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A.steve

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Has anyone else had their deposit protection insurance previously covered by mydeposits.co.uk removed?

I've a series of bizarre letters (which I've only just opened and tried to read... the content is far from clear) but it seems, now, my deposit is not covered by any deposit protection scheme whatsoever... but, instead it is held uninsured by my landlord.

I understand that I'm in the clear - assuming that my landlord can be found... since I can reclaim triple the deposit if it goes to court... assuming, of course, that my landlord is solvent.

Can anyone confirm if something similar has happened to them - and, if so, what was the outcome for them.

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Has anyone else had their deposit protection insurance previously covered by mydeposits.co.uk removed?

I've a series of bizarre letters (which I've only just opened and tried to read... the content is far from clear) but it seems, now, my deposit is not covered by any deposit protection scheme whatsoever... but, instead it is held uninsured by my landlord.

I understand that I'm in the clear - assuming that my landlord can be found... since I can reclaim triple the deposit if it goes to court... assuming, of course, that my landlord is solvent.

Can anyone confirm if something similar has happened to them - and, if so, what was the outcome for them.

Does a landlord have the right to remove a deposit from a Deposit Protection Scheme,

unless the deposit is being returned to the tenant ?

I would have thought not.

So, why has the Scheme colluded with the landlord to return the deposit to the Landlord and not to the

Tenant (whose money it is).

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I know that there are a number of smaller letting agents who've been squeezed recently by the tightening criteria on one of the three schemes (and a lot of them won't be able to get into the ARLA scheme because they aren't members) but as far as I'm aware that's your landlords promblem not yours.

If you're worried then give Shelter a call on their hotline (Google this) and they can tell you where to go from there.

Mods - could this thread be moved to all about renting? There may be quite a few of these queries in the next few months.

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Has anyone else had their deposit protection insurance previously covered by mydeposits.co.uk removed?

I've a series of bizarre letters (which I've only just opened and tried to read... the content is far from clear) but it seems, now, my deposit is not covered by any deposit protection scheme whatsoever... but, instead it is held uninsured by my landlord.

I understand that I'm in the clear - assuming that my landlord can be found... since I can reclaim triple the deposit if it goes to court... assuming, of course, that my landlord is solvent.

Can anyone confirm if something similar has happened to them - and, if so, what was the outcome for them.

Here is what happens and it all depends on the judge.

The property owner has 14 days to put money in a DPS scheme. If he doesn't do this you can sue for three months.

In order to do this you have to start the claiming process in court. This is where the grey area comes and its all up to the judge presiding over your case. If the landlord does put your money in DPS scheme at the time that you are taking him/her to court. You could lose your case and lose your money as some judges think that the law is too harsh. Then again there are cases where the judge has voted in favour of the tenant because the landlord did protect their money but not within the legislated 14 days.

In other words, it's a gamble.

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You don't appear to be the only one.

Hmmm... yes. At least I'm not alone.

I've been to see the letting agent - and they assure me that "everything is fine"... and that the landlord can chose whether to put the money in a new scheme - or to return the money to me by promising not to charge me the last month's rent. Hmmm... sounds like evading the spirit of the law to keep to the letter - and that's being as generous as I can manage.

I now have to ask the question: what happens if it turns out I'm living in a house that is part of a dead man's estate... paying money into an account in his name? Does that complicate things?

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Here is what happens and it all depends on the judge.

The property owner has 14 days to put money in a DPS scheme. If he doesn't do this you can sue for three months.

In order to do this you have to start the claiming process in court. This is where the grey area comes and its all up to the judge presiding over your case. If the landlord does put your money in DPS scheme at the time that you are taking him/her to court. You could lose your case and lose your money as some judges think that the law is too harsh. Then again there are cases where the judge has voted in favour of the tenant because the landlord did protect their money but not within the legislated 14 days.

In other words, it's a gamble.

Absolute sodding ********. You have just made me really angry.

Here is the law:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/ukpga...4_en_19#pt6-ch4

Please point out to me where it says

1. The tenant needs to claim within 3 months

2. The LL can place the money back in the deposit before the hearing and thus evade liability

3. The judge has any discretion over what to award

Clue: you cannot, because it doesn't. Now sod off and come back when you are not spouting misleading crap.

There is absolutely nothing there regarding 1 and 2 and regarding 3 the law says

214 Proceedings relating to tenancy deposits

(1) Where a tenancy deposit has been paid in connection with a shorthold tenancy, the tenant or any relevant person (as defined by section 213(10)) may make an application to a county court on the grounds—

(a) that the initial requirements of an authorised scheme (see section 213(4)) have not, or section 213(6)(a) has not, been complied with in relation to the deposit; or

b. that he has been notified by the landlord that a particular authorised scheme applies to the deposit but has been unable to obtain confirmation from the scheme administrator that the deposit is being held in accordance with the scheme.

(2) Subsections (3) and (4) apply if on such an application the court—

(a) is satisfied that those requirements have not, or section 213(6)(a) has not, been complied with in relation to the deposit, or

b. is not satisfied that the deposit is being held in accordance with an authorised scheme,

as the case may be.

(3) The court must, as it thinks fit, either—

(a) order the person who appears to the court to be holding the deposit to repay it to the applicant, or

b. order that person to pay the deposit into the designated account held by the scheme administrator under an authorised custodial scheme,

within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the making of the order.

(4) The court must also order the landlord to pay to the applicant a sum of money equal to three times the amount of the deposit within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the making of the order.

That's must, you damn fool, not can if it feels like it

@a.steve

your claim looks complex, get a lawyer to look at it.

you can get free legal advice:

http://www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk/

and

http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/

also

shelter

http://www.shelter.org.uk/

Citizens Advice Bureau

http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

You need advice from the professionals, not from ignorant fools on forums

Edited to get rid of those stupid smiley faces from where I put b in brackets

Edited by shylock

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You need advice from the professionals, not from ignorant fools on forums

:) Thanks for the advice. I'm pursuing this via various channels. I don't even know if I have a problem... well, a serious problem - at least.

Wherever I look there are anomalies - and these anomalies make me nervous. Conversely, I don't want to be forced out my home simply because some other people are incapable of doing their paperwork correctly. Where the paperwork doesn't tie-up, I feel as if I'm being taken advantage of... whether or not that is the case in reality. Having endured a spectacularly unpleasant end to my last tenancy (where a developer bought from under me and decided to exploit the fact that I was working long hours in order to undermine my security to evict me without due process...) I'm adamant that I'm not going to be a doormat twice.

What I've done so far has been an extraordinary experience - none of the official bodies seems to care one jot about correct records - be that for the land registry; the planning office; the council tax office - or the electoral register. It all rather undermines my faith in what passes for democracy in the UK. For example, when I looked at the electoral register the council official made no secret that the names were just what people chose to call themselves - and that if one person chose to have many identities there's not a damn thing they would/could do about it. They didn't even check to see if the people that are listed are dead. Shocking, really.

What makes me most nervous is that none of the names match up... and none of the local gossip matches the official documents and communications from the council are equally confused. Nothing 'bad' has happened to me here yet, but past experience leaves me reluctant to blindly trust that this will continue. I'm looking to take a stance that is both legally and ethically justifiable... and, to do that, I want to consider all the information... I strongly suspect that the CAB, Shelter and the like are not geared up to deal with what I'm looking at - I expect they're best equipped to help after everything has gone wrong - not before.

Edited by A.steve

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I've been to see the letting agent - and they assure me that "everything is fine"... and that the landlord can chose whether to put the money in a new scheme - or to return the money to me by promising not to charge me the last month's rent. Hmmm... sounds like evading the spirit of the law to keep to the letter - and that's being as generous as I can manage.

You'd be wanting that in writing.

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:) Thanks for the advice. I'm pursuing this via various channels. I don't even know if I have a problem... well, a serious problem - at least.

As I say, get a lawyer to have a look before getting back to the agent. However I think the agent is bullshitting you - ultimately the deposit must be paid into a TDS. Anything else is breaking the law. Someone, somewhere is responsible for dealing with your deposit. You need to find out who it is. I would not get involved in any rubbish about foregoing the last month's rent or some such. They'll conveniently forget they said that when you leave. Firm but polite with the confidence of knowing what your rights are tends to work well in my experience.

On reflection I probably shouldn't have bitten I want a house's head off. I realise he/she actually meant the tenant can claim three times the deposit, not the tenant has 3 months to sue. He assumes that the deposit is one month's rent, which isn't always the case. Mine was 6 weeks, which is very painful for my LL as they didn't put it in the TDS and now has to cough up 4 and half months rent in compensation. Having said that, it irritates me when people come on claiming knowledge they don't appear to have. If you are going to bang on about the law, it would be best to quote it and post a link so we can all have a look.

Best of luck, anyway and keep us posted!

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You'd be wanting that in writing.

At the moment, my problem is almost the opposite. I've got a lot of stuff in writing - it is just that it is all self-contradictory.

I think I've at least an average "reading age" yet the letters I've received as as incomprehensible as anything I've ever received.

As I say, get a lawyer to have a look before getting back to the agent. However I think the agent is bullshitting you - ultimately the deposit must be paid into a TDS. Anything else is breaking the law. Someone, somewhere is responsible for dealing with your deposit. You need to find out who it is. I would not get involved in any rubbish about foregoing the last month's rent or some such. They'll conveniently forget they said that when you leave. Firm but polite with the confidence of knowing what your rights are tends to work well in my experience.

I'm very hesitant about lawyers - if there is a problem, the problem has already made it past several teams of lawyers... and, perhaps unreasonably, I fully expect that if I simply rush into a solicitors' office and ask for them to clear things up, I'll get an expensive elaborate fabricated story that seems vaguely plausible given the written evidence I supply. That doesn't do much to help me... it won't improve my confidence in the situation one iota.

On reflection I probably shouldn't have bitten I want a house's head off. I realise he/she actually meant the tenant can claim three times the deposit, not the tenant has 3 months to sue. He assumes that the deposit is one month's rent, which isn't always the case. Mine was 6 weeks, which is very painful for my LL as they didn't put it in the TDS and now has to cough up 4 and half months rent in compensation. Having said that, it irritates me when people come on claiming knowledge they don't appear to have. If you are going to bang on about the law, it would be best to quote it and post a link so we can all have a look.

Best of luck, anyway and keep us posted!

I'm familiar with the 3x rule - though I have to note, even this isn't much help. I'd rather lose that money than have to go through the stress of taking something to court... from a financial perspective, at least. I've decided, however, that I intend to act ethically - even if it doesn't make financial sense for me to do so. Time will tell if I've an over-active imagination, I guess.

When I talked to the letting agents, they tried to pull the "the deposit goes into your rent account and it will be knocked off your last bill." "It's all perfectly fine and legal and it's all been checked out." I pointed out that I expect my solicitor to claim the converse. Things went eerily quiet at that point. There was also a stunned silence when I asked if they were sure they knew who my landlord really was - and who actually owns the property. It's almost as if no-one has ever asked this sort of question before.

Does anyone have an URL for the relevant statute for the 2004 act?

Edited by A.steve

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At the moment, my problem is almost the opposite. I've got a lot of stuff in writing - it is just that it is all self-contradictory.

I think I've at least an average "reading age" yet the letters I've received as as incomprehensible as anything I've ever received.

I'm very hesitant about lawyers - if there is a problem, the problem has already made it past several teams of lawyers... and, perhaps unreasonably, I fully expect that if I simply rush into a solicitors' office and ask for them to clear things up, I'll get an expensive elaborate fabricated story that seems vaguely plausible given the written evidence I supply. That doesn't do much to help me... it won't improve my confidence in the situation one iota.

My idea isn't to pay for the legal advice. I'd do this:

1. Get as clear in your mind what the problem is, which my understanding is (i) is the deposit in the TDS (ii) should it be in the TDS and (iii) who is responsible for putting it there.

My understanding is the answers are (i) No (ii) Yes (iii) the landlord. The problem being you don't know who the landlord is.

2. Read up on the law (link below)

3. Decide what you think the law says in relation to your situation

4. Get in touch with the free legal advice people. Say situation is X, my understanding of the law is Y, is my understanding reasonable?

5. Hopefully they say yes it is.

6. In this situation you have the confidence of going back to the LA and say this is the problem, you need to do ABC to sort or the consequences will be XYZ. Even if you don't intend to do XYZ, putting the fear of god into them in a firm, but polite manner, does wonders in my experience.

I'm familiar with the 3x rule - though I have to note, even this isn't much help. I'd rather lose that money than have to go through the stress of taking something to court... from a financial perspective, at least. I've decided, however, that I intend to act ethically - even if it doesn't make financial sense for me to do so. Time will tell if I've an over-active imagination, I guess.

Going to court costs around a couple of hundred, maybe three at the most. If you win, the loser has to pay. Yes it is stressful, I am going through it at the moment. However, the threat of legal action or starting proceedings can pursue people to throw in the towel.

When I talked to the letting agents, they tried to pull the "the deposit goes into your rent account and it will be knocked off your last bill." "It's all perfectly fine and legal and it's all been checked out." I pointed out that I expect my solicitor to claim the converse. Things went eerily quiet at that point. There was also a stunned silence when I asked if they were sure they knew who my landlord really was - and who actually owns the property. It's almost as if no-one has ever asked this sort of question before.

It is not fine and legal. There is a very clear obligation under the law (see below) for the deposit to be placed in the TDS. If the LA doesn't know this, they should be out of a job. The landlord should be named on the contract. If the LA doesn't know who the LL is, you should complain to the relevant body (don't know who that is, anyone help?)

Does anyone have an URL for the relevant statute for the 2004 act?

it is here:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/ukpga...4_en_19#pt6-ch4

happy reading!

Edited to point out the following: I am not a lawyer and have no legal training. I have taken my ex-LL to court over non-compliance with the TDS. The case is on going. I took legal advice from a family member who does have legal training. Anything posted on a forum should be taken with a pinch of salt. Check out what anyone says (including me - I believe I am right, but I might be wrong) Always do your research, think through your actions before doing anything and be cautious.

Edited by shylock

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the money MUST be in a TDS...its the law.

Many are falling fowl becuase they are using the insurance based scheme rather than a deposit scheme.

In this case, the landlord or the agent takes the deposit and puts it in an authorised account. If he doesnt comply with the return the insurance company has covered you in any dispute.

We are currently starting a dispute. the disputed funds are being demanded by the insurance based TDS while the claim is looked at.

clearly, if the insured scheme find the landlord/agent are not playing ball, then they will withdraw their insurance, guarantee and dispute resolution service.

the landlord has absolutely no chouce but to now deposit your deposit with a scheme that takes the deposits itself.

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2. The LL can place the money back in the deposit before the hearing and thus evade liability

Why I know about this is I was trying to get my LL to put my deposit into the DPS scheme. He was sitting on his bum. I spoke to Lawyers as I'm friends with a few. They said no to pursue unless you have left the property then you will win as a lot of judges hate the law. Maybe they are VI but there are a few cases, you just need to search where the LL evaded payment as he did the right thing in the end and it looks like extortion to property BTL owners. Remember we're in England after all. Land gentry rock here and not renting peasants.

As the word of law is written, you should be able to sue even if the LL put the money into the deposit pre 14 days but as I said, judges do what they want half the time.

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When I talked to the letting agents, they tried to pull the "the deposit goes into your rent account and it will be knocked off your last bill." "It's all perfectly fine and legal and it's all been checked out." I pointed out that I expect my solicitor to claim the converse. Things went eerily quiet at that point. There was also a stunned silence when I asked if they were sure they knew who my landlord really was - and who actually owns the property. It's almost as if no-one has ever asked this sort of question before.

If they have taken a deposit it MUST be in a deposit scheme or they are breaking the law. Tell them they have 2 weeks to give you confirmation that the deposit is in a scheme and if not you will apply the deposit against the next month or 2 of rent. They either have a deposit or they have rent payments. If it is a rent payment then apply it against the NEXT payment - not the last payment as who knows what state the landlords finances are in. It's quite possible you will get a visit from the bailif and be turfed out next week if they are not paying the mortgage and if the deposit is not in a scheme you will never see it a again. Don't piss about with this - something funny is going on. Either get it in a scheme NOW or stop paying rent until you have your bond back that way. Like I said, it's either deposit or rent payment. They can't have it both ways. If you can get them to put in writing that the deposit is now a rent payment then they wont have a leg to styand on if you stop paying rent.

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Why I know about this is I was trying to get my LL to put my deposit into the DPS scheme. He was sitting on his bum. I spoke to Lawyers as I'm friends with a few. They said no to pursue unless you have left the property then you will win as a lot of judges hate the law. Maybe they are VI but there are a few cases, you just need to search where the LL evaded payment as he did the right thing in the end and it looks like extortion to property BTL owners. Remember we're in England after all. Land gentry rock here and not renting peasants.

As the word of law is written, you should be able to sue even if the LL put the money into the deposit pre 14 days but as I said, judges do what they want half the time.

Obviously you don't sue your LL when you are still in the property. That would be really really really silly. The LL will place the deposit in the scheme, then kick you out. What you do is get the written evidence that LL isn't compliant, then when you leave you can either

1. Tell the LL you have evidence LL is non-compliant and state you want the deposit back PDQ or there will be unpleasant consequences.

or

2. Sue the fecker.

Personally having gone through the process I wouldn't bother suing unless (i) I felt that the LL took money out of the deposit unfairly as by not putting the TDS LL is denying me the right to arbitration or (ii) the LL decides to take his/her sweet time over returning the deposit. In my case both the above points were applicable. I don't think it is worth the hassle of suing the LL if LL repays the deposit quickly and in full. That would be pretty ********, though my reading of the law is that you are still within your rights to sue.

Regarding your point that "judges can do what they like" I think your lawyer mates are not really reading the law correctly. The law is really really clear on the point that the court must make the award.

Sorry for biting yr head off earlier.

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Obviously you don't sue your LL when you are still in the property. That would be really really really silly. The LL will place the deposit in the scheme, then kick you out. What you do is get the written evidence that LL isn't compliant, then when you leave you can either

1. Tell the LL you have evidence LL is non-compliant and state you want the deposit back PDQ or there will be unpleasant consequences.

or

2. Sue the fecker.

Personally having gone through the process I wouldn't bother suing unless (i) I felt that the LL took money out of the deposit unfairly as by not putting the TDS LL is denying me the right to arbitration or (ii) the LL decides to take his/her sweet time over returning the deposit. In my case both the above points were applicable. I don't think it is worth the hassle of suing the LL if LL repays the deposit quickly and in full. That would be pretty ********, though my reading of the law is that you are still within your rights to sue.

Regarding your point that "judges can do what they like" I think your lawyer mates are not really reading the law correctly. The law is really really clear on the point that the court must make the award.

Sorry for biting yr head off earlier.

The law is actually completely messed up. At the point that the LL pays, the punishments no longer apply, a very badly drafted law (are theives not prosecuted if they give the money back). Also, although the LL can't evict under one section (10?) he can under another.

I took on a tenancy where the LL didn't protect my deposit and started proceedings following advice from Shelter, and received no compensation and was evicted.

Fortunately, I found a nicer place for less rent, and the disruption was tolerable.

However, absolutely:

Do not do anything prior to leaving the property. Ideally wait until you have received the deposit back - then the landlord can't get out of the law by protecting it.

Do not rely on advice you read or receive on the internet, a lot of it, including some very strongly stated advice on this thread is wrong, very wrong.

Do not take any advice from Shelter, they are ignorant and grossly incompetent.

If you plan to do anything prior to leaving the premises, do take advice from a solicitor, I only did this when it was too late, an important lesson learned.

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The law is actually completely messed up. At the point that the LL pays, the punishments no longer apply, a very badly drafted law (are theives not prosecuted if they give the money back). Also, although the LL can't evict under one section (10?) he can under another.

I took on a tenancy where the LL didn't protect my deposit and started proceedings following advice from Shelter, and received no compensation and was evicted.

Fortunately, I found a nicer place for less rent, and the disruption was tolerable.

However, absolutely:

Do not do anything prior to leaving the property. Ideally wait until you have received the deposit back - then the landlord can't get out of the law by protecting it.

Do not rely on advice you read or receive on the internet, a lot of it, including some very strongly stated advice on this thread is wrong, very wrong.

Do not take any advice from Shelter, they are ignorant and grossly incompetent.

If you plan to do anything prior to leaving the premises, do take advice from a solicitor, I only did this when it was too late, an important lesson learned.

interesting

on what grounds were you evicted?

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If you can get them to put in writing that the deposit is now a rent payment then they wont have a leg to styand on if you stop paying rent.

I don't think that is necessarily true. Two wrongs don't make a right and you're both in breach if you withhold payments. What does the law say in this case?

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I don't think that is necessarily true. Two wrongs don't make a right and you're both in breach if you withhold payments. What does the law say in this case?

My understanding is that by writing it down, dating and signing it, it would be considered a change of the contract. But I would advise not to do this anyway. I think getting them to obey the law would be a much better idea. Talk to a lawyer

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Too right, my jaw dropped when I read the post from 'I want a house'. If you haven't got a clue what you're talking about you shouldn't just make stuff up. TDS is black & white and explained perfectly here:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/index.htm

Please read whole thread. You'll find I do know what I'm talking about here.

Edit to add links to prove what I'm saying isn't rubbish.

first link, interesting. It will tell you exactly what I said. Judges DON'T want to give this money to the tenant.

http://landlordlaw.blogspot.com/2009/04/mo...sit-muddle.html

http://landlordlaw.blogspot.com/2008/10/an...t-decision.html

Nice chatting with you.

Edited by I want a house!

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I don't think that is necessarily true. Two wrongs don't make a right and you're both in breach if you withhold payments. What does the law say in this case?

the deposit purposes will be in the AST.

normally they are for repairs and rent arrears at the end of the tenancy.

holding back the last month puts you in arrears technically, but it does mean YOU have control of the money rather than the thief.

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Many thanks, that's exactly what I wanted.

I'm going to have to do some long and hard thinking here. My next door neighbours appear to be acting as agents for my landlord - though I can't establish who my landlord actually is. I think they're broadly pleasant people - but they've been acting in a way I find a bit un-nerving recently... perhaps this is nothing more than a lovers' tiff - which would have nothing to do with me... or, perhaps they're insolvent... which will impact my life.

I don't want to stitch anyone up - but, similarly, I don't want to be stitched up - either intentionally or unintentionally. The money is far less valuable than having a secure base where my treasured (but financially worthless) possessions are kept.

I'll consider the 2004 statute and re-read (carefully) the correspondence regarding the deposit. I imagine that there is a good reason why the deposit protection was withdrawn... but I'm not sure what that might be. Has anyone researched reasons for such withdrawal of protection? Does it mean the protection company think the letting agent or landlord is insolvent - or that there is something bent about a particular let property?

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