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Landlord released bond from Agent and then made deductions before giving it back.

(3 Posts)
HairySubject Fri 08-Jan-16 10:16:47

Can someone please help me with the legality of this please.

I private rented a property from a landlord who separated from her husband and wanted to live in our house. She offered me one of her other houses as an alternative. The house wasn't really suitable but rather than be homeless I agreed to move. Because of her circumstances I moved within 4 weeks rather than the required notice period of 2 months.

After moving a more suitable house came up. I spoke to the landlord and told her we would be moving out but my friend wanted to rent the property and could move in the same day we moved out. This was agreed verbally.

The agent she uses dragged her feet and there ended up being a weeks delay between me moving out and my friend moving in. The landlord wants me to pay for this week. I had paid up to the date I moved out 5th Dec and friend paid the a full months rent up front on the 11th Dec.

I was lending the bond money to my friend, so the landlord released the whole bond from the bond scheme where it was held but rather than return it to me she kept it and was supposed to put it back into the bond scheme in my friends name.

Now she has contacted my friend saying the bond is short by the weeks rent and she has to make up the difference.

So my question is, can she make a deduction from the bond after the fact. Surely if there was a dispute over rent she should have raised that properly within the 30 day period with the bond scheme?

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 08-Jan-16 10:27:11

This has become a bit complex because of how things have happened...

What type of tenancy were you on? I'm presuming a rolling tenancy, so she should have given you two months notice, but you agreed to move into her other house with just one months notice? Do you have this agreed in writing somewhere (text, email, etc)?

What was the agreement on the new house? Presumably you didn't sign a new AST?

How long were you in the new house?

The above are important for working out when you were legally liable for the rent. Your liability ends when your friend paid, on the 11th, but to dispute the week before that, you'd need to prove that either you had no liability to pay then, or that you agreed to waive the rent from the 5th - rather than from when your friend moved in. However, has the landlady actually asked you for the week? Because it appears that she's trying to take it from your friends bond, and therefore thinks your friend should pay.

The deposit issue is also confusing. If it's been released from the scheme, it should have been returned to you, rather than the landlord. The scheme should pay it into the bank account you nominated at the start of the tenancy. Was it correctly registered? Did you receive it and pay it to the landlord?

It would appear that your involvement with the deposit ends here, anyway. Your full deposit was returned to you and you decided to lend it to the friend to use as her deposit. The landlady is now saying that your friend owes her a week in rent and therefore the bond is short - this your friends bond, and not yours.

She could not dispute your friends bond during the 30 day period, because that was your bond - and she is disputing your friends bond. It might be the same money, because you've lent it to your friend, but that's a private arrangement.

If your friend agreed to move in on the 5th, and pay X amount in bond, and the landlady has received the bond and rent - 1 week, she is right to let your friend know that this is short. Your friend would need to prove that the tenancy didn't start on the 5th but on the 11th because of her agent.

HairySubject Fri 08-Jan-16 10:44:50

I will try to answer each question,

I had 12 months tenancies for each property, the first house tenancy would have ended in November but I moved out in October as a favour to the landlord.

I did sign another 12 month tenancy for the new property, moved in 31st October and told the landlord that I would be moving out on the 11th November. Had I not moved early as a favour to the landlord this wouldn't have been a problem, I would have just moved out at the end of the tenancy.

I paid a full months rent when I moved in which covered all of November and then we agreed a moving date of the 5th Dec I paid up to that date also. This was all agreed verbally.

Friends tenancy is dated the 11th December and she paid the full month rent at that date.

Because I was lending the deposit to my friend the landlord suggested the money be paid into her account so she could just transfer it over. I signed to say that was fine, the whole amount was to be paid to her.

The agent has now contacted my friend to say that the bond is short and she has to make up the short fall therefore friend owes me less money because I haven't paid the whole bond.

So the landlord has got x amount back from the deposit scheme in her account, decided to deduct y for the weeks rent and then only put the remainder back in.

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