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ChrisH

N208 Form Submitted

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I’ve benefited from reading other people’s threads on this and other forums, so thought I would try and do the same.

My flatmates and I rented a flat from our landlord from January 2008 to February 2010. Our deposit of £1860 still hasn’t been returned after many reminders and threats of legal action. All three of the deposit protection schemes have also confirmed that they haven’t protected the deposit.

I submitted my N208 claim today, claiming for the deposit plus interest, three times the deposit as compensation, and court fees. My (anonymised) claim wording is below, if anyone would like to borrow it. I took most of the wording from the template kindly posted online by someone more knowledgeable than me (sorry, I forget who).

*****

The Claimant claims under section 214(1) of the Housing Act 2004 that the deposit of £1860 required by the tenancy agreement originally dated [sTART DATE] in respect of the premises at [ADDRESS], made between the Claimant and the Defendant was not paid into an appropriate tenancy deposit scheme (in breach of section 213(1) of the Housing Act 2004); or that the Claimant was unable to confirm from the Scheme Administrator of any tenancy deposit scheme that they held the deposit in accordance with the scheme (in breach of section 213(3) of the Housing Act 2004).

And the Claimant asks that the court make an order:

1. That the person who appears to the court to be holding the deposit do repay it to the Claimant, in accordance with section 214(3) of the Housing Act 2004.

2. That the Defendant do pay to the Claimant, within 14 days of the making of the order, a sum of money equal to three times the amount of the deposit, in accordance with section 214(4) of the Housing Act 2004.

3. The Claimant claims interest under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% a year, from 10 February 2008 to 7 July 2010 of £358.87 and interest at the same rate up to the date of judgment or earlier payment at a daily rate of £0.41.

The Claimant is therefore seeking payment of £7440, plus the court fees and interest.

The Claimant encloses copies of:

o the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement signed on [sTART DATE] relating to the above named premises;

o the receipt from the Letting Agents of the deposit;

o a letter sent in March 2008 relating to the lack of inventory provided for the property, and thus that no deductions from the deposit would be accepted;

o a letter received from the Letting Agents in January 2010 confirming that the Defendant is holding the Claimant’s deposit;

o confirmations from each of the three Government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes that they did not hold the deposit for the above named premises for the entire length of the tenancy;

o letters and emails sent to the Defendant requesting information about, and return of, the deposit. The Claimant additionally requested the return of the deposit on numerous other occasions by telephone since the end of the tenancy, with no repayment forthcoming despite repeated promises to the contrary by the Defendant;

o the Letter Before Action sent on 25 June 2010 and the email from the Defendant received on 3 July 2010 acknowledging its receipt;

o the Notes for the Defendant.

*****

Thanks,

Chris

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I’ve benefited from reading other people’s threads on this and other forums, so thought I would try and do the same.

My flatmates and I rented a flat from our landlord from January 2008 to February 2010. Our deposit of £1860 still hasn’t been returned after many reminders and threats of legal action. All three of the deposit protection schemes have also confirmed that they haven’t protected the deposit.

I submitted my N208 claim today, claiming for the deposit plus interest, three times the deposit as compensation, and court fees. My (anonymised) claim wording is below, if anyone would like to borrow it. I took most of the wording from the template kindly posted online by someone more knowledgeable than me (sorry, I forget who).

*****

The Claimant claims under section 214(1) of the Housing Act 2004 that the deposit of £1860 required by the tenancy agreement originally dated [sTART DATE] in respect of the premises at [ADDRESS], made between the Claimant and the Defendant was not paid into an appropriate tenancy deposit scheme (in breach of section 213(1) of the Housing Act 2004); or that the Claimant was unable to confirm from the Scheme Administrator of any tenancy deposit scheme that they held the deposit in accordance with the scheme (in breach of section 213(3) of the Housing Act 2004).

And the Claimant asks that the court make an order:

1. That the person who appears to the court to be holding the deposit do repay it to the Claimant, in accordance with section 214(3) of the Housing Act 2004.

2. That the Defendant do pay to the Claimant, within 14 days of the making of the order, a sum of money equal to three times the amount of the deposit, in accordance with section 214(4) of the Housing Act 2004.

3. The Claimant claims interest under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% a year, from 10 February 2008 to 7 July 2010 of £358.87 and interest at the same rate up to the date of judgment or earlier payment at a daily rate of £0.41.

The Claimant is therefore seeking payment of £7440, plus the court fees and interest.

The Claimant encloses copies of:

o the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement signed on [sTART DATE] relating to the above named premises;

o the receipt from the Letting Agents of the deposit;

o a letter sent in March 2008 relating to the lack of inventory provided for the property, and thus that no deductions from the deposit would be accepted;

o a letter received from the Letting Agents in January 2010 confirming that the Defendant is holding the Claimant’s deposit;

o confirmations from each of the three Government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes that they did not hold the deposit for the above named premises for the entire length of the tenancy;

o letters and emails sent to the Defendant requesting information about, and return of, the deposit. The Claimant additionally requested the return of the deposit on numerous other occasions by telephone since the end of the tenancy, with no repayment forthcoming despite repeated promises to the contrary by the Defendant;

o the Letter Before Action sent on 25 June 2010 and the email from the Defendant received on 3 July 2010 acknowledging its receipt;

o the Notes for the Defendant.

*****

Thanks,

Chris

Are you sure that you can claim interest from the start of the tenancy.

It is normal with court awards, only to be allowed interest from the date of the hearing

tim

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Are you sure that you can claim interest from the start of the tenancy.

It is normal with court awards, only to be allowed interest from the date of the hearing

tim

From what I've seen it's possible. I'm claiming interest from the day the deposit should have been protected (14 days after the start of the tenancy). I guess we'll see whether or not that's allowed.

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nice one.

looking forward to the results...is there a public gallery in your court?

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Our hearing (having been adjourned twice) is on for Wednesday 17 November. Things have just become complicated I think - the landlord has paid a cheque for the deposit into each of our bank accounts. Does this now mean he's not "the person who appears to be holding the deposit" as per the Housing Act 2004? We did say in our letter before action that we'd no longer accept the deposit as full and final settlement - does this mean we have effectively refused what he's now done? Advice much appreciated!

Thanks

Chris

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Our hearing (having been adjourned twice) is on for Wednesday 17 November. Things have just become complicated I think - the landlord has paid a cheque for the deposit into each of our bank accounts. Does this now mean he's not "the person who appears to be holding the deposit" as per the Housing Act 2004? We did say in our letter before action that we'd no longer accept the deposit as full and final settlement - does this mean we have effectively refused what he's now done? Advice much appreciated!

Thanks

Chris

Might be the time to take professional advice.

You probably still have the upper hand. But if you have an offer of payment and reject it, you're into a classic catch: if the judge awards you the amount of the offer (or less), you get to pay costs. So do check it out, and cite kaladorm's case as a precedent (if you can find the details).

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Might be the time to take professional advice.

You probably still have the upper hand. But if you have an offer of payment and reject it, you're into a classic catch: if the judge awards you the amount of the offer (or less), you get to pay costs. So do check it out, and cite kaladorm's case as a precedent (if you can find the details).

Paying money into your bank accout is not a legal "offer to settle".

You could easily argue that you don't check your bank accout often enough to notice (I certainly don't), and even if you did there will be no indication where the money has come from.

tim

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We won! Had our hearing this afternoon. The landlord didn't turn up, but the judge accepted our case and awarded us our full claim:

- return of the deposit

- interest on the deposit from start of tenancy + 10 days until now

- three times the deposit

- court fees

The issue I mentioned above about the cheques was OK in the end. As in kaladorm's case, the cheques will only clear tomorrow so we haven't definitely received anything yet. The judge did mention that had the landlord protected the deposit before the court case he would have won.

The landlord may apply to have the judgement set aside but we'll know in the next couple of weeks. Thanks everyone for your advice and help!

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We won! Had our hearing this afternoon. The landlord didn't turn up, but the judge accepted our case and awarded us our full claim:

- return of the deposit

- interest on the deposit from start of tenancy + 10 days until now

- three times the deposit

- court fees

The issue I mentioned above about the cheques was OK in the end. As in kaladorm's case, the cheques will only clear tomorrow so we haven't definitely received anything yet. The judge did mention that had the landlord protected the deposit before the court case he would have won.

The landlord may apply to have the judgement set aside but we'll know in the next couple of weeks. Thanks everyone for your advice and help!

Congrats Chris

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well done.

so the judge said that if the deposit was placed in a scheme LAST WEEK that there would have been no case to answer....methinks the Judge is a Twerp.

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^^ Yes, and that's the opinion of the Court of Appeal judges in the Universal vs. Tiensia case, where this happened and the landlord won. Until the law is clarified it seems there's a massive loophole for landlords to exploit :(

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^^ Yes, and that's the opinion of the Court of Appeal judges in the Universal vs. Tiensia case, where this happened and the landlord won. Until the law is clarified it seems there's a massive loophole for landlords to exploit :(

much obliged...here is the decision, which I read slightly differently....If you have left the property and are claiming back the deposit, It MUST be surely too late to protect the deposit which at that time should have been returned anyway.

The Court of Appeal Decision

The Court of Appeal, dismissing the appeal in Tiensia and allowing the appeal in Honeysuckle Properties, held that although the Act required imposed a 14-day time limit for compliance with the initial requirements of a deposit scheme, the focus of the sanctions for non-compliance was not on whether there had been compliance within the 14-day period but on whether there had been compliance at all. The tense of the language in s.214(1)(a) and 214(2)(a) was consistent only with an inquiry as whether the initial requirements (and notification obligations) had been performed at all, and not with whether they were performed within a particular past period. Accordingly, late, but nevertheless due, compliance by the landlord furnished him with a complete defence to a claim by the tenant under section 214.

This interpretation was supported by the carefully chosen statutory language, and was a properly precise one to apply to legislation that was manifestly penal in intent. It was also consistent with the purpose of the legislation, i.e. to achieve the protection of deposits, ideally within the 14-day period but, if not, then later. Its purpose was not to punish landlords who may, e.g. for innocent reasons, be just a day late in securing such protection.

Accordingly, if the landlord is late in complying with his s.213 obligations but does comply with them before the hearing of any s.214 claim, any such claim will fall to be dismissed. A landlord may be liable for the costs of the tenant’s claim, however, where protection was achieved after the claim had been issued.

Furthermore, the natural interpretation of the phrase “the initial requirements” as used in s.213(3), (4) is that it does not include any requirement imposed by a particular scheme as to the time within which the landlord must secure the deposit. Since section 213(3) itself imposes a time limit within which ‘the initial requirements’ must be complied with, it is necessarily implicit in that sub-section that it does not recognise that a, perhaps different, time limit may be imposed as an initial requirement by a particular scheme. Otherwise, the potential for unacceptable uncertainty and confusion would arise, as to the relationship between the section 213(3) time limit and the scheme time limit. The statutory reference to the initial requirements of a scheme was only to the requirements for protecting a deposit, other than any time limit for doing so, that may be imposed by the scheme.

Lord Justice Sedley dissented as to the time for compliance permitted by the legislation, suggesting that to sanction compliance at any time up to the moment of judgment was to eviscerate the legislative scheme

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Yes - the issue is that landlords can "comply" with the regulations even at the last minute. Once our case had been submitted I contacted the three deposit protection companies and asked them not to accept a deposit relating to our finished tenancy. Not sure if it had any impact but it's probably worth trying for anyone else in the same situation.

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Yes - the issue is that landlords can "comply" with the regulations even at the last minute. Once our case had been submitted I contacted the three deposit protection companies and asked them not to accept a deposit relating to our finished tenancy. Not sure if it had any impact but it's probably worth trying for anyone else in the same situation.

Law Lords...2 out of three of them were twerps.

the 3rd saw that the decision makes the law unenforceable.

If it was me, Id argue that the ability to make the deposit secure AFTER the tenancy means the landlord wouldnt have to comply at all.

Its about time these twerps recognised the SPIRIT of the law.

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Update on our case: the landlord wrote to the court 3 weeks after our hearing asked for the judgement to be set aside, and we have a hearing next week.

It turns out he did protect the deposit, but submitted the wrong address details for our flat. This meant that when I asked the deposit protection companies whether they had it, they all said no.

As I see it, it could go either way. The judge could accept that the wrong address was an oversight and set aside our judgement. Presumably if this happens all he’ll have to repay is the original deposit? This would leave us out of pocket for court fees and interest.

On the other hand, he is still in breach of several sections of the Housing Act as far as I see, even though the High Court has emasculated the 14 day rule:

(3) Where a landlord receives a tenancy deposit in connection with a shorthold tenancy, the initial requirements of an authorised scheme must be complied with by the landlord in relation to the deposit within the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which it is received.

(4) For the purposes of this section “the initial requirements” of an authorised scheme are such requirements imposed by the scheme as fall to be complied with by a landlord on receiving such a tenancy deposit.

(5) A landlord who has received such a tenancy deposit must give the tenant and any relevant person such information relating to—

(a) the authorised scheme applying to the deposit,

(b] compliance by the landlord with the initial requirements of the scheme in relation to the deposit, and

(c] the operation of provisions of this Chapter in relation to the deposit,

as may be prescribed.

(6) The information required by subsection (5) must be given to the tenant and any relevant person—

(a) in the prescribed form or in a form substantially to the same effect, and

(b] within the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which the deposit is received by the landlord.

(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,

So we’ll see what happens!

Edited by ChrisH

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The CA decision, if regrettable, was perhaps predictable having regard to the wording of the Act. A preliminary reading of the Act suggests that failure to comply with the requirements set out will result in a penalty being payable. A careful reading however shows that the conditions for paying a penalty are not identical to the conditions the Act says must be fulfilled. In other words the Act effectively imposes conditions but no (financial) sanctions for failing to comply with them. This is surely not what Parliament intended (though it may have been what the draftsman intended). It creates the oddity that the right to be paid the penalty only arises if the tenant makes an application to the court and the landlord fails to take the necessary action before the hearing. I am inclined to agree with the dissenting judge that a strict interpretation eviscerates the whole scheme. The court really ought to have asked: "What is the mischief that the relevant parts of the Act seek to redress'?" and interpreted them accordingly.

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(5) A landlord who has received such a tenancy deposit must give the tenant and any relevant person such information relating to—

(a) the authorised scheme applying to the deposit,

(b] compliance by the landlord with the initial requirements of the scheme in relation to the deposit, and

(c] the operation of provisions of this Chapter in relation to the deposit,

as may be prescribed.

You could argue that this part of the requirements has not been complied with as the wrong address details have been submitted, therefore the LL either hasn't complied with the requirement to give you the correct information, or (potentially) the deposit has been protected for a completely different address!

I'm not sure about what happens if the ruling is overturned, I believe you would lose your costs. You could of course take separate action to recover those costs (i.e. misinformation forced you to pursue a case that the LL later proved to be unnecessary) but it seems a lot of hassle to recover £225 court fees? . Depending on whether you want to go for the throat on the non-protection (higher risk) or just get your money back, you might be able to offer your landlord a settlement of returned deposit+costs.

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I agree with your reading of clause 5 there, that will be my line of argument along with 214(1b)

(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—

(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.

We wouldn't go back to court for the court fees (£150 so far) if we lost but it would be annoying!

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The landlord had applied to set aside the judgement and the hearing on that was this morning. His story seemed more full of holes than a Swiss cheese and the judge was distinctly unimpressed with his claims, and ruled out his application! So we can now go back and apply for a writ of fi fa from the High Court. He said that there’s no way he could pay the money but given that he has a BTL portfolio I doubt that somehow...

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He said that there’s no way he could pay the money but given that he has a BTL portfolio I doubt that somehow...

First let me say congratulations, chase the idiot down and get what you deserve.

However, given he has a BTL portfolio he proably cant afford the money, hes probably deep in negative equity and the rent doesnt cover the mortgage on any of his properties and if this is the case i hope he goes under!

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I have now instructed a High Court Enforcement Officer to obtain a writ of fi fa and take him to the cleaners. These guys mean business and will turn up at all hours and in various places to recover the debt.

Will be interested to see whether kaladorm or I get our money first :)

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I have now paid in a cheque from the High Court Enforcement Officers closing my claim :) In the end we settled for approximately half the total award because the landlord was going bankrupt as a result of his accumulated debts. Quite how someone with several BTL flats gets into so much debt is of course a different question.

Anyway, it feels good to get it over and done with :)

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