We moved into our house on 30th March last year, and had agreed we would pay our deposit incrementally, with the last payment being 11th August last year. The total amount was £1900 deposit.
This year, the landlord wanted to increase our rent from £950 to £1250, so I told him to forget it, and handed in my notice to terminate my tenancy. I have asked him several times to secure the deposit, via the estate agent. I was constantly fobbed off saying it would be done soon.
So yesterday, I contacted the estate agent saying that I had been in touch with all 3 deposit agencies (I know there are 4 now, but there were only 3 when he should have secured it) and had been advised it wasn't secure.
He finally told me that in the end, the landlord held the money, and that I would get it back within 10-14 days of leaving the property.
I requested he return it immediately, reminding him of the legal consequences, including the fine of 1-3 times the deposit. He point blank refused and said I would have to wait until after we move out.
I was advised by shelter that the best course of action would be to fill in an N208 and start proceedings that way. I was also advised that even if he did return the deposit, I could still take him to court for non compliance.
So I have a couple of questions really.
1) Does the fact that the deposit was paid over half a year affect this?
2) Can I still claim for non-compliance if he returns the deposit after I leave?
3) If I do start proceedings with an N208, what are the real costs for the hearing? I've read a lot of conflicting information regarding this on this internet.
Any help would be much appreciated.