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Possible deposit fraud


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Although i am a landlord I have a question about deposits from a tenents point of view.

Someone i know saw an ad on Gum Tree and went to view a property.She agreed verbally with the landlord that she would take the property and handed over £500 as a deposit.The receipt is written on the back of an envelope.

The landlord then said he wanted £700 as a deposit and wanted her to pay the additional £200 by today.

She cant raise the extra money and has had to pull out.

The landlord is refusing to refund her the £500 .

No tenency agreement has been signed (or Viewed).

Would she have a case if she took him to the small claims court?

I dont think that the normal deposit protection schemes apply as she won't be taking the property.

Should she go to Trading standards?

My opinion is that this could be classed as fraud.

Can anyone help?

I have only just discovered this site as the old site I used was getting spammed.Thanks for redirecting me Grampa.

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If your friend has a contact address get them to write a "letter before action" then take the landlord to the small claims court.

Does the ad in gumtree state a deposit amount? If so get a print out.

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I guess to me it is more fraud than anything else on the details you have provided.

Deposits are normally only handed over once tenancy contracts are signed up for.

How long did the Landlord have the £500 for?

Did he make it quite clear from the start it was going to be £700 and not £500 deposit?

Did the Landlord lose any other prospective tenant due to the delay?

This underhand action gives landlord's a bad name but as always there is two sides to any story I find.


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Sorry about not replying sooner.I had the account suspended message and couldnt get onto the site.

Anyway The landlord agreed to return the deposit minus £90 so she has decided to cut her losses and accept that.

Thanks for the replies.

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