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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 803
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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Can a letting agent take away my deposit for damages that were

Resolved Question:

Can a letting agent take away my deposit for damages that were incurred 4 years before I moved into a property? Here is their position:
"This is not the start of a new tenancy, this is a change of tenant in an existing tenancy, and you take over the liability of the previous tenant, which includes the responsibility of the property being handed back at the end of the tenancy in the same condition as at the start of the tenancy, with obviously an allowance for fair wear and tear. No clauses can be inserted other than noting the change of tenant in the paperwork.
Because there has been several change of tenants since the agreement started, the Inventory and check in report from 28th May 2010 will be the document which is referred to by the check out clerk at the end of the tenancy"
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello, I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

Can you tell me a little more about the circumstances of you coming to live at the property. Did you sign anything? Who did you pay the deposit money to?

Customer:

I replaced an outgoing tenant who wasn't on the lease. Her bond money was already registered with the letting agency

Customer:

I paid the outgoing her bond tenant directly (the letting agent asked for bank stateemnt screenshots to confirm this happened). I havent signed the lease agreement yet

LondonlawyerJ :

So did you pay a deposit to the landlod or did you give money to the tenant to cover the money she ha dpaid?

LondonlawyerJ :

When did you move in?

Customer:

I paid the deposit to the tenant to cover the money she had paid. The letting agent verified this.

LondonlawyerJ :

Also is this a sole tenancy or are other people living there?

Customer:

There are other people there (I think 3 in total are on the lease)

LondonlawyerJ :

I think that they are probably right as you have taken over a room (?) in a shared house from an existing tenant and agreed to take on her obligations under the tenancy. Your rights will lie against the former tenant. Is the deposit in a guarantee scheme.

Customer:

Yes its in a scheme

LondonlawyerJ :

OK you may need to contact the scheme, probably with the former tenant to tell them this is your deposit now and see if they are willing to do that. Do you accept the damage that they allege?

Customer:

That havent alleged any damage yet, I was pre-empting for when they do at the end of the tenancy. Essentially the agent can charge me with damages that occurred in the 4 year period from the start of the tenancy until the date I moved in so I'm pretty powerless

LondonlawyerJ :

Yes , iff the situation is that you have taken over part of a joint tenancy. If there was damage before you moved in then you will need to sort this with the previous tenant.

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