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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71340
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have filed deposit of my tenants 10 months late.

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- I have filed deposit of my tenants 10 months late. But I did file with a proved scheme and gave them the deposit prodtection certificate with all information.
- I even came to clean the house with their cleaner upon their departure and returned their deposit in full (only deduct the costs which have been agreed with them. they have agreed on the amounts to be returned to them).
- I also have apologised to them for my mistake of late filing and mentioned to them that I have learnt a lesson with this mistake and will make sure that I do it properly for my future tenants.
They demanded 150% of the deposit amount as the penalty for my mistake and said that if I fail to agree nor pay, they will bring me to court.
Please could you let me know if they court would agree on this penalty due to my mistake. For my end, I would be happy to pay to the court for my mistake but think that enriching my greedy tenants is not a good practise.
Please could you share your view/advice for my situation and let me know the most recent court decision for the similar cases.
Thank you for your help.
Best regards,
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
They do have a claim even though you have returned the deposit but they are very unlikely to get any more than the sum of the deposit. Courts don't like enriching litigants who have suffered no loss.
It is as simple as that really.
They could claim. If they do you will have to explain and argue there has been no loss.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dear Jo,Thank you very much for your response which ease my mind.Let me clarify my understanding:
So if they did not answer to my question ie did not tell me the loss/harshness which they have suffered due to my late filing and the corresponding monetary amount, then I will let them go to the court. Then I will have to explain to the court that I have paid their deposit in full, have asked them about their suffering but they could not demonstrate their losses. Then the court will dismiss the case if they cannot evidence their losses. Is that correct so?
I am worried as I have read various law paper online which says that the court MUST order the landlords to pay at least 1 month deposit and max 3 months deposit as penalty for the late filing by the landlord. What can you say to this?Thank you very much for your help.
Best regards,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
... also, in case they bring me to court, do I have to pay the court cost if the court decide that they dont suffer losses and I dont have to compensate them.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is a maximum of three times the sum but the courts won't order the maximum.
There is a claim for costs against you and it does not fall within the small claims court arena so that would be an issue but it is within the discretion of the Judge.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But the law paper (in the link which I sent you ) says that the court MUST impose a penalty for my late filing at least 1 x deposit. So even if my tenants did not suffer any losses, does he still have to penalise me and enrich my tenants with this.
In fact I dont mind paying the court this amount if it is my penalty, but I hope my tenants wont get it
Let me know what you think after reading my situation and the link which I have sent you.Thank you very much much.
Best regards,
Yes, it will but not the maximum as I have said.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Does it mean that it is likely that my tenants will get at least 1x deposit (ie contrary to what you said earlier that it is unlikely that the court would enrich the litigants if there is no loss for them)?
In any event, the article doesn't say that.
See the last paragraph considering the latest case law.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That means, I will wait for them to tell me their losses, and if they cannot tell me their losses for me to compensate, then I let them bring me to court and I will explain again the whole situation and let hope that the court dismisses the case as they dont suffer any losses.If they bring me to the small claim court re the court fee, i will explain again that I did always offer a compensation for their losses so they can avoid bringing me to court. But they decided to do so and let's see what the court say.
what do you think?My view is that if I made a mistake I am prepared to pay for any sufferings caused. But I dont want my former tenants to abuse the UK law to enrich themselves and also the way they wrote to me in their emails as if I were their captive and have to obey what they say.
Yes, I agree.
Seems to me that you have returned the deposit and this was an honest mistake so there shouldn't be an award.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for your help
Yes , I returned everything and always said that I will return their deposit if they dont damage anything unless it is wear and tear. Then I got their letter 2 days ago about bringing me to court unless I pay the sum. I feel betrayed by them. I have been traveling for work and made a mistake of not filing for them and some other tenants (who are still living in another flat). Nevertheless, I very much appreciate this event with them and I will make sure that it wont happen again with any new tenants from now on. A good lesson for me.Thank you again and Have a lovely weekend !
Best regards,
No problem and all the best.
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