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Landlord not giving back deposit :(


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Hello everyone,

I have an issue with my former landlord not paying back my Deposit.

I signed an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement with my landlord for a period of 3.5 months from the 13-03-2012 – 01-07-2012. I paid a month's rent+deposit of 680£ when I moved in to his property on 17-03-2012 and later found out that the room I was living in did not have a lock

:o , so basically I could not lock my room and he or anyone can enter my room as they wish when I was not home. When I asked him to get a lock fixed, his reply was "It is against the law to have locks in houses" Anyway, due to a hectic schedule and late nights at work and the house being very far away, just a week later I gave him a month's notice for leaving the house on 21-03-2012 stating my reasons. He agreed to let me go and I started scouting for other potential rooms to rent. On the 10-04-2012, he approached me and asked me to pay the extra weeks rent of £85. I paid up and also asked him If I would get my deposit back when I left to which he replied positively. So I was to leave the house a week earlier on the 15-04-2012 as agreed and get the deposit back as well. However When I asked him, he bluntly said he did not have it and would return it on the 21-04-2012. I suggested that I would return the house keys when I get back my deposit, to which him and his wife started hurling abuses at me saying I can't make up my mind and I am playing games etc etc. So I gave him the keys and had a written agreement with him stating that he would return my deposit on 21-04-2012. On 21-04-2012, when I contacted him, he said he did not have the money and so again I had another written agreement with him stating he would pay me back on 29-04-2012. On 29-04-2012, he showed up with £80 (£5 less than what I paid him for the extra week I did not stay) and said a new tenant is moving in so you will get the rest of the deposit in a week's time. I refused to take the money stating, that wasn't the agreement and so again another agreement was written stating he would pay me back on 05-05-2012. At this time I threatened court action against him. Anyway when I contacted him on 05-05-2012, he bluntly said he still did not have the deposit and I could do whatever I wanted to and put the phone aside. :o

Sorry for the long story, I am still missing a lot of details but my question to you guys is that according to the law, I was actually an excluded tenant living in the same property as my landlord, but he still falsely provided me with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. Is there any way I can go to court with this. Also apparently, my deposit covered the previous tenants deposit and the next tenant's deposit will cover my deposit. I find that unfair as I have already left the house and even if he did find a tenant, I wouldn't know about it. He is an appalling man  hate him. All I wan't is my deposit back and nothing more. I would appreciate if anyone could guide me in the right direction.

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OK, wall of text without enough punctuation, but think I have this straight?

You lived in the same house with your landlord and shared kitchen and bathroom facilities/living space?

If the answer is YES then you're right, AST does not apply. You were an excluded occupier. It's not against the law to have locks inside a house, but it is entirely up to the LL if they live in the house as well - an excluded occupier with resident LL, has no "right" to a lock on their door. If excluded occupier, there was no obligation for your LL to protect your deposit in a scheme, however, he should be holding it, not spending it.

I presume that the written agreement to refund your deposit does mention the amount? Forget phone calls, you need to write to him, with a certificate of posting, asking for your deposit back within 10 days or you'll take him to court (I believe the legal term for this is 'letter before action' or similar). Don't use recorded delivery, as he could say he wasn't in when the letter arrived to sign for it/can't pick it up/some sort of other rubbish. Certificate of posting is free over the counter of the post office and should be sufficient proof of delivery in the court's eyes.

If he is claiming deposit for damages, was there an inventory?

If there was no inventory, then if your letter doesn't get any results, take him to the small claims court - see Citizen's Advice bureau or http://www.direct.go...oney/DG_195118. To the best of my knowledge, you have no claim for him having given you the wrong form of "contract" (i.e. you can't sue him for damages or whatever for incorrectly giving you an AST) - only for your deposit and the small costs associated with making a small claim.

I am not a lawyer and my liability to you for this advice is exactly the same as what you're paying for it.

LL's like this piss me off, they give the rest of us a bad name :(

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