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Lodger deposit not entirely returned

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Author Topic: Lodger deposit not entirely returned  (Read 114 times)
Posts: 1

I like property

« on: March 26, 2022, 01:31:45 PM »

Hello all,

Many thanks in advance for spending your time reading about my tricky situation - all feedbacks are much appreciated.

I will try to be as brief as possible: back in October 2021, I had to move out of my flat in haste, so I popped on SpareRoom and found in a few days this tiny little room in Wandsworth at a very high rental price (685.00 pm). I have then provided one of the two tenants with 800.00 deposit and moved in.

After a couple of days, I have been contacted by their Letting Agency for providing the with my documentation and the Right to Rent and received a tenancy agreement which was including something different from the SpareRoom ad such as a 6 months minimum term and a 50 fee for the Change of Sharer Tenancy. Besides, I also discovered that the two tenants had rented the whole property years before and therefore deliberately having charged me the largest sum of the rental price for the worst space in it!

As you may understand, this was pretty annoying since I wasn't aware of, so I have started debating with the agency about those two terms with little cooperation from their side. In the meantime, I was experiencing a few issues within the property - the two tenants had a fight during the night and the morning after, the washing machine broke and took more than two weeks to be replaced forcing me to spend a lot of money in laundry, a mice infestation repeatedly highlighted, but never sorted.

And hence, I refused to sign the tenancy agreement and move out once again, and so I did in November. Once out, I asked the tenant for returning the deposit and I was told that he wouldn't released it until the new person would be taking over. It sounded fine to me, but I kept the key since it was the only thing that was proving I have been in that property for two months.

After a few weeks and several requests for updates, the tenant advised that a new person was renting the room, but he/she couldn't afford only 500.00 deposit so I have been asked to kindly wait for the outstanding amount to be released at the beginning of March. I finally received those 500.00 in my account in late January!

A few days ago, I contacted the tenant again to have the rest of the deposit returned to me, and after a few failed attempts to reach him out, I received a message saying that they used my money to change the door locks since I have not returned the key. I tried to discuss the matter with him and explained that they were not supposed to use my money without advising me.

Now, the situation is that I stopped talking to him and tried to search help but in vain as my deposit wasn't secured and I don't have a contract signed. Could you please let me know if you think there is any chance to get my money back?

Many, many thanks!
Global Moderator
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Posts: 4451

Abuse Officer

« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2022, 10:05:13 AM »

Seems doubtful.

Your title itself says "Lodger" and there's no requirement to protect a Lodger's Deposit. Obviously you then received a contract that doesn't sound like a Lodger agreement at all... but you never signed it and then you legged it anyway. And you retained a key (for months, that's not good).

It all sounds rather messy, really... and if you can swallow the 300 then I would do so and move on. Consider it a lesson learned. At least you got 500 out of a situation that sounds pretty crappy overall. Maybe you could issue a formal threat of legal proceedings and maybe hint in that threat that you'd be willing to accept a little less than the 300 just to make it appealing for whoever is holding this money... they might think the same - pay this person 150 and move on cleanly.
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