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tenant threatnening with deposit scheme fine


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Hello all

i have a tenant who has burnt my kitchen worktop..he sent me a txt message admitting to burning it . I have tried to be fair to him and although my worktop is expensive £89.99 per 2m..i have tried to be fair and have bought a cheap £18.99 per 2.8m worktop..paid for the materials..sought out the cheapest carpenter i could find and paid for delivery costs...

the tenant has only given me £200 deposit..it doesnt cover even the labour (£300)...SO I asked the tenant to either find his own carpenter if cheaper or pay the one i found

I gave him 2 weeks to find his own worktops before i bought them..and told him i will let him find a cheaper but to be quick as i needed to have it replaced quickly as i was trying to find tenants to take over the whole house and it didnt look nice to have a burnt kitchen worktop.

He still hasnt found anything..even though i gave him 3 weeks to sort something out...(kept extending by a week at a time but cant delay any longer as my carpenter is getting fed up waiting and the viewings are not yielding offers)

When i told him we will have to send our man in and he needs to be paid £300..the tenant turned nasty...he said he wanted to know which deposit scheme his deposit of £200 was in as he wants them to deal with it..i am not even asking him to pay for materils and delivery which has already cost me £130...all i am asking him to do is pay for installation.


I rented a room to him..when the house was my home..under a 2 month agreement..non ast as it was only a room in our house...since his move in we have moved out...but didnt consider putting his deposit in a scheme as it was only a 2 month room lodger.

What is my position now...i am going to be £430 out of pocket due to cost of materils and labour and now have a tenant threatnening with legal action due to non lodging of deposit...

Please HELP!!

i didnt ask for this extra expense or hassle...and now threats..

Any of you more experienced chaps have some helpful advice...on the verge of a nervous breakdown..as havent even got tenants for the house once this lodger leaves at end of the month...financially (and emotionally)very delicate

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Hi Heebs,

No dilemma as the tenancy deposit protection legislation ONLY applies to tenancies created after 6th April 2007 under Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements. I must assume, given that you were renting a room to this tenant, that you didn't sign AST and simply rented the room to him under licence.

So - No AST = No need to protect the money ......

Good luck,


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No AST then no deposit protection required, so no worries on that front.

Firstly calm down....you need to think about this logically as to what solution is going to give you the best results.

If he is turning nasty, I would be worried about what he may do to the rest of the property and I may try and negociate for him to move out ASAP (When is he due to move out by the way?). I.e. verbally saying I won't charge you any extra if you move out by tomo evening. You will be taking a £430 hit, but you can get on with sorting the problem and getting on with viewings, and might end up meaning a new tenant paying full rent for the whole house is found a few weeks quicker, thus saving you some money and hassle there. It's an option..not sure I would take it as I don't like being done over.

Not too hot on the legals, but it is very easy to chuck him out if you are living there and he is a lodger. Since you have moved out this may complicate matters. Is there a chance you could move back in and remove him straight away and keep his £200 deposit and any rent he has paid in advance?...GPEL will likely know the legal situation here. Advising he can take you to small claims for return of deposit etc.... As long as you have a water tight inventory and take pictures with dates on. This is a risky tactic as he could go balistic!

Or let him stay till the end and try to negociate with him re the cost of replacing the worktop and word it something like this:

The worktops you have burnt are now unusable and need to be replaced.

The original cost of the worktop was £300 (whatever it was)

The fitting charge is £300.

Therefore the total you are due to pay is £600 (whatever it is)

I am happy to come to a compromise and charge you only the fitting charge of £300 if you pay me this balance now.

However if you do not settle this bill within XX days I will pursue you for the full amount of £600.

At this point I would leave it there and see what he says.

If he is still not playing ball, you can then say if you do not pay in XX days I will therefore bill you for £600. If this is not paid with XX days then I will be forced to pass this debt onto a debt collector who will charge you 15% on top of the debt plus any additional costs incurred chasing the debt.

We really need dates of when he is due to leave and how much he pays per month to give a full answer.

In my opinion giving them the 2 options of amounts to pay will really help them make their mind up and pay the smaller amount quickly.



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Serve a S21 to be certain as you have probably created an AST in the absence of a written document. State your intentions and reasons clearly in writing and keep eveidence of any correspondence. Explain you hold him liable and have given adequate opportunity to resolve the problem. Therefore, if they object they should speak to CAB, likewise you will start proceedings if not adequately compensated.

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Hello all...many thanks for your encouraging advice...so kind of you.

I signed a tenancy agreement..made by me..not AST...for 2 months

starting 1st feb 2008 til 31st march 2008

he pays £130pw bills included for him and his girlfriend who also shares the room with him

He gave me £200 deposit in total and is paid up til 31st march for rent.

I can move back in this weekend if need be to save me on legal front..do i need to do this.

i dont have any information about where he is headed after he moves out and he prob wont tell me so i dont know how to pursue the damage costs.

will definately try the letter option althou he knows i wont know where to send debt collectors.

any further thoughts regarding the above information

many thanks in advance

Humbly in distress

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I don't think you need to move back in, as you could easily claim you are still living there, living at both addresses, so the terms of your agreement should still stand.

The easiest option is to foot the bill yourself to be honest, you've got to ask yourself is all this hassle worth £450?

The next easiest solution and least disruptive one will probably be to offer him the chance to leave now and pay nothing, since any other option he is likely to cause problems with your viewings. He could easily make excuses and make it impossible for you to do viewings. However this is a costly option.

Or simply chuck him out.... Others have previously advised this is quite easy to do on this type of agreement, can we have some advice on this? & keep his £200 deposit.

If you don't want to chuck him out and he doesn't want to leave early then offer him the chance to pay half the full cost of £600 = £300 now. If he doesn't then invoice him for £600 to be paid within next 5 days. Advise that if not paid debt collectors will be instructed and add their % plus costs etc. This way they will be on his case whilst he is still there and will know where to contact him. There is a risk here that you could be taken to court for Harassment, but probably a risk worth taking, as it is your own home too.... by him burning your worktop and general behaviour in not trying to sort the problem and as you say turning nasty...he probably would't have the best case. But you won't have much co-operation with viewings in the mean time and he could do more damage.

Not an easy one!

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