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Submitted N208 Claim For Deposit Non-Protection


kaladorm
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So are these idiots still under the impression that they are above the law?

Apparently so. They've not paid within the 14 days, I rang the court to get confirmation of the notice resent to us (as I didn't get the first one they sent) and the court told me they received a fax yesterday saying they are appealing: they've not paid the fees though so it's not yet been processed. The judge will then decide if they can appeal and a hearing will take place in crown court.

Given the case was pretty clear cut I'm not sure what grounds they're appealing on, probably the fact that their letting agent didn't tell them about the DPS (which they've cited all along). We made it clear our contract is with them and if they want to take it up with the letting agent they can do, but they still cited this in the letter sent to the court for the initial claim, which the judge clearly did not see as relevant

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Apparently so. They've not paid within the 14 days, I rang the court to get confirmation of the notice resent to us (as I didn't get the first one they sent) and the court told me they received a fax yesterday saying they are appealing: they've not paid the fees though so it's not yet been processed. The judge will then decide if they can appeal and a hearing will take place in crown court.

Given the case was pretty clear cut I'm not sure what grounds they're appealing on, probably the fact that their letting agent didn't tell them about the DPS (which they've cited all along). We made it clear our contract is with them and if they want to take it up with the letting agent they can do, but they still cited this in the letter sent to the court for the initial claim, which the judge clearly did not see as relevant

I'm glad you've fought this case and am very interested to hear the eventual ending. From everything I read it all seems totally clear cut in your favour, so here's hoping after the dragging out of it you get your just rewards. 3x deposit would make it worthwhile!

The closest I've seen recently in similar situation was with my girlfriend regarding a London flat she rented with someone. The deposit wasnt protected and upon leaving the landlord wanted £700 to re-floor the entire room, for stupid reasons. I encouraged my girlfriend to dispute this via DPS, and when I realised they hadnt protected we basically threatened Small Claims Court -> they quickly realised their mistake and liability and returned full deposit. We could have persued for the 3x claim anyway but it seemed like a satisfactory outcome so it ended there.

I am really pleased for renters that this has been brought in and is upheld so strongly by Small Claims if the deposit isnt protected. I havent suffered myself but know of numberous friends who have been basically scammed over the years into losing some or all deposit over things they felt they couldnt fight.

Power to the tenants!

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I've noticed in a number of posts (and think I've seen someone cite a case) that mentioned if the landlord protected the deposit between being issued notice and the court hearing it could be construed that the landlord had protected the deposit and the case be dismissed.

I've received the following from TDS concerning this:

"Thank you for contacting The Dispute Service.

Ok, no deposits can be back dated so it may be harder for your Landlord to try and register your deposit."

I'd like to comment that from my experience it seems to be virtually impossible for the landlord to protect the deposit AFTER the tenant has left the property.

I believe the requirement is that deposit must be entered into TDS within 14 days of the start of the contract, not sure where the law stands if its protected say a week before end of contract, but certainly if the tenant has already left it seems very difficult to get round.

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Given the case was pretty clear cut I'm not sure what grounds they're appealing on, probably the fact that their letting agent didn't tell them about the DPS (which they've cited all along)

Large degree of ignorance and arrogance on their part, sadly typical of your typical del boy buy to letter. Ignorance is not an excuse. 'Sorry officer is 150mph over the limit? I didn't know'. Presumably the interest on any monies due is racking up while they waste the courts time further.

DPS was a nice step in the right direction, a rare thing the last government actually got right. Since it has come in I have recieved all of my deposit back each time a tenancy ended. Before it was in I had to fight and fight and fight to get back the money the letting agent and/or property indebtor tried to steal from me.

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I'd like to comment that from my experience it seems to be virtually impossible for the landlord to protect the deposit AFTER the tenant has left the property.

I believe the requirement is that deposit must be entered into TDS within 14 days of the start of the contract, not sure where the law stands if its protected say a week before end of contract, but certainly if the tenant has already left it seems very difficult to get round.

It seems that there is no penalty if the the deposit is protected late, provided that the tenant hasn't already initiated a complaint that it isn't protected.

tim

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It seems that there is no penalty if the the deposit is protected late, provided that the tenant hasn't already initiated a complaint that it isn't protected.

tim

well, thats pretty obvious, there are no "rent cops" out there issuing tickets.

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Another update. I've contacted the landlords and informed them that, regardless of whether they want to appeal. the judgement must be paid. I've also informed them they they are well outside the 14 day limit to pay the judgement forthwith and that they are close to 30 days at which time the judgement will be registered as unsatisfied and remain on their credit record for 6 years.

They have until next Friday to respond to my email, upon which we will be making a charging order against their property.

Watch this space

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Another update. I've contacted the landlords and informed them that, regardless of whether they want to appeal. the judgement must be paid. I've also informed them they they are well outside the 14 day limit to pay the judgement forthwith and that they are close to 30 days at which time the judgement will be registered as unsatisfied and remain on their credit record for 6 years.

They have until next Friday to respond to my email, upon which we will be making a charging order against their property.

Watch this space

First of all, congratulations. I have some friends going through a similar case (though theirs is complicated by a spurious counterclaim by the TDS-dodging ex-landlord for fictional damages).

More importantly, why are you limiting yourself to a charging order against the property? Of all the means of enforcement, a charging order is the slowest way to get your money, methinks. The landlord is outside the country so you can't get an Attachment of Earnings order, but what about a Third Party Debt Order?

You can use a Third Party Debt Order to get the landlord's bank to hand over any credit balance in your landlord's account. You might also be able to use it to force your landlord's current tenants to pay their rent directly to you.

Edited by MacGuffin
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First of all, congratulations. I have some friends going through a similar case (though theirs is complicated by a spurious counterclaim by the TDS-dodging ex-landlord for fictional damages).

More importantly, why are you limiting yourself to a charging order against the property? Of all the means of enforcement, a charging order is the slowest way to get your money, methinks. The landlord is outside the country so you can't get an Attachment of Earnings order, but what about a Third Party Debt Order?

You can use a Third Party Debt Order to get the landlord's bank to hand over any credit balance in your landlord's account. You might also be able to use it to force your landlord's current tenants to pay their rent directly to you.

Interesting idea, I had considered the different types of enforcement and figured that a charging order would be the way to go (suggested by a relative of mine, a solicitor and county court judge).

Our case could also have been complicated by the ridiculous damages charges, that's why I left it completely out of the court proceedings and only brought the claim up on the grounds of non-protection of the deposit. I figured, well if they want to counterclaim and charge us £700 for damages (the original ridiculous amount) then we'll agree to pay for it out of the £3900 bonus we've just won and it'll all be settled :)

For anyone following this thread, it's now been 30 days and still no payment. I've informed the landlord it will be registered as unsatisfied and remain on their credit register for 6 years. I had a voicemail from her shortly after saying she was planning to appeal etc etc. She received a final email from me saying that I wasn't prepared to discuss it any further, the courts had decided and regardless of an appeal the judgement must be paid, and she can send payment to the appropriate address.

The courts informed me that though they lodged the appeal a week or so ago it's still not been paid for, but they're holding it as lodged (but not processed) until around the 22nd Sept when these people are back in the country. I'm a little miffed that the courts don't seem to be following their own procedure, such as allowing evidence in the original hearing sent after 14 days had passed and holding an appeal for this length of time (6 weeks after the order was made)...

Whilst at the hearing as well the judge agreed to the initial claim of deposit + 3xpenalty + court fees + costs. However the CCJ sent out only had deposit + penalty. I need to double check whether this has gone through properly as the longer they delay the longer interest (should be) mounting up. If we get a charging order and they sell the house in say X years time, interest should still be accumulating on the judgement.

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Interesting idea, I had considered the different types of enforcement and figured that a charging order would be the way to go (suggested by a relative of mine, a solicitor and county court judge).

MacGuffin: Yes, apply for the charging order (as an 'If all else fails' fallback), but apply for the Third Party Debt Orders as well.

Our case could also have been complicated by the ridiculous damages charges, that's why I left it completely out of the court proceedings and only brought the claim up on the grounds of non-protection of the deposit. I figured, well if they want to counterclaim and charge us £700 for damages (the original ridiculous amount) then we'll agree to pay for it out of the £3900 bonus we've just won and it'll all be settled :)

MacGuffin: Why pay them anything? Fight that too, if it comes to it. By not following proper procedures with regard to tenancy, they willhave done themselves no favours. It will be difficult for them to prove you caused damage, after all this time has passed.

For anyone following this thread, it's now been 30 days and still no payment. I've informed the landlord it will be registered as unsatisfied and remain on their credit register for 6 years. I had a voicemail from her shortly after saying she was planning to appeal etc etc. She received a final email from me saying that I wasn't prepared to discuss it any further, the courts had decided and regardless of an appeal the judgement must be paid, and she can send payment to the appropriate address.

MacGuffin: Stop engaging with her. The time for discussion has long since passed. Get going with your enforcement orders; no one else is going to do it for you. All you have right now is a court order stating that your landlord owes you a certain amount of money. It's up to you to apply for the subsequent enforcement orders to get the money. Your landlord doesn't appear to take anything you say seriously. Show her the consequences (i.e. money taken from her account).

The courts informed me that though they lodged the appeal a week or so ago it's still not been paid for, but they're holding it as lodged (but not processed) until around the 22nd Sept when these people are back in the country. I'm a little miffed that the courts don't seem to be following their own procedure, such as allowing evidence in the original hearing sent after 14 days had passed and holding an appeal for this length of time (6 weeks after the order was made)...

MacGuffin: I am confused by this. A judgement order is a judgement order, is it not? If you have the order, you can start making moves to enforce it. Stop waiting around, unless the court tells you that you cannot proceed with the enforcement orders yet.

Whilst at the hearing as well the judge agreed to the initial claim of deposit + 3xpenalty + court fees + costs. However the CCJ sent out only had deposit + penalty. I need to double check whether this has gone through properly as the longer they delay the longer interest (should be) mounting up. If we get a charging order and they sell the house in say X years time, interest should still be accumulating on the judgement.

MacGuffin: Interest does not accumulate after the judgement order has been made. It accumulates after the money is owed up until the time ofthe judgement order, but not after. There is nothing to be gained by delaying the start of the enforcement orders.

Edited by MacGuffin
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It seems that there is no penalty if the the deposit is protected late, provided that the tenant hasn't already initiated a complaint that it isn't protected.

tim

Yes but I'm referring specifically to an attempt by the landlord to protect the deposit after the tenant has actually left the property (and tenancy expired) - when this happened with my girlfriend the TDS member people said it was then impossible for the landlord to retrospectively make the required deposit in order to progress into a dispute over damages.

My GF only choice was to persue through small claims (which wasnt required in the end - just the threat of it, resulted in deposit returned in full)

Maybe the TDS people said that because technically a complaint had been initiated, but I got the impression it was more because the tenancy had expired & the TDS couldnt accept a deposit if there was no tenancy. The landlord was stuck and facing a 3x automatic claim.

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Yes but I'm referring specifically to an attempt by the landlord to protect the deposit after the tenant has actually left the property (and tenancy expired) - when this happened with my girlfriend the TDS member people said it was then impossible for the landlord to retrospectively make the required deposit in order to progress into a dispute over damages.

My GF only choice was to persue through small claims (which wasnt required in the end - just the threat of it, resulted in deposit returned in full)

Maybe the TDS people said that because technically a complaint had been initiated, but I got the impression it was more because the tenancy had expired & the TDS couldnt accept a deposit if there was no tenancy. The landlord was stuck and facing a 3x automatic claim.

Why didn't your GF go for the 3x penalty with her small claim? She was entitled to it. The landlord had no defence.

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  • 2 weeks later...
MacGuffin: Interest does not accumulate after the judgement order has been made. It accumulates after the money is owed up until the time ofthe judgement order, but not after. There is nothing to be gained by delaying the start of the enforcement orders.

I'm not sure about this, the charging order form to fill in says:

Judgment debt

The judgment or order required the judgment debtor to pay £ (including any costs and interest). The amount now owing is £ [which includes further interest payable on the judgment debt].

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Why didn't your GF go for the 3x penalty with her small claim? She was entitled to it. The landlord had no defence.

She just wanted it done with, and was happy to get the full deposit back.

If it was me I would have persued, especially since this started because the LL wanted to claim £700 for floor damage (caused by walking on it!!!) - although I guess even with a valid claim these things can drag out via small claims I just think my GF couldnt be bothered.

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I'm not sure about this, the charging order form to fill in says:

Judgment debt

The judgment or order required the judgment debtor to pay £ (including any costs and interest). The amount now owing is £ [which includes further interest payable on the judgment debt].

OK that's a change from when I pursued a small claim against a former flatmate in 2006. The money was owed from 2001 (yes, I am often not as quick off the mark as I should be) so I got the 8% statutory interest added onto the original debt. It certainly adds up: the interest on the debt doubled the amount of the claim.

I am certain, though, that at the time of my claim, I was only allowed interest up until the time of the judgment order. After that, the amount was frozen and only the additional costs of enforcement could be added to the amount.

I was happy enough with that, as 8% was a fairly decent investment, even with inflation. I enforced payment of the debt pretty quickly, through various means - a number of Third Party Debt Orders as well as an Attachment of Earnings, so the extra interest wouldn't have been much.

I have to say it was a great learning experience. It was very cathartic to be able to battle back against someone who had ripped me off at a time when I had very little money. Also, I am much more confident that I can deal with rip-off merchants in future.

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She just wanted it done with, and was happy to get the full deposit back.

If it was me I would have persued, especially since this started because the LL wanted to claim £700 for floor damage (caused by walking on it!!!) - although I guess even with a valid claim these things can drag out via small claims I just think my GF couldnt be bothered.

Hmmm your GF sounds like an easy-going type. I would have been really tempted by the prospect of a 3x deposit penalty.

Self-enrichment plus righteous anger is always a heady mix!

Oh well, all's well that ends well.

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I think I'm able to clarify it a little further. I think you're correct in as far as interest cannot be claimed 'after' the charging order has been made (so you don't get 10 years interest if they don't sell for ages), however you can claim additional interest from the date of the judgement to the charging order being made.

Does seem a shame that it doesn't at least rise with inflation, especially for those that will just keep their home for the next 30 years or so :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

come on im on the edge of my seat!

Nothing new to report atm I'm afraid, it's slow going. Charging order is on it's way, I've also received details of a laughable appeal - I'm expecting a letter any day now saying it's been rejected :). Interesting thing , they're still trying to claim that by not contacting them to get confirmation of the deposit being lodged we broke the tenancy agreement and so it's our fault they didn't lodge it :)

Edited by kaladorm
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they're still trying to claim that by not contacting them to get confirmation of the deposit being lodged we broke the tenancy agreement and so it's our fault they didn't lodge it :)

Alarming how irrespnsible people like this can even be in a position to own a property they can let out. The housing bubble has given power to those that didn't go through the process of earning it. Bring on the crash and let's clear the ownership of property from these types of irresponsible chancers.

I hope this slight redistribution of some money actually comes about, sounds like an open and shut case to me. Hopefully it is just a matter of time.

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Nothing new to report atm I'm afraid, it's slow going. Charging order is on it's way, I've also received details of a laughable appeal - I'm expecting a letter any day now saying it's been rejected :). Interesting thing , they're still trying to claim that by not contacting them to get confirmation of the deposit being lodged we broke the tenancy agreement and so it's our fault they didn't lodge it :)

They're just hoping to wear you down until you give up. Don't.

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