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Rent Deposit Issues(7 Posts)
Please bare with me, this may become a little long winded as there are a couple of issues all relating to a deposit that I'd like some help with!
I moved into a property in 2013, and paid a deposit which was protected.
The tenancy was renewed in 2014. As part of the renewal I negotiated with the agent (not the landlord, I never was given the landlords details despite requesting them on more than one occasion, I don't actually know his/her name!) to be allowed to get a dog. Part of this negotiation was that I paid an extra £150 deposit and completed things at the end of the tenancy to ensure the house was okay. I received a receipt for this amount which also lists the additional requirements - an add on to the tenancy almost. It was signed by the agent. I was never given details for what happened to this deposit, again - despite asking.
We moved out last month, in part because of the estate agent being useless (this year our gas safety was six months overdue and she was still making no moves to have it completed. And that was only one issue). I gave the agent a list of dates and times I could do the check out inspection, none of them were any good for her so she told me to drop the keys at the office and she would do it (I hadn't much of a choice, had to travel two days after the end of the tenancy).
I then heard nothing from her so sent a couple of emails (she wasn't answering her phone). She didn't respond to them so I contacted DPS to request the deposits and they informed me that they only hold the original deposit. First question, should the second deposit have been protected?
It has now been 14 days since I applied for the original deposit and she still hasn't responded to DPS. She has however finally responded to me to say that deductions need to be made but not what for or how much, and to tell me that the second deposit is protected but won't tell me where (I have contacted all three agency's and it is not), and it will be repaid when the amount from DPS is.
I'm happy to pay for anything that is reasonable and fair. The house was cleaned by me, but we had the carpets professionally cleaned. I know I can go through arbitration for the original deposit and I will give her till next week to deal with it before I start the process of doing a statutory declaration to get the money back if she doesn't start responding.
The second deposit is the problem. It's only £150, so court doesn't seem worth it. Also, I know the court can apply a penalty but CAB have stated it would be applied to the landlord not the agent, and I don't necessarily think the landlord should have to pay for something that isn't their mess, I'm absolutely convinced this was the agent. The agent is a member of the property ombudsman scheme but to deal with them you have to follow the agencies complaints procedure of which I can't find one available and the agent won't respond too. Also, she is a 'one man band' so any investigation seems like it would be less than fair.
Where do I go next? I really only want my money back, not extra penalties or compensation or whatever it's called now, and honestly I need it. It may only be £150 but that's a good chunk of funds to us right now.
Any help would be much appreciated!
Hi Ray, I can't remember the DPS exact timescales but if the agent hasn't responded in I think 10 days, the deposit should be automatically awarded to you. Was there an inventory done before you moved in that you checked and signed? If not the agent won't have a leg to stand on with trying to deduct anything. Re the extra £150, yes it should have been protected. It's an automatic award to the tenant of 3x the deposit amount if it wasn't protected so it is worth going further with this, especially as you have a receipt.
For the Ombudsman, make sure everything you request from the agent is done by email and by recorded delivery letter as well. Write to agent requesting a copy of the complaints procedure. Give her 10 days to respond. If no contact from this I would send a full written complaint to the agent, giving her a set timescale (20 days?) to respond. Then I would escalate to ombudsman if no response
Also the agent acts for the landlord so the LL is ultimately responsible for anything the agent does or hasn't done - not your problem so let the LL take it up direct with the agent
I don't necessarily think the landlord should have to pay for something that isn't their mess, I'm absolutely convinced this was the agent
If the agent has messed up the landlord should be able to reclaim any resulting losses from the agent.
It is the landlords fault, the buck stops there. It may be the agents incompetence ( and law breaking) but your contract is with the landlord who needs to be paying more attention.
And i say that as a.landlord!
Are the LLs details not in the original tenancy agreement?
Not necessarily - only a uk address is required. Landlords may use the agents address for security. Tenants can demand direct contact details.
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