he honestly believes he's entitled to it, he wouldn't be waiting to make a counterclaim, he would had just gone ahead and issue a claim already (or not return the deposit in the first place). The return of the deposit with the statement that everything was fine is clear evidence you have for defence against the counterclaim should it arise.
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 3607

I like lots of things

« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2020, 05:13:02 PM »

Agreed. Seems like bully-boy-bluster to me... submit your case... get the ball rolling... maintain your evidence. It might turn-out that he does make an offer then. You're in a game of brinkmanship at this stage. Unnecessary, true... but you'll make no progress if you do nothing... and your ex-Landlord will probably just do it to someone else. This failure to protect Deposits annoys me a lot because it's so easy to do. Even the fact that he returned the Deposit, and then didn't chase you for anything, until now, makes a mockery of his laughable counter-claim. You should not be in any doubt or confusion as to what to do.
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 933

I like property

« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2020, 06:19:24 PM »

I think the fact that he has launched a ludicrous counter-claim would harden my resolve.You really will not end up having to pay him anything,the text and return of the deposit is all you need.He is bluffing,so the the obvious answer is to call his bluff.
Global Moderator
Sr. Member
Posts: 466

I like poetry

« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2020, 06:44:08 PM »

What a remarkable coincidence that the value of the landlord's "counterclaim" is just about 3x the deposit. It's almost as if he picked a number out of thin air that was just enough to offset the maximum claim.

Of course, this assumes we're talking about a single tenancy here. If you had an initial AST and it rolled over into an SPT, then that's two tenancies. Double trouble or double bubble, depending which side of the fence you're on.

Bear in mind you don't have to launch legal proceedings right away: take your time, think it over. The courts are backed up like a blocked bog at the moment anyway.
Newbie
Posts: 8

I like property

« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2020, 07:09:18 AM »

Ive just read his reply again, he states that I havent replied to his counter claim email, so he will go ahead with his counter claim of 1850 plus associated costs, and has now received all the quotes for the work to show to the courts. As soon as he receives my claim, he will start his, as per the rules!!!
Should I let him know he has no counter claim as he has returned the deposit in full with a text saying everything is fine? Or shall I not contact him again until I'm ready to apply to the courts? 1 of his counter claims is about the state of the garden, but in the same text he sent to say everything is fine, he thanks us for cutting the grass and keeping it tidy!!!!!! The more I read his emails, the more laughable it becomes!!!
Thanks for all the replies and info👍
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 3607

I like lots of things

« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2020, 10:22:58 AM »

Yes. Communication is usually good. But add, forcefully, that you have "taken advice"... and have been assured the Landlord will lose his case and the counter claim has no merit, so it would just send up being the following he pays:

1 - Deposit penalty
2 - your costs for that
3 - any of his own costs for that
4 - your costs for the counter, if any
5 - his own costs, time and effort for getting quotes etc. (which he likely hasn't)

And then suggest - instead of trying to wing this with bullying tactics he might decide to take his own professional advice before replying to you again - and see if that advice makes his thought process much clearer.  It might be he comes to the conclusion (suggest this) that accepting his situation and paying you off is the best outcome for him as (reiterate) you won't be going away as your legal advice has assured you of success... so you have everything to gain and, literally, nothing to lose (something he cannot state). The only variables are how quickly you get your money, how much it is, and how much he spends avoiding that pay-out.
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 3607

I like lots of things

« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2020, 10:25:33 AM »

You can also say - I didn't respond to your counter claim because it is without foundation, therefore summarily dismissed as irrelevant to my case. There is no need to bring it up again. I will respond to any actual Court papers, which I am assured by my advisor will not arrive.
Newbie
Posts: 8

I like property

« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2020, 01:59:47 PM »

He has assured me that he now has all the quotes in to rectify everything he stated previously!! Ive been told by one of our old neighbours there, that someone else has moved in now, approximately 2 weeks after we moved out. So everything he has stated needed to doing obviously didn't need doing for someone else to be able to move in!! He hasn't had any work done, just quotes to do it!! I'll message him again later today and will post his reply, if any!! Thanks again for the help and advice
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 3607

I like lots of things

« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2020, 05:48:54 PM »

Indeed. Quotes aren't receipts. And the property is already re-occupied. What a tangled web we weave...
Pages: [1]
Print