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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69369
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi Im awaiting my deposit from the landlord. The deposit

Customer Question

Hi
I'm awaiting my deposit from the landlord. The deposit is £1500 in total but I’m only disputing £850 as I have kept back the last month rent for June 2014.
There were some damages at the property which I'm willing to pay for but he is claiming for damages that I have not done in a report sent to me on Sunday 13th July. I have an inventory that he has signed (dated 22/10/12) outlining the condition of the property before I moved in. I vacated the property on 1st July 2014 and he is now claiming I have caused this damage.
He will not give me a figure for damages or respond to this issue. I have asked for this via e-mail on 14th July 2014, Tuesday 15th July and now on Thursday 16th July
All bills excluding electricity were included in the rent. He states this changed in April 2014 but I never received confirmation of this. All I received was a letter stating that I should contact British Gas to get registered with them. When I phoned them to provide my details and meter reading they didn't say I was responsible for payment. The letter I received was ambiguously worded and did not state any changes to my contract. As I'm trying to resolve this whole issue I will pay this bill even though it is not in my name. I will pay this bill but only after my deposit is returned
I withheld the last month rent for June (£650) and it was agreed that this would be taken from my deposit. I have this confirmation in writing via e-mail dated 25th June 2014. He is now demanding that rent but not returning my deposit. He is also threatening legal action against me.
All I want is an amicable end. He can take the rent for June, the gas bill and reasonable costs for damages that I have caused from my deposit. What remains from my deposit can be returned to me.
My deposit is protected by mydeposit. These are my questions
1 - Should I start their dispute process before he takes legal action
2 - If I do this can he still take legal action against me for unpaid rent while their professional, impartial adjudicators investigate.
3 - Should I offer one more chance before I take this step - I'm quite willing to forgo all my deposit just so his representatives leave me alone
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

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

Why does he say you should not get your deposit back?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He has sent me a report outlining damages he feels I have made.


I dispute some of these and have asked for a response and to give me a breakdown of costs.


He is simply ignoring these requests and talking about the gas bill and June rents. He is saying I must pay this and not addressing my deposit at all

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

On your specific points above.

1 It really doesn't make much difference which action is started first.

2 Yes, he can. Its a separate claim.

3 It never does any harm to be conciliatory. He may have a change of heart. That is not likely but it could happen. Evne if he does not, its important that you are conciliatory because then you can resist any court application for costs on the basis that have made your best efforts to negotiate.

I would not give him long though. No longer than 7 days. You need to move this on and 7 days is long enough to make a decision upon this issue.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If I outline a settlement can I ask him to stop harassing me for payments until he has responded to that request?


 


If he then refuses that request and I go through mydeposit arbitration can I ask him not to contact me about the dispute as it is being handled elsewhere?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, you can ask him to do anything. Whether he will or not is another matter. Make sure you head anything in writing 'without prejudice' so he can't use it against you in court.

I think its reasonable enough that he stops contacting you if there is litigation and arbitation outstanding. Again, whether he will be reasonable is another matter. Some people are not.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If I head it 'without prejudice' can I use any correspondence to him to show my conciliatory and reasonable nature plus my willingness to negotiate?


 


All his correspondence has been by e-mail from his management company. Will my e-mails and there responses be used as evidence or do I need to start writing letters?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, if its genuinely a without prejudice document then it cannot be relied upon it court at all but at least it protects you from him saying in court that you will willing to accept something you later dispute.

You can rely on emails. They are perfectly valid forms of communication. There is no obligation to use conventional post. In fact, I prefer emails because you can prove they were sent.

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