We've just moved out of somewhere where we were living for 2 years and moved into after the tenancy deposit scheme came into effect. I wasn't aware of the scheme at the time, so didn't think anything of the fact that I was never told where the deposit was being protected.
The agents that we rented through charged our landlord £30 for a deposit scheme, but also sent her an invoice which shows that they took their fees out of our deposit and first months rent and paid her the remainder. The estate agents seem to have now gone bust and are no longer in the picture.
Our landlord is saying she is certain she never received the deposit, despite documentation that indicates otherwise. Is she still liable to pay us back our deposit in law? It's my understanding that it was her duty to protect the money and she has failed to do so.
Yes, it's in the contract and she's sent me an invoice that indicates that she was paid it, although it wasn't much after the agents took their fees out, and also states that she received a payment "presumably the remains of the first month's rent/deposit". The problem I have now is that she lives in Saudi, which I've been told might not make the matter worth puruing via the courts. I'm expecting dc #2 in 2 weeks and could really do without the hassle, but could really do with the money. And as I understand it her husband is loaded
The deduction of fees, agent going under etc is her problem not yours. If you have a receipt I'd send a recorded letter with a copy asking for repayment of the full amount by a specific date. You can lodge a small claim over the internet if it comes to it.
Write to her recorded delivery. Give her 14 days to return the deposit in full, or you will take court action to recover the money plus the 3x deposit penalty.
If she doesn't pay up then take her to court - its easier than it sounds, I know this because I am in the middle of doing it myself! I also have an absentee landlady living abroad (Japan) who I have never met, but have been told if I win the claim and she fails to pay then I can apply to have a charge put on the property she rents out in the UK.
Thanks everyone - that's really helpful, esp the news about claiming against the property she rents out. I wasn't sure if a court judgement would mean anything given that she doesn't live in this country so that's really positive.
The address on the agreement is just round the corner, and I think was a friend of hers. I know her parents and daughter are in the UK, but don't think I have an address for them.
Ok, serve the court papers (if it comes to that) to the address on the tenancy agreement.
The thing about a charge on the property - that would only happen if you get the judgement enforced by the court which would take time and cost money. However even if she is abroad, if she owns property here she would be very stupid indeed to ignore a CCJ as it wold affect her ability to get loans/mortgages/insurance etc.
But lets hope it doesn't get that far - with any luck she will pay up when she gets your letter.