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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3557
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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! my name is ***** ***** I would like your opinion about

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Hello! my name is ***** ***** I would like your opinion about my situation.Last year in March I have rented a room in Plymouth for 2 months and the landlady asked me a holding deposit of 250 pounds. The money has been wired trough my friend bank account as I didn't have one myself at that time. The landlady knew that I was going tostay just for 2 months as work would have taken me abroad in the month of June. She never made me sign a contract and she didn`t secure my deposit.She also never told me that I had to give one month notice for the room.She pretended to be my friend and I trusted her. Just before I have left her place I had an extension at work and that meant that after my month abroad I had to go back to Plymouth for an other month. Anyhow I packed my staff and freed the room and left 3 small boxes in my flatmate`s room next door to mine. While in Italy for work I had an emergency call from my family stating that my mother was sick and she needed me to go to hospitals and to look after her. So after I finished my job I went straight to see her. I immediately told my land lady that I wasn`t going to come back ( to weeks prior my arrival date) because of this emergency and that if there was any penalty to pay for keeping the room I wouldn`t have minded to pay. She replied to my txt saying that she was sorry and not to worry at all about the room.Due to my distress and psychological weekness for my mother`s cancer I never thought about my deposit. The landlady, from her side, failed into giving me communication of what she was going to do with it,she just kept the money and I haven't heard from her for months.few months after, in October, when I was done with my mum, I came back to London and I remembered about ,y deposit. I did have some friendly contact with her when I have arrived but when I asked her to have my deposit back she refused to give it back stating that I never gave her a month notice for the room ( I never knew she wanted a month notice as she never told me or gave me a contract). I gave her plenty of chances to find an amicable solution but she doesn`t answer my email and I want to sue her now. My only worry is the time that passed by from myself leaving and myself asking for my money back. would you please be so kind to tell me your opinion about this? Is there a limit of time that you need to respect to ask your money back? As I didn`t have a contract I feel that I will be fine suing her to win this case! She did so many things wrong as a landlady! Looking forward for your advise!
Kind Regards,
Francesca
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Even without a contract you can still get your money back. If she wont repay it you have the following options: 1. You can make a claim in the county court https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/overview; 2. If she is regularly offering lodgings then you could report her to the local council. Can you tell me how much one months rent would have cost? Does she still have any of your stuff? Your nationality will have no bearing on the outcome of this. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards AJ

P.S I have to go offline temporarily so please do not be concerned if you do not hear from me right away.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi AJ,

Thank you for your reply. I was paying 90 pounds per week so around 390, 400 pounds per month. No she doesn't have any of my staff because my manager at work knowing the situation told me that she could have send my staff with a courier for free to Italy ( my company is a tv production company so they are used to send staff around the world all the time) So I asled my landlady to put my staff in a taxi (paid by my company) to be able to reach the office so that my manager could have sent it to me.

What the landlady is running is a Air B&B.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

may I clarify with you that the lapse of time with which I am requesting my deposit back is not going to interfere with the case? and also once I sue her online may I ask how much money should I request? also how important is that she didn`t secure my deposit?

Sorry for all the questions, thank you so much AJ

Francesca

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you. No problem.
Recovery of money is subject to the Limitation Act 1980. You have up to 6 years from the date the money is owing to bring a court claim for the money to be returned.
The landlady should only bond the deposit if it is an assured shorthold tenancy. If this was done on air b n b - was she required to secure the deposit by air b n b?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

wow That is great news regarding the timing.

she had 4 rooms in her house and she was living there also. She used one room and whatever she had available as a Air B&B and the other 3 were taken by tenants like me so no I didn`t have B&B rules. She got my contact from Spareroom.com and then she did as she wanted.

What do you mean with assured shorthold tenancy? Like it was a short stay?Mine was considered a short stay.

Thank you again,

Kind Regards,

Francesca

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you.
An assured shorthold tenancy is a type of tenancy agreement.
If you did not have an assured shorthold tenancy then you were probably there under licence. It basically means she was not obliged to put the deposit into a secure bond.
Have you complained to air b n b as well?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi AJ,

Thank you. No I didn`t complain to them cos I didn`t really have anything to do with them.

The only kind of agreement I had with her was a verbal agreement for a short stay of 2 months, that's all. Once I have arrived at her place she gave me a paper with the rules of the house (not to disturb, to keep it quiet, to clean after myself etc.), and she also stated in one email that if I wanted to bring a guest in my room for a night I had to pay extra 7 pounds to cover for water and electricity...To the other side she never told me about giving a notice of one month.

Regards,

F

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you.
If you agreed two months as a set period in advance then she cannot retrospectively include a one month notice period.
If she refuses to pay the money then you will have to consider suing her.
Did you pay your rent weekly? Or the whole lot in advance?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We knew I was going cos as part of a filming crew we had in our schedule that on the 1st of June we were flying out from London to go to Italy to do the filming, until the 7th of July. As said before, in the middle of May I have been told at work that I had to come back for the month of july to work for an other month, so I told her that I was coming back but I did leave Plymouth and cleared totally my room so that she could rent it again. Then my mum sickness happened and I never came back but she allowed herself to keep the deposit without telling me anything. I was nice enough to propose to give her some money, regarding the fact that she was expecting me for July and I didn`t turned up, but sje said not to worry about that so obviously I expected my deposit back when I came back to uk from Italy.I paid my rent monthly and in cash, and punctually. She never gave me a receipt for the paid rent.

I went to the link that you suggested and I did sue her online. it has been since November now that I asked for the money and she doesn't want to give it to me as she says that first the deposit doesn't belong to me anymore because I didn`t go back in July and second because I was asking for it seven months after I had gone.

Kind Regards,

Francesca

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you.
I have to leave my computer. I will review this tonight and post a response in the morning.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Great no problem thank you and goodnight!

Francesca

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
It is irrelevant if you waited 7 months, as explained you have up to six years.
What I suggest you do is write to her one last time and say that if she does not return the deposit then you reserve the right to bring a county court claim without further notice.
If she still does not return the money you will have to decide if you want to commence county court proceedings against her.
Do you correspond with her at the address you stayed?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Goodmorning AJ,
Thank you for your answer.
I have already given the ultimatum 2 weeks a go and she never replied. We communicate through emails. So last night I did the application to sue her as it is clear she doesn't want to give the money back.
Regards,
Francesca
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Once she receives the claim she will have two weeks to respond so you will work out very quickly whether she intends to pay or not.
If you have sued her, there is not too much more you can do at this stage.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I thought so.
I will be waiting for some developments and hopefully I will get my money back.
You have been very helpful, thank you so much for your assistance.
A last question: if she replies stating that she doesn't want to give the money do I need to request the judgement or go for a hiring or the court will make a decision themselves that she will have to follow?
Kind Regards,
Francesca
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
You can request Judgment without going to court if she does not respond to the proceedings once they have been issued. Alternatively if she puts in a defence you can send some to represent you at the court on your behalf if you cannot make it.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3557
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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