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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70001
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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a friend of ours is having trouble getting her deposit back

Customer Question

a friend of ours is having trouble getting her deposit back from old landlady. The landlady did not put the deposit into a tenancy scheme which we know is illegal and we are about to do an online claim form for the full deposit plus costs & interest. I understand that we could claim back up to 3 times the deposit amount as compensation, but at this stage, what amount goes on the claim form?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
This is an AST I presume?
I notice you haven't yet left feedback for a previous answer so I wonder if you could do that now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes, its an AST

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.
Are you still within the term of the AST?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the landlady is claiming that she has had to redecorate and the only communication from her weeks ago was that she wanted my friends bank details so that she could send her back "the balance" - no figure was mentioned and the deposit paid was £2100. we have checked the 3 schemes and no record of her putting into one.

no inventory was taken on departure by landlady and I understand that if she hasn't put the deposit into a scheme, she has no rights to claim back money for alleged repairs to house?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No. She has a claim for any damage or arrears. That does not change just because she has not protected the deposit..
All failing to protect the deposit does is give her a claim for up to three times the sum of the deposit. That is a maximum not a minimum though. The landlord has a counter claim for any arrears or damage she can prove.
In terms of which form, you can just use the N244 form. There are more specific forms but the N245 form is the generalised one that gives rise to any claim.
In terms of amounts, you can claim three times the sum. It would be irresponsible of me to tell you that there is any realistic chance of getting it. The Localism Act gives rise to up to three times the sum of the deposit. I have never yet seen a landlord forced to pay more than the sum of the deposit. However, at least you do recover the sum of the deposit.
It is probably a good idea to send a letter before action though before you issue. You don't want to run the risk of costs.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70001
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

LBA was already done as stated earlier. she has now come back with a long list of alleged repairs to the house which we think 75% are untrue. my belief is that she is trying to get my friend to pay for a refurbishment of the house! we cannot dispute through the DPS as she didnt put the deposit into a scheme, even though she stated it would be in the tenancy agreement.

also, some of my friends furniture & carpets were damaged by water pouring through the conservatory roof which the landlady took months to repair - should the landlady have claimed through her policy for the damage to my friends goods as it was her fault?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, that is probably right. It is amazing how landlords suddenly notice damage in circumstances such as this.
There is no obligation to claim upon her insurance. She is free to claim against the tenant if the tenant is responsible.
If the tenant is not responsible then the claims can be defended in the normal way.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

we are checking the tenancy agreement on damage etc.

I intend to write a letter for my friend disputing the repair claims, but how serious would a judge look at this bearing in mind that she hasnt used a deposit scheme? i guess that if we submitted an online claim, she will defend - what happens then?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Oh, a Judge would take her claim of damage seriously.
If there cannot be agreement then a Judge will adjudicate upon it and decide which version he prefers.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

even though she took no inventory on departure and I was a witness to her saying to my friend that only 3 rooms needed attention and that she had looked after the house well?

is there no help for tenants here?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
She can still bring a claim and it is one that a Judge would take seriously.
There is no legal requirement for an inventory. They are just evidential issues.

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