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  • FIRST POST
    • elpdotaer
    • By elpdotaer 24th Jul 18, 5:29 PM
    • 13Posts
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    elpdotaer
    Please help. Rent Deposit Compensation
    • #1
    • 24th Jul 18, 5:29 PM
    Please help. Rent Deposit Compensation 24th Jul 18 at 5:29 PM
    Hi all,

    Now I think I'm in a very rare and weird situation with trying to get my rent deposit back. Please help!

    I was renting from a private landlord from 01/08/2016 to 31/03/2017. In Oct 2016, I was informed that the landlord is moving to the US and the house will be managed by a letting agency. So I've been paying rent to the agency afterwards. After my tenancy ended, I've been asking the agency for my deposit. But they said they need to get the landlord's approval to release the deposit. I asked them several times but they kept saying they didn't hear from the landlord. And now they said they didn't have any deposit from the landlord and I should contact him directly. But I don't have any his contact details in the US, and the agency refuse to give me his contact.... So I'm stuck now.

    Could anyone advise me on this please? I've the landlord's UK address written on the tenancy agreement (not sure if he sold his house). So should I write a letter to that address saying if he doesn't refund my deposit I will take court actions?

    Thanks in advance!
Page 1
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 24th Jul 18, 5:36 PM
    • 12,643 Posts
    • 18,025 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    • #2
    • 24th Jul 18, 5:36 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Jul 18, 5:36 PM
    Hi all,

    Now I think I'm in a very rare and weird situation with trying to get my rent deposit back. Please help!

    I was renting from a private landlord from 01/08/2016 to 31/03/2017. In Oct 2016, I was informed that the landlord is moving to the US and the house will be managed by a letting agency. So I've been paying rent to the agency afterwards. After my tenancy ended, I've been asking the agency for my deposit. But they said they need to get the landlord's approval to release the deposit. I asked them several times but they kept saying they didn't hear from the landlord. And now they said they didn't have any deposit from the landlord and I should contact him directly. But I don't have any his contact details in the US, and the agency refuse to give me his contact.... So I'm stuck now.

    Could anyone advise me on this please? I've the landlord's UK address written on the tenancy agreement (not sure if he sold his house). So should I write a letter to that address saying if he doesn't refund my deposit I will take court actions?

    Thanks in advance!
    Originally posted by elpdotaer
    Can you confirm where in the UK the property is because the law differs between countries?

    Did you ever receive any documentation regarding your deposit and where it is being held? Have you checked any of the deposit schemes to see if it is registered anywhere?

    Your contract is with the landlord the letting agent just acts as his agent and you have no contract with them. If the landlord doesn't hand over your deposit there's nothing the letting agent can really do about it.
    • sal_III
    • By sal_III 24th Jul 18, 5:39 PM
    • 556 Posts
    • 541 Thanks
    sal_III
    • #3
    • 24th Jul 18, 5:39 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Jul 18, 5:39 PM
    Did you really wait for over 1 year to rise this issue, or is it a typo in the OP?
    • elpdotaer
    • By elpdotaer 24th Jul 18, 8:24 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    elpdotaer
    • #4
    • 24th Jul 18, 8:24 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Jul 18, 8:24 PM
    Can you confirm where in the UK the property is because the law differs between countries?

    Did you ever receive any documentation regarding your deposit and where it is being held? Have you checked any of the deposit schemes to see if it is registered anywhere?

    Your contract is with the landlord the letting agent just acts as his agent and you have no contract with them. If the landlord doesn't hand over your deposit there's nothing the letting agent can really do about it.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    Hi,
    Thanks for your quick reply.
    I was renting that house in Sheffield.
    No, I paid rent and deposit to the landlord by cash.... And this is my main concern. I checked the three main deposit schemes, and none of them has the record. I checked online, and it says the landlord breaks the tenancy deposit protection rules if they don't protect my deposit. Is this correct?
    Yes, I understand that. That's why I've been relying the agent chasing the landlord. But it seems not working at all.
    • elpdotaer
    • By elpdotaer 24th Jul 18, 8:36 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    elpdotaer
    • #5
    • 24th Jul 18, 8:36 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Jul 18, 8:36 PM
    Did you really wait for over 1 year to rise this issue, or is it a typo in the OP?
    Originally posted by sal_III
    Hi,
    Thanks for your quick reply. I did wait for over a year now (so stupid...). Now I think I shouldn't trust the agency, but really don't know what I should do.
    I did ask the agency several times regarding my deposit after I moved out in 2017. Every time they just said they're still waiting for the landlord. I have all the emails with the agency for record.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 24th Jul 18, 9:03 PM
    • 9,660 Posts
    • 12,995 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    • #6
    • 24th Jul 18, 9:03 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Jul 18, 9:03 PM
    Follow the excellent, detailed, advice from the experts, Shelter, here...
    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits
    • elpdotaer
    • By elpdotaer 25th Jul 18, 8:33 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    elpdotaer
    • #7
    • 25th Jul 18, 8:33 AM
    • #7
    • 25th Jul 18, 8:33 AM
    Follow the excellent, detailed, advice from the experts, Shelter, here...
    Originally posted by theartfullodger
    Hi,
    Many thanks for the link. I read it through and it's a very useful. Now I just want to get some advice on if it is worth of taking court actions. Because the landlord didn't used any deposit protection scheme and he is one year late to return my deposit.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 25th Jul 18, 9:20 AM
    • 12,643 Posts
    • 18,025 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    • #8
    • 25th Jul 18, 9:20 AM
    • #8
    • 25th Jul 18, 9:20 AM
    Hi,
    Many thanks for the link. I read it through and it's a very useful. Now I just want to get some advice on if it is worth of taking court actions. Because the landlord didn't used any deposit protection scheme and he is one year late to return my deposit.
    Originally posted by elpdotaer
    You have two choices:

    1) Accept that you will never see your deposit again.

    2) Send a letter before action and then take court action against your former landlord.

    The second choice offers no guarantee that you will ever see your money again but it gives you a chance that you might. The prospect of court action might gee your former landlord into action. if it doesn't and you follow through with taking him to court and win your case you will then need to enforce the judgement. Your landlord has at least one asset in England and that's the property in Sheffield so he does have something to lose.

    You will need an address in England or Wales for your claim so just use the last correspondence address your landlord provided you with, that may well be the address for the serving of notices given in your tenancy agreement.

    Really it's up to you but if I were in your shoes I would pursue this through the courts, including the penalty for not protecting my deposit, even if it took a while to get my money back because the deposit is your money.
    • ciderboy2009
    • By ciderboy2009 25th Jul 18, 9:31 AM
    • 446 Posts
    • 395 Thanks
    ciderboy2009
    • #9
    • 25th Jul 18, 9:31 AM
    • #9
    • 25th Jul 18, 9:31 AM
    Do you have an address in England & Wales to serve your former landlord with court documents? There should have been one included in your lease (hopefully you've still got it).

    Without that you're going to have problems issuing a County Court claim against them.

    Assuming that you have got one then, once you've got the judgment, you would be able to apply for a Charging Order against the property you rented.

    Just bear in mind that it might take years before you get your money back.
    • elpdotaer
    • By elpdotaer 6th Aug 18, 12:58 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    elpdotaer
    You have two choices:

    1) Accept that you will never see your deposit again.

    2) Send a letter before action and then take court action against your former landlord.

    The second choice offers no guarantee that you will ever see your money again but it gives you a chance that you might. The prospect of court action might gee your former landlord into action. if it doesn't and you follow through with taking him to court and win your case you will then need to enforce the judgement. Your landlord has at least one asset in England and that's the property in Sheffield so he does have something to lose.

    You will need an address in England or Wales for your claim so just use the last correspondence address your landlord provided you with, that may well be the address for the serving of notices given in your tenancy agreement.

    Really it's up to you but if I were in your shoes I would pursue this through the courts, including the penalty for not protecting my deposit, even if it took a while to get my money back because the deposit is your money.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    Hi, thanks for your suggestion. I wrote a letter before action and was just about to send it to the landlord's address. But suddenly my wife reminded me that I didn't pay council tax during my tenancy (don't know if the landlord paid or not). So I'm thinking not to send the letter any more...
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 6th Aug 18, 1:05 PM
    • 12,643 Posts
    • 18,025 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Hi, thanks for your suggestion. I wrote a letter before action and was just about to send it to the landlord's address. But suddenly my wife reminded me that I didn't pay council tax during my tenancy (don't know if the landlord paid or not). So I'm thinking not to send the letter any more...
    Originally posted by elpdotaer
    What does one have to do with the other? Did your tenancy agreement say that the landlord was responsible for paying the council tax? Unlikely so the council can still chase you for any unpaid council tax.
    • Trixsie1989
    • By Trixsie1989 6th Aug 18, 1:40 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 452 Thanks
    Trixsie1989
    I would take action, you are entitled to upto 3 times the deposit amount as compensation. Did you get a receipt or anything when you paid the deposit?
    Debt free finally
    First house purchase ... 2018
    • elpdotaer
    • By elpdotaer 6th Aug 18, 2:21 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    elpdotaer
    What does one have to do with the other? Did your tenancy agreement say that the landlord was responsible for paying the council tax? Unlikely so the council can still chase you for any unpaid council tax.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    I'm just thinking the landlord may say I broke the law since I didn't pay council tax. I think he didn't send my details to the council during my tenancy because I didn't receive any council tax bill.
    • elpdotaer
    • By elpdotaer 6th Aug 18, 2:23 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    elpdotaer
    I would take action, you are entitled to upto 3 times the deposit amount as compensation. Did you get a receipt or anything when you paid the deposit?
    Originally posted by Trixsie1989
    No, I don't have any kind of receipt for paying the deposit. I paid him my rent and deposit by cash. But the tenancy agreement has the amount of deposit I paid him.
    Last edited by elpdotaer; 06-08-2018 at 2:26 PM.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 6th Aug 18, 2:27 PM
    • 3,635 Posts
    • 3,446 Thanks
    Comms69
    I'm just thinking the landlord may say I broke the law since I didn't pay council tax. I think he didn't send my details to the council during my tenancy because I didn't receive any council tax bill.
    Originally posted by elpdotaer


    1: because it's your job to tell them and to pay it.


    2: it's not relevant, the council could still come after you, whether to go after your deposit or not...
    • alandaniel132
    • By alandaniel132 6th Aug 18, 3:50 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    alandaniel132
    council tax is under your name, not LL name
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 6th Aug 18, 3:53 PM
    • 3,635 Posts
    • 3,446 Thanks
    Comms69
    council tax is under your name, not LL name
    Originally posted by alandaniel132
    Not always. It depends on a number of other criteria
    • elpdotaer
    • By elpdotaer 6th Aug 18, 4:34 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    elpdotaer
    1: because it's your job to tell them and to pay it.


    2: it's not relevant, the council could still come after you, whether to go after your deposit or not...
    Originally posted by Comms69

    Thanks. I sent out the letter to the LL's address as shown in my tenancy agreement. Also I sent an email to the letting agent asking them to forward the letter to the LL as well since I'm not sure if the LL still owns the property at that address or not.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 6th Aug 18, 6:58 PM
    • 10,623 Posts
    • 6,154 Thanks
    CIS
    Thanks. I sent out the letter to the LL's address as shown in my tenancy agreement. Also I sent an email to the letting agent asking them to forward the letter to the LL as well since I'm not sure if the LL still owns the property at that address or not.
    Originally posted by elpdotaer

    Presumably you rented the entire property on a standard AST ?

    Unfortunately, except in certain defined cases (most commonly for a council tax HMO), the tenants are liable for the council tax charge. Not telling the council is not an offence but they will backdate the charge and can bill you for it with only a 14 day payment deadline.

    If the landlord didn't tell the council that you were resident either then they are most likely chasing him at the moment for the outstanding charge for the period you were resident so that will need to be amended.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 6th Aug 18, 7:55 PM
    • 2,733 Posts
    • 2,659 Thanks
    steampowered
    See https://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/2014/05/29/a-tenants-right-to-know-his-landlords-address/

    If you don't get anywhere finding out the address, you could simply issue a small claim (use the moneyclaimonline system) for return of the deposit plus a 3x penalty for not protecting it - and serve it at the property with a copy to the letting agent. This will cost court fees however.

    The landlord will either file a defence (meaning you get his address) or you will end up with a CCJ which can be secured against the property.

    If you do get a CCJ against the landlord, you could easily get a third party debt order applicable to the letting agency which is a court order requiring them to pass rent up to the amount of the deposit to you rather than to the landlord (assuming that they are still the letting agent for the property and are still collecting rent).

    Given the amount of time this has gone on I would be tempted to go straight down the court route if you can't get anywhere otherwise.
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