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Former tenancy, deposit dispute and other matters.

(8 Posts)
sharperthan Sun 19-Mar-17 18:23:50

This is very outing, hence the NC.
I recently left the tenancy of a property.

I originally rented the property via a reputable letting agent 5 years ago.
As I was fleeing DV and potentially homeless I used my local authority scheme, whereby they loan the money for the deposit.
I assume this money was put into a deposit protection scheme although I am unclear of the details for example; I don't know whether the local authority gave the letting agent the funds or it is a promissory scheme.
Either way, both the letting agent and the landlord agreed to this at the time.

In fairness I am usually much more on the ball but at the time, as I say I was fleeing DV with my children and in the circumstances I did well to get myself back on my feet but at the time I didn't check the details of the deposit scheme.

I signed and adhered to an assured shorthold tenancy which was standard and fair, the letting agent adhered to this too.

Later during my tenancy the landlord took over the management of the property, aside from the direct debit account details changing my tenancy agreement was not updated.

Now that I have left the property the landlord is demanding that:
- I moved into the property on the 19th of the month but my monthly rental DDs were taken on the first of the month.
To cover this I had paid the first months rent in advance plus the amount from the 19th to the 1st of that month. So the potential shortfall was paid to the letting agent at the beginning of the tenancy and I have proof of this.
- The landlord has sent me a list of 'damage' that he says will need to be put right.
Most of this 'damage' can be attributed to normal wear and tear I don't want to add too much detail in case it really does out me but I would certainly have a good case in deposit arbitration.
- The list of 'damage' sent to me is of greater value than the deposit paid by my local authority

How do I find out:
What happens to a local authority deposit?
Whether it is in a protection scheme?
If any money is outstanding I assume I would owe it to the local authority, not the landlord directly?
Can the landlord end the tenancy agreement without having spoken to me first? OR offering me a replacement agreement?

Thank you for any help you can give me.

specialsubject Mon 20-Mar-17 10:00:53

I'm not familiar with local authority deposits, but hopefully they have records. Normally, a deposit must be protected and an inventory agreed before a landlord has any chance of getting deductions authorised. If the deductions are more than the deposit the landlord must sue the tenant separately.

The only way a landlord can end a tenancy agreement is by a court order. Agreements are between landlord and tenant, removing the agency does not have any effect.

ComtesseDeSpair Mon 20-Mar-17 11:51:43

Usually, the local authority deposit scheme is provided in the form of a bond or guarantee from the local authority that they will cover damages and unpaid rent, rather than any money actually being given to the landlord. You'll need to contact the council to confirm this, they'll hold a record of how yours was made and what the procedure is for the landlord to claim. In the event that your case was a guarantee rather than a monetary deposit, it's a different system to the usual deposit protection and arbitration process.

The usual process is that the landlord must contact the council stating that they are claiming on the deposit. They'll have to mediate with the council regarding whether their claim is damage or wear and tear. If they're claiming for unpaid rent, they'll need to provide bank statements showing missing payment months. You shouldn't have to be involved in this process, apart from providing any bank statements or photographs you're asked for to prove you did pay your rent and left the property in good condition..

It isn't clear from your post how your landlord ended your tenancy or why, but if you have an assured shorthold tenancy, then once the initial fixed period (usually 6 or 12 months) of tenancy is over, the tenancy reverts to a rolling one whereby the landlord must only give two months' notice for the tenant to vacate, with no reason required. If this is what your landlord did then yes, they can simply end the tenancy without speaking to you about it (apart from giving the correct notice.)

Advise you contact the council to get all this over and off your mind as soon as possible.

ComtesseDeSpair Mon 20-Mar-17 11:53:42

And yes, if the council made a guarantee to the landlord, and decide in the landlord's favour that damage and rent is owed, the agreement you will have signed with the council will be for you to compensate them directly, not the landlord. Don't pay anything to the landlord.

specialsubject Mon 20-Mar-17 12:47:13

er...a section 21 does not end a tenancy. It is simply a notice that legal action leading to a court order will be taken if the tenant does not leave.

if the tenant left after a correct section 21 then the tenancy is probably over. There is always scope for argument on that one.

sharperthan Mon 20-Mar-17 12:53:40

I ended the tenancy as I have purchased a home.

There was no section 21, I don't know what that is?

Thank you for your advice, I will speak to my local authority about this.

specialsubject Mon 20-Mar-17 13:36:49

Section 21 as described above . tenant ends a tenancy by giving the agreed notice or signing a deed of surrender.. Did you do that?

Moving out doesnt end a tenancy.

sharperthan Mon 20-Mar-17 16:46:30

Absolutely. I gave full notice as per the original contract.
I have fulfilled all of my contractual obligations throughout the tenancy, as set out in the original agreement.

Apologies for not reading the previous replies properly, I was at work and in a hurry. I will read the thread properly now.

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