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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10248
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Wow you can help me right now? Assistant: Where are you

Customer Question

wow you can help me right now? Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location. Customer: in london, uk Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported? Customer: by email yes Assistant: Anything else you want the solicitor to know before I connect you? Customer: no

I am attempting to retrieve my Deposit from a company let from a property rented in 2015. I understand that the Estate Agent is holding the deposit but the former landlord is stonewalling, so that they can not release the deposit. I have to go to a small claims court i guess, could you confirm this, and if so will i have to take the Estate Agent to small claims as they are the body holding the deposit?

Detail Required: LOW; Urgency: LOW

Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

Good morning. I have been asked to look at this for you.

Was this deposit in respect of a Assured Short hold Tenancy? Was it put into a Statutory scheme and if so, do you have the reference?

Is the landlord alleging that this is being retained in respect of damage or saying nothing at all?

Why has this been waiting around for 2 years at least?

As much background detail as possible would be helpful please. Thank you

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The deposit is not in a scheme, but held by the estate agent as it was a company let. There were some minor damages, a door handle but we had a photo of the damaged door handle from before the tenancy was taken, a vacuum cleaner broke during the course of the tenancy and this as reported to the landlord and we have kept the text messages. There was a tiny issue with a couple of forks being missing and we agreed to replace the. Even though no formal inventory had been taken by an inventory clerk. The landlady just stonewalled any emails. Thus the deposit could not be released by the estate agent. It’s taken 2 years as i keep putting it off as i have been so busy with my comedy club business
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I️ am in london
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

The answer is absolutely straightforward. You cannot beat the landlord with a stick and there is no Tenants Deposit Scheme to file a complaint against.

You tell the agent and the landlord in writing that unless you get the deposit refunded in full by 5 PM this Friday, 24 November, you will issue Small Claims Court proceedings against both the agent and the landlord without further notice. You issue against the landlord’s first defendant and the agent a second defendant. Once the court proceedings land on their doormat, you may find that the agent becomes more agreeable because the agent will not want to go to court because of the landlord is reluctance to deal with this.

At 5:01 PM on Friday you wish you Small Claims Court proceedings which you can do quickly and easily here.

The landlord will have to prove how much damage there was and what is missing. With regard to the missing fork, unless you can get the exact same, he would be entitled to a new set although they are now extremely cheap.

In respect of the vacuum cleaner, then you are liable for either the cost of repair or if not possible, replacement.

.Can I clarify anything else for you? I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please take a moment to look at the top right hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen. It’s important you use the rating service because that gives me credit. It doesn’t just give me a pat on the head! All you need to do is press Submit. Thank you.

If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The vacuum cleaner was already used when we moved in. Are we still liable for it seeasing to work? Is that not wear and tear?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

It depends on the reason it broke. It was working when you moved in and now it isn’t. However in the majority of tenants agreements you are liable for anything which wears out. There may be an element of betterment if you have to replace it with new so you would be better off actually paying for repair.