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Welcome to JA.
I am sorry to hear about your situation.
As you aware failure to protect the deposit means the tenant can sue you for up to 3 times the deposit amount. However please note it doesn't mean that you are automatically liable to give 3 times the amount in question as the court apply discretion and decide the appropriate figure to award.
Do you understand what I have stated?
I suggest you contact the tenant and highlight reasons if any why the deposit should be retained i.e damage to the property which you will bring a claim for. However to reach an amicable settlement you will pay them x amount. Further I suggest you remind the tenant that the 3 times deposit figure is NOT an automatic entitlement.
I hope I have clarified the position if not please let me know.
Thanks and stay safe.
Unfortunately each case is decided on its on facts therefore I cant predict how the court will approach your case.
That you may have to appear im court if a settlement between you and tenant can't be agreed.
Hello you can either reject, accept or counter the offer. As initially stated the 3 times deposit figure is not automatic and you can still recover the costs of replacing or repairing damaged items in your property.
If a settlement is achieved out of court then court proceedings for the loss alleged is not necessary or the court will not entertain it if she started court action.
Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please let me know if you need me to clarify the answer given.