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Private Accommodation is Refusing to Return My Deposit watch

    • Thread Starter

    I am just about at the end of my tether right now and am at the point of threatening legal proceedings but thought it wise to consult with others first.

    Last year I enrolled at The University of Sheffield and was doing really well on my degree until suddenly I gradually began to become physically sick.
    I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to draw unnecessary attention to myself or make a fuss, but ultimately this culminated in a 3:00AM trip to AE experiencing pain so bad when I look back on it I can only remember wanting to die.
    Doctors at the time fed me some painkillers and ran test that all returned negative. I had suspected for a few years that I was experiencing the onset of a disease of the womb called endometriosis, so I was referred to a gyno who informed me that the only way endometriosis can be formally diagnosed is via a laparoscopy, but he examined me anyway and concluded no visible issues with me down under.

    It was later concluded that I was suffering with endometriosis, but due to the fact that the disease itself is effectively incurable and only manageable with meds to stop you menstruating or painkillers to manage (unless you're at the very latest stages then they can cut you up and remove any endometrial cysts, but this is very late stage), so for that reason they were unwilling to put me through an unnecessary laparoscopy.

    I was quite satisfied with this because I didn't want to have to go through it anyway, and was now on hormones that were drastically improving my symptoms, like really span the whole thing around, unfortunately at this point my grades on my degree had suffered irredeemably due to the multiple absences and subsequent poor work (it's the kind f course where if you miss even one lesson you're going to struggle catching up) and due to the intensity/strictness of the course I was unable to resit my first year.

    With my accommodation/Sheffield 3/Derwent Students I originally took out a contract for 51 weeks as I intended to stay in Sheffield over Summer.
    Obviously this was no longer going to happen, so I requested at the reception of Sheffield 3 to have it reduced to the standard 44 weeks.
    I would have been quite happy to stay on Sheffield over Summer actually but my main reason for the request was now that I had with withdrawn from the university I would no longer be receiving the other half of a monetary award I'd been granted for my study which is what I was going to use to pay for the extended contract.

    Anyway they told me that in order to have it reduced I would require a medical certificate from the university and evidence of my illness.

    Now here's where it hits a snag. Due to the fact that the NHS won't grant me a lap, that I don't want anyway, (surgery always carries a risk and it's not medically necessary), my endo is not formally confirmed, so when I withdrew from the university I put my reasons as being academically primary and medically secondary.

    So, so far I have provided to them a doctor's note in which the doctor basically confirmed that I have endometriosis, that it's the reason for my dropping out etc. etc. all the confirmation you could ask for, a document from the hospital from the night I was admitted to AE , and a withdrawal certificate from the university confirming officially my withdrawal and the reasons I'd given.

    Initially when I explained to them that I wouldn't be able to obtain a medical certificate I was told this was fine, and ever since then they've been extremely unprofessional in dealing with me and are at this point pretty much refusing to return my deposit until I obtain a medical certificate from the university that I've told them and they know will be impossible to obtain.

    I vacated in late April 2015 with my rent all paid up in accordance of a 44 week contract and was informed that I would have to have to wait until September to receive my deposit back, so I waited and waited, and now it's November and I'm still wrestling with them.

    I've kept logs of all of my phone and email contacts with them, times and dates, details of what was said etc. Pretty much every time I call I'm told the manager, the guy is supposed who's to be authorising my refund, is unavailable, he's at lunch, he's in a meeting, he's in a phone call, he's on holiday etc. (the ride never ends).
    The one time I did actually did get a hold of him he told me that the reason my deposit return hadn't been dealt with was because a member of staff that had my emails was sick and in hospital so he would deal with it just as soon as she returns.
    Fair enough, we can do this cordially right? No contact for over a week.
    Call them up again, managers in a meeting, he's on the phone, he's busy, can you leave your details with a member of staff. Request that they get back in contact with me via phone or email. No contact. Have to keep calling them.
    Now one of the people dealing with me in lieu of the manager is telling me they need evidence of physical illness, apparently the physical documents I provided to them in April have mysteriously vanished.

    Now I'm being told that they sent me an email on the 9th of October containing details of why they won't return my deposit, and no such email exists in my inbox nor do I recall receiving one.

    I thought I could handle this cordially but apparently not, so I'm coming to you guys for advice on how I should proceed with this. I honestly believe they are trying to pull a fast one on me and scam me out of my £250 deposit.

    I feel I need to make a note now that I'm at a different university studying the same degree branch and with the medication it's really turned my symptoms around. I'm doing really in all my classes, top of my class, 10/10 marks on all of my tests etc.

    (Original post by derealistic)
    I originally took out a contract for 51 weeks as I intended to stay in Sheffield over Summer
    in order to have it reduced I would require a medical certificate from the university and evidence of my illness.
    and are at this point pretty much refusing to return my deposit until I obtain a medical certificate from the university
    I've made a TD;DR for you

    What does your tenancy agreement say about a break clause? Does it specifically mention reducing the term due to illness? Does anything in any of their published terms & conditions say this?

    They have offered to reduce the term if you provide a certificate. You are unable to provide this. The reasons for being unable to provide it are irrelevant to them.

    If you can prove that your contract or their terms state that you can reduce your tenancy term due to illness then you may be able it further with the tenancy deposit scheme it's registered with. Frankly; I'd be surprised if there was anything in the documentation which allows you to reduce your tenancy for medical reasons.. it certainly wouldn't exist in a normal tenancy agreement!
Do I go to The Streets tomorrow night?

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