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LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 823
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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I rented a flat which I did not realise was damp and mould

Customer Question

I rented a flat which I did not realise was damp and mould appeared ,eventually I asked my landlord if I could leave the property six months early because the mould was affecting me, I have asthma, my landlord agreed to this, he informed the letting agents of my intention to move out, however after I moved and gave my forwarding address to the letting agent for them to send me my deposit of £525 , l revived a cheque via the post for the sum of £126 the letting agent told me in the letter that they were deducting £399 for management fees which they lost because I left early, l have written to them telling them I want my £399 but they have not replied, also they never contacted me before I left the property to tell me they would be doing this nor did they tell me when I rang them with my forwarding details, l have looked at my contract and there is nothing there that says I would have to pay management fees, as far as I was aware my deposit was to cover for damage etc. Please can you tell me if they can keep my money when I had the express permission from the owner/landlord' to end my contract early. Thank you

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.
Hello I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
The general rule is that deposits are about the condition of the property and nothing else and that they can not deduct this for your tenancy.
It sounds like your deposit may not have been held in a deposit guarantee scheme. The landlord has to put it in a scheme. Did they?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes the deposit is in a rent deposit service called TDS

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.
You had better contact TMS and find out what has happened with your deposit. I take it you didn't consent to any reduction being made. If there is a dispute then TMS will have a dispute resolution system that can be used.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm on a time limit ,only just found that out, I intend to phone the agent today and tell them I will take them to court if they do not return the deposit . I did not agree that they could do this I was not aware it would happen until I received the cha. Can you please advise me on what to say to the agent please

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.
You should tell them:
1) the deposit is nothing to do with management fees.
2) ask them how they got your money our of the scheme without your permission.
3) Point out that the flat you took was subject to damp and was unhealthy (if it was structural then it is the landlord's fault and you are entitled to compensation). Caveat lessor does not apply to structural damp.
4) You might want to suggest that it has aggravated your lung condition (if this is true).
5) that as you had left the property you were going to do nothing about their/landlord's default but if they push it you will take action for recovery of the deposit in full + compensation for the disrepair.
(Do you have any evidence about the disrepair?)