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Nicola-mod
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Category: Property Law
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It has been nearly a year since I moved out from a property,

Customer Question

It has been nearly a year since I moved out from a property, but the landlord still haven't returned the deposit to me yet. I have been chasing her with phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages, what can I do to get the deposit back?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  vincent2013 replied 2 years ago.

Hi, thanks for you question. My name's XXXXX XXXXX I'm going to assist you with it.

 

It appears from your previous answers that you did not occupy the relevant premises under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy but lodged with a family. In this case the relevant legislation relating to deposit protection and recovery will not apply. However, this does not deprive you of a remedy.

 

On the basis that you are entitled to a return of the deposit (in accordance with the terms under which you occupied the room) you can make a claim for it by issuing a claim using the online claims process www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Before doing this, you may want to notify your previous landlord of your intention to do this via a letter before claim. This would set out the provisions you rely on, the amount that you are seeking, any evidence that you intend to rely on and that you also intend to claim all interest and costs recoverable under law. You can then give him a short period of time (say, 7 days) before you will bring proceedings.

 

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I know this is an official way to claim the money, but before that can I go to the property and ask the landlord to pay me back. I also considering going to report to the police as a fraud case, as it seems they have no intension to return the deposit.

Expert:  vincent2013 replied 2 years ago.

You are, of course, welcome to attend the property and ask for a return of the deposit (in person) as well as in writing.

 

As for contacting the police, it is very likely that they will take the view that this is a civil, rather than a criminal, matter. Nevertheless, I should point out that bringing a civil claim is a fairly straightforward (and inexpensive) process. If the amount is under £10,000 you will not need a solicitor and if the landlord fails to respond to the claim, you can simply apply online for judgment in default. At that point you have a variety of options to enforce the debt.

 

Often, when a would-be defendant (without a reasonable defence) is confronted with a letter before claim / claim form, it provides sufficient incentive to make payment.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What should I bring to the property if I plan to collect the money in person? There are some tenants in the house already, the landlord let one or two rooms in the property. If the landlord still don't want to return the deposit or keep giving excuse, can I tell this to the present tenants so they know what is going on? I want to call the police as I think this is a fraud, and they may have already treated many people or more people in the future.


 

Expert:  vincent2013 replied 2 years ago.

As I say, you can call the police but this is unlikely to achieve anything if they take the view that this is a civil matter (which is often the case with disputes such as these).

 

If you do visit your ex-landlord to ask for the return of the deposit, you may want to bring along any written terms of your occupation (usually a licence) along with any correspondence relating to your deposit and your payment thereof (bank statement, emails, letters etc.). However, this will, of course, only be helpful if it is likely that you can engage with him in a meaningful discussion.

 

To be entirely frank, if he has ignored your requests thus far, I am unsure what can be achieved by visiting your ex-landlord that cannot be achieved in correspondence that escalates matters to formal court proceedings. I would also be careful to ensure that nothing could be misinterpreted by a personal visit and I can see no legal merit in contacting his present lodgers / tenants.

Expert:  vincent2013 replied 2 years ago.

Do let me know if I can clarify anything further for you. Otherwise, best wishes with this and merry christmas.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What will happen to them if they still don't return the money even after I have used moneyclaim? I have been to visited them yesterday, but they still don't show an intention to return the deposit.

Expert:  vincent2013 replied 2 years ago.

If you are successful in your claim (on its merits) or are able to obtain judgment in default (because the defendant does not respond to your claim) BUT the defendant fails to pay, you will then have an enforceable county court judgment.

 

At this stage, if the debtor continues to refuse to pay, you can obtain an order for enforcement acton.

 

Please find details of various enforcement actions here:

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/debt_w/debt_action_your_creditor_can_take_e/creditor_takes_you_to_court_for_debt.htm#h_what_if_you_still_dont_pay

 

Can I clarify anything?

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

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Thank you,
Nicola

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