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propertylawyer
propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 280
Experience:  Property Solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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As a new Landlord I took out the services of an protection

Resolved Question:

As a new Landlord I took out the services of an protection scheme agent 2013 to comply with the tenancy deposit scheme in the housing act 2004.
I put the details of the protection scheme in the contract to the tenant before the 30 day limit. In Dec 2014 I placed notice to the tenant that I would need the flat back, not to re-rent but to live in.
I finalised with the tenant in March 2014 and gave the tenant back their deposit in full.
I’ve now received a letter from a solicitor to say that the tenants deposit wasn’t protected.
I rang the protection scheme agent who said they only protect for a year and they do not automatically renew which means the scheme had run out without my knowledge.
The tenant now wants to take me to court for a fee no less than the deposit and up to 3x the amount plus
I don’t understand why after all this time the tenant wants to do this and what damages I’ve caused them.
Can you advise on my position.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 11 months ago.

Hi

If the deposit is not registered or late I.e not within 30 days of start of tenancy then the tenant can make a claim. The award can be anything between 1 to 3 times the rent deposit value.

As it is contractual there is a 3 year limit so the tenant is within the period in which it can sue.

Pls confirm the dates, you mention 2013, then Dec 2014 and March 2014.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The protection scheme was taken out in 2004.
I registered, payed a sum of money and thought that was the complete action needed I also employed a accommodation agency to find and take up reference for a suitable tenant and produce a suitable tenancy agreement.
On 3rd Dec 2013 the tenant took up the contract where details of this scheme was on it.
Notice was given Jan 25th 2015 and tenant left with a good reference from me on 1st May 2015.
11th May the deposit was paid back in full.
23rd May the tenant raised the issue of checking if he had been protected by the scheme.
I received no correspondence then until 9th August 2016 which is a letter from solicitors saying they are going to make a claim.Will the courts still find against me?
I am no longer the landlord for this property does this still make me liable?
Considering I paid an agency to oversee and supervise the contract are they liable?
Does the Judge have full discretion in these matters?This seems to have nothing to do with the retrieval of a deposit but rather a money making exercise.
Is there any case law where a client has sustained no damages from this but still won on a technicality?Thank you
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 11 months ago.

It is a penalty to ensure that landlords register deposits.

There is potentially a successful claim for the tenant. Court does have discretion but the law does state if the deposit is not protected then the tenant can be compensated.

You can pull the agent into it. Write to the solicitor and provide the details of the agent. If the tenant still claims against you you can pull the agent into the proceedings and counterclaim for any loss.

I hope this helps. Do let me know if you have any further questions or queries in relation to my reply. I am happy to assist further.

Please can I kindly request that you accept /positive rate my reply otherwise the website will not pay me for assisting you today. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Does the Judge have discretion on the amount paid or must it be a minimum of the deposit amount and maximum of three times?
Can this be settled through a different adjudicator rather than a court?
There was no dispute with the tenant this is just something that has come out of the blue 15 months later will that be taken in consideration?
Thank you
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 11 months ago.

Timing is irrelevant. as mentioned above the tenant has 3 years. The penalty is between 1 to 3 times the value of the deposit, if awarded.

You could offer to settle to avoid it going to court.

propertylawyer and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok thank you.