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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I have a question related to my deposit as a tennant. I

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Good Morning, I have a question related to my deposit as a tennant. I never used your service, so I am unsure what to do. My name is ***** *****
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I have moved to Italy but this is related to the house we lived in in England and moved out when going to Italy in December 2019
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I am in contact with the Agent on behalf of the Landlord. The final check out was Jan 2nd . I asked via DPS website for the return of the deposit on Jan 13th and it is taking them forever to sort this out. So far they have not made a proposal for deduction while I have already mad a 2nd offer. They are aware I need the money and I feel it is part of the strategy to drag this out
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I talked to the DPS and they say I can only kick off an arbitrtation on my side when the Agent sops responding. I feel they know that and hence I keep hearing excuses why this needs more time

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

I presume from what you say that you have opened a dispute with DPS. If not then you would need to open a dispute with the scheme and yours is here :

www.depositprotection.com/im-a-tenant/im-reaching-the-end-of-a-tenancy/starting-deposit-repayment

If the dispute does not resolve this, you will need to sue the landlord. Before you start a claim, send the landlord a letter before action (template attached). Assuming they fail to respond, you will need to sue in the county court - if you have a UK address then you can do this. If not then you will need to use a UK law firm to pursue them - I can recommend www.stephensons.co.uk

The court fee will need to be paid unless you qualify for a fee exemption. Details of the fee can be found here at page 5: -

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/728133/ex50-eng.pdf

In addition to the deposit sum you can claim interest on the deposit sum which is calculated from the date the deposit should have been returned to the date you start the claim. The calculation would be as follows :

If you were owed £1,000 (for example):

  • the annual interest would be £80 (1000 x 0.08 = 80)

  • you’d divide £80 by 365 to get the daily interest: about 22 pence a day (80 / 365 = 0.22)

  • after 50 days this would be £11 (50 x 0.22 = 11)

If you do have access to a UK address please tell me and I will send you the claim form to use if DPS does not refund the money to you. I do think the attached letter would work though - let me know if you have trouble opening it.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Jim,
thanks for your very helpful response.
I am stuck at the process where I cannot file a dispute with the DPS because the Agent on behalf od the Landlord has not come back to my online request to repay the deposit. The DPS explained that unless they put an offer for reduction from deposit, I cannot dispute it. I can only start the process myself if there have been 2 weeks of no response from the Landlord.
I have been in constand communication with the Agent but they are not making any offers on how much deduction they expect. I have made 2 offers already and they are so far not coming back with numbers,
They know I need the money (it is a GBP10k deposit) and I feel they are happy to play for time, hoping that at some point I will have to accept any offer. I feel this is not fair and I am wondering if there is anything that I can do given that I need the liquidity and they are in no rush at all.
Thanks again
Kai

I would send them the letter which I uploaded - that letter threatens legal action which neither the agent nor landlord will want - so I would definitely expect them to reply to you if you send it to them - you can email them a copy and give the 14 days.

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