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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71140
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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tenants gave verbal end of tenancy, said they will take me

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tenants gave verbal end of tenancy, said they will take me to small tribunal as did not have DPS, they left house in filthy condition have photos, had two dogs they insisted one was grandmothers! threw mail addressed to me in bin, have outstanding utility bills would not give forwarding address, my key would not work ? they changed lock.
Husband and Grandfather intimadated me for deposit the next day received txts and voicemails every 10 mins for return of deposit.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is this an AST and have you protected the deposit?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I did not protect the deposit as first time landlaord but have bank accounts to prove monies could be repayed

Thats a problem I'm afraid.
If this is an assured shorthold tenancy then they do have a claim against you for three times the sum of the deposit under the Localism Act.
A Judge may well accept your explanation and apology that this was an oversight but you will be ordered to return the deposit and you are at risk of being asked to pay more.
Nobody ever used to be asked to pay more than the sum of the deposit but there has been damaging caselaw.
You do have counter claims against the tenant. Verbal notice is not sufficient. If they have changed the locks then you can have them changed and recover the cost. If they don't have permission to have dogs and he has caused damage then you can claim for that sum. Withholding your post is a criminal offence which can be reported to the police.
However, being bad tenants does not mean they don't have the protection of the law I'm afraid.
I'm very sorry.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have repaid £550 of the deposit by bank transfer for which the tenant was in agreement for £100 to be deducted re oven and carpet clean

That would make no difference to his claim.
The only thing that may bring it to an end is to repay in full. There is conflicting case law on that point but its your best chance.
It doesn't prevent you from suing them for the damage caused.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do I do anything in the mean time or wait to see if they are going to take proceedings?

I would do nothing.
Its very easy to threaten legal action and a lot harder to take it. People like this make threats all the time and then do nothing. Half the time it turns into nothing.
If he does sue then you will have to go to court and explain yourself and probably a judge would be lenient.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thankyou a severe learning curb not to help people and take them at face value but to cover myself in all aspects of the law however harsh I may appear.

Yes, I do agree. Sadly people like this just discourage us from helping anybody.
No problem and all the best.
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