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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask was this an assured shorthold tenancy or a lodgers agreement?
Thank you. On what grounds (if any) has the landlord refused to return all of the deposit?
thank you. The burden of proof is upon the landlady to evidence any damage she claims your daughter caused. It is not for your daughter to prove that she did not cause such damage. If the landlady did not have professional inventories prepared when your daughter moved in and moved out, the claim is likely to struggle as it will be nothing more than her word against your daughters which is rarely sufficient to allow claim to succeed unless a judge feels that a tenants' evidence is not credible (this can sometimes be the case where a judge catches a tenant in other lies and as a result finds them to be an incredible witness but that will not be an issue here). Anecdotally, the overwhelming majority of land claims fail in court due to lack of evidence on the landlords part.
accordingly, your daughter can consider putting the landlady on notice that she puts the landlady to strict proof in respect of the damage she claims that your daughter has caused and if she has not already done so, to deny absolutely that she caused the damage the landlady claims.. Your daughter can go on to say that if the landlady is unable to evidence that your daughter caused the damage claimed, she requires the return of the balance of deposit within seven days failing which she will issue a claim in the county court for recovery of money together with court costs and interest at 8 per cent per annum under section*****act.
If your daughter needs to issue proceedings in the County Court The simplest way to do so is by using the courts online issuing service:
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It would not be theft as there is a contract dispute in play but she is likely to be in breach of contract which is the claim your daughter would be able to make in the small claims court as above. If the landloady does not have evidence to back up her claims the court is likely to find against her and order costs.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
Forgive me but I don't see that you are helpless. From what you say if the landlady cannot evidence her claim then your daughter would have the basis of a strong claim for recovery in the county court. Of course there is a degree of form filling to recover the money through the courts and it would be simpler if the landlady just returned it voluntarily but there is no reasons to think that you daughter would not be successful on the above facts and if so she can recover the court fees (which are £25 plus a hearing fee of £25) plus interest at 8% and any expenses she incurs in attending a hearing (e.g. lost income) which is just hear in the judges office and is quite informal.
Exactly so. A simple letter or email putting her to strict proof in respect of the damage she claims was caused or that the depositis returned in full failing which your daughter will issue proceedings in the county court as above will be sufficient. In the absence of evidence the landlord is unlikely to succeed in court and she may capitulate if she realises your daughter is serious about issueing proceedings if she is an experienced landlady. Though if not your daughter would appear to have a strong claim. As I mention above, I read one statistic recently that suggests that some 85% of landlord claims fail at court due to lack of evidence if it gives you any sense of reassurance though this statistic is not confirmed by the courts service.
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There will be either an express term in the contract or an implied term that the landlady must account to your daughter with regards ***** ***** deposit and if she unreasonably witholds the deposit without evidence of damage she will be in breach of contract. It is not necessary to specify this though on any claim form. A judge will apply the necessary law from the facts.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
There you have an express provision so it is an express term of which your daughter claims she is i breach of contract as above.
Is there anything else I can help you wit?
If not inventory was supplied this does not aler the position.
She has failed to account to her with the balance of her deposit without producing evidence to support any claims for deductions. Your daughter claims landlady is therefore in breach of contract. Landladys defence is produce a professional inventory report agreed by your daugther on check in and another showing damage on check out. From what you say she has not done so so is unlikley to succeed in any defence against your daughters claim in court. Your daughter would tehrefore appear to have a strong claim. I hope the above has been of help
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Good luck with your daughters claim. I'm glad I was able to be of assistance.