hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
When did your tenancy commence and is your deposiy held in a guarantee scheme?
Hello, I have had IT problems today and am travelling at the moment will soon go underground. I will answer this later this evening.
In that case it is not his money to withhold from you. The money is your and held on trust by the scheme. There is a dispute resolution scheme in the deposit scheme and you need to look that up. The deposit is only for damages and not relevant to disputes over rent arrears. You need to make sure that you have good evidence of the disrepair. Photos for sure, and maybe you should get a surveyor round to prepare a report, depending on the severity of the disrepair and the amount of money at stake.
If he pursues you for the rent arrears you can counterclaim about the arrears and seek damages to set off against the alleged arrears. You should contact the deposits scheme and let them know there is a dispute.