Deposits - Ask Sharon
I have a house to let out – do I have to demand a deposit? The person I am letting to has 3 children and left her husband. If I demand a deposit I know it will cause hardship as she has managed to drag the 1st month’s rent together but can’t do more at the moment. I know it is good practice in normal circumstances but this is my daughter and the let is only for 6months until she gets back on her feet
It is personal choice whether you ask for a deposit, as it is to ask for rent in advance. I believe it is good practice to have some safeguard for your property, but as she is your daughter, you will presumably always be in touch with her and, if there is any damage done, may be able to recover it from her over time.
Responsibility when property is sold
We moved into a flat in July 2008. In October the mortgage lender on the flat appointed a fixed charge Receiver under the Law of Property Act 1925. The fixed charge Receivers became our landlords.
The flat was up for sale as an investment and the Receivers said our current tenancy arrangements should not be affected by the sale. It was sold in November 2008 and the new landlords have been following our original tenancy agreement although we have not signed a new agreement
The new landlord asked us to request the deposit of £1,650 back from our old landlord – the deposit was protected by mydeposits.co.uk. We did this but did not hear from him so contacted mydeposits.co.uk. They confirmed over the phone that we could enter the dispute resolution process with them to regain our deposit.
This we did and according to mydeposits.co.uk the process should have been completed by 5 June 2009. This did not happen and mydeposits.co.uk said the delay was due to a backlog. On 7 August 2009 we received a letter from mydeposits.co.uk stating that our old landlord was no longer a member of the scheme and the deposit would cease to be protected by the scheme 90 days from the cancellation date, 24 July 2009.
We contacted mydeposits.co.uk about the letter regarding the cancellation of the deposit protection and the delay with the dispute resolution process. They said the delay was because it was a highly unusual case and we were in a ‘legal grey area because we were still residents of the flat’. They are not sure who is responsible for paying back our deposit and that it may be the responsibility of our new landlord. However, they have not made a final decision on the dispute resolution process yet and recommended that we seek legal advice.
We contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau who said that this was too specialist as issue for them and that we should see a housing solicitor. In such cases as ours where the flat is sold on with the original tenancy agreement still in place, who is responsible for paying back the deposit? We are unsure as to who we should be claiming our deposit back from and are obviously very concerned about losing so much money. After looking at the Housing Act 2004 and the tenancy deposit scheme overview published by the Communities and Local Government, it would appear that our new landlord is responsible for the deposit and this should have been included in the agreement when they bought the property. Is this correct? Any advice you can give would be very welcome.
I have been waiting for a case like this to rear its head. The Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes have all looked at this far too simplistically. CAB, with Shelter, campaigned for a long time to get Tenancy Deposit Protection enacted and for their response now that this case was too specialized is laughable.
Looking at it step-by-step:
* My deposits is an Insurance scheme, hence the deposit was taken by the first landlord; he will have paid a premium to have the deposit protected.
* Write to the Dispute Resolution Service asking them to confirm (or otherwise) that the landlord lodged the deposit with them when you asked for the deposit to be returned. I must admit, my bet is that the landlord did no such thing.
* Ask the new landlords to confirm in writing that the deposit was not transferred to them when they bought the property. Again, my bet is that the first landlord, having had to go into Receivership, probably had few resources available to him and has kept the deposit. I do hope I am wrong.
If your investigations appear to show that this is what has happened, I think Mydeposits has some responsibility to you, in that a premium was paid to protect the deposit and the deposit now appears to have disappeared into the ether.
It is ludicrous to say that you are still in residence and this means you cannot receive the deposit. Your tenancy with the original landlord ended; a new tenancy commenced as soon as you started paying the new landlord.
Write a very clear letter, once you have asked the questions I have suggested, making the point about the premium, new tenancy, protection that the Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes were supposed to provide. State that you expect your deposit be returned in order that your new landlord can protect it with whichever scheme he or she feels is appropriate and that failure to return will result in your taking legal action. See what response you get, but if your are not satisfied, then I am afraid you will have see a solicitor and take action. Any court case that is necessary should allow the costs to you, but I hope that someone will see sense in this and realise that the landlord who took your deposit was one of the very few who proved the case that legislation was needed but against whom it appears nobody is prepared to provide the protection you thought you had.
Finding former landlord’s address
We have been renting a place since April 2004, on June 2009 we decided to leave the place. During our stay with property we had two landlords because on February 2008 the property was sold to new landlord. On leaving the property we were told by the new landlord that our one month advance rent and the deposit has not been given to him from the first landlord.
My first landlord has been using an estate agent where we pay our rent. I have been asking them personally for my first landlord’s address so I can sue him on the small claims court but they won’t give it to me (no mention of the landlord address on the tenancy c/o to agent address only). Please note that the property is now no longer managed by the agent.
Do I still have the right to know my first landlord's last known address from the estate agent even if at the moment, technically he would be my ‘former landlord’?
I think the agent is probably quite concerned that he should not be seen to be breaching data protection legislation; you only have the right to details whilst you are still the tenant. I think your current landlord was very foolish not to take the deposit from the last landlord, as he would have had no protection, had you left rent arrears or damage. However, had they given him the deposit, he would have been obliged to protect it under the Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation that came into effect in April 2007.
I think the agent has some responsibility in this, as I would have expected the firm to hold the deposit, not the owner. The agent should certainly have advised the new landlord of what was taken and that he should collect it and protect it.
Write the agent a stiff letter, outlining why you feel that you are entitled to recompense, you can include what I have said above about the new landlord having no protection in case of a problem at the end of the tenancy. State plainly that you intend to take the matter further, if the agent is not prepared to give you some satisfaction.
I don’t know that coming on heavily to them will make them cough up money or the address, but it is worth a try. If you are not satisfied, put it in the hands of their governing body, if there is one, or the ombudsman if the firm subscribes to the ombudsman scheme. The agent certainly does not seem to have acted fairly to either yourselves or the new landlords. You could also put it in the hands of a debt recovery agency, though whether it would be worth it for the sum you are seeking to recover is questionable. The rent in advance I would presume is not an issue, as in view of the very questionable circumstances, you probably did what most tenants do in your circumstances and refused to pay the last month.
Left owing rent
Since November last year my neighbour has tenants had tenants in her house. They have a 12 month shorthold tenancy but have not paid rent since mid June - so owe rent for half of June, all of July while the August payment is due this week. The normal payment cycle is monthly.
Today the tenants have moved out and given the keys back.
Can the deposit held retained to cover the outstanding rent. Also, does notice have to be served to formally end the agreement, or does the action of the tenant by giving the keys back bring the agreement to an end?
As I am sure you know, since April 2007 it has been a requirement that any deposit taken by a landlord must be protected via one of three Government approved schemes.
The used to protect the deposit in this instance should be consulted for advice. If necessary the issue will go to its dispute resolution service.
The deposit would usually cover any outstanding rent, plus a notice period. Civil law says that a landlord has a right to one month’s notice, although if the tenant challenged this in court you would have to provide evidence of related costs and show that you had made every effort to get a new tenant to minimise the loss. As rent was owing anyway, and the maximum deposit is only two months, I would think that the deposit will not cover the full debt so should be safe to retain.
BUT: if the tenant disputes this, it would have to go to the Dispute Resolution Service to decide and they would require full details of deposit, what steps you took to notify the tenant of arrears, what letters you wrote, response from tenant etc.
Strictly speaking, notice should always be in writing, but as the tenant cannot live in the property without the keys, in this case there seems little point in arguing about it. When the keys were handed back, the tenant should have been asked to sign paperwork which said he had voluntarily relinquished the tenancy. This covers the landlady against accusations of force or pressure been put on the tenant.
It is another story if the deposit has not been protected – in which case you would be on very weak ground since the law says tenants are able to claim repayment of three times the deposit paid.
I am a tenant who has moved out of a property but is having problems receiving my deposit back.
We signed through an agency and were assured that our money was being held by a protection service. We have moved out of the property now and while our landlord originally passed the entire property as well looked after and not damaged, he has now decided to claim £1,000 for a treadmill that was in a shed. This treadmill was in bits and was stacked along with broken tables and mirrors. There were a lot of things left by previous tenants in the house which we removed and as none of these things were on the inventory we felt no wrong in doing so.
After we had twice tried but failed to come to an agreement with our landlord about price or course of action, I suggested mediation from the scheme we were listed with. He has now emailed to say that he forgot to lodge our bond money with any agency but that I am just as liable for this mistake as it was my duty to remind him. I was under the assumption that this would have all been dealt with by the agency,
Can you please advise me as to what my rights are and how I can go about this?
What a very foolish agent. The responsibility for lodging the deposit and advising you with whom it is lodged is the landlord’s (or his agent), not you. Advise the landlord that you are not happy with his response and give him three days to come up with a reasonable sum for you to discuss. If he does not do this, contact CAB or Housing Aid, whatever you have in your vicinity.
I am afraid it may take some time, but you should be the winner in this situation. Also, this agent is heading for big trouble if he is not careful. He clearly does not know what the law says – he can in fact lodge the deposit now and allow the dispute resolution service to look at it. So far, 90 per cent of adjudications have found in favour of the tenant, and without a clear inventory, noting the broken items, they stand little chance of winning this one against you.
You can find out more about your rights on the Government website http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/DG_066373. You will find that it was the landlord’s responsibility to inform you of which scheme he used to protect the deposit within 14 days of the tenancy agreement.
If the landlord does not protect your deposit you can apply to your local county court for an order that the landlord or agent either repay the deposit to you or protect it in a scheme (bnot now applicable in your case). If your landlord or agent has not protected your deposit, they will be ordered to repay three times the amount of the deposit to you.
I suggest you point this out to your landlord who may then decide to repay your deposit in full with no further argument.
Caught in dispute between landlord and agent
I rented a property on a 12 month assured tenancy agreement through an estate agent. Although the rent was paid to the estate agent each month, once I moved into the property any problems were dealt with directly with the landlord.
The landlord approached me towards the end of the tenancy agreement and asked if I would like to remain in the property on a tenancy agreement directly with him. I agreed to this as he also reduced the rent by £100 per month. I duly received a ‘notice requiring possession’ from the estate agent stating that the tenancy would end on 13 July 2009 at the end of the tenancy agreement.
The landlord came to see me and told me he had informed the estate agent that he was happy with the condition of the property etc.
According to my agreement with the estate agent, my deposit should have been refunded within 14 days of the landlord’s confirmation that he was happy with the state of the property.
For the past two weeks I have been trying to contact the relevant person at the estate agents to enquire as to when I will receive my deposit back and he finally contacted me today and told me that I will not be getting my deposit back as the landlord and myself are being devious and that he is taking the landlord to court for loss of commission on future rental of the property. I feel that any dispute the estate agent has with the landlord has nothing to do with me and would like to know if he has the right to withhold my deposit.
The landlord only requires one month's rental as a deposit (i.e. £1,100) and the estate agent is holding (in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme) £1,800. Does he have the right to withhold my deposit because he is in dispute with the landlord?
Not as far as I am aware, he isn’t. The whole point of tenancy deposit is to protect a tenant’s deposit in case of damage or rent arrears. Check your tenancy agreement, which should say which tenancy deposit protection scheme is protecting your deposit – you should contact them and ask them to intervene. You could put something like this into a letter to the agent, making it clear you will not let the matter drop and will take matters further.
Responsibility for fire protection
I am a landlord but this question is about my step son who has rented a furnished flat for six months. The wall-mounted heaters in the flat were not working. During an inspection visit the landlord’s agent advised him to use a portable convector heater supplied with the flat.
Last week he left the portable convector heater turned on while out. On his return some hours later he found the heater had caught fire and the carpet was burning. He put out the fire himself but there is now damage to the carpet and extensive smoke damage to the walls and furnishings.
The agent says the fire and the resulting repairs are the responsibility of my step son. The firm says common sense dictates he should not have left the heater on when away from the flat.
My argument is that it was an accident. The convector heater was supplied by the landlord. No operating instructions were supplied and the tenancy agreement has a clause stating that: ‘the landlord covers accidental fire risk'. Surely this was an accidental fire.
Further my son relied on this clause when deciding not to take out contents insurance.
Please remember that my work is with landlords. If a tenant approached me and said ‘it was an accident’, I would feel I had to say that that was unfortunate, but it is still your responsibility. The clause in the agreement is interesting – but I wonder whether the landlord’s interpretation would be that he or she covers unavoidable fire damage which was not caused by the tenant’s own actions.
I am afraid I think your son was responsible – he should not have left the heater on.
Not to take out contents insurance on the basis of the clause seems a trifle short-sighted – a flood could have caused the same level of damage, he could have been burgled. I do not think it is appropriate to try and apportion blame because of a lack of insurance on the clause.
I think the steps you have taken with your own properties would indicate that you know that your son left himself at risk. I think I would try and negotiate with the agent along the lines that the wall heaters should have been working. Perhaps an agreement to pay half each would be the best you could manage.
We issued a shorthold tenancy agreement to a couple who have now split up. The fixed term of 12 months has expired and we have been continuing on the basis of a periodic tenancy.
Provided there is agreement on both sides that one leaves, I cannot see that you need to give notice as the one who has left should have given you notice anyway. I would always advise that you confirm anything in writing, provided you have a forwarding address. However, if there seems some disagreement between them, serve them both a notice. Whatever the circumstances, issue a new tenancy agreement in one name. It may not apply, but be aware that if your tenant now or at some time in the future needs to apply for local housing allowance/housing benefit, he will be limited to the single person rate, so ensure he can afford the rent on his own.
Deduction for leaving early
Although technically speaking you can hold your tenants to the full tenancy term, it is very unusual in my experience for landlords to do this, as it can become complicated. If your tenant felt you had acted unreasonably, he could go to the small claims court. Whilst they would have to hold that there was a valid tenancy, they would want to see evidence of why you felt it necessary to hold him to that, so would want to know the steps taken to re-let promptly. You could deduct advertising costs, which seems fair, and of course, any damages. You do not want a complicated solution, but if your tenant disputes the deductions, this could become quite messy as the tenancy deposit protection scheme you use would refer it to the Disputes Resolution Service.
I think your first sentence really explains why you are considering being ‘soft’ – they have been good tenants, paid rent on time and now, when they have hit financial difficulties, they have behaved with consideration, given you notice, paid for advertising and are moving out. I need not remind you that their other option may have been to stay put and fall into rent arrears. What about rather than soft, you behave with equal consideration? Either let them off the whole month, or split it between you. You must be a good landlord/lady to get such good tenants.
Deposit protection query
There are three schemes, one custodial, where you lodge the deposit you take. That is free. The other two are insurance schemes, where you retain the deposit but pay an insurance premium. The cost on those schemes was in the region of £30 when it started in April 2007. If you Google ‘Tenancy Deposit Protection’ I am sure that you will get the information you require.
If a landlord cannot get hold of a tenant to return a deposit within a period of 14 days of the end of a tenancy agreement, can a tenant then claim three times the amount in court? This seems open to abuse from tenants who would deliberately put off collecting their deposit in order to claim more money in court! Have you heard of this happening? A lot of people are still making agreements in good faith and could easily get caught out.
It depends when you took the deposit. The three times the amount is the penalty imposed under the Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme, which became law in April 2007. If it was before that date, you are not bound by the penalty. If you took a deposit after April 2007, you should have discussed with the Dispute Resolution Service what you could do, given that the tenant has apparently disappeared. Contact next of kin or anyone else you know who may have connection to your ex-tenant.
Not taking deposit
I have just started renting out my property to my 17 year old daughter and her 18 year old friend. A tenancy agreement will be signed today but I have not taken an advance payment of rent or a security bond/deposit from either of them. In not doing this, what are the implications and where/how do we stand if something goes wrong? Can either of them sue me for damage/injury if something happens? What can I do if there is a problem and where do I stand?
Firstly, your 17 year old daughter cannot be held to a tenancy agreement as she is below the age of maturity.
In your shoes, I would probably not expect my daughter to pay a deposit either – I know my daughter and have had no qualms about standing as a guarantor for her twice. I am sure your daughter is the same. However, you cannot be sure about her friend. You need to ensure that you have sufficient insurance to cover you against personal injury claims and also public liability insurance, in case they have friends who come in and are injured. As you have already signed the tenancy agreement, I think it is too late now to ask for a deposit from the girl, or ask whether her parents would stand as guarantor – this might have been a question that it was worthwhile sending to the Express Service. It may be worth speaking to Environmental Health and ask would they inspect, so they can point out any safety issues they think there might me.
The deposit is meant to provide you with some protection in case there is damage or rent arrears. The other implication is that if your daughter loses her job and has to apply for housing benefit, it will not be considered a commercial tenancy as you are her mother.
Leaving without notice
Please advise me on the following:-
I had a tenant who moved in on 14 May 2006 and signed an AST for one year. We signed a new AST on 14 May 2007, keeping the same amount of deposit which was £1,350.00 as before. As the Tenancy Deposit Scheme had just come into force and I had only 14 days to register I forgot to register it. However, the tenancy was coming to an end on 13 May 2008 and due to credit crunch I decided to sell the flat and told the tenant of my decision two months before the tenancy ran out. I also told him that I would put it on the market only for two months and if I didn’t sell it he could continue with the rental as he was very interested in staying in my flat. He decided to stay and allow the potential buyers to view the flat. (No one viewed it).
On a couple of occasions he hinted about moving out and did not give me any definite information whether he would move out or not. I mentioned that he had to abide by the contract and give me one month's notice, when he started becoming a bit angry.
Finally, on the 20 April 2008 we signed another 12 month agreement and he made me put in the contract that if I sold the flat I would give him two months' notice and if he found somewhere else he would give me two week’s notice. I did not agree with the two weeks and we changed it to three week’s notice to which he agreed.
As far as I am aware, you are not bound by the Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes as it only applies to new tenancies, commenced after 7 April 2007. Yours was a continuing tenancy, so you did not have to lodge the deposit.
You should have given your tenant two months notice in writing, irrespective of what the tenancy agreement said, as was his right in law – which you may have done, but your question sounds as though it was verbal. Had he wished to remain in the tenancy and you found a cash buyer, the fact he had signed a new agreement would mean he had the legal right to stay there to the end of the tenancy, and you would have been required to give him two months notice to end when the tenancy did.
He told you on 24 April he was moving out and actually went on 13 May – surely 19 days notice? You feel he should have given you the three weeks agreed, but I think I would try and resolve this amicably, by stating you wish to deduct the outstanding two2 days from the deposit, rather than the three weeks. You are obviously entitled to deduct a reasonable charge for the cleaning.
Prepare a clear account of what you wish to deduct and be ready to give him the balance. His option then would be the Small Claims Court. If they can see you are being reasonable, they are unlikely to find in his favour, other than that they will understand arguments he will make about feeling unsettled etc. so are unlikely to censure him for moving out, even though he had signed a new agreement.
It is unfortunate that he signed a new tenancy agreement, but better he has gone now than abandon without any notice at all.
Retained by agent
I have let my house through a letting agent on a full management basis. However, the agent has never given me the deposit. Do I need to contact the agent and get him to send me the deposit? Or is the agent permitted to hold the deposit until the end of the tenancy agreement.
I would expect that the deposit was protected by one of the tenancy deposit schemes and it would therefore be held by a central body or protected by an insurance premium paid by the agent. It would not be appropriate to let you have it. At the end of the tenancy, if all was well, the deposit would be returned to the tenant. If not, if the tenant felt he should get the deposit back and the agent didn’t, it would go to the Dispute Resolution Service for a decision to be made.
No protection scheme
It is. See your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Housing Aid Service who will help you take action which could result in some compensation for you.
Damage to flat
Approximately three months ago I received a call from the tenant's brother claiming there was a puddle of water on the kitchen floor. When I visited the property I was unable to gain access using my front door key. I managed to gain access using the patio door to the rear of the property. I discovered the boiler had been leaking by spraying a fine mist of water. It's a new boiler so all that was needed was a nut tightened up. However, it looked as if the boiler had been leaking for some time.
I went to the flat last week with a letting agent and was told that, because of the water damage to the kitchen, the firm would be unable to let it until an entire new worktop put in, new drawers and two new cupboards and new floor tiles.
There will also need to be new carpet, new bathroom units and the whole place painted throughout.
The damage to the kitchen is quite substantial, I received a quote from a handyman who stated he would do the work in the kitchen for £600 excl materials.
I don't want to give the deposit back, because I feel that the tenant should have reported the water leak to me. However, she is already asking me when I will be returning the deposit to her. I don't even think the £800 will cover the amount of work the kitchen needs doing.
Where do I stand with this?
Politely but firmly advise that the damage that was caused by her negligence will have to be covered by the deposit. Confirm in writing listing the costs. Presumably you have a good, clear inventory, perhaps photos? Be prepared for an argument and for her to threaten you with the small claims court, but I would say you seem to be within your rights on this.
I had a rental property for which a deposit was paid to the letting agent in 2003. Having had to finally evict the tenant a court order was awarded against the tenant for damages. The agent has agreed to release the deposit to me. Am I entitled to interest on this amount?
Discuss with the agent. They may do so as a matter of course, or be prepared to divide it between you.
Deposit scheme not used
In August I let my property after my tenant begged for me to let her have it before seeing anyone else. I used an agent and the checks they did seemed to be okay.
She told me she wanted to view this as a long term agreement, however, just to make sure, the agent set up a six month assured shorthold tenancy agreement. A month ago, I received a 'text' from my tenant, who at the time was four weeks late on her rent, to say she was giving me a month’s notice and moving out - her reason being her child had not settled (after one month?).
She had told other people that she was moving back to her old flat because her landlord wanted her back and it was bigger than my two bed house.
I phoned her to discuss the termination, as I was concerned there were other issues and I even offered to reduce the rent for her if she was finding it difficult. She refused, and moved out on 1 November 2007. When I went over to my house to check on it I couldn't get in with my keys. Knowing where she had moved back to...I went round to collect the keys from her, and she gave me totally different set of keys, so it seems she has changed the locks.
The problem I now have is that, having checked over my house, I have found a small amount of damage while she is demanding I return the bond to her - she is claiming she is entitled to £500.
Also, I was not advised by the agent of any government bond scheme and I hold the bond which is actually only £250 and stated so on the contract agreement. The amount she owes me now is £140 on top of damage to property.
Please advise, as it is turning really awful and I am stressing as I have had my house up for rent now for a month but have had no other tenants even view it.
There are some other issues:
* I told the agent I did not want a tenant who smoked or had any pets and she said she didn't - but on a visit after two weeks, I was invited in by my 'smoking tenant' (stench in house!) and a 'dog' jumping all over my furniture and scratching at my wood flooring! I let it go as at the time I just thought she's in now and nothing I could do.
* House was furnished and most of the damage is to my furniture and oven, fridge, etc. - can I keep the bond against such things?
* Other damage: stolen shrubs out of garden, she's drilled holes in my pvc porch to move her washing machine to a different place, and stuck Sellotape over the pipes and other holes!! There is damage to the wood flooring and bathroom suite - not to mention 'dirt' on the walls. She also had a child and stuck stair gates up, but they obviously didn't fit and so she also nailed big planks of wood to my walls!! All this without my permission.
* She couldn't afford to pay the required £800 (£400 bond plus one month’s rent of £400) - so I allowed her to move in paying £500 to me - £250 of which was to cover the bond and £250 to cover the first month’s rent. I received the bulk of the rent from the housing office after about six weeks and she only had to pay me £80 per month, but I only received one payment from her.
She is now sending me constant text messages about how 'unfair' I am treating her and how she will take me to court. I have only ever tried to help her every which way. This is my first and last time to let my property - I have decided to sell.
I really, really hate questions like this – you have had a dreadful tenant, who has no respect for you or the property. But then your agent has not advised you of what you really needed to know – the tenancy deposit protection scheme.
How clever do you think this young woman is? Because if she takes you to court for the deposit, you could find yourself hit with a fine of three times the deposit paid simply because it was not protected. The only way I think you can do this is by writing a very clear statement of what you believe she owes you, with quotes for repairing any damages she has done. If it is clear, she may accept that she will not get the deposit back. But that depends on what she knows.
When to take
I have tenants moving in within the next two weeks but have no 'formal agreement' in place yet. At what stage should I take the deposit from them? Should I ask for this before I sign the agreement, to make sure it clears before they move in, or should I have them sign and bring me a cheque for the deposit at the same time? What is standard practice of these things?
Look at the steps that lead to a tenancy:
You then need a meeting when you go through the tenancy agreement, sign it and hand the keys over. If you take a cheque for the deposit at this stage there is always the possibility that it could bounce. If that happens, it is difficult to evict on that basis and if rent is paid on time you would probably have to wait until the end of the six month tenancy to gain possession. I think you should ask for the cheque before the commencement of the tenancy to give it time to clear, or ask for cash to be handed over at sign-up. Do not hand the keys over until you have received the full deposit you want.
I hope you are aware that from 6 April this year landlords who wish to take cash deposits must protect them using one of the three tenancy deposit protection schemes.
If you don’t want to get involved in deposits and deposit protection, the Iguarantee scheme (www.iguarantee.co.uk) provides an alternative that gives landlords better protection than a deposit.
Statutory periodic tenancy.
The letting agent holds the deposit.
Now that we have the deposit protection scheme the letting agents are suggesting that they do all the paperwork and agreements under TDS and charge both the tenant and myself various extra costs. I would like to use the DPS as it will cost neither the tenant nor me any further money (I do my own extension to agreement letters). But I will have to get the deposit paid back by the letting agent.
I wondered if an alternative to this would be to lapse into a statutory periodic tenancy, only I'm unsure as to the implications of this for myself and for the tenant. (The tenancy commenced well before 6 April 2007 so the deposit could then stay where it is)
At present there is a two month notice period for ending the AST on both sides. Would this continue with a periodic?
Would it give my tenant any security of tenure? Are there any other issues I should be aware of?
It would reduce your tenant’s security, in that provided the tenant gives no reason for the contract to be terminated, an assured shorthold tenancy will last six months. A statutory periodic tenancy can be terminated at any time by giving two month’s notice.
However, I think your main problem will be the agents – I am sure this agent is doing a good job, but is unlikely to want to relinquish any tasks which earn the firm income. If the agent remains as manager and issues a new tenancy agreement, he would have to lodge the deposit or take out the insurance scheme to protect the deposit. Many agents are increasing the administration charge they make to tenants to cover the costs of the TDS, but this would not apply to an existing tenant. The agent could allow the tenancy to run on as a statutory periodic tenancy, but this may be against its policy. I think you need to discuss this with the agent and take it from there.
(Also – tenants only have a duty under civil law to give one month’s notice).
After owning our apartment, bought brand new, for some months, signs of damp are appearing in some walls due to the faulty construction of the building. The signs appeared during the time that a tenant was living there.
The problem is that she (the tenant) did not report the damp to the agency right away. And now after three months she has moved out.
Tenant claims that she has reported it to the agency but the agency denies it.
Anyhow, the walls affected need painting. The agency tells me that it will deduct the charges from the tenant's deposit, but I am not really sure that this is fair considering that the damage was related to the fault in the construction of the building. Could you please let me know if it is lawful if we deduct the repair cost from tenant's deposit?
I would have thought that if the apartment is only months old there should be some recompense from the builders. Snagging lists for faults are usually done some time after completion of a building – did this reveal nothing? Most new builds are covered for 10 years by warranty – I would pursue them.
The agency is right to believe the tenant may have slightly exacerbated the situation by not reporting it, but if she was only there three months and the property was fine when she moved in, reporting it a few weeks earlier would not have helped as a damp mark is a damp mark is a damp mark. I don’t think re-painting costs should be deducted from the deposit, if you are sure it is a construction fault. The problem needs rectifying and the re-painting, hopefully, being covered by the builder. I do not think a deposit protection scheme would view this favourably.
Charged for administration
I have a huge problem. Me and my partner have rented a property (with a 12 month contract). In this contract there is no break clause. Is that legal?
Also, we agreed with the agency that we can leave the property (after six months) as soon as they find someone for us. Now, yesterday we moved out, and today someone is moving in.
They have however charged us a fee of £660 for administration and the costs they have to cover. Is that normal? They now will give us only £300 of our deposit back.
This seems a very high charge, but if this was paid at the start of the tenancy, it is up to the tenant to either pay it, or decide it is unreasonable and walk away.
I would always ask for a breakdown of what this was to cover; I cannot imagine that usual costs - credit checks, drawing up the agreement, getting references and the like - could amount to £660. But sadly it is too late to take action on this now.
As the agent has somebody else moving in so soon I can only think advertising costs have been deducted from the deposit. Ask the agent for a full breakdown of costs incurred by your leaving early.
A 12 month contract is quite legal and is often preferred by tenants; a break clause is often included but does not have to be.
Although issue could be taken with the size of the admin charge, the agent does not appear to have behaved unreasonably – the firm allowed you to leave, accepted the notice you emailed, which I would say it should not have, as an email cannot be held to be legally binding. If it does appear the deductions from the deposit cannot be justified you can go to the small claims court to recover the unfair deductions. As your tenancy commenced prior to 6 April 2007, your deposit was not subject to the deposit protected rules which include dispute resolution procedures.
Reasonable level of cleaning
The landlord’s wife even ran her finger across the top of the door frames to check for dust (which there was). As far as reasonaly cleaning somewhere did we not clean enough if I take it to court?
They have stated they have 28 days to return the deposit but I cant see why they are delaying on returning this as i've confirmed all the bills are paid up. We had broadband with BT but had to transfer this to my new address and the landlord thinks this may cause his new tenants not to get access to broadband because of 'tags' that BT can leave on the line after broadband is moved away.
Can the Landlord expect to take money from my deposit for this too? Especially as he has new tenants already in and as far as we were concerned the flat was in excellent condition when we left which he agreed – although his wife did not.
People do have different standards of cleanliness – it would not occur to me to check door frames, though I have friends who see it as a point of honour that door frames and skirting boards are wiped/dusted very regularly. However, I am not your landlord. If the landlord inspected the property as you were leaving and felt it was adequately cleaned, then I feel he should return the deposit, or tell you why he is not happy to return it in total. If he did not do that, then I think a court would not look favourably on his actions.
I think you also have to think what the property was like when you moved in. I am not sure about the oven being cleaned to a ‘reasonable standard’. If it was spotless when you moved in, that is the standard it should be at when you move out. But 28 days to return your deposit is far too long – the new legislation on tenancy deposit protection works on a 14 or 10 day timescale and I think that is too long!
Consider what I have said about the standards and what it was like when you moved in. If, of further reflextion, you still feel the landlord is being unreasonable, write a short, sharp letter stating you will go to the small claims court for return of the deposit if it is not received within the next three days, say.
I am not aware of a landlord ever taking money from a deposit for the circumstances around the BT line. I would say it is for the landlord to sort that out, it should not cost him anything if your bill is fully cleared, so he can have no justification for keeping money back.
Who is responsible?
Our tenants just moved out, after renting a house from us for 1 1/2 years. After doing a walk through and seeing the amount of damage they have done to the house we do not want to return their deposit until we have repaired everything. The damage includes, carpet torn, cut out in areas and urine saturated, some type of fire in the master bathroom (damaged the counter top), broken screen door, back yard full of dog poop, the house was not cleaned either. Our question is: are we allowed to repair/replace/clean these items and then deduct the costs from their security deposit?
The idea of a deposit is so that it can be used in case of any damage left at the end of the tenancy. I would recommend you log all the damage and compare with an inventory that was given at the start of the tenancy. If possible, left your tenants know of what damage you wish to repair and see if they can offer any explanation to the amount of damage. Let them know of the price to repair the damage and see if they dispute it. If you cannot make contact or there is no dispute to the amount of damage then you can use the deposit to repair the property. A quick note here, from 6 April 2007, if you take a deposit you must ‘protect’ this by participation in a tenancy deposit protection scheme – either the ‘custodial’ scheme or one of the two ‘insured’ schemes. If you do not take a deposit you do not need to belong to one of these schemes – so you might like to consider the Tenant Guarantee Scheme launched by Residential Landlord as an alternative.
Do existing deposits - in held for many years – have to be protected under the new tenant deposit protection legislation?
If you do not issue a new AST and the tenancy continues as a statutory periodic tenancy, then the deposit does not have to be registered. If you issue a new AST then the tenancy has to be registered with one of the new schemes.
Debts with utility companies follow the tenant rather than the property, therefore you would not be liable. I would ask for proof of bills being paid before returning the deposit therefore putting the onus on the tenants to pay. If the tenant challenges this, you can state it is general practice. But as you have nothing in the tenancy agreement about this, should the tenants take the matter to court they could well win.
I let my two bedroom house to two male tenants under a 6 month short hold tenancy agreement.
Upon entering the property to get the keys I discovered that three keys had been cut and I also found a letter dated the day they moved in from my tenant asking a third party for his share of the rent, deposit and agency fee. I also found a letter breaking down the electricity bill between three people, one of which (the same name as on the other letter) was not named on our contract.
Am I entitled to keep their deposit for breech of contract in relation to them subletting the property? The contract states this is illegal and they never asked my permission for a third person to stay.
Threat of future claim
So the agent expects to hold the deposit for two years, gaining interest? This is not in your or the tenant’s best interests. I don’t think there is a great deal you can do, other than take her to the small claims court for the damages, but how likely you are to get a judgement if she is not there to defend herself, or even with a judgement, to get the money if she is abroad for two years, I don’t know. I would be livid, but I think for your own mental health you may be as well to bite the bullet and forget it.
After renting a property for one year via a letting agency, I agreed a leaving date with the firm and paid everything due there then over the phone. I have never had rent arrears or problems of any kind.
Contact the agent’s governing body, most likely ARLA. I am afraid this sort of action is the reason that so many people complain about agents and why the Government has introduced the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme from April this year. If they have come up with a daily rate, this should be easily calculable – have you tried monthly rent times 12 divided by 365? Write to them, tell them you are unhappy and asking for a clear breakdown of how they have come up with £26, stating you will take further action if a satisfactory explanation is not received.
I own a two bedroom flat and rented out the spare room to a girl. She caused extensive damage to the property.
Inventories are to protect both landlord and tenant and should really be done; issuing an invalid agreement does not change her status, she was a lodger. A tenancy is conferred by factors that do not apply when sharing your home. I think she has been watching too much American TV – don’t we have solicitors in this country? If you get a letter, reply courteously that you are happy to provide copies of the photos, which will show how she left the room. However, if it comes down to it, it is your word against hers.
Reclaiming from former tenants
Several months ago I moved into a flat share. I paid £800 deposit to the girl who was moving out (she would provide me with a written statement if needed) and I was supposed to sign a new contract with the others. But two of the tenants (a couple) decided to move out. As they where moving to their new flat before they found someone to replace their bond, to avoid paying two rents, they let a guy, who was desperate for accommodation, to move in without waiting for the letting agency to carry out a credit check. The credit check came out negative and, in the following months, I have complained to the old tenants (who still had their name and their bonds in the contract) and told the letting agency that I had to leave if he was going to stay in the flat due to the state of dirt and untidiness he caused. The old tenants moved to another town and they couldn't take care of the viewings so I tried to find someone suitable.
I though the people I found were nice and I did worry that they were risking having to take on the arrears/damages caused by the guy who didn't have any contract. They were grateful to me and told me that they had managed to get a deposit from him. Shortly afterwards the agency decided to put the house on the market and gave us two month’s notice. In that period I paid the annual water bill and an electricity bill (no receipts) and I told my former flatmates the amount of their share (£157.20 in total). They told me they were going to credit the money in my account but they never did.
Shortly afterwards they stopped answering my calls and emails. Then the agency sent us a statement with all the payments made towards the flat, and because the couple didn't pay their share after they'd moved out, the arrears were being deducted from the deposit and just £304 was were left. Very cheekily, the couple sent an email to the agency asking them to split what was left between us but the agency decided to give me the money.
Do you think I have any chance of getting any compensation from my former flatmates for the deposit and bills I've paid? I wouldn't mind having to pay a solicitor as the frustration at the way they took advantage of me is such that I would be satisfied just to break even – or would the small claim court be a better idea?
Is it a problem if I don't have my former flatmates current address? I know they have moved at least twice since we were living together, I just know the work address of one of them. Would that be enough?
Personally, I think this couple seem hard faced and I think it is unlikely that they would want to give you any money, unless forced to. Serving them court papers at work is very dodgy – it could be said to violate their privacy and put them in a bad light at work. So going to the small claims court may not be possible. I would discuss this with a solicitor – he will know what you can and cannot do. I hope you get something.
I was renting a room out in my house, where I also live. When the lodger moved out all the rent was paid up and the keys handed back. The problem is she liked to oil paint in the room and managed to get oil on the walls and cabinets. Worse, the lodger had a gerbil which has eaten away at the carpet in two of the corners of the room - the damage is around the size of a large mobile phone and is down to the underlay.
Provided the carpet is of the value of the deposit, I cannot see any reason why you should not take it from the deposit.
I have recently moved into a one bedroom flat after signing a six month tenancy agreement and paying a deposit of £400. I live there alone and have been there for six weeks. Due to a family member becoming very ill have to move back home. I have discussed the matter with the landlord and I have been told that the agreement is legally binding and that I have to stay for the six month period. But I cannot afford to commute back and forth four times a day.
What the bond is for will depend on what the agreement and receipt say it is for. Some deposits will cover rent arrears, damage, lack of notice, lock change if keys not returned, even theft.
Attendance at inspections
Back in March I served a Section 21 possession order on a tenant who had become difficult with regard to rent payment. In turn, the tenant issued one month's notice (presumably in breach of contract?) and moved out in mid April, handing in the keys to my letting agent.
I think if I was the tenant, I would want to see the notes of the dilapidations, particularly as the client is arguing fair wear and tear. Costings to make good could be very easily, though accidentally, inflated. A small tear in the wallpaper may be repairable with a little glue, but could also be seen as a need for re-decoration, particularly if the person inspecting could be seen as generating profit.
Leaving after two days
In April of this year, I rented a property from a local agent. After looking round I signed the agreement and handed over one month’s rent of £400 plus £550 as a bond (more than one month’s rent because I had two dogs).
I think the phrase is ‘caveat emptor’ – let the buyer beware, and this applies doubly to private rental issues. I am unaware of a cooling off period after a tenancy agreement has been signed. However, whilst I feel that retaining the first month’s rent, paid in advance, is appropriate, I cannot understand why the landlord was unable to rent it again within that month. Was he unable to do so because it was in such a bad state? If so, it was not lettable in the first place, hence your speedy vacation of it.
End of lease inspection
I am currently leasing a two bedroom flat (second property) through a property management company, that is unfortunately proving to be very unprofessional. The flat is officially leased to two girls but it now turns out (three months into the lease) that there are five people living there in total. We have instructed the agent not to renew the contract.
I think if you have concerns, you should be discussing these with the agent – the firm’s tenancy agreement should have a clause regarding inspection of the property for repair issues. I think I would be asking the agent to make an inspection, which will either reassure you that the property is ok or perhaps give a ground for eviction. If they see evidence of more people living in the property than was agreed, then they should be mentioning this to the tenants and ask for the others to leave.
Amicable but costly
But subsequently, with less than a week to go before I moved into my new flat, the landlord told me:
What an unpleasant situation you are in. ‘Spurious dilapidations’ – there should be an argument about these based on what the inventory says. If there are any damages, obviously a reasonable sum can be deducted. The only thing you can do, if you are not able to agree, is to go to the small claims court, but in the absence of paperwork, you may have a struggle. If it got to that situation, you would have to ask your new landlord to make a statement confirming that you had told him that was why you needed somewhere. I have a nasty feeling that your new landlord did not ask the old one for a reference, so you will get no support there. I am sorry, but this is one occasion when not getting the paperwork may have assisted this landlord to take advantage of you – I usually feel landlords need to get the paperwork right for their benefit.
Cashing holding deposit
Why would you not think it was legally binding? You state she had signed an agreement. On joint tenancies with multiple names, everyone could drop out, and she could be held liable for the full rent. However, clearly the property was not fit to let and this is the argument she would make for the return of her holding deposit. I am afraid in private letting, ’caveat emptor’ applies – let the buyer beware. The preferable course of action would be that she and the other tenants give the landlord the opportunity to clean the place up. Is she in touch with the other tenants? Have they moved in and have they got a replacement for your daughter? You can try and negotiate with him, but if you get no joy, discuss the situation with the accommodation officer at the university – he or she may be able to put some pressure on.
Was there damage to a wall in your room? If not, then I can see nothing to fear from the small claims court. The fact that this was the second letter should stand in your favour; he is making excuses to retain your deposit. It sounds as though you have quite a strong case against him, and he would be silly to go to court about it – however, if he does not return your deposit, I’d go for it. By the way, allowing a friend to stay a night or two does not constitute sub-letting.
Tenancy deposit schemes
I’ll answer the second part first – it appears that there have been disagreements between the bodies which wish to manage the schemes and landlords and agents have raised issues about rent arrears and termination of tenancies. The Government has said it will address these issues and more of less said the tenancy deposit schemes will not be introduced in October as originally intended. April 2007 has been mooted as the most realistic start date, but this has not been officially confirmed, yet.
I understand your friend’s paranoia, though to be fair, your landlord seems to have behaved properly in issuing new ASTs.
I think the Small Claims Court is the only option. Sadly, where there is a mortgage default, there is rarely available cash – they’ve defaulted because there is a problem. You would be able to claim court costs from her. The court may say she has to pay a small sum each week, so small you will probably not feel the benefit. If she does not pay at all, I think you would have to get a bailiff in – all in all, an unhappy situation which could cost you.
Your parents are entitled to deduct from the deposit the cost of advertising and for the weeks the room was vacant whilst another tenant was found. They should return any balance remaining – if any.
Tenants have split up
As joint tenants, they were jointly and severally liable for the rent and any damage caused. Her relinquishment of the tenancy legally broke the tenancy. She should have signed a document stating relinquishing, an inspection should have been carried out at that time and, if you were satisfied, you could have returned her half of the deposit and issued him with a new agreement – you would, of course, have expected him to make up the deposit, which was possibly why she did not raise it then.
We rented a property (for an employee) under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement for a period of six months. The agreement makes no reference to any notice period or any provision for the term extending beyond six months. During the last month of the tenancy, the landlord was verbally advised by the employee that he would be vacating the premises at the end of the tenancy.
My understanding is that provided the tenant vacated on the day the tenancy ended, he has kept to the terms of the agreement. In civil law, the landlord can expect four weeks notice, but as the tenancy made no reference to this, I think it would be difficult in law to justify holding the bond.
A letting agent I was using to let a furnished property has ‘done a runner’ with two months rent and the tenants’ deposit he was holding. I am told a large number of other landlords and tenants are affected. The police have not found him and believe he has gone abroad. My questions are:
Very unfortunate situation. I believe (though would need to see the written agreements to be sure), it is the agent’s responsibility. Try talking to ARLA, the association for letting agents (although it is quite possible this agent is not a member) to see if it can offer any advice. Speak to your local landlords’ organisation – again, it may be able to help and may have some insurance that covers circumstances like this. Sorry I can’t be more help.
About a year ago I rented a property with an initial contract of six months. No extensions were applied to that contract and so it lapsed into a statutory periodic tenancy. I then found a property that I have since bought. When the opportunity suddenly arose for an early completion I informed the landlord of my intended termination at the earliest opportunity, effectively in two weeks which was both the completion date and by coincide the rent due date.
He does seem to have been trying not to return the deposit. That said, however, the landlord is entitled to retain part of the bond to cover the balance of the notice he was entitled to. If you know of anyone who would be prepared to write a statement to the small claims court stating that the property was re-let within the final two week notice period, it would be worth raising this with the landlord, making it clear you have sufficient grounds to go to court. Perhaps he will refund some more of the bond.
We have six months of a 12 month assured shorthold tenancy agreement left. Our landlords have not carried out any repair requests since our tenancy began and on the occasion they did come around they arrived unannounced and entered the house whilst only our children were at home, intimidating and humiliating them, telling them that nothing was amiss.
You make a very good case why you should be released from the tenancy, though obviously the owners are sticking to what they feel they are entitled to. Did you take any photos showing the state of the property when you moved in? If not, in the absence of an inventory, it does mean you are going to have a difficult situation to handle.
Damage to our property
What help is available?
I currently live with my parents In Bolton but I am expecting a baby and need a place of my own. I have been registered with the local council for 12 months and seem to be getting nowhere, so I have started to look at private rented property as a possibility. I know I should get help with the rent but how would I go about getting help with the deposit as it is a lot of money upfront which I just do not have?
I rented a student property last year from private landlords (the parents of one of my fellow tenants). I have now moved out.
Do you have proof of what you paid for the outstanding debt? You would need to prove your case on this, because the action you can take is to go to the small claims court. The outstanding rent from the tenant who has not paid is not your problem – you are an individual and had your own tenancy. The landlords have the same option to take action against the tenant who has a month’s arrears – the small claims court.
Charging for checks
I let out a four bedroom house. I initially used an agent, but we renewed the lease with the same set of girls in the spring of this year and started managing the property ourselves. Since then three of the girls have moved out. The first two found replacement tenants and after credit checks and the like we allowed the replacement tenants to move in. The third girl to move out has found a replacement tenant who has checked out fine. However on this third occasion we have become annoyed that yet another of the tents who renewed the lease is moving out and wish to claim £100 for an inventory check (one was not done when the others moved out) and £80 towards our time and the credit check (we do not have a receipt for the credit check unfortunately).
If you look at it from the view of the tenant taking you to the small claims court, I think you may find it difficult to justify what may be seen as standard business expenses, like inventory check and time. An agent would make charges to cover these things, but you are not an agent. The agreement does not specify anything but advertising costs. Approval of new tenant does not include a cost element. I would try and negotiate to see if you get any agreement between you, but if not, see a solicitor.
Together with a group of friends, I decided to rent a flat in central London from a letting agent. To secure the flat, I gave the agent a cheque for £3,000 (equivalent to six week’s rent). A standard receipt of payment form issued by the letting agent stated the name of the letting agent, the address of the property to be let, the amount of deposit, the purpose for which it was intended (as holding deposit ), and the date of issue of the receipt. Both I and the letting agent signed the form. There were no terms and conditions attached.
Three days later a member of our group pulled out of the tenancy and we had to cancel. I called the bank and cancelled the cheque that was issued the letting agent.
The agent is now furious and threatens to take legal action if we do not pay up the three thousand pounds as deposit, even though we have no plans to rent the property.
I would like to know the legal value to the receipt that was signed and whether that document binds me to pay up the agreed three thousand pound deposit.
I think the only action the agent can take would be through the small claims court. He is understandably annoyed, but I think a court would decide he was being unreasonable in expecting to retain the £3,000 – though some recompense for re-advertising costs and the like may be seen as fair. Perhaps one week’s rent would be seen as reasonable, but of course, it will depend on the court and the reasons that the agent gives as to why he believes he has acted reasonably in demanding this money.
I have been renting a furnished house for two years, signing a succession of six month contracts. The house was fully furnished. We were checked in by the letting agency although at the time house still contained personal belongings which the agent said we should move into the garage – the agent helped us do this. I noted that several parts of the house were unclean but made no comment.
You may just be unlucky, and have got the odd landlord that thinks he has been cheated if he has to return a deposit – hence the plans next year to bring in deposit protection rules. You can tell why this is being done when cases like this crop up.
New landlord steps in
We rented a student house from July 2004 to June 2005, and we are having some trouble getting our deposits back.
We recently discovered that, unbeknown to us, the landlord with whom we signed a contract sold the house before the tenancy had ended and all monies went to the new landlord, who we had never met. When we spoke to the new landlord, we agreed that we would sort out the rest of the bills for the period we were in the house. However, the landlord claimed that we had caused a certain amount of damage to the house (although this was the first time this had been claimed and we had kept the property is what can only be described as a ‘pristine condition’.
When we left the property there was no exit inventory completed (nor had there been a check in inventory at the outset).
Seeing as the landlord sold the house while we were still living there, is the contract we signed with him void?
We did not sign any contract with the new landlord, who seems, nevertheless, to believe we do not want to pay outstanding bills. This is not the case as we have repeatedly told him. We just don't want to be taken for a ride when it comes to damage to the house – because there wasn’t any.
Because we have not lived in the house since June we cannot verify whether or not damage has occurred or who might have caused this. The landlord has claimed he has photographic evidence and an independent witness to prove the condition, but as no tenant was around to witness photographs being taken, and no exit inventory check was made, how can these claims be valid?
I think you need to make it clear to the new landlord that if he accepted your rent, you have a tenancy with him. Tell him that in view of the above points (no inventory check etc), you believe you have a strong enough case to go to the small claims court. By the time it gets to court, presumably all bills will have been cleared. Be prepared to make your case as clearly as possible, get witness statements to the fact the property was kept in a pristine fashion. For future reference, do not move out without an inventory check and take photos. I hope you get your deposits back.
Agent not responding
When I moved out of the property I was renting in early July the inventory clerk checking me out did not raise any problems. Subsequently I received from the estate agent a copy of the inventory clerk's report together with a form which I was asked to sign and return to show my agreement with the report. This I have done.
A question of notice
When the agent will not repay
My flat was rented out through an agent. But when the tenant the agents found left I discovered considerable damage to the property. I returned the tenant's deposit to my agent. I am now being harassed by the father of the former tenant's boyfriend. Apparently he loaned the tenant her deposit and wants it back from me. Neither he nor I can get any response from the agent and he claims that the return of the deposit is ultimately my responsibility.
Tenants have just vacated my property and have left the place in a mess. I gave them a cheque back for the deposit in full before they vacated the premises, but they have lost/destroyed the cheque by accident. They have asked for another cheque, but I'm not happy about the state in which they left the property. They have also left some belongings in an outbuilding (locked). Where do I go from here?
Changing letting agents
Because of dissatisfaction with the service being provided I have recently changed managing agents on my rental property. But the old agent is refusing to pass on the tenant’s deposit to my new agent. Both are registered firms, but the first agent says the request can only come from the tenant who paid the deposit. This effectively leaves me without a rent deposit. Is there anything I can do as landlord other than chivvy the tenant to ask for the money to be transferred?
The lease of the property we rent out states ‘no pets’. But when I visited recently, when the door was opened a little dog ran out. I told the tenants they were not suppose to have pets but the woman said her daughter was dog sitting for a friend for a couple of weeks. I told her that was against the lease and she couldn't.
Gone but not forgotten
A friend of a friend
Housing Act 2004
I currently have one property rented out and I have read an article regarding the new Housing Act in The Daily Telegraph (published on Monday 31 January 2005). This mentioned a tenancy deposit scheme, the licensing of landlords, as well as health and safety issues and new energy certificates. Can you offer general information regarding this piece of legislation?