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  • FIRST POST
    • mattpaint
    • By mattpaint 6th Jan 18, 4:17 AM
    • 47Posts
    • 62Thanks
    mattpaint
    Deposit problem
    • #1
    • 6th Jan 18, 4:17 AM
    Deposit problem 6th Jan 18 at 4:17 AM
    Long story short - I live in a house share but am moving out in two weeks and it has just come to my attention that four months ago my landlords removed my deposit from the protection scheme and told them I had moved out and they haven't protected it again. The previous tenants have only just had their deposits returned from when they moved out four months ago and now I'm in the position where I have zero protection but need the deposit back reasonably quickly after I leave. The landlords are not reasonable people and this is a major reason I'm leaving as well as basic repairs not being carried out. How easy is it to sue for the return of the deposit and how fast is this process? Does anyone know please?
Page 1
    • anselld
    • By anselld 6th Jan 18, 8:01 AM
    • 5,497 Posts
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    anselld
    • #2
    • 6th Jan 18, 8:01 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Jan 18, 8:01 AM
    The L cannot simply remove the deposit. It must have been agreed by one of the Tenants, eg the lead Tenant in joint tenancy.

    So find out how the deposit return was allocated from the DPS. Depending on the answer you may need to sue the L or the Lead Tenant. To answer the question, fairly easy but not quick.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 6th Jan 18, 8:12 AM
    • 16,296 Posts
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    FBaby
    • #3
    • 6th Jan 18, 8:12 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Jan 18, 8:12 AM
    I'm assuming from your post that you were all under one ast and only one deposit given jointly. If that's the case, then the deposit would have been returned (whatever sum was agreed or decided) to the tenant who would have been named the lead tenant. THEY should have then given you your share of it, 'share' which can sometimes cause problems with sums have been withdrawn for issues that has nothing to do with you. In this instance though, your dispute is with the lead tenant, not the LL.

    If you had a separate ast, between you and the LL only, your deposit should have been protected separately. In that instance, if the LL agreed to release it, it should have come to you as it should have been protected under your name with your bank details. If that's not the case, you need to look into why that is as you should have been contacted by the scheme when they received your deposit.

    If you are saying that you were all on one ast, the money was returned to the lead tenant, who then gave you your share, which you then gave to your LL again to protect, you might have a case, but this scenario doesn't make much sense, unless you'd take out a new ast, but that wouldn't be for 4 months, so doubt this is the case.

    Waiting 4 months for the release of a deposit is not that unusual if the amount was disputed and needed to go through the ADR process.
    • mattpaint
    • By mattpaint 6th Jan 18, 4:22 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    mattpaint
    • #4
    • 6th Jan 18, 4:22 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Jan 18, 4:22 PM
    All the tenants had separate ASTs. They moved out at the end of the fixed term and mine went onto a periodic month to month tenancy. MyDeposits say I should have received a letter telling me the deposit had been taken from the scheme and it is no longer protected. Basically it seems the landlord has told them I moved out too to get the money back. Three of the other tenants didn't dispute the deposits - two did - but they've all only just received their individual deposits back and so I'm keen to avoid this as much as possible.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Jan 18, 4:45 PM
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 6th Jan 18, 4:45 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Jan 18, 4:45 PM
    When the LL applied to remove the deposit, the sceme mst contact you for your agreement. So ask them why they did not do so.

    Or ask yourself why you ignored them when they did.

    But either way, you are now in a strong position. If the LL fails to return your deposit, or delays, you can tell him you will sue for the penalty of 3 times the deposit for not keeping the deposit registered for the duration of the tenancy.

    Sorted.

    Now read

    * Deposits: payment, protection and return
    • anselld
    • By anselld 6th Jan 18, 5:20 PM
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    anselld
    • #6
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:20 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:20 PM
    . MyDeposits say I should have received a letter telling me the deposit had been taken from the scheme and it is no longer protected.
    Originally posted by mattpaint
    I say again... the Landlord cannot take the deposit from the scheme without the Tenant's agreement or at least the Tenant failing to respond to a single claim request.

    Ask them what authorisation they had (from the Tenant side) to release your deposit. The L telling them you have left is not sufficient grounds.
    • mattpaint
    • By mattpaint 6th Jan 18, 7:54 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    mattpaint
    • #7
    • 6th Jan 18, 7:54 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Jan 18, 7:54 PM
    Thank you all. Sorry for being dense - what form would the approval request take? They've supplied me a copy of the letter they say was sent to the house and it just says the deposit was returned to the landlord because they had been told I moved out. Now they're saying that because three months has gone by there's nothing they can do.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 6th Jan 18, 8:18 PM
    • 5,497 Posts
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    anselld
    • #8
    • 6th Jan 18, 8:18 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Jan 18, 8:18 PM
    It is perhaps the case that the L is using the Insurance Backed scheme where in the rules ...
    https://www.mydeposits.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Scheme-Rules-for-Insurance-Business-Members.pdf
    ... it states
    C4.1 Prior to the end date of the fixed term AST, as
    provided to the scheme at protection, you must
    inform us whether the AST is due to terminate,
    continue on an SPT or be renewed with a new
    fixed term. If the member does not update the
    protection by 30 calendar days after the end date
    of the tenancy, then the scheme will automatically
    un-protect the deposit and inform the tenant.

    This seems to drive a coach and horses through the whole point of protection, but there we are!

    On the plus side it would indicate that the L has failed to protect your deposit and you would be correct to sue for return plus 1-3x penalty.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Jan 18, 10:03 PM
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    G_M
    • #9
    • 6th Jan 18, 10:03 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Jan 18, 10:03 PM

    On the plus side it would indicate that the L has failed to protect your deposit and you would be correct to sue for return plus 1-3x penalty.
    Originally posted by anselld
    Indeed. As per post 5 above.
    • mattpaint
    • By mattpaint 6th Jan 18, 10:36 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    mattpaint
    Thank you. so much for all your help. Sorry to ask another question but is there a calculator that says how much between 1-3 times you should sue for dependent on circumstances?
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 6th Jan 18, 11:09 PM
    • 500 Posts
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    Slithery
    No.

    The amount awarded is decided by the judge on the day.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Jan 18, 11:34 PM
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    G_M
    No.

    The amount awarded is decided by the judge on the day.
    Originally posted by Slithery
    For example, if the judge concluded the landlord hasd deliberately removed the deposit early, knowing the tenancy was ongoing, then the penalty awarded would probably be near the top end (3 times deposit).

    If he concluded it was done in error when the fixed term ended, and the deposit scheme did not realise the tenancy was ongoing, the penalty might be towrds the lower end.

    The minmum penalty the court can award is 1 times the deposit (remember, this is the penalty; the depost itself must still be returned in the normal way, subject to normal allowable deductions)
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 7th Jan 18, 8:22 AM
    • 16,296 Posts
    • 40,572 Thanks
    FBaby
    It is perhaps the case that the L is using the Insurance Backed scheme
    Indeed, that's the only way the LL could have taken the deposit out of the scheme, in which case, it should have been re-protected, so first step before you get your calculator out OP is check that this is indeed the case. Ask for your deposit back when you move and if you get it all back on time and then decide if you really think it is right to go and sue them.
    • mattpaint
    • By mattpaint 7th Jan 18, 11:19 AM
    • 47 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    mattpaint
    So I've checked on the scheme and they did re-protect the deposit but for a fixed term of another year, which isn't the case. I just want my deposit back - I don't care if they get fined, though frankly they deserve it. Does anyone know if them protecting it as fixed term and not as a periodic will slow things down?
    • anselld
    • By anselld 7th Jan 18, 11:49 AM
    • 5,497 Posts
    • 5,081 Thanks
    anselld
    So I've checked on the scheme and they did re-protect the deposit but for a fixed term of another year, which isn't the case. I just want my deposit back - I don't care if they get fined, though frankly they deserve it. Does anyone know if them protecting it as fixed term and not as a periodic will slow things down?
    Originally posted by mattpaint
    So they did re-protect after all that! Why should they deserve to be fined?

    The duration of protection makes no difference. The deposit can be released by agreement or through dispute at the end of tenancy.

    Just follow the appropriate scheme process in two weeks time when you move out.
    Last edited by anselld; 07-01-2018 at 11:52 AM.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Jan 18, 12:48 PM
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    G_M
    Good grief!

    The deposit is protected. The LL has done nothing wrong.

    When the tenancy ends, one or other, or both, of you puts in a claim for its return. The scheme contacts the other for their consent (or for a claim for deductions) and the deposit will either
    * be returned in full
    * be returned less any agreed deductions or
    * go to dispute

    This entire thread has been unecessary.
    • mattpaint
    • By mattpaint 7th Jan 18, 7:16 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    mattpaint
    Good grief!

    The deposit is protected. The LL has done nothing wrong.

    When the tenancy ends, one or other, or both, of you puts in a claim for its return. The scheme contacts the other for their consent (or for a claim for deductions) and the deposit will either
    * be returned in full
    * be returned less any agreed deductions or
    * go to dispute

    This entire thread has been unecessary.
    Originally posted by G_M
    Your reply is unnecessarily rude. I do hope you're treated better when you require advice.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 7th Jan 18, 7:58 PM
    • 42,776 Posts
    • 49,999 Thanks
    G_M
    Your reply is unnecessarily rude. I do hope you're treated better when you require advice.
    Originally posted by mattpaint
    The responses I've received in the past have been equally mixed: rude, friendly, helpful, unhelpful.

    I think my posts on your thread here have covered all 4 categories!

    It's a public forum.
    • mattpaint
    • By mattpaint 7th Jan 18, 9:17 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    mattpaint
    The responses I've received in the past have been equally mixed: rude, friendly, helpful, unhelpful.

    I think my posts on your thread here have covered all 4 categories!

    It's a public forum.
    Originally posted by G_M
    It's not. It's also clear that if I chose to I could still sue my landlords for the return of my deposit for their scheming with the deposit and having the false tenancy start date on the deposit certificate. I don't wish to do that - but given how they've behaved, I do want the leverage to force them to return my deposit in a timely manner and not mess about as they did with the other tenants. How they handled that is a large part of why I'm leaving. Thank you for your advice.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 8th Jan 18, 6:31 AM
    • 5,497 Posts
    • 5,081 Thanks
    anselld
    It's not. It's also clear that if I chose to I could still sue my landlords for the return of my deposit for their scheming with the deposit and having the false tenancy start date on the deposit certificate. I don't wish to do that - but given how they've behaved, I do want the leverage to force them to return my deposit in a timely manner and not mess about as they did with the other tenants. How they handled that is a large part of why I'm leaving. Thank you for your advice.
    Originally posted by mattpaint
    It is certainly not clear that you could successfully sue your L based on the evidence in this thread, and if you start trying to gain ”leverage” from thin air you are just going to antagonise the situation.

    You are two weeks away from leaving, your deposit is protected, so just leave in a professional way, take photos, process your deposit through the scheme and dispute process as necessary. No need for drama at this stage. (and I would agree with G_M, no need for this thread in the first place).
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