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Submitted N208 Claim For Deposit Non-Protection


kaladorm
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Presumably you can fairly charge for you time spent selling it, plus any additional expenses you can reasonably prove, and charge that against the property proceeds as well?

Would be interested to know how long you are given to sell, and how pricing it determined.

You certainly are in space monkey territory here! Great read.

To answer your points:

The judgment states: "the claimant shall first apply the proceeds of the sale of the property to pay the costs and expenses of effecting the sale". This includes solicitors feeds so we're going to hand it off and whatever it costs is what it costs.

The judgment also states 'The property shall be sold without further reference to the court at a price not less than X unless the figure is changed by a further order of the court". This figure is actually the figure we submitted as part of the application which requires an estimate of the value of the property

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Presumably you can fairly charge for you time spent selling it,

No, The legal principle is that a lay person may not charge for their time when conducting work that would be expected to be undertaken by a professional.

Allowable costs in this case are EA and Legal fees, not your expenses or time.

HTH

tim

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  • 2 weeks later...

This has finally prompted the landlords into paying the full amount of the 3x deposit penalty plus all our court fees in pursuing the case :)

So the case is presumably closed. Congratulations!

Any thoughts of writing up the whole story, and seeing if anyone in the mainstream press will take it?

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Such a shame the LL eventually coughed up, I was really hoping to see the rightmove link to the forced sale! Congrats on the good result though, and it would be nice to better publicise this so that the BTL crowd know that us tenants do have rights!

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  • 2 weeks later...

No, The legal principle is that a lay person may not charge for their time when conducting work that would be expected to be undertaken by a professional.

Allowable costs in this case are EA and Legal fees, not your expenses or time.

HTH

tim

I hope you are wrong.

Civil Procedure Rules.

COSTS - SPECIAL CASES

Litigants in person

48.6

(1)This rule applies where the court orders (whether by summary assessment or detailed assessment) that the costs of a litigant in person are to be paid by any other person.

(2)The costs allowed under this rule must not exceed, except in the case of a disbursement, two-thirds of the amount which would have been allowed if the litigant in person had been represented by a legal representative.

(3)The litigant in person shall be allowed –

(a)costs for the same categories of –

(i)work; and

(ii)disbursements,

which would have been allowed if the work had been done or the disbursements had been made by a legal representative on the litigant in person's behalf;

(b)the payments reasonably made by him for legal services relating to the conduct of the proceedings; and

©the costs of obtaining expert assistance in assessing the costs claim.

(4)The amount of costs to be allowed to the litigant in person for any item of work claimed shall be –

(a)where the litigant can prove financial loss, the amount that he can prove he has lost for time reasonably spent on doing the work; or

(b)where the litigant cannot prove financial loss, an amount for the time reasonably spent on doing the work at the rate set out in the Costs Practice Direction.

(5)A litigant who is allowed costs for attending at court to conduct his case is not entitled to a witness allowance in respect of such attendance in addition to those costs.

(6)For the purposes of this rule, a litigant in person includes –

(a)a company or other corporation which is acting without a legal representative; and

(b)a barrister, solicitor, solicitor’s employee, manager of a body recognised under section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 or a person who, for the purposes of the Legal Services Act 2007, is an authorised person in relation to an activity which constitutes the conduct of litigation (within the meaning of that Act) who is acting for himself.

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  • 2 months later...

Fascinating, thanks Zebedee for the link.

My problem is I have no official address of the LL to serve notices on. The LA is not acting has the LL's agent. I have obtained the LL's address by research, not directly. The address on my AST for the LL is just a PO Box. If the researched real address is incorrect I can ask Royal Mail for the official address of the PO Box holder, but if that too is obsolete I don't know what the situation is. Someone said the AST is invalid without the real address of the LL and so I need not pay rent at all, in which case happy days because the flat is worth about zero per month

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  • 7 months later...

Yes I can confirm we did get 3x the deposit (as well as the original) as a judgement.

I'm happy to answer any questions anyone might have about the process from my experience, as I researched it all quite thoroughly :)

Hi there! I know this is a bit out of date now, but I am in a similar situation to yourself and wondered if you can give me a little advice.

I am now at the stage where I have tried to negotiate with my landlord but to no avail. He has not protected my deposit and he says I have a cheek to ask for anything back!! (As a side note he is trying to charge me for things like pans and plates... This is a house that 8 other people lived in...)

Should I just go down the route of an N208? I feel very cheated on this. I have said that I would be more than willing to discuss potential deductions, but he has made it very clear that i am getting nothing back...

Many thanks in advance! :)

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Hi there! I know this is a bit out of date now, but I am in a similar situation to yourself and wondered if you can give me a little advice.

I am now at the stage where I have tried to negotiate with my landlord but to no avail. He has not protected my deposit and he says I have a cheek to ask for anything back!! (As a side note he is trying to charge me for things like pans and plates... This is a house that 8 other people lived in...)

Should I just go down the route of an N208? I feel very cheated on this. I have said that I would be more than willing to discuss potential deductions, but he has made it very clear that i am getting nothing back...

Many thanks in advance! :)

Your landlord is in deep do do. The situation is slighty different to the original poster though, but if you take him to court you'll get your deposit back and up to 3 times it as a fine:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=178771

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Your landlord is in deep do do. The situation is slighty different to the original poster though, but if you take him to court you'll get your deposit back and up to 3 times it as a fine:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=178771

I'd recommend spelling it out to the landlord exactly what situation he is in (even quote directly from the housing act) as he may just be trying to bully you out of the deposit. Explain that if he doesn't return the deposit in full that you'll begin court proceedings. You may even have to file the claim before he takes note which will cost somewhere in the region of £100 (I forget exactly), however given you were considering making deductions anyway this should be a reasonable cost if he backs down. And if he doesn't, well you get your costs back when you win :)

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  • 3 months later...

Hi,

I am new to this forum. I am currently experiencing a similar situation and it was reassuring to read through your saga. I had a few questions which I will be grateful if you could answer.

First, my story in short: I have now left the property and the landlady is planning to make deductions for cleaning and painting, which I do not agree with. I was never provided the details of my tenancy deposit scheme. I have been asking the landlady multiple times but getting no answer. I have checked with the 3 tenancy deposit scheme providers as listed under this govt. site. I have telephonic confirmation from them that they do not have details of my tenancy deposit. I have now requested these confirmations by email as you did. Once I get these, I plan to make my move.

My questions:

1) Do I necessarily need to release a formal 'letter before action' to the landlady stating all details of my claim, before starting court action? Or can I use the emails where I have asked her for these details? Do I need to specifically inform her that I am about to start action? I really want to make her pay for the unfair treatment that she is giving me. I am a bit worried that if I threaten her with court action and mention the hefty fine she might have to pay, she might just release the deposit and get away with paying the fine. As somebody mentioned earlier in this thread, the combination of revenge and monetary benefit is a heady mix.

2) Is it still possible that my landlady has actually protected my deposit even if I have negative confirmation from the 3 deposit scheme providers? She is just not responding to the question. Could she just be holding her cards close to her chest?

3) When I make a claim, should I be making a claim for the deposit + 3 x deposit + court charges? Or should the claim only specify the deposit + court charges and the 3 x deposit fine is up to the court?

4) Let's say the court passes a judgement to the landlady to pay the deposit + 3xdeposit + court charges to me. Can she still make a claim to the deductions as she is asking for currently?

Will really appreciate some guidance on this.

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Have a look here:

http://www.tltsolicitors.com/resources/publications/bankingandlenderservices/localism_act_2011_apr_12

Specifically the changes brought about by the localism bill are relevant. The old legislation is toothless. Under the old legislation a court ruling (Tiensa?) decided that you cannot bring any claim under the tenancy legislation after the tenancy had ended. Since you've left, it's now 9th October, and you likely had at least 6 months on the AST, you would only have had three days (from 6th April) to create a tenancy and have the new localism bill apply which would give you some redress.

If the tenancy was created before 6th April 2012, you would need to start proceedings before the tenancy ended to have a claim. Since you haven't started the claim already and appear to have some protracted discussions (taking presumably some time) my guess is the AST inception predates 6/4/2012.

Your only course of action would be to try mediation in the first instance which the LL will likely refuse, and then a small claims court claim. If it does go to court, no matter what the verdict I would be asking for all costs to be covered by the landlord since they have effectively denied you the legal right of free arbitration using a deposit scheme (this would be reinforced if the LL were to refuse mediation).

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If the tenancy was created before 6th April 2012, you would need to start proceedings before the tenancy ended to have a claim.

That's not true. If the tenancy predates 6th April 1012 and the deposit wasn't registered by 5th May 2012 then the landlord is done for whether your tenancy has ended or not.

See the other sticky

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=178771

As to your specific questions (IANAL!)

1) I don't think you do. But it looks better to a judge if you have.

2) Only if you're checking with the incorrect details (or it's registered with incorrect details) However simply by not informing you of the deposit details she's already breaking the law whether it's actually registered or not

3) Think you make a claim including the 3x fine. The judge now has discretion to lower it though

4) Not here. She'd have to separately make a small claims court claim against you for damage etc. This isn't a deposit adjudication about how much is reasonable for damage etc. It's the totally separate issue of whether the deposit was protected...

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I think your questions have been answered pretty well by the other guys already! I don't believe you have to notify the landlady that you are taking action as by filing a claim she will be notified that that has happened. Having said that, a stern letter than states your intentions and exactly what part of the law she is in breach of (and what the penalties are) may prompt her into returning the full deposit. In our case our LL's had the deadly combination of both ignorance and arrogance which led to things progressing so far, sounds like your LL is fairly ignorant of the law so you just need to find out where she stands on the arrogance ;)

Whilst getting 3xdeposit plus costs etc. is a nice goal, ultimately you want your money back with the minimum of fuss. I would have been happy to have my original deposit back plus the costs it took me to get it back, the fact that it took nearly a year to get the 3x deposit was a lot of work, and there were certainly many steps that could have been made a lot harder or even fallen through completely.

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Thank you for all your responses. I have now sent a 'letter before action' to the landlady giving her 14 days to return my deposit since she doesn't seem to have protected it (I have emails from the 3 TDS providers confirming this now). She has not yet received the letter, but let's see.

In the meanwhile, I have received an email from the landlady saying that she has sent me back my deposit (not sure how much of it) and that she has now started legal proceedings and I will hear from her shortly. On what basis can she start legal proceedings against me? I have not received her cheque yet but there are two scenarios:

1) She has sent me part of my deposit (the undisputed amount presumably), in which case, I can still sue her for not protecting my deposit. But, then what legal action could she be taking?

2) She has sent me the whole deposit and she is starting legal proceedings to recover the deductions from me. Is that possible at all? If she returns to me the whole deposit, would she still have a case for the deductions? Wouldn't she be asked why she returned the whole deposit to me in the first place? If she has returned the whole deposit to me, could she have sidestepped the case against her for not protecting the deposit and then made a case for the deductions, which I have to fight out separately and probably agree to some deductions without her being penalised in any way?

You are right, kaladorm. Getting my deposit back without any unreasonable deductions is a good enough result for me. But, shouldn't the landlady be penalised for the very fact that she didn't protect my deposit according to the law. Doesn't matter if the fine is paid to me or to anybody else.

Maybe the landlady is just playing mind games. Will update when I receive her cheque. But, in the meanwhile, any guidance is appreciated.

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It sounds like she's thinking of doing point 2:

She's returned the full deposit to rectify the non-protection and is now threatening to take you to court to claim back the money she thinks she's owed for damage etc. She sounds like a piece of work to be honest

If that's her plan then she's perfectly entitled to. Whether she wins or not is another matter.

The important point though is that she's still liable to the 1-3x fine for non-protection. Returning the deposit doesn't change that anymore, all it does is remove the bit about her not being able to serve a section 21

from the link above

However upon returning the deposit to the tenant(s) and/or third party, this may bring to their attention that there has been a breach of the HA 2004 which may result in a claim being brought in any event. Remember a claim can be brought after 31 days of receipt of the deposit, whether the breach has been rectified or not. The court will have discretion as to the level of penalty awarded.

Wait to see what happens, she may just be bluffing. But if she does do this i'd say to her that due to her legal action you're forced to make a counter claim for non-protection. Put it in writing so you can show it superseeds your last letter

She may or may not get a few hundred pounds for any damages you caused. But you will get between 1 and 3 times the deposit as a fine for non-protection.

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Well, I have received the landlady's letter now. She has indeed gone as per point 2. She has returned my entire deposit and informed me that she has started legal proceedings. I can see in the link referenced above that I can still bring a counterclaim against her for not protecting the deposit in the first place. What I am worried about is whether this is only an interpretation of the law as I didn't see it clearly stated in the law and whether the judge will see it as a non-claim as the deposit has been returned in full. Not sure if there are any precedents for this kind of a case.

One additional point which I haven't probably mentioned earlier to avoid cluttering the main issues was that the landlady still owes me back around £200 as advance rent which was paid for the period 15-Aug-2012 to 14-Sep-2012, since the contract termination date (with the required notice being served earlier) was 08-Sep-2012.

So, I am thinking of sending the landlady a follow-up letter as you mentioned above including the advance rent return claim as well (which I had already communicated to her in my first letter) and follow it up with a N208 claim for the fine and the advance rent return. I will take advice from a Citizens' Advice Bureau before moving ahead. Let's see what they say.

The outcome of this case should make a good case study in addition to kaladorm's for anybody in a similar situation, I would think. I will keep you updated.

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