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  • FIRST POST
    • chris1717
    • By chris1717 2nd Mar 18, 11:30 AM
    • 9Posts
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    chris1717
    Chasing Landlord for Deposit
    • #1
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:30 AM
    Chasing Landlord for Deposit 2nd Mar 18 at 11:30 AM
    Hi all,

    I hope you can help.

    I was a short-hold tenant at a property for 18 months during 2015 & 2016. I paid a deposit to the letting agent and my tenancy agreement confirmed it was held in the TDS. Towards the end of my tenancy I received a letter from my landlord informing me not to send any more rent to this agent as he had not been passing it on to him.

    Long story short: The property was passed to another agency and the original agent vanished apparently taking the landlords rent with him. I was advised by the new estate agent that if my deposit hadn't been registered (I've checked and it wasn't) that it had probably vanished with the original agent, being new to renting at the time and probably very naive I accepted this. I chased the agent for a short while but ran out of steam as he dissolved his business and that was that. I gave up on my deposit being returned.

    I have now looked into this further and my tenancy agreement is between the landlord (who is named) and I.

    This is where it gets complicated, at least to me anyway. First of all the property has now passed to another estate agent; this new agency and the previous one are refusing to give me any contact details for the Landlord, my tenancy agreement has his name but nothing else so i am struggling to locate him. I have a business e-mail for him but have had no success in getting a respone nor any other contact details - I was thinking of using land registry??

    Secondly the landlord lives in Dublin so I am unsure if my legal rights differ as it isn't a member of the UK?

    I have spoken to his current estate agency and explained the situation and they said if i send them all the information they will see if they can pass it on to the landlord? I hand delivered a letter to them for the landlords attention with all the details and stating I would commence legal proceedings without notice after 14 days if no reply - I have heard nothing so far (it's only been 3 days) but could the estate agent just ignore this as it has not been passed directly to the landlord?

    I have done some reading but have come a bit stuck at the moment so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Any advice is much appreciated.
Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 2nd Mar 18, 11:37 AM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #2
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:37 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:37 AM
    It's actually really simple. The agent is just an employee of your landlord.


    Your contract is with him.


    I would serve paper at whatever address is on your paperwork (the tenancy agreement), but I would supply copies to both the agent and the property you rented.


    It is likely that once the landlord realises you aren't going away he will just pay you off.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 2nd Mar 18, 11:41 AM
    • 9,592 Posts
    • 12,904 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    • #3
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:41 AM
    • #3
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:41 AM
    Also in
    https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/forum/residential-letting-questions/1023769-advice-on-chasing-ladlord-for-deposit
    • chris1717
    • By chris1717 2nd Mar 18, 11:47 AM
    • 9 Posts
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    chris1717
    • #4
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:47 AM
    • #4
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:47 AM
    Sorry I was asking different sites to obtain as much advice as possible before proceeding.
    • chris1717
    • By chris1717 2nd Mar 18, 11:49 AM
    • 9 Posts
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    chris1717
    • #5
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:49 AM
    • #5
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:49 AM
    Thanks. I will provide further letters to the addresses/people you suggested and see if that gets me anywhere.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 2nd Mar 18, 11:54 AM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #6
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:54 AM
    • #6
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:54 AM
    Thanks. I will provide further letters to the addresses/people you suggested and see if that gets me anywhere.
    Originally posted by chris1717
    wait the 11 days now that you've given them an opportunity.
    • chris1717
    • By chris1717 2nd Mar 18, 11:59 AM
    • 9 Posts
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    chris1717
    • #7
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:59 AM
    • #7
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:59 AM
    Ok thank you for that.

    One more quick one - in the original letter i provided, it basically outlines my situation but I omitted supporting paperwork (Tenancy Agreement, bank statements etc. Should I hold fire on these or provide them and hope it strengthens my case and prompts them to act.

    Chris.
    Last edited by chris1717; 02-03-2018 at 12:02 PM.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 2nd Mar 18, 12:06 PM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #8
    • 2nd Mar 18, 12:06 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Mar 18, 12:06 PM
    Ok thank you for that.

    One more quick one - in the original letter i provided, it basically outlines my situation but I omitted supporting paperwork (Tenancy Agreement, bank statements etc. Should I hold fire on these or provide them and hope it strengthens my case and prompts them to act.

    Chris.
    Originally posted by chris1717
    Your original letter should say the following:


    Letter before action.


    Dear Landlord,


    I am owed X000 (?) for my deposit in relation to my tenancy at <address> between <dates>.


    Please accept this letter as notice of my intention to pursue this matter via the courts if the above sum is not paid with-in X days.


    <contact details e.g. where to send cheque>


    Regards


    Chris
    • chris1717
    • By chris1717 2nd Mar 18, 12:18 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    chris1717
    • #9
    • 2nd Mar 18, 12:18 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Mar 18, 12:18 PM
    Your original letter should say the following:


    Letter before action.


    Dear Landlord,


    I am owed X000 (?) for my deposit in relation to my tenancy at <address> between <dates>.


    Please accept this letter as notice of my intention to pursue this matter via the courts if the above sum is not paid with-in X days.


    <contact details e.g. where to send cheque>


    Regards


    Chris
    Originally posted by Comms69
    Yes that is more or less what my letter says. Short and simple.

    Thanks Again.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 2nd Mar 18, 12:37 PM
    • 9,592 Posts
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    theartfullodger
    Use Shelter's process (already pointed out to you)
    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits/tenancy_deposit_compensation_claims
    & their draft letter as a basis... a bit down the page...
    • chris1717
    • By chris1717 8th Mar 18, 6:44 PM
    • 9 Posts
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    chris1717
    Hi, I have finally been contacted by the landlord. He has emailed me, and I have put below the main points he has raised.

    Chris,
    I regret that the agent/person in question has not returned your deposit. This is the first time that it has been brought to my attention since you vacated the apartment. I am more than happy to support and assist you in this matter.

    The agent was referred to me by an employee of a very reputable estate agent. I entrusted the new agent with my property (x 2), on the basis that it would be managed in a professional manner. However, it has become apparent that this was not the case. In fact, I have suffered significant losses due to the agent collecting rent for approx. 6 months without transferring these rents to my account. The same situation applies to a second property in Manchester that the agent was contracted to manage.

    Despite many requests from me, I received no proof or paperwork from the letting agent regarding your tenancy agreement, I was given no contact details for you, no confirmation that a deposit was received from you, or registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, and no deposit was transferred to my account.
    I have contacted the Trading Standards and the Fraud Squad regarding this and both organisations have opened cases for investigation.

    I have received advice regarding taking legal action against the agent. As you may be aware, I am not resident in the UK, and it is therefore a difficult and costly exercise, so I will continue pursue the matter through the Trading Standards and Fraud Squad. I spoke with the Fraud Squad again today and I am expecting a call from the sergeant tomorrow with an update.

    Have you made contact with *Agent* regarding your deposit? If so, what was his response?

    My understanding is that *Agent* is still trading in the industry. Perhaps you are aware of where he is currently employed. As a UK resident, you are entitled to take a case against him through the Small Claims Court. I am happy to collaborate with you, and provide you with whatever supporting information that I have.

    ^^^ From above it is clear the landlord is passing the blame to the agent (which may well be the case as I do believe the agent was not operating correctly)

    I would appreciate any advice on how to respond? I am sympathetic to the landlord as what he says is probably true but ultimately I want my deposit back and the agent was HIS not mine. I'm not really interested in even pursuing compensation for the way in which my deposit was handled I just want what I paid back.

    Thanks,
    Chris.
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 8th Mar 18, 6:48 PM
    • 1,166 Posts
    • 1,434 Thanks
    ThePants999
    You already understand the law, I think, better than the landlord - he's liable to you, the agent is liable to him.

    If he's not resident in the UK, though, getting your money back via UK courts may be tricky
    • dimbo61
    • By dimbo61 8th Mar 18, 7:33 PM
    • 9,912 Posts
    • 5,335 Thanks
    dimbo61
    If you take this to court and cannot get your deposit returned you may find other avenues as you are now owed a debt.
    Bailiffs or a charging order on the property.
    The Landlord is responsible for your deposit, HIS letting agent is just that HIS agent.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 8th Mar 18, 10:37 PM
    • 2,593 Posts
    • 2,541 Thanks
    steampowered
    I would politely write back to the landlord explaining that, legally, your contract is with him.

    Your legal rights are against him - not against the agent. You couldn't successfully sue the agent even if you wanted to, as you do not have a contract with the agent.

    You could also mention that it would be extremely unfair for him to keep all of the rent you paid for the property, yet fail to return the deposit.

    The issues he has had with the agent are unfortunate but not your concern - as you say, they were his agent not yours!

    Ultimately, you could sue the landlord through the UK courts for return of your deposit plus a penalty plus costs and enforce that by getting a charging order against the property. You wouldn't need to do anything in Ireland. I would suggest asking nicely before threatening legal action though.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 9th Mar 18, 5:46 AM
    • 3,361 Posts
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    cjdavies
    Basically his email response is blah blah blah excuses.

    He is the landlord and therefore responsible for the depoist not being protected.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th Mar 18, 6:08 AM
    • 25,313 Posts
    • 93,077 Thanks
    Davesnave
    His property is in the UK, so regardless of whether you can pursue him directly, if you win and he doesn't pay, that property has a charging order placed on it and you receive your money when it is sold or if the landlord dies etc.
    If you are finding huge gaps between your paragraphs and use Firefox, MSE know about the problem. However, they aren't necessarily doing anything about it yet....
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5844460
    • chris1717
    • By chris1717 9th Mar 18, 9:29 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    chris1717
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I am in the process of drafting a letter to the Landlord concerning this deposit but interestingly I have just received a phone call from the original letting agent who ''did a runner'' with the deposit and the landlords money.

    One of the letters I sent has found its way to him and he says he's called to repay me my deposit back (albeit in installments). He says he is doing it 'to do the right thing'' as he told me I would not get anywhere legally.

    I'm a bit perplexed why he would call offering me my deposit back when as he says, and I've been advised here it's the landlord i need to pursue?? I don't believe he's doing the right thing as I'm conformable with what I've been told and he is indeed a crook.

    Should I accept this offer and drop everything or refuse and negotiate with the landlord?

    Thanks again
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 9th Mar 18, 9:34 AM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I am in the process of drafting a letter to the Landlord concerning this deposit but interestingly I have just received a phone call from the original letting agent who ''did a runner'' with the deposit and the landlords money.

    One of the letters I sent has found its way to him and he says he's called to repay me my deposit back (albeit in installments). He says he is doing it 'to do the right thing'' as he told me I would not get anywhere legally.

    I'm a bit perplexed why he would call offering me my deposit back when as he says, and I've been advised here it's the landlord i need to pursue?? I don't believe he's doing the right thing as I'm conformable with what I've been told and he is indeed a crook.

    Should I accept this offer and drop everything or refuse and negotiate with the landlord?

    Thanks again
    Originally posted by chris1717
    Actually you can pursue BOTH parties, the LL is responsible, but anyone who receives the deposit can be pursued.


    How reasonable is the payment plan? 3 months? I wouldn't accept anything longer.
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 9th Mar 18, 9:43 AM
    • 1,254 Posts
    • 875 Thanks
    saajan_12
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I am in the process of drafting a letter to the Landlord concerning this deposit but interestingly I have just received a phone call from the original letting agent who ''did a runner'' with the deposit and the landlords money.

    One of the letters I sent has found its way to him and he says he's called to repay me my deposit back (albeit in installments). He says he is doing it 'to do the right thing'' as he told me I would not get anywhere legally.

    I'm a bit perplexed why he would call offering me my deposit back when as he says, and I've been advised here it's the landlord i need to pursue?? I don't believe he's doing the right thing as I'm conformable with what I've been told and he is indeed a crook.

    Should I accept this offer and drop everything or refuse and negotiate with the landlord?

    Thanks again
    Originally posted by chris1717
    If there's a chance you'll get your deposit (or part) back, I'd take it. Legally you have a valid and almost 'slam dunk' case against the LL based on your tenancy agreement showing x deposit and proof x was paid as instructed. However collecting on this is another story. Initially you'll have (minimal) costs to file the claim but this can escalate if you need bailiffs to collect the money.

    Engage the agent, and if after a reasonable time you don't get it all back, you can still sue the LL for the balance of unreturned deposit, as they are ultimately responsible.
    • chris1717
    • By chris1717 9th Mar 18, 10:12 AM
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    chris1717
    Actually you can pursue BOTH parties, the LL is responsible, but anyone who receives the deposit can be pursued.


    How reasonable is the payment plan? 3 months? I wouldn't accept anything longer.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    He offered to make a payment today and settle the balance with payments each Friday for the next 3 weeks - I guess it's going to save time,effort and costs if i accept this offer and he actually follows through with it.
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