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    • Gin and Milk
    • By Gin and Milk 11th Jun 17, 11:29 PM
    • 216Posts
    • 247Thanks
    Gin and Milk
    Former tenant now wants bond back, advice please?
    • #1
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:29 PM
    Former tenant now wants bond back, advice please? 11th Jun 17 at 11:29 PM
    Hi

    Our tenants moved out in April and unfortunately they didn't leave the house as they found it to say the least. They knew there would be deductions from their bond and that i needed to calculate the costs which they were hapoy with at the time. A couple of days later i received a couple of text messages from them to say they realised that the 'fair wear and tear' clause in their agreement was a get out clause for me not to return their deposit and went on to say 'anyway you have our money now, life isn't fair but what can you do'. I didn't respond and assumed they had more or less told me to keep the bond.
    This evening however, my husband received a text from them to request a breakdown of costs as they want some of their bond back as they are considering seeking legal advice. Do we have any accountability here given what was previously said in their text (which i still have) and also considering that it is 2 months since they left? The house has been redecorated since and is now on the market.
    My husband has replied by requesting details of their solicitor so that we can deal with them directly.
    Any advice gratefully received
    Gin
Page 1
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 11th Jun 17, 11:39 PM
    • 1,408 Posts
    • 1,232 Thanks
    parking_question_chap
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:39 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:39 PM
    Where was the deposit held?
    • Gin and Milk
    • By Gin and Milk 11th Jun 17, 11:41 PM
    • 216 Posts
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    Gin and Milk
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:41 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:41 PM
    We didn't put it in the scheme I'm afraid.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 11th Jun 17, 11:43 PM
    • 2,996 Posts
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    Cakeguts
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:43 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:43 PM
    We didn't put it in the scheme I'm afraid.
    Originally posted by Gin and Milk
    It is illegal not to protect the deposit. You tenants are now entitled to take you to court to get the entire deposit back from you.
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 11th Jun 17, 11:58 PM
    • 791 Posts
    • 4,676 Thanks
    Tahlullah
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:58 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:58 PM
    There is no reason for not protecting the deposit, bar not receiving one. And as others have said, I would jut pay them back before they seek legal advice as a good solicitor who knows housing law will ensure they get the full redress as suggested above - plus their legal costs.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 12th Jun 17, 12:10 AM
    • 14,886 Posts
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    zagubov
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:10 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:10 AM
    You've no choice but to return it promptly and in full.

    Sorry but that's how it is, and you set it up to end this way.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Jun 17, 12:11 AM
    • 41,877 Posts
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    G_M
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:11 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:11 AM
    It is illegal not to protect the deposit. You tenants are now entitled to take you to court to get the entire deposit back from you.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Not so.

    The penalty for not protecting the deposit is up to 3 times the deposit (Housing Act 2004 (Section 212: tenancy deposit schemes) as amended).

    They can claim this, and given that
    a) you failed to protect it AND
    b) you failed to retun it
    the court would probobably award them the maximum penalty (3x).

    However the deposit itself is separate. They can alsoclaim this, and you would have to justify any deductions from it in the usual way.

    Frankly, you have a lot to learn about being a landlord, and tenancy law.

    Start by reading:

    * Deposits:
    payment, protection and return

    Best advice now is to refund the deposit to them, immediately, in full, and hope they don't still take you to court.

    If they do still take you to court for the failure to protect, the fact that you've returned the deposit will be a mitigating factor, and the court will likely award a lesser penalty of 1 times or 2 eimes the deposit. Note that 1 times is the minimum penalty, and the court must award a penalty of some level.

    I'd also advise you to

    a) stop texting, and write them a letter (apologising for the delay and enclosing the cheque)

    b) forget about asking for their solicitor. You want to minimise legal involvement, not encourage it. You want to make this potential problem go away!
    Last edited by G_M; 12-06-2017 at 12:22 AM.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 12th Jun 17, 12:12 AM
    • 5,318 Posts
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    00ec25
    • #8
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:12 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:12 AM
    it has been illegal NOT to protect a tenancy deposit in a registered protection scheme since 2007. It is amazing that you are that out of touch.

    there is no legal defence for not protecting a deposit
    the court may award the return of the full deposit, no deductions.
    the court will, in addition to that, also automatically award a penalty payment of between 1 - 3 times the value of the deposit.

    if you have incurred genuine costs associated with damage (not fair wear and tear) to the property, you are of course free to counter sue your ex tenant to claim for those costs. In that case the onus is on you to have the evidence to prove the damage. If you win then the tenant will be made to pay those damage costs from the deposit.

    also appreciate that your ex tenant has 6 years in which to start a case against you for failing to protect, so your lack of research on "current" changes in tenancy law may well haunt you for sometime to come yet.

    return the deposit in full and hope they don't find out how to still sue you even after getting the deposit back in full.
    Last edited by 00ec25; 12-06-2017 at 12:18 AM.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Jun 17, 12:16 AM
    • 41,877 Posts
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    G_M
    • #9
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:16 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:16 AM
    .....
    the court will automatically award the return of the full deposit, no deductions.
    the court may, in addition to that, also award a penalty payment of between 1 - 3 times the value of the deposit.
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    Sorry 00ec25, it's the other way round:

    the court willmay automatically award the return of the full deposit, no deductions.
    the court maymust, in addition to that, also award a penalty payment of between 1 - 3 times the value of the deposit.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 12th Jun 17, 12:17 AM
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    00ec25
    Sorry 00ec25, it's the other way round:

    the court willmay automatically award the return of the full deposit, no deductions.
    the court maymust, in addition to that, also award a penalty payment of between 1 - 3 times the value of the deposit.
    Originally posted by G_M
    suitably edited...
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 12th Jun 17, 12:28 AM
    • 791 Posts
    • 4,676 Thanks
    Tahlullah
    Also, based on what you have said, your ex tenants may have already sought legal advice and are aware of your failure to protect the deposit, and the statute of limitations.

    In that case, which right now is purely a guessing game for you, it may be worth you letting them take you to court. Otherwise, you could pay the full deposit back and in 6 months, they could still take you to court and you will still have to pay out a second time. Perhaps paying once might be better?

    I would suggest you go and seek legal advice yourself so that you have someone negotiating on your behalf with their solicitor. Where both parties are represented, you will reach an agreed binding settlement which you will only have to pay once, although it will cost you.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Jun 17, 1:02 AM
    • 41,877 Posts
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    G_M
    ....it may be worth you letting them take you to court. Otherwise, you could pay the full deposit back and in 6 months, they could still take you to court and you will still have to pay out a second time. Perhaps paying once might be better?
    Originally posted by Tahlullah
    I disagree.

    scenario 1):
    pay the deposit back now in full. Get taken to court in 6 months. Judge sees the deposit has been returned in full so gives a nominal slap on the hand punishment - the minimum 1 times deposit

    Scenario 2)
    Refuse to return the deposit and/or get into a dispute over the deductions. Get taken to court. Judge sees a landlord who is both evading the law by not protecting the deposit AND who is still witholding that deposit. Awards the tenant maximum penalty of 3 times the deposit.
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 12th Jun 17, 7:16 AM
    • 791 Posts
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    Tahlullah
    The OP has made a big mistake and is looking to try and mitigate. However, the issue at stake here is the legal costs. You can pretty much quantify what the Judge will award the tenant in this case; what you can't quantify is the legal fees that the OP will have to pay assuming the tenants go out of their way to find a good Housing solicitor, as opposed to a Jack of all trades who don't know what they are doing.

    Ultimately, it's the OP's decision. Either way it is probably going to cost them dearly for not finding out what their legal obligations are as a landlord and executing them in a timely manner.

    Let us hope they now go and seek some legal advice themselves rather than relying on the opinions of those on a forum.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 12th Jun 17, 7:18 AM
    • 638 Posts
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    sparky130a
    We didn't put it in the scheme I'm afraid.
    Originally posted by Gin and Milk
    Less Gin, more Milk then maybe...
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 12th Jun 17, 7:40 AM
    • 2,785 Posts
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    cjdavies
    Another example of one day suddenly deciding to be a landlord without researxhing your responsibities.

    Note to any potietnal lamdlords - research first.
    • Gin and Milk
    • By Gin and Milk 12th Jun 17, 7:43 AM
    • 216 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    Gin and Milk
    Thanks for your advice, I'm still booting myself in the shins for not putting it in the scheme. Returning the deposit isn't a problem as we still have it, but I just wanted to know where I stood because they told me in their text that we could keep it, then two months after leaving they now want it back, although they are aware that there are significant deductions due to the damage they've caused.

    Thanks again
    • Gin and Milk
    • By Gin and Milk 12th Jun 17, 7:46 AM
    • 216 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    Gin and Milk
    Another example of one day suddenly deciding to be a landlord without researxhing your responsibities.
    Originally posted by cjdavies
    You have absolutely no idea whatsoever of the backstory as to how we ended up being landlords and it certainly wasn't a case of 'suddenly deciding' to be one.

    I asked for advice, not snide comments.
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 12th Jun 17, 7:57 AM
    • 638 Posts
    • 776 Thanks
    sparky130a
    You have absolutely no idea whatsoever of the backstory as to how we ended up being landlords and it certainly wasn't a case of 'suddenly deciding' to be one.

    I asked for advice, not snide comments.
    Originally posted by Gin and Milk
    To be fair to CJ...

    It doesn't matter how LL status lands in your lap.

    It comes with a shedload of responsibilities.

    My father inherited a non payer and spent £10,000 getting him out.

    Let that money go and sell. Unless you want a protracted argument.
    • Gin and Milk
    • By Gin and Milk 12th Jun 17, 8:07 AM
    • 216 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    Gin and Milk
    I know it doesn't matter, but all I asked for was advice, not snarky comments. (I've never understood why people do it on forums).

    There isn't much bond left to return; which they already acknowledge. In fact if we wanted to be hard nosed about it we'd charge them in full for the redecorating the living and dining rooms given that they didn't look after it. Given that the bond itself is £425 and the decorating alone cost quite a bit more. But no, I don't want a protracted argument, I simply wanted to know where I stood. And now I do.
    Thanks
    • sparky130a
    • By sparky130a 12th Jun 17, 8:18 AM
    • 638 Posts
    • 776 Thanks
    sparky130a
    I know it doesn't matter, but all I asked for was advice, not snarky comments. (I've never understood why people do it on forums).

    There isn't much bond left to return; which they already acknowledge. In fact if we wanted to be hard nosed about it we'd charge them in full for the redecorating the living and dining rooms given that they didn't look after it. Given that the bond itself is £425 and the decorating alone cost quite a bit more. But no, I don't want a protracted argument, I simply wanted to know where I stood. And now I do.
    Thanks
    Originally posted by Gin and Milk
    But you can't charge them.

    You didn't protect the deposit. So just as they didn't fulfil they're obligations neither did you as a landlord.

    Did you inherit the property?
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