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propertylawyer
propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Property Solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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I rented a house in Manchester from Jan 2015 to Jan 2016.

Resolved Question:

I rented a house in Manchester from Jan 2015 to Jan 2016.
The owners have agreed to repay my bond but then told me they have "accidentally spent it"
They have since paid £1200 and still owe approximately £2000. I have emailed many times. The last option I put forward was £100/week which they agreed to but have since not started any further payments.
I initially rented through a real estate agent. But they said it was the owners responsibility.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tom

Thanks for your question. I hope I can be of assistance to you.

Firstly, was the deposit registered in a deposit protection scheme (tds)?

If yes, it must be repaid within 10 calendar days of the end of the tenancy. The landlord is entitled to make deductions for cleaning, repairing, decorating and clearing any rent arrears.

It is assumed here that the landlord has agreed to repay the deposit in full. Do you have any email or other written correspondence from the landlord regarding this? I.e anything to say that the landlord intends to refund the deposit in full but has spent it, only repaid part and your offer that they pay £100 installments? I note you have emailed, do you have any replies from the landlord?

If the deposit was registered with a tds then you can make a complaint to the tds. The tds can suggest mediation but the landlord does not have to agree. If the landlord does not agree then the tds cannot help and you will have to go to court.

At this point I should mention that if the landlord did not register your deposit with a tds then the landlord may be liable to pay compensation of between one and three times the amount of the deposit.

Going to court, the value of your claim means you will make a claim with the small claims court. This is done online at money claim online. For this you will need your documentary evidence and you will set out your claim, you will state what you are owed and whether or not the deposit was registered with a tds and claim that the court should award compensation if not registered with the tds. You can claim interest. Check your tenancy agreement to see what it says, if silent you can claim the statutory interest of 8%. Here you claim the amount in full plus interest.

You will have to pay a claim fee but this will be added to the claim, the court will do this.

From here, court will issue the claim. The landlord will have a specified period within which to respond either (1) admitting claim (2) defending it, I.e the amount withheld are allowable deductions for cleaning, repairing, decorating and / or covering unpaid rent.

If the landlord does not admit /defend within the specified time then you will have judgment in default (jd). If landlord admits or jd the court will make an order. This could be lump sum, installments.

If the landlord still does not pay you will then have to return to enforce the debt.

If tds protected you can still go straight to court and bypass tds.

I hope you recover the money owed. Extremely irresponsible of the landlord to spend your money (deposit money was yours, they only held it on trust).

I hope the above is helpful. Do let me know if you have any questions or queries in respect of my answer.

Please can I ask you to take a moment to accept / rate my answer.

Good luck

Paul

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks. I don't think it was registered, but I am not sure. How do you find out?
I have email evidence that the landlord agreed to repay the bond in full and their attempts to part pay etc.
If they don't pay despite a finding against them in court how do I get that money?
I am in Australia. Could I do this all remotely it would I have to be there in person.
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tom

There is useful information on tenancy deposit scheme.com on how to check. The landlord should have provided you with the registration number.

If the landlord does not pay you have to go back to court to enforce judgment. This will trigger bailiffs to recover the debt. Any additional costs and fees will be added to the amount the bailiffs are to recover.

Money claim online is Web based. You can do it remotely. Generally there is no need for a hearing. The court aim to deal with all claims by paper trial. It is the purpose of the court.

Good luck!

propertylawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks