Landlord won't return deposit(18 Posts)
I posted a while ago about moving out after 10 years from a rented property. And what I needed to do before handing over.
I ended up going above what everyone advised. I painted 3 full rooms, the place was spotless.
There was wear and tear after 10 years but the landlord during that time had done no maintenance apart from new windows about 2 years in. There was a broken glass above a door.
I met landlord on last day of tenancy for inspection and he viewed it with me, went from room to room just saying 'yes ok' and looked in garden and said same.
He said no problem and asked for my bank details. Was very pleasant and shook my hand and thanked me etc. The house hadn't been clean when I'd moved in and was way cleaner. The garden had been a jungle front and back and both were now beautiful and landscapes. He said they weren't re letting it but we're going to modernise it (it was all very old bathroom / kitchen / doors / badly artex walls etc
After 10 days I had not received the deposit back. I emailed and got the most vile email back.
He had decided that I'd left the place in a terrible state. Listing things like pin holes in the wall, the compost bin full, where I'd put flag stones down behind a shed that was wasteland. Said about artex missing from ceiling after a leak. (He knew about this and paid to fix leak and told me he wouldn't replace ceiling but I should just paint it) Called me a cheat and a liar. Really vile.
And basically said he would be in touch when he had paid to put it all right with a bill.
I took advice and replied saying a couple of items, the broken glass and a door with a hole where I'd tried to attach a hook and it had fallen out yes happy to meet him to come to an agreement about deposit but the rest were either wear and tear or he knew about or they were things I could rectify it I'd known were an issue eg compost bin. I would have emptied it if I'd known to be a problem after inspection.
At the inspection the council hadn't picked up some textile waste bags and a chair at the front and he asked me to take those and I did.
He then replied he wouldn't meet me and would just be sending a bill when all the work was done. And also more vile stuff about me.
It was then the realisation he is just thinking I'm going to pay thousands to modernise his house and he has basically lost the plot. As he had no interest in either telling me the issues when I was there, letting me rectify them etc
On checking my tenancy agreement it said the deposit was with TDS but I'd never recover a code or info. I checked on their site and it isn't with them.
So I have replied back asking him where it is so I can start the process to raise a Dispute.
He hasn't replied.
So I suspect it isn't in a scheme which is illegal.
So what do I do now? Has anyone faced similar? Any housing solicitors able to explain the process.
I'm so shocked by this, he was always a bit off eg would text 'WHERES MY RENT. LATE'
When I'd paid it 2 days earlier than it was due, that happened twice in last 6 months. But he clearly wrote a good reference when we moved for new landlord. I'm still stunned that after 10 years of being a great tenant he would do this.
Check out Shelter's guide on how to sue to get the deposit plus compensation where it's not protected.
Send the Letter Before Action and see what he does.
Report him for not protecting your deposit - guidance here : www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/if-your-landlord-doesnt-protect-your-deposit
Might end up costing him a fair whack!
Any deductions from your deposit have to be mutually agreed, he can’t just take it, and they must be reasonable. I have had landlords attempt to deduct for stupid things like pinholes or a mark on the wall- things that are wear and tear- and ended up with the full deposit back as any dispute would have found I. My favour.
As it sounds like this is well over 2 weeks, send him a message informing him you are reporting him to the county court for failing to protect your deposit - he will likely be ordered to repay it immediately and could potentially be ordered to pay you 3 times the amount - give him 24 hours to repay, and then follow through with the claim.
He may come back with proof he has - report him to the scheme then as it is an unreasonable amount of time to wait.
Even if you had paid your rent late he can’t keep your deposit.
Am sorry..he sounds vile. I'd give shelter a ring they can talk you through the process around what to do next if he's not put it in a scheme.
Was there and an inventory when you moved in?
Well of course after posting this I searched another deposit scheme and it is in there!
Fact he wouldn't tell me says a lot! But now at least it means I can go through a fair process on this all. Does say it takes 2-3 months.
But I'll submit it all today. Thanks all
golightlytoday I had a similar issue not that long ago and raised a dispute. It took about a month/6 weeks to resolve and I got all bar £250 of my deposit back, most of which was the letting agency checkout fee rather than paying for damage or cleaning.
My advice is do not back down and do not agree to anything. Raise the dispute and have no further contact with your landlord.
I found the dispute people to be very helpful and very fair. Their final report was very detailed and I couldn't argue with how they'd come to a decision about any deductions.
As with you, it was a question of my landlord/letting agency trying to illegally take me for every penny I had. The dispute service saw straight through them and wouldn't allow it.
Thanks @MushroomTree for that
I've starting getting evidence of photos of all the work and improvements I did over the years and to show how well the house and garden was kept.
He still hasn't replied and clearly thinks he is just going to send me a big bill.
I'm going to start the paperwork this weekend
Honestly after 10 years wear and tear you will get most of your deposit back.
Did you request it back? Normally the process is that you request it back via the scheme and then he has to either refund or dispute the request.
It's only then you'd start the dispute paperwork.
He's being a CF, what does he expect after 10 years with no maint?
@NoWordForFluffy no it didn't quite work like that as after inspection he said he was sending it back to me.
Update... he has been at property all week ripping kitchen out, putting in new shed so he is totally re doing it as I suspected. And clearly thinking I'll pay for some of it.
Got evidence together yesterday so going to start process today.
Good luck op. Hate cf landlord's!
People complain about having to pay for inventory reports (I know rules have changed about tenant charges) but this is a case in point! The last one I had done before tenant moved in photographed everything and both sides got it. The tenant had to sign off on it (for example the bathroom vent which was working suddenly stopped the day tenant moved in so that was noted on report and fixed).
After ten years of being a good tenant it’s a shame you have been treated badly.
Try not to worry OP. The dispute services are very fair and are well aware of what is reasonable at the end of such a long tenancy.
Did you sign an inventory at the beginning of tenancy?
Have you totally moved out now?
You’ll be fine OP
The deposit protection schemes were introduced for exactly this situation
If the deposit hasn’t been protected then he has to pay it all back in full, it’s your money irrespective of damage at the property because he failed to place it in a protection scheme.
I had the same experience with a landlord years ago. I lived there for four years, always paid rent on time and I don’t think I was a shit tenant at all. Normal wear and tear throughout the house, the carpets were already pretty fucked when we moved in tbh which he knew. He tried not to pay it back because he said I’d ruined the carpets, my then toddler had drawn on the bedroom wall (nonsense, he’d never had access to pens in that room and I’d taken photos of every room so knew this hadn’t happened) and he complained about the fact I’d left a brand new blind in the kitchen instead of his old broken one . Anyway, I got in touch with a solicitor and because he hadn’t put it in a TDS, he had to pay it all back in full. Thems the rules.
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