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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a landlord and let a flat to a couple in April 2012 for

Resolved Question:

I am a landlord and let a flat to a couple in April 2012 for a fixed term of 6 months under a short hold tenancy agreement. They moved in with one month deposit and one month in advance. The tenants wanted to move out after 3 months, which I agreed to only if I found another suitable tenant and they would pay for the days the property remained empty. I kept the deposit they moved out and I never heard anything from them. They never came back for their deposit. I even tried contacting them on two occasions with no success. I let the property after they left and it was empty for 17 days. The deposit due to them was £750 less the 17 days that it was empty and less £50 for cleaning as they left the flat in a mess. Yesterday I had a letter from a law firm called the lawyer 4 U in Luton stating they have been instructed by the tenant for the payment of the deposit £750. In the letter they make a reference to a deposit protection scheme that I was not aware of at the time and I did not place the deposit in this scheme. They have given me 10 days to respond otherwise they will be compelled to take legal action to recover the deposit. I have no problem paying what the tenant is owed which is about £250. My question is, should I just contact this law firm and offer to pay the £250? As I was not part of the deposit protection scheme would I be liable for any claims by them because of that, if so how much? or should I use a solicitor to get in touch with them on my behalf, which i don't want to do as it is such a small amount to pay?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

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

How much was the deposit that was paid ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

£750

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

Sorry if I'm missing the point but why do you think you only have to repay £250?

has anybody advised you of the claim against you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I agreed with the tenant that she would pay for the days the flat was empty after she had gone which was 17 days. So, £750 divided by 30 days in the month is £25 per day multiply by 17 days = £425 + £50 cleaning fee is £475 minus £750 deposit leaves £275 that I owe her, sorry not £250. I owe her £275. No, nobody has advised me.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I am really sorry and I wish I could give you a different answer but you should repay her in full as soon as possible by any means before she claims for the amount that she can.

You are in breach of the Localism Act 2004. The new regulations from 2012 are even harsher.

You have failed to protect the deposit of a tenant on an AST. You are liable to pay her three times the sum of her deposit plus her court costs in suing.

I'm very sorry and I wish I could give you a different answer as I know this is unfair.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok. thank you. I have her bank details. Should I just deposit into her account? or contact her solicitor and pay through them?


Thank you

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I would do it through the solicitors first thing tomorrow.

That will be capable of prove.
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