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Harry Monk

Deposit Protection Service

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Well, my ex-landlord is being a right PITA and wants £325 out of my £525 deposit for re-decoration. I have offered him £100 and think I am being over-generous at that, since there was only fair wear and tear and i was there three-and-a-half years. However, we cannot reach agreement.

Obviously I would like my money but I'm not desperate for it and it might be fun to throw the landlord a curve ball and see how he reacts to it. He is very money orientated but is also in a desperate financial state, having had my flat built at the height of the boom- in all I paid about £20,000 in rent during my stay there while the flat depreciated by £50,000.

I might take him to the Small Claims Court, especially as there are other things I could claim for (e.g. without a washing machine for over a month and eventually had to source and buy one myself, deduct the amount from rent, take time off to take delivery of said washing machine etc. Also defective phone line, never repaired despite repeated requests).

But for now, my repayment claim has been rejected twice and my new idea is this.

I am just going to leave it.

As I initiated the re-payment claim, AIUI I am the only party who can take it to DPS arbitration and I am simply just not going to do it. Eventually the lettings agent will phone to find out why no claim is progressing, and I'm going to explain this to them and say "So neither of us is going to get any money. £525 isn't even worth bothering to write him a letter for. My gold made five times as much as that yesterday (haven't got any gold really) Goodbye."

How do you think he would react to this? I am sure that it would confuse him! Can you help me to second-guess what his next move would be from there?

Edited by Harry Monk

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... my ex-landlord ... wants £325 out of my £525 deposit ...

... there are other things I could claim for (e.g. without a washing machine for over a month and eventually had to source and buy one myself, deduct the amount from rent, take time off to take delivery of said washing machine etc. Also defective phone line, never repaired despite repeated requests) ..

You won't get far claiming anything if you deducted from your rent.

But for now, my repayment claim has been rejected twice ...

DPS is worthless. You should offer to go through the arbitration process. Your landlord will refuse as is his right when your deposit is registered with the DPS - he will do this because he's a <insert expletive>.

As I initiated the re-payment claim, AIUI I am the only party who can take it to DPS arbitration and I am simply just not going to do it.

That's kind of pointless. You won't get the money - he won't get it legally. And then you would be the <insert expletive>.

Eventually the lettings agent will phone to find out why no claim is progressing, and I'm going to explain this to them and say "So neither of us is going to get any money. £525 isn't even worth bothering to write him a letter for. My gold made five times as much as that yesterday (haven't got any gold really) Goodbye."

Then he'll write to the DPS saying you are not claiming and he is trying. They will write to you several times and you will continue to refuse or fold to arbitration. If you fold you come back to the sensible option. If you continue they will conclude that you're an <insert expletive>, and give him the money.

So the sensible option... you should either:

1) fold and let him have what he's claiming, let him claim (which he can do) then you agree. (unless you know of a disadvantage to this). If he will not claim go to step 2.

2) ask to go to arbitration, let him either agree or be an <insert expletive>by refusing. If he agrees then some reasonable person will decide. If he refuses, you sue him and you get your whole deposit - unless you have shown your <insert expletive>-like behaviour already in which case the judge will do whatever is in his power to piss you both off.

Do not tell him you will sue, that is illegal. Just ask for what is right at each step.

As for the advise that they can start a single claim process. That will do nothing if you can be contacted and are not being an <insert expletive>.

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Well, my ex-landlord is being a right PITA and wants £325 out of my £525 deposit for re-decoration. I have offered him £100 and think I am being over-generous at that, since there was only fair wear and tear and i was there three-and-a-half years. However, we cannot reach agreement.

I might take him to the Small Claims Court, especially as there are other things I could claim for (e.g. without a washing machine for over a month and eventually had to source and buy one myself, deduct the amount from rent, take time off to take delivery of said washing machine etc. Also defective phone line, never repaired despite repeated requests).

Just use the Deposit protection organisation's arbitration process. It's up to the landlord to prove the redecoration was not fair wear and tear. From their statistics most disputes are settled in the tenants favour. The process is quick and fairly painless, you only have to provide details of the dispute most of the work falls on the landlord or his agent.

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I've found that bad Landlords love any step of the process where they get attention and a "in" to argue. Seems to go with the bad LL personality. Drama queens.

If you reply as you said they may say one thing and feel another. They may outfront you and act like it's a victory.

What really gets at them is being taken to a court or to arbitration where you remain calm, cool and happy and although they scream, make accusations, call you names, lie through their teeth, you don't rise to the bait and let them have the drama they crave. They will send threatening letters to you, try to involve lawyers and all sorts of diverions.

I've not used the arbitration yet. My experience has been with the small claims court. Landlords have done everything that they can to wind me up and get me screaming back at them. I've not done it. I'm calmly ignored all there taunts and won in court every time. They hate this. On still gets hysterical in public if she sees me. I just remind her that I won in court and walk calmly on.

Edited by Flopsy

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I've found that bad Landlords love any step of the process where they get attention and a "in" to argue. Seems to go with the bad LL personality. Drama queens.

If you reply as you said they may say one thing and feel another. They may outfront you and act like it's a victory.

What really gets at them is being taken to a court or to arbitration where you remain calm, cool and happy and although they scream, make accusations, call you names, lie through their teeth, you don't rise to the bait and let them have the drama they crave. They will send threatening letters to you, try to involve lawyers and all sorts of diverions.

I've not used the arbitration yet. My experience has been with the small claims court. Landlords have done everything that they can to wind me up and get me screaming back at them. I've not done it. I'm calmly ignored all there taunts and won in court every time. They hate this. On still gets hysterical in public if she sees me. I just remind her that I won in court and walk calmly on.

Sometimes, even if they win, they have an uncomfortable time. One case I witnessed, the magistrate listened to all the evidence and then said words to the effect of

" Unfortunately, I have to decide in favour of the landlord. I don't think I have ever come across a more unsympathetic or unreasonable landlord and it is with great reluctance I find for him. The debt of £1200 is to be paid off at the rate of £10 per month"

The LL was apopolectic at not daring to answer the magistrate back, to say nothing of having to wait 10 years for his money!

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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