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    Is my landlord pulling a fast one?

    I was sharing a house with 3 other students last year, and we had a lot of hassle from our landlord and landlady (married couple, we rented the property from them privately and didn't go through an estate agent... They had bought the house a few years previously for their daughter who was at uni and then couldn't sell so carried on renting it to students). They were constantly blaming us for things we hadn't done! They refused to believe we had mice to start with (I hadn't moved in at that point but one of my housemates had), a light switch was loose and I got shouted at on the phone when I was letting them know, as she wouldn't believe none of us had done it, the washing machine wasn't working (turns out the previous people had blocked a pipe in it!, there was damp and mould that she wouldn't admit was due to rising damp (in the downstairs) and lack of insulation (upstairs)..We even got a free inspection and it was confirmed to be rising damp and that upstairs was due to the walls being the coldest point.
    Yet she then randomly arranged for insulation to be put in in march (saying it would probably help with the damp), we moved in to find mouldy and dirty stuff in dishwasher and microwave, oh and a pair of lacy pants on the broken desk at the landing (desk was supposed to be removed but never was!)
    This is even though they were adamant the house was clean and safe before we moved in :rolleyes:

    Ok so back story over (and there's more!), we moved out in July and still have not got our deposits back- £300 each is what we paid. Our contracts stipulate they should be returned within 6 weeks of the contract ending, 6 weeks would have been september 11. I contacted the landlord just before as he hadn't even asked us for forwarding addresses or anything and it seemed a bit fishy. It took 2 texts for him to reply and say that the contract states 8 weeks and could he have everyone's forwarding address, I didn't want to argue so sent on the addresses he needed. 8 weeks was yesterday, he hasn't been in contact with any of us and we are all waiting for our deposits still! The house is up for sale by the by and we only found out because he showed up one day unannounced and walked into my room without knocking while I was in bed to say there was to be a viewing... pretty much right away :o: . I know it was literally yesterday that we should have had it back by from what he said, but the contract does say 6 weeks. How long should I leave it before I contact to see what's going on? :eek3:
    I know you'll all say to be patient but given how dodgy these people are as landlords, you see my point in being worried!
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    If they didn't comply with this they are breaking the law.
    http://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk/
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    Don't wait, keep bugging them. It's so bad that many landlords think they can get away with treating students rubbish; you were already more than nice by agreeing with him giving it back two weeks late. If he still won't give it back I'd ask someone else, your uni can usually provide help in this kind of situation, and also blacklist them as landlords in case they continued renting out.

    Also make sure you get a full breakdown of what is charged from the deposit, and if anything looks fishy then challenge it.

    Hope it works out ok.
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    By law, they should have protected your deposit (unless the overall rent for the property was over £25k per year). You need to check with the three deposit schemes - details here - and find out for sure if your deposit is protected. Most of the schemes state that deposits should be returned within a specified time frame, and in all cases it's much less than 8 weeks, regardless of what it says in your contract. If the deposit hasn't been protected, then I would recommend writing a letter to your landlord heading it 'Letter Before Action'. In it note that you're giving them ten days to return your deposit in full. If they choose not to do that then you can go through the small claims court to get your money back. Hopefully though the letter should make them give it back to you.
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    Hmm I thought I'd posted again here.. Anyway one of the girls text him earlier in the week (monday) to see what was going on.. He replied saying 'returned deposits will be sent out at the end of the week' :mad: Still not here, so by end of the week I have no idea what day he actually meant because he hasn't text to say they have been sent out! And it has now been just over 9 weeks! 3 weeks late as from what our contracts state!
    If he doesn't send out a breakdown of reductions, what should we do? And if it's still not here, say mid week?
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    Some landlords are like this, unite are notorious for it. They will use your deposit to renovate the house, you can't let them get away with it.
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    Ok despite him saying that they would be 'sent out' at the end of the week (as in last week), we still have not received them or had contact from him saying they have definitely been sent out, grrrr
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    Sorry to double post here but none of us have received our deposits and it's now a week from when he said they would be sent out! Even if he had put the cheques in the post on saturday, after the last collection AND used second class stamps, I'm sure they'd be here? :s:

    Should I be worried that he's just not sent them!? He said he usually takes 8 weeks to give them back, it has now been almost 10 weeks, despite the fact that our contracts actually say 6! What course of action should we take?


    Just a quick question as well about the deposit protection scheme, the place I was in the year before put my deposit in a scheme, but I knew for sure they had because I got some information about it in the post which included what to do about releasing the agreed amount at the end of the tenancy.. I've had no such thing with this place though... Is that a big enough sign that they haven't protected our deposits, and if so have they broken the law?
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    Call the three deposit schemes I listed in my earlier post and see if your deposits have been protected.

    Technically, a landlord should protect your deposit within (I think) fourteen days of the start of the tenancy - unless the total rent came to more than £25k over the course of the year. If he hasn't protected it, and if he won't return it, then you could take him to the small claims court to get your deposit back. You cold also be eligible for 3x the deposit as compensation. However, this isn't clear cut and lots of landlords have got away without paying the additional money, so it's up to you how you want to follow this up.

    You really, really need to write to your landlord and give him a definite deadline for the return of your deposit. It's no good waiting for him to send it back to you - he obviously is trying to spin this out for as long as possible so it's time to get serious, and send him a serious letter. Head it 'Letter Before Action' and make it absolutely clear that you want your deposit returned in full within ten days from receipt of the letter. If you've found out about your deposit then you can put that in too. If he doesn't send your deposit back, then go along to your local CAB, who will be able to advise you on how to progess.
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    Can't get through on the phone.. guess it is the weekend but have sent one a very detailed email!

    Interestingly enough we had a look at the estate agents website and a another website where the house was up for sale.. in July and the ad is gone, looking into how we can find out if it sold.. maybe I can ring the estate agents.. But the point is if it sold, then he can't even make any deductions as it's no longer his, right?

    Edit: have emailed all 3 protection schemes (thanks sooo much for the link!) and been on the phone to the estate agent who was selling the property back in July, they have no record of the property but will have a look and get back to me..
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    There are sites like Zoopla and nethouseprices which list sold prices for houses. I think you just search for the address.

    As for deductions, it really depends whether there was an inventory, and whether it was checked at the end of the tenancy. I'd imagine though that it would be fairly hard to claim for deductions for a property that you no longer own - that would certainly be something to bear in mind should you have to take this further.
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    Thanks for that, zoopla doesn't say much but nethouseprices has what it sold for in 2004 and 2005.. Interesting info there! It may not be on there yet, the most recent sale on there for the post code and street is back in may so I wonder how often it gets updated hmm..


    Edit: Interesting update! While I was busy cleaning, the estate agents called back and left a voicemail, letting me know that the house has GONE and is under offer..
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    Thread no longer needed as he finally paid up!

    Interestingly though if he hadn't paid up, all 3 deposit schemes said that our deposits were NOT protected with them...
 
 
 
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