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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a question regarding the tenancy contract for

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I have a question regarding the tenancy contract for the flat that we moved out of about 6 weeks ago. After we moved out we chased the landlord repeatedly to list any proposed deductions from the deposit. The landlord deferred to the agent with whom the deposit was kept, but the agent did not come back to us with a list of deductions until 25 days after the day we vacated the flat. The tenancy contract includes the following paragraph:
At the end of the Tenancy
1.8 The Landlord or the Agent must tell the Tenant within 15 working days of the end of the
Tenancy if they propose to make any deductions from the Deposit.
We had every intention of being fair toward our landlord, but as the list of deductions was greatly exaggerated in our meaning, we pointed toward this paragraph and told the agent/landlord that they no longer had any right to deduct anything from the deposit. The agents response was that this paragraph is a 'guideline' for the agent's conduct but it doesn't mean that they lose their right to ask for repayment for expenses incurred. This seems strange to me, the paragraph is included in the contract signed by both tenant and landlord and it doesn't say anything about it being only a guideline. Who is right?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Was the deposit protected?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes via TDS

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Ok, well their agreement says they need to return and notify within 14 days, they did not. THEY are in breach of contract.
If they have not given your deposit back you can sue for breach of contract. If you have received it back then they can't really do anything apart from issue a small claim against you.
You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They returned the part of the deposit that wasn't in contention after about 5 weeks, but they kept the amount they wanted to deduct (about 700 pounds). So this is the amount we would request a refund for.

Just to ensure that I understand you correctly: We should send the agent a written request via regular mail stating that they're in breach of our contract and that we request a refund within 14 days, otherwise we will go to court?

Is there any cost involved in going to court, assuming we don't retain any legal representation?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
You can ask for the £700.
Correct, refund within 14 days. The only cost is the issue fee and hearing fee.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. One final question to try to ascertain how likely it is that we win this claim: Does it matter if the deductions the landlord was trying to make were explicitly stated in the tenancy agreement as being payable by the tenant (for example cost of making an inventory at check out)? Or does paragraph 1.8 'override' all of that and they have no right to deduct anything if they wait more than 15 days? (this is the way I read the contract)

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
IT says 15 days, so beyond that they can NOT deduct anything.
Alex
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hi

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If you have not done so already might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.

Alex