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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3609
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Hi, I recently let a property to somebody I had known for

Resolved Question:

Hi,

I recently let a property to somebody I had known for in excess of 11 years, whom I believed to be totally trustworthy.

Within the 10 months they were in the property they only paid their rent on time once. They had 2 months left to run on their tenancy when they just upped and left without any notice, therefore owing 2 months rent in line with the end of the tenancy agreement. The property was let on a fully furnished basis, and they have also left a significant amount of damage to various items, as well as to the property.

I have sent out a letter summarising outstanding monies owed (as per above), giving 14 days notice for them to pay in full otherwise I will make a court claim for the amount.

I took a deposit from them when they took out the tenancy, and therefore have retained that and deducted it from the total amount they owe.

What I was not aware of when I leased the house was that the deposit had to be placed in a tenancy deposit scheme, therefore I have not done this. I still have the full deposit in a savings account, so the money is available.

I am looking for advice on what I need to do in regards XXXXX XXXXX my demand for monies owed for outstanding rent and damages, and what my position is in regards XXXXX XXXXX not registered the deposit.

The full amount owed is £1965.99, less the retained deposit equals £1565.99 – which is what I have outlined in my letter.

Do I need to pay them back the £400 deposit due to it having not been registered in a scheme and then make the court claim for £1965.99 instead?

Grateful for any advice you are able to provide in helping me take the correct course of action.

Kind Regards,
Sarah.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you.

The problem you have is by having failed to bond the deposit you have committed an offence under S.214 of the Housing Act 2004. You are potentially liable to have to pay under 3 times the value of the deposit in compensation so it is a risk if the tenant ever found out.

Is the tenant expecting you to keep the deposit?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi AJ,


 


Thanks for your quick response.


 


Well, she was expecting me to keep it, and mentioned this on a number of occasions. She even asked me to take it as payment for one of the month's outstanding rent. She also left me a voicemail yesterday as soon as she received the letter to discuss coming to some agreement so as not to have to go to court.


 


Then later yesterday afternoon I received a text from her asking if the deposit had been registered in a scheme. I haven't spoken to her yet as wanted to be fully aware of all facts first before I entered into any discussion with her.


 


Kind Regards,


Sarah.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

It is potentially a difficult situation as she may be aware of her rights.

I would not say anything for the time being and see if you can reach an amicable settlement with her.

The alternative is you go and put the deposit in a bonded scheme now to end the breach so at least when you respond you can say it is in a scheme.

You can then seek to either recover the money from her in court or come to an amicable settlement that involved you keeping the deposit.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,


 


Okay, thank you. Grateful for your advice, that does help me a lot.


 


Also, something I meant to mention in my initial email (which I don't think will have any bearing on this), but just so you have the full picture is that she took out the tenancy on her own as she is on benefits and was claiming housing benefit etc. At the end when all of this has happened, I also found out that her boyfriend was actually living there full time for the whole of the period she had the tenancy - he was also working. I know I can report this to the Benefit Fraud Hotline from that perspective, but just wanted to give you the full facts too - whether this invalidates the agreement etc.. I don't know?


 


Kind Regards,


Sarah.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

It does not invalidate the tenancy but potentially she is in breach of the tenancy which would create a further claim against her.

I would bare in mind that if she is on benefits she is unlikely to have any money any way and taking court action could just be throwing good money after bad.

Kind regards

AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3609
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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