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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9891
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have recently rented a property for 4.5 years. Not had a

Customer Question

I have recently rented a property for 4.5 years. Not had a problem until the tenant left. The house needed redecorating. I asked her to do this to which she invited a decorator and agreed the costs. I have been very good to this family and rented on a trust basis. I provided her with a legal tenancy agreement, however , I didn't protect her deposit as I had no clue about this until she left. She advised me to keep the deposit to pay for the decorations but has taken advice from the law centre who are assisting her in a claim from me. I have returned the deposit. I have also paid for the decorations. Is this fair? What are my rights? Before you answer me, what are the costs? Is this advice free as I've read it to be.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, if she takes you to court for failing to protect the deposit, you are going to be on the hook for to 3 times the deposit as compensation for failing to protect.

She will not necessarily get three times the deposit but she will get a substantial amount of money and the legal costs because although these amounts being claimed under £10,000, they are not dealt with in the Small Claims Court.

You have no defence to failing to protect the deposit and the best thing you can do is try to negotiate a payment before the legal costs grow exponentially. The relevant statutory provisions are sections 213-214 of the Housing Act 2004 as later amended.

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Best wishes.

FES.