Tenancy Security Deposits Guide For Landlords

What is a tenancy deposit?

Landlords are entitled to request a deposit from tenants to cover any unforeseen costs that may occur, like damage to the property or rent arrears. The landlord can use the deposit these costs. However, it is important to note landlord’s cannot claim compensation for any damages that constitute as ‘wear & tear’, for example carpets wearing away. Bear in mind, the longer the tenant, the more natural wear will occur.

Do I have to take a deposit from my tenants?

Nope, it is not a legal requirement. So if you don’t take a deposit, the rest of the article won’t apply to you. However, if you have an assured shorthold tenancy and take a deposit from a tenant, no matter how small, you are obligated by law to protect the deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme.

How much deposit should/can I take?

Typically, most landlord’s ask for a deposit amounting to 1 months rent. For example, if you’re charging £600pcm, then the deposit is also £600. However, many landlords also ask for 6 weeks worth of rent- that’s especially common when the property is furnished, or the tenant has a pet.

Property inventory/schedule of condition

It is always important to prepare a thorough property inventory whether you take a deposit or not. An inventory is a report which records the condition of the property/items before a tenant moves in and just before a tenant leaves, so it can be made clear what damages, if any, need to be paid for out of the deposit.

Both landlord and tenant should prepare the inventory together, so the condition of the property and all items are agreed upon. Here is a more detailed article on how to prepare a property inventory.

What is a Tenancy Deposit Scheme?

If any landlord has an assured shorthold tenancy in England and Wales and receives a deposit from their tenant, they are obligated to protect it into 1 of 3 Government-backed tenancy deposit schemes:

It is ALWAYS the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the deposit is protected, even if you use a letting agent.

Why was the Tenancy Deposit Scheme introduced?

Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) was introduced by the Housing Act 2004 as part of a package of measures to raise standards in the private rented sector. The legislation ensures that deposits are fairly handled; so if the tenant meets the terms of the tenancy agreement, the entire amount is returned. It also allows landlords to fairly use the deposit to cover any damages or loss of rent caused by the tenant. If any disputes occur, a dispute resolution service will aim to resolve them quickly.

Who does it apply to?

The scheme applies to EVERY landlord and letting agent in England and Wales where a deposit has been taken from a tenant under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST), after the introduction date, 6th April 2007.

Landlords don’t have to use a tenancy deposit protection scheme for deposits paid before 6 April 2007, unless you renewed your tenancy after this date.

How does it work?

There are two types of tenancy deposit protection scheme available for landlords and letting agents, insurance-based schemes and custodial schemes.

Insurance-based schemes
The tenant pays the deposit to the landlord and then the landlord retains the deposit and pays a premium to the insurer.

custodial schemes
The tenant pays the deposit to the landlord or agent and then they pay the deposit into the scheme. This option is most commonly used by landlords.

Once the deposit is protected

The deposit must be protected with in 30 days of receiving the deposit (this may not necessarily be the same date as when the tenancy starts). The landlord or agent must also serve the tenant with the following information within 30 days:

  • Address of the rented property
  • The amount taken for the deposit
  • Which deposit scheme was used to protect the deposit
  • The contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme used and its dispute resolution deposit
  • The name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit e.g. Letting Agent
  • How to apply to get the deposit back
  • What to do if there is a dispute over the deposit

Informing the tenant of the above information is just as imperative as securing the tenancy into a scheme as failing to do so could lead to prosecution. Once the deposit is secured, the landlord should ensure that any leaflets provided by the scheme is served to the tenant (the leaflet should contain all relevant information on how the scheme works), and also serve any information that is not provided in the leaflet.

Serving the prescribed information is NOT merely a procedure, it is a legal requirement. Securing the tenancy alone is not enough. It has been advised by a Solicitor to get tenants to sign a document to confirm that they have actually received the information.

Here is a more detailed article on what to do after you have secured your tenants deposit.

After the tenancy / disputes

If an agreement is reached about how the deposit should be returned, the scheme will return the deposit, divided in the way agreed by both parties. If there is a dispute, the scheme will hold the deposit until the dispute resolution service or courts decide what is fair.

It is important to notify the deposit scheme immediately if there are any disputes. This is where the property inventory will become extremely useful, and that’s why it is always important to prepare one.

Is securing the deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme necessary?

As long as the following is true, then yes, the deposit must legally be secured into a tenancy deposit scheme:

  • The tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy
  • The agreement was formed on or after the 6th of April 2007
  • A deposit is paid
What if I don’t protect the deposit?

Protecting tenancy deposits is a legal requirement. Failing to protect the deposit and/or serving all the prescribed information to the tenant (as listed in the “Once the deposit is protected” section) with in 30 days of the landlord/agent receiving it can have the following consequences:

  • The tenant can claim the penalty of three times the deposit amount AND the return of the deposit
  • Section 215 of the Housing Act (The Localism Act) states that a valid Section 21 notice cannot be served if the deposit is not protected, unless the deposit has been returned to the tenant in full or with such deductions as are agreed between the landlord and tenant, or an application to a county court has been made under section 214(1) and has been determined by the court, withdrawn or settled by agreement between the parties.
  • The tenant will have a defence to any claim made by the landlord for rent arrears – as they can ask the court to offset their penalty award against the rent arrears
Does the tenancy deposit scheme cost anything?

It depends which scheme you use. The following schemes have premium rates:

  • Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd(TDSL) – www.mydeposits.co.uk
  • The tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) – www.td.gb.com

However, here’s a Free Deposit Protection Service.

Here’s an in-depth overview Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (in pdf format) by the government.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme Legislation

Section 184 of the Localism Act 2011 covers the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Legislation, which can be read here.

Minimize conflict

When a new tenant moves into a property, it’s always a good idea to draw up an inventory form. An inventory is a detailed list of the contents and condition of the property and any items provided with it, such as furniture or equipment. Having an inventory can help resolve disputes at the end of a tenancy about whether any damage has been caused, or if any items are missing.

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152 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 102 - 152 comments (out of 152)
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CAH177 24th September, 2012 @ 15:19

TDSL aka mydeposits.co.uk - an insurance based deposit protection service

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Lucas 30th September, 2012 @ 01:31

Hi,

My girlfriend and I started renting (AST) two years ago. The deposit we left was equivalent to one months rent (£225 per person) but was clearly referred to as a deposit.

We are now in the process of buying our first house and so starting to think about recovering our deposit. The property is in perfect order and we completed an inventory when we initially moved in.

I just have a couple of questions -

1) How do I know if our deposits were paid into a DPS?

2) If the landlord claims that is has been, Should we have received conformation (a) from the landlord and (b) from the DPS?

3) If it turns out that the deposit was not protected, can the landlord simply deposit a corresponding monetary amount into a DPS to avoid the fine? (I am a law student, so have done a little research, but the available information regarding this issue is a little confusing).

From what I've seen, there have been suggestions, following on from the Sheffield Case (Harvey v. Bamforth), that a landlord is 'safe' so long as he protects the deposit before any court hearing.

However...

I found this when looking through the Legal Action Magazine, relating to Da Costa v. Pinter, April 2009 - District Judge Burn:

"The purpose of the Act is to try to ensure that landlords secure tenancy deposits in a recognised deposit scheme at the start of the tenancy, so that the deposit can be returned to tenants quickly when the tenancy ends, and that disputes about the deposit can be resolved under the schemes' procedures without the need for court proceedings...

...Landlords who describe a deposit as something else, who do not secure it promptly in a deposit scheme as required by the Act, then fail to return the deposit when the tenant leaves (especially if this is without good cause, thereby forcing the tenant to start court proceedings to recover the money) but who then at the last minute after the tenant issues proceedings, pay the deposit into a scheme, are clearly flouting the spirit of the legislation and, on my interpretation, the letter also...

...If the s213 and s214 remedies are not applied in a case such as the instant one, the Act would be rendered virtually toothless when landlords flout its provisions."

Although the previously mentioned Harvey v Bamforth case was in relation to late provision of the prescribed information and not to the late registration of the deposit (which are two separate issues), all of this conflicting information has really confused me!

Our relationship with the landlord has been going downhill for months, he has been promising double glazing since we moved in (baring in mind that the house is a Victorian terrace with huge windows in Sheffield in the winter), I feel that we should really try to recover as much from the landlord as possible if only to cover the outlay for our astronomical heating bills! Obviously, this would be largely affected by the likelihood of being awarded the compensation.

Thank you in advance for any advise.

P.s, I'm writing this post at 2.30am after a night out so apologise for any poor spelling/grammar!

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Jeremy 30th September, 2012 @ 11:08

Hello Lucas,

Don't worry about the grammar, it's better than some people when they are sober.

Seeing how you're a law student, I would suggest you may be better placed to know the answer to your own question than most landlords. As well as having to have a good working knowledge of the law, landlords also have to know about property maintenance and presentation, marketing, salesmanship, business administration, finance, tax regulations, health and safety regs, etc. You have the luxury of having to study just the one field.

Also, unfortunately, you're thinking like a lawyer, too.

According to your story, your landlord has done absolutely nothing wrong with your deposit. They have let you down by not fulfiling a (non-contractual) promise to improve your windows.

You've had two years to register your objection to something you find unacceptable and do something about it. The final sanction being that you decide to leave. You've not taken that path, seeing how it can be hard.

You may still get back your full deposit promptly. Yet you have spotted the potential of a flaw in the landlord's administration. And hypothecating some notional greviance over high heating bills (you saw the condition of the windows when you moved in) decide to attack the Achilles heel.

My suggestion to you is that there is a difference between people who stand up for what's right and people who play the rules for personal gain. In this instance it's the difference between pressuring your landlord to install windows and trying to get compensation from a court for some irrelevent transgression.

When you're in your fifties and at the peak of your career with your degree, will you be successful because you're helping people? Or will you be helping multinationals dump toxic waste in Africa? Will your mother be proud of what you do?

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Benji 30th September, 2012 @ 16:31

Lucas,

1. Check here-
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/paying_for_a_home/tenancy_deposits/deposit_protection_and_tenancy_deposit_schemes

2. Yes

3. No

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Stickle 13th November, 2012 @ 15:02

Hi, my girlfriend has been a tenant with the same private landlord for some 12 years, she can't remember how much deposit that was payed, and has moved to another property owned by the same landlord, she has massive issues in terms of gas safety, she has had no gas safe check for some 8 years, after a gas safe registered engineer condemned all gas appliances, the landlord served a notice of possession order, some two days after. Where does she stand in terms of her deposit? Could you help!

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Jeremy 14th November, 2012 @ 23:01

Hello Stickle,

The principle is simple. Assuming she's not behind with the rent and has caused no damage to the property then she is entitled toa full refund.

The time she moved to a new property is the time the most recent tenancy started, even if the deposit was "rolled over" from the orignial tenancy.

Depending upon how recent thsi is, the landlord was under a legal obligation to lodge the deposit money in an approved way.

If you could tell us when she moved into her latest house, that would be helpful.

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Kerry 5th December, 2012 @ 18:08

PLEASE HELP!!! I have my deposit in the deposit protection scheme and vacate my property tomorrow. I called my estate agent in regards to getting my deposit back and they said I must call the deposit protection people and give my PIN number and so on... I have had my PIN number up until literally the other day and now I need it I can not find it. What do I do now??! Please someone help me I'm so stressed by the thought I may loose my deposit and I'm 8 months pregnant. I hope there is a way and I'm worrying for nothing.... Please email me yummymymmy2013@me.com
Thanks in advance

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Jeremy 5th December, 2012 @ 18:17

Hello Kerry,

Ring the customer services / help desk of the deposit protection scheme you are in (details in your tenancy agreement).

They can reset your PIN for you. Don't worry, it's very easy and lots of people lose their pin and get their deposits back.

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Chantellelandlord 7th January, 2013 @ 16:24

My partner and I viewed a property which had damage to the bedroom window thus resulting in it being left open a jar. We were assured the window would be fixed. We were in the property for 6 months, we complained about this along with many other issues with the very dated, neglecterd property. Nothing was done about the window. Because we were on the ground floor i feared our safety, so took it upon myself to get a social worker out who got a contractor to make sure the window was at the very least secure. We notified our estate agents of this. Nothing was done. The same man that viewed us the property came to do the inspection, i pointed out every issue with the property including the wardrobe doors that the landlord 'promised' the estate agent he would re attach. Including the puddles of water on the windowsill caused by this broken window, and the mould that had started growing on the bedroom wall. Long story short i took every action i could to maintain that property. Waking up at 4:30am so i could scrub the window sills down before i went to work due to this being left for 1 day without being cleaned would start to go black.
After 6 months of living like this the last 2 weeks before we were due to move out i refused to clean any more mold as i had already been ill with a nasty cough which i am convinced is caused by the damp and mold due to the broken window. So i left it. And it was vile the mold grew at an astonishing rate, i have got photographs of all of it. And intend to take this m,atter as far as i can because i feel like the landlord and estate agents neglected the property and my partner and I.

Our lights stopped working. We notified the estate agents of this. We were left with no lights for 2 weeks. Action was only took when i went to the estate agents personally and cried my eyes out and refused to leave until this matter was resolved as a matter of urgency. They [unbeknownst] to the landlord got a man to ring me to see if he could instruct me on how to fix our electrical problem over the phone. (baring in mind i am a 21 year old beauty therapist who knows nothing about electrics) after i failed to understand what he wanted me to do, he then had to come out the next day,It took him an hour to fix the problem, he blue 2 fuses in the process and had to take off the light switches to rewire them properly as it wasn't done correct. He even had to go to a hardware store to get the correct fuse as the fuse box was so dated.

I feel like we have been treat unfairly, inhumanely and i feel as though i have been taken advantage of due to my age and their judgemental and condescending ways. Please can you advise me on my rights and anything and everything i should know about this kind of thing. I fear that my deposit will not be refunded. And they have already given a 'bad' reference to my new estate agents.
Please if someone could get back to me at their earliest convenience i would really appreciate it.

Thank you for your time,

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Chantellelandlord 7th January, 2013 @ 16:26

If Anyone who has any advise on any of these matters, I encourage please to email me - unknown-xx@hotmail.co.uk

Any and all help is much appreciated.

Thank you

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Simone Tivegn 8th March, 2013 @ 11:26

Hi All,

I am a Landlord and I have used DPS for the deposit.
We agrred with tenants, due to damages to the property that we needed to keep part of the deposit. They agreed and we inform DPS to pay the difference to the tenants. Istead they paid the entire amount to them... I have contacted the DPs and they stupidly advised to contact my bank to sort it out...Do you have please any suggestion?
Thanks

Simon

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Jeremy 9th March, 2013 @ 11:52

Hello Simone Tivegn

Approach the customer care team at DPS. Explain that they are duty bound to provide you the amount of monty they agreed to send. They, not you, have to arrange the recovery of their accidental overpayment to your tenant.

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ikpaha 10th March, 2013 @ 19:30

Hi all, I'm new Landlord, do I have to use Tenancy Deposit Scheme, or can I just keep the money in my account and then pay it back when contract is finished?

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Jeremy 31st March, 2013 @ 14:22

Hello ikpaha,

Sorry if this advice seems unkind but...

If you can read the article at the top and still ask this question, then quit land-lording now.

Landlording is not just about owning a house and making it nice enough for someone else to want to live there.

There is a huge amount of legislation which applies to landlords. But because the market is unregulated, it is up to you to find to out. But if you don't, and something goes wrong, then ignorance of that law will be no help to you.

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Lizzie 29th April, 2013 @ 15:17

Sorry this is a long post.

We have a tenant who has been fine for the past two years but is now causing us a massive headache.

Over a year ago I was in conversation with the tenant on the phone regarding maintance issues and he happened to mention to me that the letting agent that we had arranged the tenancy had gone into liquidation. he followed this up with, 'and I don't think the letting agent even put my deposit into their deposit protection scheme'. So the letting agent had run off with his £700 deposit.

We agreed this was an unfortunate situation, but my tenant didn't seem to be too bothered and as he was a good tenant and foolishly, nor did I.

Fast forward to February 2013. Tenant pays his rent late one month and then skips a payment the next. By investigating our rights as landlords to evict, it became apparent to me that it was the landlords responsibility in law to make sure the deposit was protected even though both the tenant and I agreed we would use the letting agent's scheme and I had no idea for over a year that the deposit was not protected. And in order to issue a section 21 notice I had to put my own money in a deposit protection scheme for him.

So, in what I thought was a reasonably polite conversation, I reminded the tenant he had paid his rent late and the following month not paid at all and this was not acceptable. I also said that after 2 years we needed to increase his rent to current market rate. At the same time I would issue him with a new tenancy agreement (the old one from the letting agent had never arrived and would have ended anyway) and to protect us both I would put money into a deposit protection scheme on his behalf.

The next thing I know he's issued me with a court summons to claim the full deposit and compensation of 3 times the deposit - plus interest! In a further e-mail exchange he admitted he'd known all along the protection of the deposit was the landlord's problem and that the law had changed in April 2012 so that he could claim compensation if the deposit was not protected. He just chose not to tell us.

Our solicitor says that the small claims court are very likely to find in the tenants favour, especially that technically although unwittingly we have broken the law.

Does anone know of any cases where the circumstances are so unusual and the tenant so devious, that the court has found in the landlords favour?

Clutching at straws here, it's going to cost me personally upward of £2,800 if we accept his claim and more if we go to court and he wins. The galling thing is his rent doesn't even cover the mortgage and his flat is in negative equity....

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Benji 30th April, 2013 @ 13:05

@Lizzie

Firstly, if this gets to court you need to drop the landlord victim/devious tenant thing. It is not up to your tenant to instruct you on your legal responsibilities.

Change it to 'I've f****d up and have done everything possible to rectify the situation'.

Check your insurance policies to see if you have legal cover.

Check here to see if the deposit was protected (you never know), play around with the dates as it is quite sensitive;

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/paying_for_a_home/tenancy_deposits/deposit_protection_and_tenancy_deposit_schemes

I don't think your section 21 is valid. You should return his deposit (less any agreed deductions) and then serve a section 21- assuming you want to end the tenancy. Also consider using the section 8 procedure.

The compensation is from 1 to 3 times the deposit, there is no interest chargeable. The amount awarded is up to the court to decide but they are more likely to go for the lower end of the scale if you have returned the deposit and acted reasonably. You also face significant legal costs, so you are better off negotiating.

Run everything past your solicitor first.

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Benji 30th April, 2013 @ 13:16

@Lizzie

"Our solicitor says that the small claims court are very likely to find in the tenants favour"

I don't think it goes through small claims, I think it goes through multi track. Research into it online then ask your solicitor.

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Twinkletoe 10th July, 2013 @ 19:44

I've been renting our current property since march 2006 from an agent who was managing it on behalf on my landlord, in 2011 the agency went into liquidation taking my deposit with them, didn't realise it wasn't protected! My LL took over and signed a new tenancy for a year, also on the day of signing also issue a S21 as the tenancy was only for 12 months, he has since applied to the courts for an accelerated possession order, but received a letter today saying "claim struck out" reason being: "on the face of the claim the claimant( my landlord) states there is no deposit protection in place and accordingly cannot rely on a S21 notice"
What steps would my LL be likely to be considering now? Is there a different notice he can serve? If he returned my deposit in full, could he then reapply to the courts for an apo?

Can anyone help, as we have young children and the council have refused to assist us on the rent deposit programme as we can not raise the funds to secure new accommodation! I need to know where we stand!

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lindsay O 20th November, 2013 @ 23:02

My son is still waiting for his deposit. He paid regular rent, left place tidy. Left in June with 9 other housemates ( HMO) Landlord has given deposits back to 4 of them who have rented another prop with him, but the other 6 have received Nil. All bills paid and proofed. Agent keeps saying landlord on holiday or sick. What can he do? Also, for one month they took out the smoke detector in his bedroom to fix. He told them and they had forgotten about it, eventually brought it back. At that time there was a gas leak. Is landlord legally responsible for not providing a safe environment for my son? He had the top room in the house. Luckily gas leak was realised and fixed but it could have been tragic. Landlord refused to make good the inflated gas bill- an extra £700! what grounds do we have for court action on a/ deposit, b/ no smoke alarm and c/ that gas leak? Sorry lots here!

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Kim Bonner 21st December, 2013 @ 21:19

My landlady has not protected my deposit, my contract ran out 4 months ago. There was no inventory when I moved in and there is damage to the flat that was here when I moved in. I have kept the flat clean and no more damage. I have given the landlady 3 months notice, I have bought a flat. I am concerned that she will not give me back my deposit. If I don't pay the last months rent as it is the same amount as the deposit can she take me to court? Thanks for any advice.

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Chris daggett 6th January, 2014 @ 18:18

My son saw a flat for rent on an agent's website. Son phoned agent who said that he could secure flat by paying £450 holding deposit. When son went to view flat it was different one in same building. I paid deposit for him and agents will not return it even though they admitted to my son that the flat on the website was not the same one. What can 8 do.

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Colin Emmitt 20th January, 2014 @ 22:20

Please can someone help me concerning tenant deposits. I am a landlord and rented my property last August. Apparently a deposit was made to the letting agent of £900. Within the 30 day period of the Agent having to deposit this sum in the DPS they went bust and I have subsequently not received rent and found out the deposit in the DPS was never made. I am aware that I am liable for this (although I think this is grossly unfair on landlords)but before from my pocket I make this deposit can I legally ask the tenant for proof (bank statements) that this deposit was made initially. My only doubt is that the tenants were friends of the letting agents. Any advice that can be provided would be much appreciated

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Jocelyn Baird 26th January, 2014 @ 18:31

Hi, I was wondering if you can advise me, the tenant that resides in my property is a mutual friend. It was agreed that he would do some repairs around the house should I give him my property for six months. The problem I have is in the contract it says a £1000 is required on the day of signing, however on the day of signing my tenant didn't have the funds for a deposit, and due to me trusting him I didn't feel the deposit was nescessary. However in November my tenant was raided by the police for growing cannabis, and for the last 3 month refuses to pay me any rent. I have served him a section 8. This tenant is a scum bag and Im worried he may say he gave me a deposit when he didn't and I will have to reward him up to 3 times the amount of money. Can anyone advise me on what I can do to prevent this.

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Maggi 11th February, 2014 @ 11:39

I have moved in to this rental apartment 1 week ago.

I have paid the deposit, 6 weeks advance rent, signed the agreement and I am about to authorize my agent to transfer the deposit to DPS.

We had an inventory clerk who did all the evaluation and I have 9 days left to update and submit this report. Not to mention there are a lot of minor issues in the apartment except for one.

1. The bathroom windows are not completely closing and locking. We are on 2nd floor so the chances of theft is negligible, however, I am not able to turn on the heating system in the bathroom which is getting quite uncomfortable, especially in the cold weather.
My landlord made a half ass attempt to resolve the problem and then refused to help solve this issue.

2. Also, she has kept some broken stuff (chair, clothes drying rack, etc.)in the apartment which is of no use to me and is occupying space, however, she is not authorizing me to either throw it nor is she coming to check the condition of the broken stuff.

3. A couple of wooden skirts have come off the wall. She refused to fix those too.

Since last 1 week we are going back and forth on these issues and finally she said that she cannot help me any further.

I am going to add these problems in the inventory report, however, it would be great if my landlord resolves them.

I want to know:

1. What my rights are as a tenant. Is the window not locking a hazard as claimed here?
http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/disrepair_in_rented_accommodation/health_and_safety_assessments_of_rented_homes

2. I have signed a 1 yr contract with 6 months break clause. Which means I have to provide 2 months notice after 4 months. Can I leave sooner than 6 months without penalty?

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sami 22nd February, 2014 @ 00:27

Stefanos Metsi is a big scammer (Aspire Agency)southgate London, be-careful when you are dealing with him. He has made a runner with my tenant deposit and two months rents. He is a big liar, He is not someone to be trusted with any business.Sami

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Clueless landlord 17th April, 2014 @ 17:34

Hi,

I am hoping to find some advice on how to deal with a situation I have.
We rented our house to to a couple who stayed in it for 13 months. The initial contract was for 6 months and they paid the rent upfront. A deposit was taken which was passed to our estate agent who has kept it in a deposit scheme.
After the 6 months they extended their contract and the. Forgot to pay rent. After a reminder they paid a months rent and then forgot again. 4 months later after we contacted them they paid up. However they did not pay the last months rent ( they overstayed top).
We contacted them by email and they did not reply. But when we wrote to the agents asking for the deposit .... The agents contacted them ...this was their reply

"
Can you forward a reconciliation of account to show that the monies are owed to the Landlord.

Can you also confirm how the deposit is held by you. Thanks."

Now ... We did not have a contract with the agents for rent collection. They were meant to pay direct to us ....however , the initial 6 months rent came through our agent and when the contract was extended the first months rent again came via the agent .....as did the last 4 months rent that came late. I did not penalise them for the late payments.

Now when I contact the agents ...they ask me for proof that the tenants did not pay..... How does a LL show such a prooF especially as the tenants did not set up a standing order despite telling in an email that that was their intention. I have all email communication of their previous failed rental payments etc.
Any advice on how I should proceed will be greatly appreciated as the agents are not willing to release the deposit to cover rent. They vacated in August last year !

Thanks in advance.

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Landlady 5th May, 2014 @ 18:00

I rented my house out for two years and now need it back at the end of the 6 month contract. I sent out a section 21 via our agents 2.5 months in advance. The tenants are refusing to move. They said that because they asked to be let off the last two months rent because they found somewhere immediately and we said no, they now won't move out. We will have to apply to the court etc but my question is can their deposit be kept for my court costs/letters etc?

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Mikey 17th May, 2014 @ 10:41

Hi

I was wondering if anyone could answer a question for me? Im living under an AST. My deposit has not been secured for over a year and half of my stay, nor any other tenant living here. I have two months left on my agreement and would like to end it early due the HMO being in disgusting condition and other tenants that use illegal drugs and smoke through-out the house. I asked if I could leave early but advised me i would have to pay the final months rent (Which the LL is right to do so). Would I be able to use the lack of DPS as leverage to agree a surrender of agreement?

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claire 19th May, 2014 @ 23:30

Hi I have recently left a private rented property. My bond has never been protected according to dps as it shows in my tenancy agreement it should have gone there. Landlord has said he is keeping my bond and is charging £1500 app. On replacing carpets and redecorating, and we lived here for 4 years with 2 children. Everytime I mention that I need info on my deposit he avoids the question. Also we haven't had a gas safety check in 3 years, problems with heating and hot water, and damp problems where I moved a child into our bedroom as it got really bad. Do we have to pay for repairs as he never protected our bond and failed on keeping boiler safe as we have hse to back that up?

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SimoneLola 10th June, 2014 @ 14:36

Can a landlord make a claim to a deposit even after he has sold
the property and the tenant had left?

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SimoneLola 10th June, 2014 @ 14:38

Sorry I forgot to mention he has no proof of any work carried out or replaced!! No receipts etc..nothing

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Benji 10th June, 2014 @ 15:47

@SimoneLola,

Yes, he can (depending on circumstances).

He doesn't need proof of the work, he doesn't even need to carry it out.

He just needs to be able to prove the damage was caused by you and is more than reasonable wear and tear. Whether he decides to carry out the work or not is his business.

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Jonathan McLean 10th June, 2014 @ 20:27

Hi,

We have a bit of a dilemma. We moved out of a property in February this year having paid all our rent up to date. The landlord after claimed that there was damage to the property even though we have disputed this. He failed to return our deposit and also as we found out later he failed to protect this with a government backed scheme.

As a result of this we wrote to him several times with no response and subsequently began court proceedings against him.

This cost us £280 using a part 8 claim where we asked for the deposit to be returned and for the court to award compensation of 3 times the deposit. The landlord missed the deadline to reply to the court and a court notice was issued last week. The notice gave the landlord until 4pm on 16th June to provide a full explanation and defence.

When I went to our bank this morning he had returned the deposit into our account. 4 months late!!

Is it worth us still pursuing the claim for compensation and costs? Would the court still find the claim in our favour and would we be likely to be awarded some compensation even if not 3 times the deposit we were hoping for.

Any advice or recent experience of a similar problem would be greatly welcomed.

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vaisur 11th June, 2014 @ 18:35

Hi,

we moved to a house through agents, since we were new to uk, the agents hadnt informed us about inventory. At the time of renting they told they will replace the carpet which was in a worst condition, but they didnt. Since it was my delivery time i was busy in that. So we hadnt asked about carpet replacement to agency. We cleaned it by ourself and started to live in the property. Our LL sold the property to someone. The agency deposited our deposit amount after six months only.
My worry is we damaged the carpet by hot iron in two places. we repaired it by ourself. But it is slightly visible. Will the new landlord deduct the amount for the damaged carpet? How much amount they will deduct? will they ask me to replace the carpet?
I do not have contact details of the owner.
Due to the bugs in the carpet my daughter is suffering from rashes. I called the agents and asked them to replace the carpet. They told me that they will get permission from the new landlord and then only they can proceed. We are in a dilemma whether to move out or to continue to stay here, Since we are having 3 yr visa. We have paid agency £400 as agency fees. And paid £1000 as deposit. It is really a huge amount for us. Please reply me asap.

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Benji 11th June, 2014 @ 19:59

@Vaisur,

If the deposit wasn't protected until after 6 months, they can't claim anything from it. (Assuming you moved in less than 3 years ago as per your visa)

If you weren't informed of the inventory and haven't signed one, they also can't claim anything from it.

If you have signed an inventory and they have protected the deposit correctly and the carpet is visibly damaged, then they can claim from the deposit.

But only after taking the age of it into consideration.

For example, new carpet costs £400, carpet is 4 years old, lifespan of a carpet (maybe) 8 years old. Therefore maximum claim from deposit is £200.

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Trev 12th June, 2014 @ 08:27

This is a tricky one.
I have 7 students who have gone to a solicitor 5 months after their tenancy ended. There was quite a mess and some damage after they left and we had (quite friendly) discussions by email on what was a fair deposit reimbursement. I protected they`re deposit with `My Deposits`. They are saying I did not inform them that the deposit was protected and this is why they did not persue their deposit reimbersement through the My Deposits chanels within the statutory 3 months following the end of tenancy. This is not true. I left the certificate at the house at the start of the tenancy although I did not get it signed (Won`t make that mistake again!). Can anyone tell me which way the judge would likely decide if this did go to court.
As I say- a tricky one.

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Benji 12th June, 2014 @ 10:01

@Trev,

Looks like they are just trying it on but rules are rules.
If it was just about proving you had given them the prescribed information or not, I would say it would come down to who is the most credible person in the circumstances.

However, you have said 'the certificate' and 'get it signed'. The prescribed information is not just one piece of paper, it is several sheets. By saying it like that, it sounds like you haven't given them the correct information and are at fault.

Worth checking thoroughly through your tenancy agreement, as it might cover it in there (but I doubt it).

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Trev 13th June, 2014 @ 10:45

Thanks for your thoughts Benji. Guess it comes down to wether or not to use a solicitor to fight the case. Could prove costly. Or just put it down to experience. If only I had an idea what the judge would award them if anything. How long is a piece of string?!!!

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Benji 13th June, 2014 @ 12:00

"How long is a piece of string?!!!"

From what you've said, it sounds like you haven't given your tenants the prescribed information.

Therefore the string could be as long as the return of the full deposit + 3 times the deposit as penalty + legal costs.
As these Judges decided-

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1789.html

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Anne 18th June, 2014 @ 14:45

We rented a house in London for 2 years, we moved out May 16th but the landlord refused to release our deposit ,.We asked many times to the real estate agent what exactly were the complaints (the landlord kept on changing his mind )and the repairs costs he was claiming without any answer. We received june 17th a quote for the costs of repairs we are disputing all of them.

1) how many days does the landlord have to make a claim againsts his tenants and forward usefull information e.g: quotes? If there is a frame time, is it binding?
2) He is claiming for a mirror he paid for, fixed by the real estate agent when we moved in the house( one of the bathroom did not have any mirror) . When we ask for the invoice in order to foward it to My Deposit, the estate agent says that the invoice does not have the details of this mirror because this invoice includes various odd jobs done at the time and only shows a global amount.They declined our request to mail to us this invoice. Can a landlord ask the tenants to pay for something he agreed upon ( paid by him and fixed under his command)?
3) He charges us 40 pounds to change 2 hallogen bulbs ( Those hallogen bulbs are for sale at 0.49 £ on internet).Can a landlord charge his tenants such huge amount without being penalised?
4) How does my desposit rule this kind of demand( surcharge cost for repairs, landlord not respecting delays to provide details on deposit...
Many thanks for your help.

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claire 18th June, 2014 @ 15:03

I have put forward to take my landlord to a small claims court regarding not protecting my bond, failed repairs etc, and now 3 months after leaving the property he has threatened me in a letter stating if I do not drop everything against him he will sue me for £5,000. He has really brought the outside of it looking nice and moved the bathroom into a smaller room. He has yet to provide any receipts still, and our solicitor says the best way is for us to file the claim. Any input on this I would be extremely grateful but we believe he is just blackmailing us

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claire 18th June, 2014 @ 15:05

I previously posted on 19th may regarding this situation too :(

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Scott 22nd June, 2014 @ 18:02

Hi,

I moved into my property in October 2011. I have tried to get my deposit back without success. I have contacted the main deposit schemes and enquired if my deposit has been protected with any of them, it hasn't. I have taken steps to get it back via the small claims court, moneyclaim online website. He is saying that he didn't put it in because I paid the deposit over several months. I didn't and have a signed receipt, stating I paid it in full on the day of moving in. He is also stating that he is keeping it, due to the state of the carpets. The ceiling collapsed onto the floor, due to his poor maintenance and ruined the carpet. I have video evidence of this. But he is still adamant that he does not have to pay my deposit back. Can anyone help or give me guidance please?

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Scott 22nd June, 2014 @ 18:04

**Forgot to say I moved out in May 2014 and consistently asked the landlord if my deposit was protected, he told me it was.

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Simone Yilmazgul 23rd June, 2014 @ 11:14

@Benji

Hi Benji

I decided to seek legal advice as I had been told so much conflicting information from various sources. I was told that my former landlord needed to provide proof of any work carried out, repaired or replaced items etc with receipts in order to show what he is claiming for.

I have sent my former landlord a letter asking for this information and also there is £100 missing from the deposit that wasn't put into the deposit scheme and unaccounted for. Fortunately I have the original receipt for this which I have also sent to my former landlord asking for an explanation.

My question is how would he be able to prove I caused this damage? Bear in mind he did not conduct a check in or check out when my ex left (initial tenancy was in my ex's name) and a new inventory was not completed when the tenancy was put into my name when my ex left.

Also my former landlord did not carry out a check out process. I've been told he should have advised me he was going to carry one out and let me know when so that I could attend. Also it would have had to have been carried out by an impartial accessor.

I also read that a gentle reminder to tenants to remind them what should be done before leaving the property (cutting the grass, weeding, cleaning oven etc) in writing could avoid this kind of situation.

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vaisur 13th July, 2014 @ 18:53

Hi,

We have damaged the carpet and informed it to the agency they asked us to replace the carpet. But I decided to repair it as it costs less. The carpet repairer told that the carpet has ended its life instead of repairing it you can replace it. (He thought that we are the landlord). I have already posted it and got reply

@Vaisur,

If the deposit wasn't protected until after 6 months, they can't claim anything from it. (Assuming you moved in less than 3 years ago as per your visa)

If you weren't informed of the inventory and haven't signed one, they also can't claim anything from it.

If you have signed an inventory and they have protected the deposit correctly and the carpet is visibly damaged, then they can claim from the deposit.

But only after taking the age of it into consideration.

For example, new carpet costs £400, carpet is 4 years old, lifespan of a carpet (maybe) 8 years old. Therefore maximum claim from deposit is £200.

Now my question is do I need to change the carpet which ended its life or how much amount do I need to pay for the damage of the carpet.

And also all the white goods are old only. I am having the following problems.
In the cooker the Ignitor has stopped working.
today washing machine stopped working. Do i need to pay for every thing.

The letting agents hadnt shown any photos of inventory.
But in the agreement they stated that we had signed in the inventory. But we hadnt. Also the owner sold the house. The new owner never visited the house till now. We also had some plumbing problem in our house. The plumber sent by estate agents told us that the entire sink unit needs to be replaced. But the new owner refused to do. And finally the repaired the sink.

Thank you

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Matt Griffin 25th August, 2014 @ 15:15

I moved into a property in 2011 with my wife - it was our first property together and the agent told me they would repaint the property before we moved in as the previous tenants had been friends of ours.

We moved in and not only had they not repainted, the place with filthy. I sent the letting company an email telling them I considered the property of student quality not professional and would be deducting 50 pound a week from the rent until the issues were sorted. Within two weeks it was repainted. And saved myself 100 quid.

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Matt Griffin 25th August, 2014 @ 15:15

Maybe that helps some of you who have issues with maintenance

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Matt Griffin 25th August, 2014 @ 15:17

Alternatively i know of someone who have had the work done professionally and with held the rent to cover the work. I dont know where this stands you legally but no-one dared threaten me with court.

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emm 16th September, 2014 @ 17:46

Please could someone give me some advice? My son in law has just left his apartment, there was a stain on the lounge carpet which we have tried to steam clean but there is still a slight visible mark. The landlord/ letting agent have today told him the carpet has to be replaced, and as it has a sliding door into the bedroom that carpet has to be replaced as well. He has quoted him £875 which seems absolutely ludicrous. The room is really small, he has only been there 1 year, and it seems totally unreasonable. The carpet is only synthetic and basic beige like seen in many apartment lets. Could someone tell me what we can do to get the correct advice and what costs he is liable for? Many thanks Emm

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