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stuckin2up2down

Have any landlords got into trouble for ignoring the tenancy deposit protection?

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I chat to a few into BTL, hoping that one day it goes sour..., and none of them have the deposit money protected anywhere (no deposit or insurance) and just keep it in their bank accounts. This seems to be breaking the law right? Any chance they will get found out and finned?

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From what I understand (I could be wrong), tenants are able to claim at any point, even after the tenancy has finished. Those landlords who think they are getting away with it might find their luck runs out rather abruptly on the tenant moving out, especially if there is any kind of dispute. It's a near enough automatic thing to be awarded compensation of the tenant puts in a claim...

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2 hours ago, stuckin2up2down said:

I chat to a few into BTL, hoping that one day it goes sour..., and none of them have the deposit money protected anywhere (no deposit or insurance) and just keep it in their bank accounts. This seems to be breaking the law right? Any chance they will get found out and finned?

I would expect they are also evading tax in that case. The only reason I can see for not protecting the deposit would be to try to keep below HMRC's radar.

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Yes, tenants are going after rogue landlord's ref deposits.   See Sancho Panza's post today: Agents throwing in the towel..

Edited by juvenal

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1 hour ago, CunningPlan said:

I would expect they are also evading tax in that case. The only reason I can see for not protecting the deposit would be to try to keep below HMRC's radar.

Yes they are evading tax and committing fraud also. HMRC seem to do feck all, at the moment, if they started to look into these dodgy people they could make a fortune / or many bankrupt.

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3 hours ago, stuckin2up2down said:

Yes they are evading tax and committing fraud also. HMRC seem to do feck all, at the moment, if they started to look into these dodgy people they could make a fortune / or many bankrupt.

Have you reported them? You can do it anonymously online here;

https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/shortforms/form/TEH_IRF?dept-name=TEH&sub-dept-name=&location=39&origin=http://www.hmrc.gov.uk

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16 hours ago, fru-gal said:

Yep, no action taken yet. The amount just one person will have committed in fraud will be 6 figures in a few more years. I'm living in hope this new system might flag them up.

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2 hours ago, stuckin2up2down said:

Yep, no action taken yet. The amount just one person will have committed in fraud will be 6 figures in a few more years. I'm living in hope this new system might flag them up.

Why don't you call the freephone number and ask if they have at least been investigated or report them again?

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43 minutes ago, fru-gal said:

Why don't you call the freephone number and ask if they have at least been investigated or report them again?

I didn't know you could, I've found HMRC very unhelpful even when I wanted to pay my own tax. But thanks next time they drone on about BTL and their property empire i'll give them a call.

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My landlord hasn't protected my deposit. I was pissed off about it but now I try to see the positives out of the situation:

1. He cannot increase the rent.

2 He cannot serve me notice to quit. Although a fat juicy bribe may tempt me to go.

3. He WILL have to pay back the entire deposit at the end of the tenancy. If not then I will go to the small claims court.

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9 minutes ago, MattW said:

My landlord hasn't protected my deposit. I was pissed off about it but now I try to see the positives out of the situation:

1. He cannot increase the rent.

2 He cannot serve me notice to quit. Although a fat juicy bribe may tempt me to go.

3. He WILL have to pay back the entire deposit at the end of the tenancy. If not then I will go to the small claims court.

How do you know he hasnt? Does he know this gives you power? Any landlord that doesnt do it is an idiot, but then again they are into BTL..

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5 minutes ago, stuckin2up2down said:

How do you know he hasnt?

A long story in my case...

I went with a Letting Agent to secure the place I'm currently living. They didn't protect the deposit after I checked with the three main schemes (despiting stating in the contract that they would do this). I approached the Property Ombudsman and eventually the dopey LA caved in and protected the deposit.

3 months later the LA ceases trading so now I deal directly with the landlord (or rather one of his minions as he's a busy person). The protected deposit lapsed a few months later and despite a few letters asking his to put the deposit in a protection scheme, this still has not happened. Short of turning up to his farm with a few hired goons, I don't think I can force him to protect the deposit.

Anyway, the minion says that the landlord does have my deposit and not to worry. I know it hasn't been protected because one of the three deposit protection schemes must write to the tenant stating details of the protected deposit including a reference number.

Totally agree though: any landlord who plays fast and loose with the rules is an idiot. If I was a landlord I would do things by the book so not to risk any financial penalties.

I guess some landlords are probably trying to see how far they can push the envelope with tenants. :rolleyes: Unfortunately for my landlord, I know the law fairly well. Thanks to HPC.co.uk ! B)

Aside from this the tenant/landlord relationship is OK. He had to pay for a new boiler to be installed and other repairs have been done in good time.

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2 hours ago, MattW said:

My landlord hasn't protected my deposit. I was pissed off about it but now I try to see the positives out of the situation:

1. He cannot increase the rent.

2 He cannot serve me notice to quit. Although a fat juicy bribe may tempt me to go.

3. He WILL have to pay back the entire deposit at the end of the tenancy. If not then I will go to the small claims court.

4. You can still pursue your landlord for compensation after the tenancy has ended even if they return the full deposit.

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17 minutes ago, Dorkins said:

4. You can still pursue your landlord for compensation after the tenancy has ended even if they return the full deposit.

^^ this. Which you should always still do, even if (especially if) they return the full deposit. It's the only way they'll learn.

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9 hours ago, Dorkins said:

4. You can still pursue your landlord for compensation after the tenancy has ended even if they return the full deposit.

Wouldn't it be great if all those PPP adverts were replaced by get compensation from your landlord :D

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I'm currently pursing my landlord for roughly 10K in compensation, with letter before action to be sent next week.

There's a couple of critical points about deposit protection that every tenant should be aware of.

1. Deposit protection is not only about putting your money in a scheme, but also about giving you all the prescribed information about it in 30 days. Even if your LL protected your deposit but didn't give you all the information mentioned in the Housing Act, or simply did it too late, she's in breach of the law just as much as if she didn't protect your deposit at all, and you can chase her for compensation for it.

2. If you've had multiple consecutive agreements, f.eg. fixed-term followed by statutory periodic followed by another fixed term and your deposit has been mishandled, you can seek compensation for EACH breach of protection rules (in this example, 3 times 1-3x your deposit, so between 3 and 9 times your deposit in total).

However, if your deposit has been handled properly (protected & info given) and important details of your tenancy stayed the same for all agreements that followed (same names, addresses and deposit amount), your LL does not have to re-issue prescribed information each time (she still needs to keep your deposit protected, though!).

3. You can chase your LL for compensation even after the tenancy ended. In fact, that's probably the preferred approach, as not having you deposit handled properly gives you a lot of hidden advantages - like inability to be served a valid S21 or rent increase notice.

In my case, I had a 12-month fixed term that rolled over into statutory periodic, and it finally ended on the 30th of April. No deposit information was given to me at any time, and my online check for deposit protection came back negative. I sent my first letter asking for protection details about two weeks ago and still haven't heard from the LL. Next week I'm sending letter before action, demanding my full deposit to be returned plus 6x as much in compensation (3x for fixed term, 3x for periodic). I'll be willing to go down to 4x if we cut a deal, otherwise I'll take him to court for full 6x plus costs. There're some very useful templates on Shelter website.

You can also hire professionals operating on a no win-no fee basis, but the one I found take 25% of the recovered amount (including your deposit, If it hasn't been returned yet), so I think it's a bit too much for printing out a couple of letters and maybe making a court appearance.

 

Edited by kibuc

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On 03/05/2017 at 3:59 PM, stuckin2up2down said:

 Any chance they will get found out and finned?

I'd like to see them slapped round the face with a fish too.

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2 hours ago, kibuc said:

I'm currently pursing my landlord for roughly 10K in compensation, with letter before action to be sent next week.

There's a couple of critical points about deposit protection that every tenant should be aware of.

1. Deposit protection is not only about putting your money in a scheme, but also about giving you all the prescribed information about it in 30 days. Even if your LL protected your deposit but didn't give you all the information mentioned in the Housing Act, or simply did it too late, she's in breach of the law just as much as if she didn't protect your deposit at all, and you can chase her for compensation for it.

2. If you've had multiple consecutive agreements, f.eg. fixed-term followed by statutory periodic followed by another fixed term and your deposit has been mishandled, you can seek compensation for EACH breach of protection rules (in this example, 3 times 1-3x your deposit, so between 3 and 9 times your deposit in total).

However, if your deposit has been handled properly (protected & info given) and important details of your tenancy stayed the same for all agreements that followed (same names, addresses and deposit amount), your LL does not have to re-issue prescribed information each time (she still needs to keep your deposit protected, though!).

3. You can chase your LL for compensation even after the tenancy ended. In fact, that's probably the preferred approach, as not having you deposit handled properly gives you a lot of hidden advantages - like inability to be served a valid S21 or rent increase notice.

In my case, I had a 12-month fixed term that rolled over into statutory periodic, and it finally ended on the 30th of April. No deposit information was given to me at any time, and my online check for deposit protection came back negative. I sent my first letter asking for protection details about two weeks ago and still haven't heard from the LL. Next week I'm sending letter before action, demanding my full deposit to be returned plus 6x as much in compensation (3x for fixed term, 3x for periodic). I'll be willing to go down to 4x if we cut a deal, otherwise I'll take him to court for full 6x plus costs. There're some very useful templates on Shelter website.

You can also hire professionals operating on a no win-no fee basis, but the one I found take 25% of the recovered amount (including your deposit, If it hasn't been returned yet), so I think it's a bit too much for printing out a couple of letters and maybe making a court appearance.

 

Have you got a thread on this I can watch for updates?

It needs to be known more so that tenants can sue past landlords, every bit helps :D

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14 hours ago, Dorkins said:

4. You can still pursue your landlord for compensation after the tenancy has ended even if they return the full deposit.

 

14 hours ago, mrtickle said:

^^ this. Which you should always still do, even if (especially if) they return the full deposit. It's the only way they'll learn.

I'll consider doing that once the tenancy ends. 

What i am really seething internally about is the £180.00 letting agent's fee I paid...only for the 'business' to cease trading a few months later. I would really like to see that sum returned.

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6 hours ago, stuckin2up2down said:

Wouldn't it be great if all those PPP adverts were replaced by get compensation from your landlord :D

Oh, yes please. I'd love to be a fly on the wall the first time Ros sees one of those adverts on the TV! :D:D

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On 04/05/2017 at 7:31 PM, MattW said:

My landlord hasn't protected my deposit. I was pissed off about it but now I try to see the positives out of the situation:

1. He cannot increase the rent.

2 He cannot serve me notice to quit. Although a fat juicy bribe may tempt me to go.

3. He WILL have to pay back the entire deposit at the end of the tenancy. If not then I will go to the small claims court.

this - towards the end of my tenancy it was very useful having a landlord who didn't use a scheme - his attempt at an illegal 1 months notice turned into 3 months while he realised he had to pay the deposit back in full first, which gave me time to find somewhere else to live. Which sounds pretty basic now I think about it, but was still a lot easier than if he'd been following the law

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My landlord realised he hadn't issued prescribed information and returned our unprotected deposit halfway through statutory rolling tenancy. Will consider doing him after we leave or if he tries to evict. Would it still have a case?

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