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  • FIRST POST
    • c-j-h
    • By c-j-h 24th Aug 17, 2:06 PM
    • 20Posts
    • 4Thanks
    c-j-h
    (mess) No agreement, statutory notice and lack of deposit protection
    • #1
    • 24th Aug 17, 2:06 PM
    (mess) No agreement, statutory notice and lack of deposit protection 24th Aug 17 at 2:06 PM
    Hello,

    I feel like I am in a bit of a pickle at the moment.

    Summary
    ---------------------
    My landlord is trying to get me to serve two months notice and also say my deposit is protected under my flatmates name. I never saw or signed a written agreement and also did not verbally hear terms re: notice period or agree to anything with landlord. I have served one months notice and want to leave on September 12th. I fear my landlord will give my deposit to flatmate who has said he will keep it from me.

    Background
    ---------------------
    I moved in to the flat on May 1st. Prior to moving in the landlord instructed me to pay the outgoing tenant. When deposit received by outgoing, landlord said they would update DPS with my details. Upon receipt of deposit by outgoing, landlord said she had updated DPS with my details. I never received any other information regarding deposit like a cert or such.

    Landlord said they would put a contract in the mailbox for me to review when I move in. I moved in before the contract was received. Contract briefly appeared on kitchen table a few days after I moved in. I saw it's presence but did not read, I had planned to read and sign that evening but it disappeared and I didn't see again. I can only surmise flatmate took it and signed and forgot to give to me.

    That was about the extend of my dealing with landlord. Fast-forward to a few weeks ago. Flatmate tells me he is moving and we need to serve two months notice (First I heard of it). I found another place to live and realised I had no contract and the statutory minimum was 1 month. I served one months notice and my flatmate said I need to serve 2 months. If I don't pay the final month he will keep my deposit.

    Landlord is saying I am held to the agreement and the deposit is protected under the lead tenant (my flatmate).

    What am I to do now?

    Somebody said the landlord is legally obligated to provide me with a deposit protection cert and if they don't do so within 30 days. I can sue them. What is the rule about that and how much can I sue them for?

    Many thanks
Page 1
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 24th Aug 17, 2:12 PM
    • 15,147 Posts
    • 14,752 Thanks
    Guest101
    • #2
    • 24th Aug 17, 2:12 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Aug 17, 2:12 PM
    So you haven't ever signed a tenancy?
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 24th Aug 17, 2:38 PM
    • 769 Posts
    • 509 Thanks
    saajan_12
    • #3
    • 24th Aug 17, 2:38 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Aug 17, 2:38 PM
    Hello,

    I feel like I am in a bit of a pickle at the moment.

    Summary
    ---------------------
    My landlord is trying to get me to serve two months notice and also say my deposit is protected under my flatmates name. I never saw or signed a written agreement and also did not verbally hear terms re: notice period or agree to anything with landlord. I have served one months notice and want to leave on September 12th. I fear my landlord will give my deposit to flatmate who has said he will keep it from me.

    Background
    ---------------------
    I moved in to the flat on May 1st. Prior to moving in the landlord instructed me to pay the outgoing tenant. When deposit received by outgoing, landlord said they would update DPS with my details. Upon receipt of deposit by outgoing, landlord said she had updated DPS with my details. I never received any other information regarding deposit like a cert or such. - so you never paid the Landlord a deposit? Was the tenancy assigned to you by a deed (doubt it if you didn't sign anything). Then the LL doesn't have to give it back to you and there is nothing to protect. If you had paid a deposit to the LL, the penalty would be 1-3x the deposit but 1-3 x £0 = £0. You would have to chase the outgoing tenant.


    Landlord said they would put a contract in the mailbox for me to review when I move in. I moved in before the contract was received. Contract briefly appeared on kitchen table a few days after I moved in. I saw it's presence but did not read, I had planned to read and sign that evening but it disappeared and I didn't see again. I can only surmise flatmate took it and signed and forgot to give to me. - what communications (emails/texts) happened around that time? A tenancy exists by virtue of you living there and paying rent. Written evidence about the notice period discussed may imply a contract different to the default of a monthly periodic tenancy.

    That was about the extend of my dealing with landlord. Fast-forward to a few weeks ago. Flatmate tells me he is moving and we need to serve two months notice (First I heard of it). I found another place to live and realised I had no contract and the statutory minimum was 1 month. I served one months notice and my flatmate said I need to serve 2 months. If I don't pay the final month he will keep my deposit.- he as in flatmate or Landlord? If it is a joint tenancy and if the landlord returns a deposit to one of you, it is deemed to be returned to both. It is up to the joint tenants to agree the split and you'd have to sue the flatmate if you don't receive your share.

    Landlord is saying I am held to the agreement and the deposit is protected under the lead tenant (my flatmate).

    What am I to do now?

    Somebody said the landlord is legally obligated to provide me with a deposit protection cert and if they don't do so within 30 days. I can sue them. What is the rule about that and how much can I sue them for?Yes, if you paid the LL (directly) a deposit.
    If this is a joint tenancy, the cert may be served to the property, not to you individually, otherwise the penalty would be 1-3x the deposit


    Many thanks
    Originally posted by c-j-h
    Please clarify if you both jointly and severally rented the whole property (approached the LL as a unit, you both have exclusive possession of the whole property, given a total rent figure for the property which you may split as you choose) or if you individually rented a room each (with access to the common areas but LL can also enter).

    IF joint: one of you serving notice applies to both of you. The LL can return the deposit to one of you, and it is then upto the joint tenants to agree the split or sue eachother if they don’t.

    IF individual: your deposit/notice/rent has nothing to do with the flatmate.

    Either way, you can only chase the LL for the return / non protection penalty for a deposit you actually paid to the LL, not to an outgoing tenant.
    • c-j-h
    • By c-j-h 25th Aug 17, 12:23 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    c-j-h
    • #4
    • 25th Aug 17, 12:23 AM
    • #4
    • 25th Aug 17, 12:23 AM
    Hi Folks,

    Many thanks for reading this and replying Please see some further detail and clarifications inline.

    So you haven't ever signed a tenancy?
    by Guest101
    My apologies I didn't make this clear - I did pay a deposit but never signed a tenancy. I only sighted the agreement document on kitchen table which appeared there a few days after me moving in. It was in the morning when I was going to work, when I returned it was gone. I never read it.

    Please clarify if you both jointly and severally rented the whole property (approached the LL as a unit, you both have exclusive possession of the whole property, given a total rent figure for the property which you may split as you choose) or if you individually rented a room each (with access to the common areas but LL can also enter).

    IF joint: one of you serving notice applies to both of you. The LL can return the deposit to one of you, and it is then upto the joint tenants to agree the split or sue eachother if they don’t.

    IF individual: your deposit/notice/rent has nothing to do with the flatmate.

    Either way, you can only chase the LL for the return / non protection penalty for a deposit you actually paid to the LL, not to an outgoing tenant.
    Originally posted by saajan_12
    This was not a joint and several tenancy or agreement. My flatmate was living there for approximately a year before I joined. That said I have access to general areas and the landlord doesn't enter at their will. They provide notice.

    I see your points on joint and several but I think I ought to be stuck somewhere in the middle as my flatmate was there before I. I would like to think my deposit is separate to his as my LL told me that it was going to have my details stored against it. Also I think there was ambiguity previously - I did pay a deposit. I paid it to the outgoing tenant at the behest of LL. That was basically a payment to LL and I have emails on this topic. The emails also state that LL had updated my details against the DPS system.

    ----------------------------------------
    Response to inline comments:
    ---------------------------------------

    1. I never signed or agreens to any terms with LL in any way. I did pay a deposit but to the outgoing tenant (see above). Don't the rules apply because the LL has the money the outgoing tenant originally paid them? If the rules no longer apply then surely LL is responsible for grossly manipulating the situation so they gained deposit without rules applying.

    2. The only email correspondence I have is relating to payment of deposit and move in date. There are no terms of tenancy discussed whatsover including notice period etc. They were also never discussed verbally either.

    3. I meant he as in flatmate. I think it is complicated as we both paid deposits separately. I have already outlined with LL that I fear my flatmate will keep deposit if I move out after one month. It is worth noting that I have messages from my flatmate to this effect, flatmate has also stated the he is not "sub renting" to me. If that has any significance?

    4. Ack, paid the LL deposit by way of outgoing tenant. That said, they did agree to put my details against deposit. That said, I don't think a cert was issued at all. I certainly didn't see it.

    In any case, I think this is a bit of a mess and I think I am stuck in some ambiguous situation.. what do ya'll think? perhaps it's best a judge decides if we can't resolve? Thanks again for great response
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 25th Aug 17, 1:14 AM
    • 4,770 Posts
    • 4,148 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #5
    • 25th Aug 17, 1:14 AM
    • #5
    • 25th Aug 17, 1:14 AM
    My apologies I didn't make this clear - I did pay a deposit but never signed a tenancy. I only sighted the agreement document on kitchen table which appeared there a few days after me moving in. It was in the morning when I was going to work, when I returned it was gone. I never read it. reading it is not the question, you never signed it, so "you" have a verbal tenancy.... the implications of that remain to be seen...
    This was not a joint and several tenancy or agreement. My flatmate was living there for approximately a year before I joined. That said I have access to general areas and the landlord doesn't enter at their will. They provide notice. I see your points on joint and several but I think I ought to be stuck somewhere in the middle as my flatmate was there before I.sorry but tenancy law is black and white, either you are on a joint and several tenancy of the whole property whereby you and your co-tenants are equally liable for all the tent or or you are on a tenancy of a single room , liable only for the rent on that room

    I would like to think my deposit is separate to his as my LL told me that it was going to have my details stored against it. Also I think there was ambiguity previously - I did pay a deposit. I paid it to the outgoing tenant at the behest of LL. That was basically a payment to LL and I have emails on this topic. The emails also state that LL had updated my details against the DPS system.

    as already explained, you paid your money to an outgoing tenant, you did not pay it to the LL. Thus your claim is against the previous tenants, not against the current LL as he has protected the deposit he received from ANO. The deposit is thus held in the name of a lead tenant who whom the scheme will return it.

    1. I never signed or agreens to any terms with LL in any way. I did pay a deposit but to the outgoing tenant (see above). Don't the rules apply because the LL has the money the outgoing tenant originally paid them? If the rules no longer apply then surely LL is responsible for grossly manipulating the situation so they gained deposit without rules applying.NO, LL is required to return deposit to the person named as "lead" tenant

    2. The only email correspondence I have is relating to payment of deposit and move in date. There are no terms of tenancy discussed whatsover including notice period etc. They were also never discussed verbally either. then that is your faullt for moving in without a signed agreement. Your tenancy terms are therefore "verbal", ie almost impossible to pin down.

    3. I meant he as in flatmate. I think it is complicated as we both paid deposits separately. I have already outlined with LL that I fear my flatmate will keep deposit if I move out after one month. It is worth noting that I have messages from my flatmate to this effect, flatmate has also stated the he is not "sub renting" to me. If that has any significance? then you sue the other tenant for retaining your share of the deposit

    4. Ack, paid the LL deposit by way of outgoing tenant. That said, they did agree to put my details against deposit. That said, I don't think a cert was issued at all. I certainly didn't see it. then you should have followed up on it

    In any case, I think this is a bit of a mess and I think I am stuck in some ambiguous situation.. what do ya'll think? perhaps it's best a judge decides if we can't resolve? Thanks again for great response
    Originally posted by c-j-h
    agreed, go to court and let a judge decide
    • G_M
    • By G_M 25th Aug 17, 11:54 AM
    • 41,077 Posts
    • 47,208 Thanks
    G_M
    • #6
    • 25th Aug 17, 11:54 AM
    • #6
    • 25th Aug 17, 11:54 AM
    These informal arrangements where an incoming tenant 'takes over' from an outgoing tenant, without documenttion, and with deposit handed ffrom tenant to tenant ... always end in tears.

    You paid some cash (which for some reason was called a 'deposit') to an individual you don't know, who has now moved on. If you want that cash back, you'll have to
    a) find that individual and
    b) pursuade him to re-pay it.

    As you never paid a deposit to the 'landlord', the landlord does not have to return a deposit to you.
    • c-j-h
    • By c-j-h 7th Sep 17, 1:42 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    c-j-h
    • #7
    • 7th Sep 17, 1:42 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Sep 17, 1:42 PM
    Hi All,

    Thanks everybody for your help on this matter. I ended up writing a letter to the landlord to settle the agreement. I realised they broke rules around deposit scheme and used that as leverage on the entire situation. They accepted the terms and I am not completely sorted with the outcome I wanted from the start. i.e. Vacate after one months notice and getting my entire deposit back.

    I have attached the letter here (anonymised of course) as its format etc may be useful to others. I believe this letter is as good as a lawyer would write (so say my lawyer friends) and if you find yourself in a pickle it might save you a few quid on getting a legal letter written up.

    Also, for your information. "WITHOUT PREJUDICE" is a very important concept for a letter like this. It allows you to make offers to settle a dispute that may amount to less than what would be sought in court. The other party cannot produce said offer in attempt to lower the ask.

    Link: https://files.fm/u/hexxmyye
    Last edited by c-j-h; 07-09-2017 at 9:42 PM.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 7th Sep 17, 7:47 PM
    • 4,770 Posts
    • 4,148 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #8
    • 7th Sep 17, 7:47 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Sep 17, 7:47 PM
    does not work for me !
    • c-j-h
    • By c-j-h 7th Sep 17, 9:42 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    c-j-h
    • #9
    • 7th Sep 17, 9:42 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Sep 17, 9:42 PM
    Ack, sorry ... This one should work:

    https://files.fm/u/hexxmyye
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