Agent didn’t file a part deposit with deposit scheme within 30 days

by Readers Question

12:01 PM, 20th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Agent didn’t file a part deposit with deposit scheme within 30 days

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Agent didn’t file a part deposit with deposit scheme within 30 days

This is my situation: Agent didn't file a part deposit with deposit scheme within 30 days

31st October – tenancy commenced with tenant paying £900 for first month’s rent and £446 as part payment towards the deposit required of £1,246

17th November – £800 balance of deposit received by the agent

8th December – full balance of £1,246 protected with DPS.

I received an email from agent on 4th November stating that the full deposit had been received and forwarded to the DPS. When I found this out as tenant had come directly to me as she was not happy with how the agents were treating her, and she was looking to sue for 3 times deposit.

When I queried the agent they said they had not broken the deposit law and the DPS, RLA and a solicitor have all said they were compliant. I checked with the DPS and became a member of the RLA and both told me that part deposits must be paid into a deposit scheme within 30 days. I have made a formal complaint with both the RLA and the TPO, I received a letter from the RLA which confirms my position and that I may have grounds for negligence against my agent.

I am awaiting a response from the TPO, what else could I do to solve this issue? I have contacted a solicitor and told the agent they need to sort compensation out with the tenant to remove my liabilities.

The tenant has in the meantime stopped paying rent, what is the best way to resolve that issue they could be risking any compensation claim.

Regards

Rob



Comments

Mark Alexander

12:05 PM, 20th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Rob

If you decide to pursue your agent for negligence then I strongly recommend you to take advantage of the free 15 minute consultation with Mark Smith (Barrister At Law).

Please see >>> http://www.property118.com/member/?id=1945

You may well find that you don't need a solicitor and that there is a much more cost effective way to deal with this issue.

Evicting the tenants should be dealt with entirely separately in my humble opinion. Please see our sister website http://evicting-tenants.net/
.

Neil Robb

15:02 PM, 26th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi
Your tenant believes she knows the rules. But do they not say she is still to pay the rent when it is due or then becomes in breach of agreement. I think we will see a huge amount of this in the near future when tenants put in claims as they think it will become a great money earner for them. In Northern Ireland this money goes to the council not the tenant which I think is slightly better.

You were decent enough to take part payment for deposit and rent, to help her then almost immediately she wants to claim. I wonder if she has done this before.

This deposit scheme is so biased against landlords but ultimately it will be the tenants who loose out as landlords will give up or put rents up to cover costs of repairs..

Even if your a decent landlord and do everything right. then try and claim from the deposit scheme and the tenants disagrees chances are the scheme will favour the tenant. There has been several stories on this forum.

I rarely take deposits and just put right what needs done when a tenant leaves.

Michael Barnes

14:26 PM, 29th December 2014
About 4 years ago

Talk to your tenant.

Explain to her that she is required still to pay the rent even if there is a dispute.

Explain that you have spoken to the agent and the agent has advised you that they have acted within the law by not protecting until the full deposit has been received (but do not mention that they may be wrong!).

Explain that 3 times deposit is the maximum and is at judges discretion and given the circumstances she is unlikely to get that, if anything at all. Do not mention that you will sue agent if tenant is successful.

Explain that if she does not pay the rent, then she will not get a good reference for any future landlord.

Find out if she wants to stay long term and decide if you would like her long term once this is behind you. If the answer is yes from both of you, then it might be best if you both forget that anything has happened, and she pays the rent arrears and you do not charge her interest (I assume that you have an interest clause in your contract).

Also 3 weeks for agent to protect the deposit after receiving the balance sounds like a long time to me.

Having re-read the post, it seems that either the tenant of the agent is lying about when the deposit was paid and protected. Do you know which of the tenant's and agent's stories is correct?
If the agent has lied and acted irresponsibly with teh deposit then you should be able to terminate the contract with them without penalty; you would need a different agent anyway to be able to trust them in teh future.


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