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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70204
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Landlord has refused to return deposit even though I ensured

Resolved Question:

Landlord has refused to return deposit even though I ensured that there was no loss of rent when I wasn't able to join a group of students. He has now threatened to refuse to accept the replacement student if I don't write an email accepting that he can keep the deposit.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is the replacement otherwise acceptable?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes fully

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Has he confirmed that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes he has and the payment from the new tenant has been paid

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Well, he isn't going to get away with that if the facts are as you say.
It is accepted deposit from this person then he cannot just refuse to let him moving. Moreover, you would have a claim to recover your deposit even if he needs refuse to allow the new tenants move in because he has not properly mitigated his loss if he is refused a perfectly acceptable replacement for you. Landlords have to mitigate their loss. They cannot just rely upon you to pay the rent in a property in which you don't live when there is an acceptable alternative open to them.
I would refuse to sign anything and sue him at the Small Claims Court if he does not deliver your deposit.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Verbally he has accepted him and the money has been paid. Once my son had presented two appropriate prospective tenants the landlord took over and prepared the documents and took the payment.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Sorry?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

What the landlord has said to my son is that if he accounts for the time he has spent on the telephone both with my son and with the new tenant then it would come to a lot more than the deposit (£330)

My son delayed raising the issue of contesting the lose of the deposit until payment had gone through from the new tenant. But once my son raised the issue the landlord became cross and said

he wishes he is within his right to delay the new tenant for a month whilst he pursues references etc. (The threat being that he can legally justify delaying and losing an appropriate tenant - losing because a new student would have to give up on this option if he was delayed a month so the legal responsibility would fall back on my son who has given cheques up front for the whole hear in addition to the deposit and Septembers rent being already cashed.)

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
Well, that is a nonsense. He hasn't spent £330 on phone bills.
Sue him and see if he wants to defend on this basis.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My son insists on sending him the email he demands agreeing to him taking the deposit so that the threat of him backtracking on accepting the replacement tenant is removed.

Its not about the phone bills he's claiming his time is what will justify keeping the deposit. Could he have a case?

If the email is sent could he after this still make a claim?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 1 year ago.
No.
Not on this basis.
I wouldn't send the email.
It is not helpful if he does but a claim could still be made.
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