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  • FIRST POST
    • orkie55
    • By orkie55 11th Oct 17, 8:59 AM
    • 1,698Posts
    • 643Thanks
    orkie55
    Deposit Claim - Small Claims Court
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 8:59 AM
    Deposit Claim - Small Claims Court 11th Oct 17 at 8:59 AM
    Hi Everyone,

    In an annoying situation:

    Finished a tenancy and landlord trying to claim some of deposit.

    Unreasonable as we cleaned the house to the way it was before. A lot of the claims are actually on "wall damage due to nails/hangers". These nails/hangers were there before we came into the house and most are visible in inventory. Some are not because they are so small and picture quality of inventory is crap.

    Anyway. I thought that TDS was up to 6 months time so kind of screwed myself over by trusting my silly letting agent who took forever to reply to emails of negotiating.

    I should have asked for landlord's email directly but hindsight...

    Just wondering how to start preparing for court action and who to target.

    We actually paid our rent to our letting agent but our tenancy agreement is with landlord. Ideally I would like to sue our letting agent for being totally incompetent:

    I sent an offer of 100 without prejudice to try and get the rest of the deposit ASAP.

    The offer was rejected and letting agent told us that landlord had offered 415.

    I said I'm not going higher than 150 as even that is undeserved.

    Then the letting agent told us that the landlord has now offered 260.

    Given the length of the process of TDS, I decided to agree with that.

    Letting agent then didn't reply for over a month.

    Finally they replied with: "Sorry landlord has retracted his offer and now wants the original amount. Since the TDS period has expired, it is up to us [letting agent] to decide and thus we are sending you back this amount."

    So I'm pretty sure they can't do that and really, this is all their fault.

    I emailed our letting agent 3 weeks in advance that I want the landlord and letting agent to come one of the final few days to check and do the checkout report while we were there so that we can avoid any disputes afterwards. I got ignored.

    This is totally shambles really and I should have just started the TDS process, but my memory wrongly served me that it was 6 months period after the tenancy ended.

    So:

    Who should I send a letter before action to? The landlord or letting agent or both?

    Thanks for advice.
Page 1
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 11th Oct 17, 9:30 AM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 678 Thanks
    saajan_12
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:30 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:30 AM
    The Landlord.

    What does the scheme actually say when you log in and was the deposit in a custodial or insurance scheme? I'm not sure exactly how your scheme works but perhaps contact them to find out exactly what the status of the deposit is.

    If no luck there, write a LBA to the Landlord, cc'ing the agent requesting the deposit back. Don't get into the detail of the back and forth settlement offers, but focus on the the valid damages and deductions (if any).
    • orkie55
    • By orkie55 11th Oct 17, 9:49 AM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 643 Thanks
    orkie55
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:49 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:49 AM
    The Landlord.

    What does the scheme actually say when you log in and was the deposit in a custodial or insurance scheme? I'm not sure exactly how your scheme works but perhaps contact them to find out exactly what the status of the deposit is.

    If no luck there, write a LBA to the Landlord, cc'ing the agent requesting the deposit back. Don't get into the detail of the back and forth settlement offers, but focus on the the valid damages and deductions (if any).
    Originally posted by saajan_12
    When I login to TDS, the deposit appears to still be with them. This is probably because the tenancy agreement was made for a year, even though we agreed in writing that we only wanted up to a specific date.

    When I try and raise a dispute, if I put the date of tenancy ending, it gives me with: "Sorry we cannot help you as we can only deal with disputes within 3 months of tenancy ending".

    I'll give them a call and see who they have given the deposit back to.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Oct 17, 9:58 AM
    • 42,315 Posts
    • 49,159 Thanks
    G_M
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:58 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:58 AM
    Call TDS and see if thy can help.

    If not, Letter Before Action sent to the landlord (yes, a proper letter) at the addess providded 'for serving notices'. If that is c/o the agent, fine, but address it to LL by name.

    Send a copy to the agent.

    Forget 'making offers'. Give him 7 days to return whatever you think is fair ( ie actual damage you agree you did), otherwise legal action will followw.

    You sue the landlord, using whatever address was given you 'for serving notices'.

    * Deposits: payment, protection and return
    • orkie55
    • By orkie55 11th Oct 17, 10:08 AM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 643 Thanks
    orkie55
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:08 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:08 AM
    Call TDS and see if thy can help.

    If not, Letter Before Action sent to the landlord (yes, a proper letter) at the addess providded 'for serving notices'. If that is c/o the agent, fine, but address it to LL by name.

    Send a copy to the agent.

    Forget 'making offers'. Give him 7 days to return whatever you think is fair ( ie actual damage you agree you did), otherwise legal action will followw.

    You sue the landlord, using whatever address was given you 'for serving notices'.

    * Deposits: payment, protection and return
    Originally posted by G_M
    Made a few calls:

    TDS told me that although they cannot adjudicate the process, the letting agent should not give any money back to the landlord or tenant without written agreement from other party.

    Letting agent told me that I have misunderstood they email and that they are sending me back the undisputed amount but are not sending the disputed amount back to landlord. Apparently he has made a formal complaint to Letting Agent. Letting agent is trying to say that the Landlord already agreed to the settlement that he himself suggested.

    If what they told me over the phone is true then maybe my annoyance at the Letting agent was misguided. However this has still been dragging on for ages, so I may send a Letter before action to landlord with a copy to letting agent anyway. Hopefully this speeds things up.

    I'll mention the original deal that was made by email as to be fair, although there is no way there is 260 worth of cleaning/damages to do, me and the other tenants are happy to take the hit to not have to go to court.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Oct 17, 10:23 AM
    • 42,315 Posts
    • 49,159 Thanks
    G_M
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:23 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:23 AM
    I would keep your communication to the minimum.

    Wait and see what you now get sent, and then respond (ie with LBA).

    Did TDS say they are holding the deposit? Or is it insurance-backed scheme? Would they llet you open a dispute?
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 11th Oct 17, 11:23 AM
    • 16,130 Posts
    • 40,036 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 17, 11:23 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 17, 11:23 AM
    Given the length of the process of TDS, I decided to agree with that.
    If TDS is like DPS, then when this was agreed -or so you thought at least- you either should have logged in and confirmed the new agreement that they would have triggered, or you would have said you were prepared to accept amount X and they would have agreed to it. These steps would have then released the amount agreed to each party.

    The problem is that it seems no-one has done anything and let it linger on. The added issue is that it would seem that the agent got the amount agreed by the LL wrong anyway.

    I have no idea what the process is when the parties can't agree and the ADR is not an option any longer. I vaguely recall reading that the deposit agency will act on the order of the court, so I suppose your next step will indeed be to take the landlord to court. Be prepared that both will be critisized by the judge for wasting his time because you fail to take action to use the service that was available to both of you to resolve this matter.
    • Wanderingpomm
    • By Wanderingpomm 11th Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Wanderingpomm
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    I'm not sure the letting agent are right about the tds time. They can't just claim the deposit without your agreement. I took months and months to get my tenants deposit from then and had to go to court. Are you sure it was lodged and the agents are not being dishonest?
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