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Deposit Repayment in Tenancy Takeover

Started by Johncena, March 13, 2024, 01:28:11 PM

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Hi Guys,

I desperately need advice on the best possible way to recover my deposit. I am new to this country and London. English isnt my first language and I hope that I am not being bullied by my agents! Here are the facts of my case:

- Entered into fixed term joint tenancy agreement (AST) between the landlord and Ms. A (my flatmate) for a period of 12 months.
- The tenancy start date 15 March 2023 and I moved in on that date. The tenancy end date is 16 March 2024 but I moved out on 18 Feb 2024.

- there was no check in conducted when I moved in and there was no check out conducted when I left. The agent did not provide an inventory checklist.  I was told to collect the keys from the agent's office and sort out everything myself.

- On 27 Dec 2023, I informed my flatmate that I will be moving out at the end of the tenancy 16 March 2024. I stopped staying at the property on 18 Feb 2024 but continued paying the last month's rent and my share of the bills.

- Ms. A was very specific about who she needs to live with so she had independently found someone else to take over my room.

- Agent has insisted that this is a tenancy takeover and not an end of tenancy as Ms A continues to stay in the property.

- Agent has insisted that I collect the deposit from the new tenant directly.

- I have agreed to return the keys to the Agent on 16 March and they said they will only release the keys once I confirm that the deposit is transferred. This is because I did not know who the new incoming tenant was at that point in time as Ms A did not tell me these details.

- I was made aware of the new tenant on 1 March. The new person has signed the renewal of the tenancy agreement but I have not received my deposit.

- Agent has issued an updated TDS certificate with Ms. A and new tenant's name.

- New tenant has assured me that they will return my deposit but we are 3 days away from the end of the tenancy and  she has not raised any disputes regarding the property or discussed with me if there are any issues. New tenant says she is unable to visit the property as she is unwell.

- I called up TDS and they said that it's not my responsibility to be chasing after the new tenant to get my deposit back

Should I try and resolve this issue of collecting the deposit with the new tenant or should I raise a dispute with TDS?

When I moved in the property I did not take many photos of the condition of the flat. I do have photos but I am concerned that they are not very comprehensive.

Please provide your opinions.


The problem is that the agent is trying something that they don't really understand or they're not doing their job properly.

First of all, if the agreement with Ms A and you is a joint tenancy, it doesn't end on the 16th March. The initial term will end on the 16th March, but because Ms A is still in the property, it will automatically continue (and you will still be liable for rent etc). That happens automatically, there's nothing anyone can do to stop that happening (other than Ms A moving out before that date).

It either happens because the contract says it does, or if the contract doesn't say it does, the law says it does.

What happens (particularly in large cities) when one of the joint tenants wants to move out is that the agent (or landlord) agrees that a new tenant can take over the existing agreement, and the contract is assigned to someone else. Because there's usually a deposit (and that's often held securely by someone else), the incoming person pays their deposit to the person who's leaving and then everyone ends up with the right money in the right place.

To be perfectly honest, this is a completely stupid arrangement, can easily go wrong, but everyone does it anyway.

The agent needs to make sure that the new tenant has paid their deposit to you and should have done that before agreeing the new contract (which assigns the tenancy to the new person). You need to explain to the agent that you haven't received the deposit and that they need to sort this out before the new tenancy begins. Do not return the keys until you have the deposit.

Otherwise you will have to take legal action to recover it from them.