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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70207
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I share my flat with another girl. She gave me deposit which

Customer Question

I share my flat with another girl. She gave me deposit which I did not put into the government scheme. However, she left the property whilst I was away and did not tell me. I found out through another source that she has left the property and has put the keys through the letter box.
She left her room in a mess, filled with black bags of her stuff and all of her other bits and pieces around the flat. She later communicated to me that I should just throw them away, which I did.
As I am cleaning her room, I found that the state of the bed and mattress is poor.

She has since conversed to me through text that she wants her deposit back. What are my rights?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Are you asking if you can keep her deposit?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes... She has asked for it to be returned.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. Did you have permission to sublet?

 

I presume you are a tenant?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I part own part rent the flat. I am the person responsible for the maintenance and up keep of the flat. She rented my spare room and so long as I am living in the property I can rent out the spare room.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Was this basically a flat share then? So she shared amenities with you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes we shared the flat. She shared all the amenities. She paid rent that included the bills like electric, phone, tv and broadband.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

You do not need to protect the deposit. She is just a lodger not a tenant on an AST.

You are entitled to reasonable notice if she wishes to leave. For that reason you can deduct something from her deposit to reflect the fact that no notice was given. You would be entitled to a minimum of two weeks rent and probably four weeks.

In terms of the condition of the property, you cannot claim if its just that she has left it in a messy situation. You can claim if she has caused damage or you had to use professional cleaners to resolve the room.

However, of course, if she owes you four weeks rent then that may well account for the total sum of the deposit anyway.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just wanted some clarification about your previous expert opinion.


 


"You are entitled to reasonable notice if she wishes to leave. For that reason you can deduct something from her deposit to reflect the fact that no notice was given. You would be entitled to a minimum of two weeks rent and probably four weeks."


I have relayed this to my ex flatmate and have told her that I will take the 4 weeks rent, but as she left 4 days before the end of the month, I will give her that money back. She's refusing to take it and want more money.


 


Can she take me to court? Will she have any chance of winning? She did leave without notice and left the room in disarray (which I know I can't take money for unless I get it professionally cleaned). Will I be within my right to make this deduction on her deposit (as her rent also included bills, these needed paying)?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Remind me, what money are you offering back?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I told her she can have the number of days left over from the last month she paid, which was 6 days about £150.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Sorry, I still haven't grasped this.

When did she give notice and when did she leave?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She did not give any notice. I went on a week holiday and got back to find she has left the flat. I got a text to let me know she has left the flat as she lost her job.


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
What date was that and when should she next pay rent?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She left 22/02 and she should have paid end of the month.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Had she paid up to the end of the month?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
What are you planning to keep?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am planning of keeping the rest of the deposit to pay for the bills, cleaning and the rent, which was due at the beginning of the month (esp. as I just got an electricity bill of over £300 for the last quarter).

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

You are entitled to 4 weeks notice which would run from the date you became aware that she moved out. You can keep the remaining 6 days.

She will not get more than this at court.

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