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Vincent2013, JustAnswer Expert
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 213
Experience:  Qualified solicitor and barrister (non-practising) with 7+ years experience
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i am currently privately renting a property from an agency,

Customer Question

i am currently privately renting a property from an agency, the tenancy began on 19th September 2013, i paid a deposit and i know that by law the deposit must be put in a deposit protection scheme. I have telephoned the scheme in question as i am ending the tenancy and have been informed by the scheme that the property agent has registered my property with them but has not paid my bond into the account and the DPS actually told me to seek legal advice. Have what my agents done legal or do i have a legitimate claim in small courts for my bond to be returned as well as up to 3 times the worth?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Vincent2013 replied 4 years ago.

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


If the tenancy is an "assured shorthold tenancy" (let me know if you need any assistance on determining this) and the deposit was paid after 6th April 2007 (which it will have been), the landlord must protect the deposit within 30 days of the start of the tenancy. If not, the tenant has a potential claim for the deposit to be returned or for an order that the deposit be protected. She is also entitled to compensation between 1 - 3 times the value of the deposit. Compensation of 3 times the deposit is no longer mandatory and the amount actually awarded is at the discretion of the judge.


Practically speaking, what a tenant does in these circumstances depends on what she wants to achieve. If she simply wants to ensure that his deposit is protected, a letter should be written to the landlord reminding him of his obligations, asking for evidence that the deposit has been protected and, if not, it should be protected within 14 days or further action will be considered. The tenant can then review her next steps depending on his response.


If, instead, she intends to bring a claim for return of the deposit along with compensation, the tenant will need to consider whether or not she wants to remain in the property. If it's a long term home, she may not want to bring proceedings straight away. Some unscrupulous landlords might wait until the end of the fixed term and (then so long as the claim has been resolved or he has returned the deposit) evict a tenant under s.21 (in retaliation).


However, if the tenant intends to leave at the end of the fixed term she could bring the claim without delay. A tenant should bear in mind that court proceedings will affect the relationship between the tenant and the landlord so, again, it might be preferable to wait until the end of the fixed term before making a claim to recover the deposit and compensation. The procedure for bringing a claim is not straightforward so it is best to seek the advice of a solicitor. I also understand that there are a number of online companies that can assist with these actions.


Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

you mentioned about some online companies that can assist me in making a claim against my Landlord, would you be able to provide me with either some links or their names as my tenancy is up in a month and i do not wish to stay a moment longer in this house due to health issues and the length of time simple repairs take (3 months and then after i have sent a written complaint) so i feel there is no other way than to claim

Expert:  Vincent2013 replied 4 years ago.

Understood, no problem. Whilst I can't make any personal recommendations, if you type "tenancy deposit recovery service" into a search engine you should be provided with a number of options.


I hope that's helpful and all the very best with this.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

my tenancy is a 6month shorthold agreement and i was wanting to know if my landlord is in breach of contract, it clearly states in my contract that all reported repairs will be dealt with within 28 days, now i have been reporting repairs by leaving messages on answer machines which were fruitless and resorted to emailing them to prove i had reported the repairs, basically it takes the agen 3 months to repair a minor issue, such as say a broken ventilation fan in the bathroom, i reported this in November and only today has someone called out and then found that because they never came to inspect the issue in the first place brought the wrong part. Do i have a leg to stand on as i want out of my tenancy a month early

Expert:  Vincent2013 replied 4 years ago.

Unfortunately, breach of a landlord's repairing obligation is unlikely to provide you with a right to withhold rent or terminate the lease early, unless the property is uninhabitable.


Depending on the degree of disrepair, it could provide a claim for compensation (for instance, if an actual loss was suffered as a result of the landlord's breach - e.g. the tenant had to pay for the repair due to the landlord's unreasonable delay).


However, it does not provide a right to terminate early. Early termination is really only permitted where the landlord agrees, the contract provides a break clause or (in rare cases) if the landlord has seriously and fundamentally breached the lease.


I hope that's helpful.