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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi, I signed a joint tenancy agreement in April 2010 which

Customer Question

Hi, I signed a joint tenancy agreement in April 2010 which ended when the other tenant suddenly moved out in April 2011, a few weeks before the end of original tenancy. I remained in the flat and signed a new agreement as the sole tenant. As the previous joint tenant refused to respond to my emails, I paid their share of the deposit into the account of the Estate Agents where it has remained to the present date. However, it has still not been collected by the previous joint tenant so I would like to know if I can claim it back from them. The Estate Agents have informed me that they have to retain the money but given the old tenancy has been obsolete for two years I would like to know if I have any rights to get it back.

Thank you for your assistance and I look forward to your response.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thank your for your question. I will try to help with this.

Just to be cleR, was this an AST?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


 


Thank you for your response. With regards your request for further information, I am assuming cleR means "clear" and can you advise what you mean by the term AST.


 


Thank you,


 


Suzanne Johnson-Smith

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Yes, sorry. That was a typing error!

Assured shorthold tenancy agreement?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi,


 


It was a tenancy agreement for 1 year.


 


Kind regards


 


Suzanne

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Were you the lead tenant?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


 


Hi,


 


As I mentioned in my initial email, it was a joint tenancy so is it possible for one or other tenant to be the "lead" in such cases? I would assume a "joint" tenancy would mean equal obligtations/rights afforded to both?


 


Regards


 


Suzanne


 

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

My colleague has asked me to look at this for you. Could you confirm a few points for me:

  1. Who paid the original deposit under the joint tenancy? If both of you in what proportions please?
  2. Why did you pay the other tenants share of the deposit to the agents following the end of the original joint tenancy? What happened to the original deposit you both paid under the original tenancy?
  3. Did you pay a further deposirt apart from the other tenants share you refer to when you started the new tenancy?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


 


Thank you for your response. Answers to your questions below:


 


1. The deposit was split 50:50 as it was a joint tenancy.


 


2. The previous tenant moved out very suddenly in April 2011, weeks before the end of the original joint tenancy agreement leaving a range of unpaid bills. The tenancy agreement stipulated that it would be down to the remaining party to repay the relevant share of the deposit amount if one or other party moved out of the property. The overall deposit amount has always remained with the letting agency.


 


Therefore, in the circumstances, as I remained in the property and took out a sole tenancy agreement, it was left to me to repay the previous tenant her 50% (minus deductions for outstanding bills) of the deposit amount from the original joint tenancy agreement we both signed.


 


The previous joint tenant refused to answer any email so eventually I agreed with the letting agency that I would pay her share of the deposit into their account and she could collect it from them. This was done on 12th September 2011 where the funds have remained.


 


 


3. In total, the letting agent now holds the following monies:


 


1. Full deposit for the current tenancy agreement.


 


2. £920.81 from the previous joint tenancy agreement (ex joint tenants share of the deposit).

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
Thanks. If I have understood this correctly you and original tenant each paid 50% of the original deposit. You have received your deposit back (it may have been reinvested as the deposit for the new tenancy) and the original tenant has never called to collect her share of the original deposit so this is held by the letting agents on her bahalf.

Is that an accurate summary? If that is correct I am not clear on what you feel you would be entitled to that money now. Could you confirm this? Is it your contention that you should be entitled to some or all of that money on the basis that you had to pay her share of bills that she left behind?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972


 


Thank you for your response. I have not received any monies back from the deposit so the money I paid to them for the previous joint tenant came direct from my bank account. However, if the point you are making is that once the current tenancy finishes I will be eligible to claim the deposit (for the current tenancy) back then yes that is indeed correct.


 


In the original contract relating to the deposit it states the following:


 


In the event that the Tenant shall be more than one person the receipt of any one person included in the Tenancy shall be sufficient discharge for the Agent and the Landlord for the return of any monies or any part of the Deposit.


 


This seems to suggest that I could request this money back given the previous tenant has failed to collect it nearly 18 months after the cessation of the old joint tenancy agreement. However, I am not a legal expert so your guidance on this matter would be appreciated.

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
Sorry i am still unclear. The point I am unclear on is that you state you and the original tenant both paid 50 per cent of the original deposit. Let's call that deposit A. You then say you had to pay a sum into the agents account for the original tenant. Let's call that deposit B. You now have a new deposit for your current tenancy. Let's call that deposit C.

What happened to deposit A?

I'll pick up on this in the morning if that's ok?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Deposit B is 50% of the original Deposit A.


 


So my question is given Deposit A relates to the original 2010 tenancy which is now defunct, as the previous joint tenant has not collected this money nearly 2 years after the cessation of the initial contract, can I activate the clause below and reclaim it?


 


In the event that the Tenant shall be more than one person the receipt of any one person included in the Tenancy shall be sufficient discharge for the Agent and the Landlord for the return of any monies or any part of the Deposit.

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. The agents are quite able to return the deposit to you but if the money was the other tenants who has disappeared then equally they do not have to under the provisions of the above clause - the above clause simply provides an authority for the agents to return that tenants part of the deposit to you; it does not impose a requirement though there may be a further provision elsewhere in the tenancy.

Having said that even if there is no such provision if you paid various debts and costs of the previous tenant - you mention you had to pay some bills and so on which she had not paid then you would have a claim against the old tenant for those sums plus interest at 8% per year on the same. You could therefore consider a claim against the old tenant for this sum. It is sufficient for service to provide the tenants last known address.

If you have such a claim you could consider issuing a county court claim against the tenant as above and ask the court to specifically include in the judgement that the agents must pay you the sum awarded against the tenant up to the balance they hold on account as a deposit

The simplest way to issue proceedings is using the moneyclaim online service.

https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me.

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