Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
How long was the initial agreement please?
Hi the agreement was 12 month AST from 31.03.11 and went onto a statutory periodic tenancy
Its bad news I am afraid.
You have 14 days to register and protect the deposit. If you did not then you can be sued for this under the Landlord and Tenant Act and the tenant can claim x3 the deposit.
Its not good enough sorry to say you are not well.
But you have a legal duty to protect the deposit.
You need to supply details within 14 days of request.
Sadly because you did not protect the deposit within the 30 days as required by law, you have left yourself open
If you do pursue the tenant then you could face a counter claim of x3 the deposit.
If you leave it as it is then the tenant may not pursue you.
If the deposit is worth less than the damage then you could pursue the tenant and risk a counter claim
But it is a commercial decision for you.
The problem is you did not protect the deposit and the law states the tenant can sue you even after the tenancy has ended
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
The deposit is £600 and he has said he will claim back the full amount. The rent owed is £448.87 and the cost of cleaning is £55. I know I should have registered the deposit.
I have already tarnsferred £96.13 from the deposit to him as that is what was left over. He did not dispute this on any emails and provided his account details for the transfer
What if I just pay him the full £600 deposit and then pursue him for the rent arrers...would he counter claim then as well?
hi are you still there?
Yes - but he is entitled to claim x3 the amount back.
If you can call it quits - I would because of what the law says.
Treat is as a commercial lesson
Can I clarify anything else for you?
ok so I just pay him back the full deposit? Can he still pursue me for x 3 even if I pay back the full deposit?
I know I have learnt my lesson!!!
That is correct.
So if I pay £600 in full deposit back to him can he still pursue me for x3????
He can claim x3 the deposit in law because you failed to protect it
Yes he could
You need to offer the payment in FULL AND FINAL SETTLEMENT
IF the tenant takes it, that is the end of the matter
Does that help?
I think he will as he left so suddenly without any notice and with rent arears probably knowing that he would do this. But you are right it is worth returning the full deposit to see if he does.....
Indeed but remember in full and final settlement
It is no excuse but a valid reason that I had postnatal depression and I can justify this with medical records if it did go to court. It was an honest human error, would the judge choose to be so hard on me if I can provide evidence that every other tenant we have had has had their deposit registered?
I know, I am sorry. It makes no difference that others were protected, this one was not
ok so I will pay the £600 and fingers crossed he will not pursue me. If he does pursue me I have nothing to lose from making a counter claim for loss of rent and cleaning. Can I do this?
Yes but say its in full and final settlement
If he does pursue you, you are correct you have nothing to lose
ok so I must say full and final settlement. He doesn;t seem to want to negotiate at all and will probably take me to court anyway as I think he is going to try and get x3 as he left so suddenly! So I can counterclaim even though the rental arears have nothing to do with the deposit?
You should ONLY counter claim if he pursues you for the deposit/compensation
ok. so I will pay the deposit back and nothing else in the hope he does not take me to court for more....if he does what sort of evidence do I need to provide to the judge to show that this was human error and not because I am some dodgy landlord who has a habit of doing this!!
yes what sort of evidence would I need to provide to show the judge that this was an error? This is if the tenant takes me to court?
It makes no difference.
You either protected the deposit or you did not
I am sorry
ok thank you for your help, lesson learnt!