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AIBU to take my landlord to court?

(21 Posts)
silverlamp Mon 20-Jul-15 18:37:24

We moved out of the property on the 22nd May whilst paying rent until the end of the month, having given our notice a month before (as required) to move out.

The landlord has still not given us our deposit back (£650) despite us asking several times. We gave him a deadline of the Friday past and it still has not been paid!

He is not disputing that it should be paid because the property was left in good condition, he basically just does not want to pay it back.

He also refusing to give us the reference number of the protection scheme it was meant to have been put into.

Does anybody know what the process is to take him to court?

Icimoi Mon 20-Jul-15 18:41:27

I suggest you contact Shelter or a Law Centre for advice.

absolutelynotfabulous Mon 20-Jul-15 18:41:38

If it's in a scheme, you should know the number.

Sounds as though it's not in a scheme.

What justification has he given for not giving it back?

meddie Mon 20-Jul-15 18:41:48

He should have informed you which scheme it was in at the start of your tenancy. heres all the info you need

meercat23 Mon 20-Jul-15 18:42:33

A couple of suggestions. CAB will be able to advise you as to the best way forward.

If you know the protection scheme he was supposed to be using you could contact them with landlords details and ask for their help.

Small claims court is also very easy and effective.

whois Mon 20-Jul-15 18:42:33

Should have been protected, and returned within 11 (I think) days.

100% take them to court

The5DayChicken Mon 20-Jul-15 18:46:25

If it's been protected, the scheme send a letter direct to the tenant with the details. Have you had this? It should have been protected within 2 weeks of you moving in so I'd imagine you'd have had the letter in the first 3 weeks.

If he hasn't protected it, he's probably up shit creek.

OldBloodCallsToOldBlood Mon 20-Jul-15 18:47:28

Yep. I had to look into this when my last landlord was refusing to give us the deposit back. Have a look at the Shelter pages about it. I know my first step was having to send a letter with the heading 'letter before action' stating exactly when the deposit was supposed to have been repaid by, and requesting it be repaid before a certain date or I'd take court action.

I can't remember the exact timescales so please make sure you look them up, but I remember stating that the landlord had gone past the allowed period of ten working days since the end of the tenancy to inspect the property and tell me of any proposed deductions, so that meant the deposit was due back in full as the landlord was now not allowed to make any deductions.

I used one of the Shelter templates for that and altered it slightly. For you, I would also state that it's a legal requirement to be told the details of the deposit protection scheme where your deposit is held, and that your landlord has failed in their legal duty to do that, so you are requesting the details again.

After that, you take them to the small claims court. There's a website where you can file the claim online.

Finally, each deposit scheme allows you to search their database for your details to see if your deposit has been protected. You can go by your tenancy start date and name and address details. Mine HAD been protected but wasn't showing up in the search, so it's not accurate, but you might find the details that way,

Good luck!

silverlamp Mon 20-Jul-15 18:47:51

No justification for not getting it back. Just excuses like "been on holiday", "cheque's in the post" etc.

He just ignore us asking about protection scheme every time we ask.

Have just seen that it will cost us £60 to take him to court. Would we get that back?

What if he just does not engage with the court?!

The5DayChicken Mon 20-Jul-15 18:50:50

If he's supposedly returning it by cheque, he's not protected it I don't think. Every scheme I'm aware of (I move a lot) has paid me back directly to the bank account I gave them details of upon say so of my landlord.

silverlamp Mon 20-Jul-15 18:52:43

We sent a text basically saying "pay us by Friday or we will start legal proceedings".

Would that count as a "letter before action" or does it literally have to be titled that?

I really don't think he has used a protection scheme either. Why even use a cheque of internet banking?!

FeedYourselfSmiles Mon 20-Jul-15 18:56:12

Use the .gov link to search the schemes, you just need your or his name. If its not there, it's not protected (which is what I suspect) and you can sue him for 3 times more.

OldBloodCallsToOldBlood Mon 20-Jul-15 19:08:14

Yes, you would include your costs of taking him to court on the claim, plus ask the judge to consider rewarding the maximum of three times the amount of the deposit due to how non-compliant the landlord has been. Include all details of how many times you've asked and make it clear he's been made aware it's his legal duty to protect it, but he's been giving excuses.

No, the text won't count. You'd need to include the proper letter if/when you take him to court, to show you've been more than reasonable and he hasn't.

OldBloodCallsToOldBlood Mon 20-Jul-15 19:09:45

If he doesn't engage with the court, they'll find in your favour in his absence. If he doesn't pay up, you tell the court and I think they can help you instruct baliffs or do attachments of earnings.

silverlamp Mon 20-Jul-15 19:10:35

Thanks OldBlood

Nolim Mon 20-Jul-15 19:15:19

I had a similar problem with a hellish landlord. The solicitors fees were 500 or so but it was totally worth it since we got the deposit back and we didnt have to deal with the ll anymore.
The law is on your side. Get your money back.

JJXM Mon 20-Jul-15 19:16:26

There are three deposit schemes - TDS, DPS and MyDeposits. I would phone each one and check if your deposit is registered - you'll need things like tenancy start date, address, LL's name.

It is a legal requirement for LLs to register a tenancy deposit if a tenancy began after 2007. The penalty for failing to do this is for a judge to award up to 3x the deposit. However, this rarely ever happens but as it is a legal requirement to protect a tenancy no judge should rule against you.

Send a letter to your LL saying that you would like your deposit returned in full in the next ten days or if there are deductions then you need to go through the deposit scheme's arbitration. I would inform him that it is a legal requirement to protect a deposit and if it is not returned in full then you will pursue him through the courts up for up to three times the deposit.

If your LL has any sense then he will give you the deposit back immediately. If not then taken him to court.

silverlamp Mon 20-Jul-15 19:31:05

Will do JJXM, thanks for the advice.

SproutsMa Mon 20-Jul-15 20:01:11

I work for Shelter and can confirm all of the above - I am guessing your landlord doesn't know the law or how much they would have to pay you....

vaticancameos Mon 20-Jul-15 22:28:11

Absolutely do it. I'm in the middle of a court case with my landlord who is trying to evict me without having protected the deposit. He's made my life a misery for the last few years so I have zero sympathy. The reason he's evicting me is because I lost patience with things like lying in bed and seeing moonlight through the holes in the ceiling and roof.

HelenF35 Mon 20-Jul-15 22:36:36

YANBU, take him to court. I am a landlord and this is terrible behaviour from him.

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