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My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

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modellingman
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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#158588

Postby modellingman » August 10th, 2018, 4:18 pm

I would not quite give up on the validity of the Section 21 yet. An important part of deposit protection, from a landlord's perspective, is serving the so-called Prescribed Information. This is not the same as the Tenancy Deposit Certificate and is additional to it - see step 4 of this guide on the TDS website. The Prescribed Information must be served before a valid Section 21 can be issued see p6 of this TDS Leaflet (pdf, the TDS Guide to its Insured Scheme).

The Prescribed Information document should have been issued to you by the landlord, who is required to sign a declaration stating that the information contained within it is true to the best of his knowledge and belief. It is also considered best practice to allow the tenant to sign the document (if only to provide confirmation of its receipt).

If you cannot locate a copy in your own records then you should make enquiries of the agent as to when the Prescribed Information (within the meaning of The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007) was issued to you.

Even if the agent has done everything by the book, I think your deposit will be safe.

The procedure for returning a deposit is that the landlord (or agent on the landlord's behalf) is supposed to agree with the tenant the amount of any deductions that are to be made from the deposit. Although, some landlords/agents undoubtedly try and pressure tenants into accepting all sorts of deductions, tenants have the right to disagree and have the matter referred to the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) service which is operated by each of the statutory protection schemes (what Infrasonic has previously called a "tribunal"). The ADR service operates on the basis of written submissions (so no hearing) and an adjudicator makes a decision on the return of the deposit based on the evidence submitted.

There is a useful guide to the ADR process (pdf) on the TDS website.

In support of Infrasonic's contributions I would add that the underlying premise of tenancy deposit protection is that the deposit belongs to the tenant. Therefore, within ADR, the burden of proof for justifying any deductions from the tenant's deposit lies squarely with the landlord. This has spawned a whole new industry of inventory clerks whose role is to document the condition of the rented property at the start of a tenancy and again at the end, so that there is documentary evidence available to provide the landlord's justification in the event of a dispute. As your tenancy pre-dates the introduction of deposit protection, I would doubt very much whether your landlord is in any position to make a case for justifying any retentions from your deposit (though ignorance of the process might not stop them trying). Does your tenancy agreement even mention a deposit or what can be deducted from it? If not, your landlord's claim will fall at the first hurdle of ADR.

And as JonE has noted there is a much bigger picture in play. Even if your Section 21 notice is valid, the agent will (or should) know that this is no guarantee that the property will become vacant at the end of the notice period. A recent Landlordzone Article indicates that it takes on average 17 weeks to regain possession once a court claim is started. For the sake of a deposit worth less than £1000, what sane landlord would risk hacking off a tenant and potentially incur significant delays in possession with the attendant risks of losing a sale worth many tens or even hundreds of times that amount?

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159104

Postby AleisterCrowley » August 12th, 2018, 10:08 pm

Thanks all - sorry i haven't replied sooner- been a bit hectic and I seem to have picked up something nasty...


[for clarity all my dealings are via the agent who is also selling the place , so no direct contact with landlord]
Lots to take in - one question -
Would a landlord/agent ever return a deposit before the premises has been vacated ?
It's implied in a previous posts that i'm in a good position because they want me out promptly, but would it be reasonable to expect my deposit before I leave ?
To be honest if I were the agent I'd want the keys back and the flat empty and in good nick before returning the deposit.

So, two scenarios:

I ask the agent for my deposit back 'soon' , politely implying it'll smooth my departure and avoid any unnecessary delays ..
A: Deposit returned. At which point the agent has no 'power' over me other than that in law to evict me if I hang around, and the fact that I'll need references to get a new place (although for all they know I could be buying somewhere)

B. They refuse, and point out it'll be with me within 10 days of end of tenancy. I hang on and leave on time. At which point any 'leverage' I have disappears and I have to rely solely on the deposit protection scheme.

I can see it turning into some sort of 'Mexican standoff.

If I've misinterpreted anything, please dont bite my head off, I'm feeling somewhat fragile,,,

cheers
AC

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159121

Postby melonfool » August 13th, 2018, 1:00 am

You can only ask, but I would expect it to be no.

Mel

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159122

Postby melonfool » August 13th, 2018, 1:09 am

AleisterCrowley wrote: I assume the deposit is returned (or not) at some point after the end of the tenancy, by which time I've lost any leverage as the sale will have gone through.


There will be a gap, it sounds as if you rented furnished so the LL will need to remove all the furniture before the new buys come along, I expect maybe a two day gap in fact. Though the LL will probably have exchanged contracts so he will be happy enough by then.

How much is this deposit and is it really worth all the angst? You'll most likely get it back. The LL may take something for unusual wear and tear, but he might not, he might take the view you do that as he is selling he's not due anything - but that's not how it works really, he might just take that view.

You don't need to be thinking about what courts think about the deposit - just get yourself packed, buy the new place and then get back what you get back, and put the rest behind you.

Mel

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159144

Postby AleisterCrowley » August 13th, 2018, 9:07 am

Deposit is £790

Looking at the RightMove rentals some of the agent's fees are exorbitant. I have my receipt to hand from the current place and the fees were £58.75 admin plus £17.63 referencing fee - total £76.38. I reckon that at 5% increase pa that 'should' be around £175 equivalent now.

One of the main agencies in my target area charges £599 for 1/2 tenants setup/admin plus £204 'accompanied check-in fee' so thats > £800 right off. Then there's the deposit which could be north of £1000

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159184

Postby Infrasonic » August 13th, 2018, 11:32 am

AleisterCrowley wrote:Deposit is £790

Looking at the RightMove rentals some of the agent's fees are exorbitant. I have my receipt to hand from the current place and the fees were £58.75 admin plus £17.63 referencing fee - total £76.38. I reckon that at 5% increase pa that 'should' be around £175 equivalent now.

One of the main agencies in my target area charges £599 for 1/2 tenants setup/admin plus £204 'accompanied check-in fee' so thats > £800 right off. Then there's the deposit which could be north of £1000


Fees are negotiable AC, bricks and mortar estate agents are going through a rough time at the moment so it's possible to play them off against each other. I did it with my agent last year, they dropped all the LL fees to match the lowest I could find locally. No fuss, very matter of fact. If it's a standard printed contract just biro out the printed fees, put in the new and the EA will initial the changes so it is 'authorised'.

Do a quick Google search for local agents and see if there are any recently set up 'independents', normally their fees are a fair bit cheaper than the big chains, so either rent through them or go back to the bigger agents and say you'll pay up to xxx on fees, take it or leave it.
It's a daily exercise for them, they won't bat an eyelid although they may try and play poker with you on it, in which case intimate you already have other options with other agents and aren't desperate.
If all their rental properties are in demand with multiple block viewings they may try and stonewall you, but in my experience they want to turn over properties as fast as possible to get their fees turnover rate up, so don't want properties on their books longer that absolutely necessary, even if it means dropping the fees a bit to get a quick sale/tenant.

If cashflow is an issue can you not pay the fees with a 0% purchases CC and then pay that off over a few months?
If you have a decent credit rating (the agent will check) you should be able to come to some arrangement with the agent about paying the fees off over a short time period rather than all upfront, but you need to be careful you don't spook them into thinking you have no money and are going to become a non payer on the rent. They take their monthly LL management fees out of the rent before passing it on to the LL (on a full service agreement anyway), so they are sensitive to not getting paid.

The deposit is with the TDS so I don't think you'll have any leeway on getting it back early, but I've never tested that one out in the real world so can't say for sure. I'd be surprised if you could as these things tend to be a set procedure rubber stamp job.

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159204

Postby PinkDalek » August 13th, 2018, 12:36 pm

Infrasonic wrote:… The deposit is with the TDS so I don't think you'll have any leeway on getting it back early, but I've never tested that one out in the real world so can't say for sure. I'd be surprised if you could as these things tend to be a set procedure rubber stamp job.


I don't know if it makes any difference but I think the deposit is with the landlord (or the agent), in that at some stage AleisterCrowley said it was covered by an insurance backed scheme.

Perhaps that's why pochisoldi talks of the possibility of the full deposit being returnable by the landlord (or the agent), at any time, without the need for any recourse to the scheme, should they be willing to go down that route.

Edit: If of interest, the OP has also written at DAK concerning the possible purchase of a flat (so it would appear from there that some funds are available to him):

viewtopic.php?p=159169#top

AleisterCrowley
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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159216

Postby AleisterCrowley » August 13th, 2018, 1:21 pm

Yes, I've got 'plenty' (c £10k) in my current account at the moment - intentionally not invested
Doesn't mean I want to spend it subsidising a letting agent's new BMW! I'm, by nature, careful with money.

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159218

Postby Infrasonic » August 13th, 2018, 1:30 pm

I don't know if it makes any difference but I think the deposit is with the landlord (or the agent), in that at some stage AleisterCrowley said it was covered by an insurance backed scheme.


It was established upthread (eventually) that the agent had registered the deposit with TDS in 2012 and sent AC a PDF copy of the original registration document very recently, having not sent one previously it would seem. (Which wouldn't surprise me as agents are inherently lazy unless pushed IME...)

It would help at this stage if we avoid muddying the waters anymore than they are already are, bearing in mind we have multiple threads on multiple boards all with differing information, which is far from ideal.

Many of the comments in this particular thread are very wide of the mark from posters who have no real practical knowledge, it doesn't help AC get clarity (which he badly needs) especially as he is very stressed by the whole episode.

Having been through a very similar (actually far worse) situation myself many years ago I can sympathise, even if the tone of my posts is somewhat terse (sorry AC, just trying to get you to focus on the priorities here, no offence intended...)

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159226

Postby GoSeigen » August 13th, 2018, 1:56 pm

Infrasonic wrote:Many of the comments in this particular thread are very wide of the mark from posters who have no real practical knowledge


I've looked as the whole thread and can only find two really iffy posts.

viewtopic.php?p=156027#p156027
viewtopic.php?p=155178#p155178

Have I missed something -- I thought the comments in this thread were pretty high quality?

GS

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159231

Postby PinkDalek » August 13th, 2018, 2:13 pm

Infrasonic wrote:
I don't know if it makes any difference but I think the deposit is with the landlord (or the agent), in that at some stage AleisterCrowley said it was covered by an insurance backed scheme.


It was established upthread (eventually) that the agent had registered the deposit with TDS in 2012 and sent AC a PDF copy of the original registration document very recently, having not sent one previously it would seem. (Which wouldn't surprise me as agents are inherently lazy unless pushed IME...) …



The precise words were that "they protected deposit with TDS on 29/06/2012" but later AC said "I've checked my Tenancy certificate code (it's 'similar to' gGoPX9QQ) - and it appears I'm in an insured scheme":

viewtopic.php?p=158443#p158443

That's why I mentioned it, in case it makes any difference whatsoever, what with this being a public discussion board, not solely available to experts.


Having been through a very similar (actually far worse) situation myself many years ago I can sympathise, even if the tone of my posts is somewhat terse (sorry AC, just trying to get you to focus on the priorities here, no offence intended...)


Noted.

I too have every sympathy and trust it will all be sorted smoothly.

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159267

Postby melonfool » August 13th, 2018, 3:31 pm

AC

I know you're careful with money, you and I have very similar outlooks in that regard.

But I think the difference is that saving that money is, for me, for a reason - and that reason is that when I need it, I use it. And if my life is becoming stressful then throwing some money at the problem can really help and that's why we saved in the first place.

If you can mentally let go of this deposit I think it will get you into a better place to move on to the next stage, which is actually a lot more important. I mean, I was really naffed off that I had to pay storage fees, two lots of removal costs (due to the ex being a wonk) etc etc, but I just had to let it go as otherwise I'd have died of stress. And I'm not really that much worse off for it, maybe a few hundred pounds, but really, it doesn't matter in the scheme of my whole life, health and happiness.

And you can always stay with me, I have a very serviceable spare bedroom. It's got carpet and everything.

Mel

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159345

Postby AleisterCrowley » August 13th, 2018, 7:03 pm

Carpet?
Luxury.....

I guess I'm mostly worried about actually finding somewhere to live before the deadline, and getting all my 'stuff' sorted, packed/donated/into storage whilst trying to hold down a job.

The possibility of being ripped off for;
(a)the deposit - unlikely perhaps
and
(b)agency fees for the next place (almost inevitable)
- adds extra layer of misery !

On the plus side, I've got plenty of leave left this year, and cash in the bank.
Makes me realise how bad this sort of thing must be for someone struggling financially :(

cheers
AC

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159432

Postby Bouleversee » August 14th, 2018, 9:33 am

melonfool wrote:AC

I know you're careful with money, you and I have very similar outlooks in that regard.

But I think the difference is that saving that money is, for me, for a reason - and that reason is that when I need it, I use it. And if my life is becoming stressful then throwing some money at the problem can really help and that's why we saved in the first place.

If you can mentally let go of this deposit I think it will get you into a better place to move on to the next stage, which is actually a lot more important. I mean, I was really naffed off that I had to pay storage fees, two lots of removal costs (due to the ex being a wonk) etc etc, but I just had to let it go as otherwise I'd have died of stress. And I'm not really that much worse off for it, maybe a few hundred pounds, but really, it doesn't matter in the scheme of my whole life, health and happiness.

And you can always stay with me, I have a very serviceable spare bedroom. It's got carpet and everything.

Mel


We all approach things in a different way, Mel. I'm more like AC and I certainly wouldn't be kissing goodbye to my deposit without a struggle. I'd be emailing the agent and asking him if he could confirm that my deposit would be returned in full* and how soon that was likely to be in relation to the agreed date of vacating the property but perhaps the experts might think that is not a good idea.

* I assume he intends to leave it immaculately clean and that there is no damage other than fair wear and tear over such a long tenancy.

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159466

Postby melonfool » August 14th, 2018, 11:14 am

I agree Boulversee - usually. And it's not by letting such things go that I have managed to have a mortgage-free house, no debt and savings at my age. BUT, we save and scrimp for a reason, and this is surely one of those reasons? When life gets too stressful, this is what the savings are for - no point dying of a heart attack if you can use some of your savings to make life a bit easier.

Mel

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159475

Postby Bouleversee » August 14th, 2018, 11:31 am

Mel:

I'd be much more likely to die of a heart attack if my £790 deposit wasn't returned because I hadn't had the guts or couldn't be bothered to attempt to recover it.

I remember many years ago my husband received a spurious claim (as sole surviving guarantor (long retired) of a factory lease) for over £100k worth of dilapidations when the lease ended and the company was in administration. If he had the dosh, he would have paid it for a quiet life but I was damned if I was going to hand over my hard earned money for this purpose so I hired a surveyor and put up a fight and didn't pay a penny.

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Re: My eviction part 3 (or 4?!)

#159477

Postby PinkDalek » August 14th, 2018, 11:33 am

I read Mel's earlier post to suggest AC shouldn't be getting too concerned about the protected deposit and should be concentrating on getting his new place sorted, as per his Topic at DAK.


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