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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50463
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I rented a house in 2012. The deposit is still held by

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Hi, I rented a house in 2012. The deposit is still held by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. They will not refund my money without a letter from the landlady or a Court Order. I have written to the landlady several times.
First she disputed the repayment, saying I damaged the property. I did not damage the property and she cannot prove it. She was setting me up from the start for the blame for the pre-existing damage.
My last letter was returned to me by Royal Mail saying addressee gone away.
The TDS will still not refund my deposit, even though the landlady has gone away.
How do I get my money back please? The amount is £1500.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. You state the landlady has gone away - what happened to her?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The only information I have is the returned letter from Royal Mail. I live in Blackpool and the landlady lived in Devon. So I have no way of knowing sorry.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So you know what I should do please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Mr Jones, I haven't used any site like this before. I wasn't expecting the online chat. I thought I would just receive an email telling me how to solve this problem. But now you seem to have gone and I'm not receiving any emails either.Could you please tell me what to expect here? Am I waiting for a response now? Or is this a slower process? Will I receive an answer tomorrow? Do you need time to research this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello? Could you tell me what's happening please?
Hello sorry my connection dropped earlier. If the landlady is refusing to give her consent to release the deposit and in turn the TDS cannot release the money, you could take formal legal action against her to try and recover what is due to you. A general guide you can read is here: In terms of more specific actions and our next steps, whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Sorry I realise I was not specific enough with my question. I knew basically all that already, as I have taken legal action before. The letters that were returned to me by Royal Mail were the letters you mention. However, my point is that the landlady is not there. How do I sue someone whose whereabouts are unknown to me? Do I use her last known address and just hope for the best? Or is it my job to track her down? In which case I wouldn't know where to start. Would the Courts trace a person? Is it necessary? I'm lost here as to where I stand.
Hello, you can try and trace her but that is not a legal requirement. You can issue a claim using the persons last known address. The courts will not trace anyone on your behalf though and if you wanted to trace her you would need to do it yourself, for example by getting a private investigator. But as far as the courts are concerned a claim can be issued at the persons last known address. Hope his clarifies?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much. That's great. I will commence proceedings on Monday.I'll leave you good review. Have a good day.Best regards
You are welcome, all the best