Had a CCJ demanding 3 times the deposit

by Readers Question

10:27 AM, 13th December 2014
About 5 years ago

Had a CCJ demanding 3 times the deposit

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Had a CCJ demanding 3 times the deposit

Stupidly, and I mean very stupidly, did not put a tenants deposit in a deposit protection scheme. Had a CCJ demanding 3 times the deposit

They have just told me they are emigrating to Australia and have said in an mail that they are not going to be paying the last months rent. Now to top it off they have issued a CCJ demanding three times the deposit plus £105 for court costs.

They are also refusing me entry.

Up until now we have had a good relationship but they are totally exploiting the situation for monetary gain.

Do I have any rights or have I blown them all out the window by not putting the deposit in a scheme?

I used to use a letting agent but the tenant and myself decided to do it between ourselves.

We couldn’t agree on a contract so we verbally said what we wanted, I wanted 2-3 months notice but they have only give me one and that is not in writing.

Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions.

Regards

Steve Morton



Comments

Tracy Conner

18:24 PM, 15th December 2014
About 5 years ago

This is true. It IS worth taking an admin fee to cover admin but people just won't pay a bigger non-refundable one. In fact they want a break down of any admin fee and in the beginning when everyone is on their best behaviour I think we need to present as fair and accountable.
I have combined taking the last months rent with a guarantor in some cases as I didn't want the grief of deposit admin. That system didn't yield the same amount of respect and compliance as a good old fashioned deposit so I have come the full circle as I agree that taking a deposit gives you more hope of getting back a reasonable property.
When you fail to take a deposit people don't even bother to check out! Let alone dispose of the last years rubbish or even bother to leave the keys.

Holding a deposit encourages a necessary face to face check out.

Steve Morton

18:52 PM, 15th December 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jessie Jones" at "14/12/2014 - 17:26":

Thanks Jessie
From what you and Mark have now said i think i know what i am going to do, on the small claim form i have 3 options 1) to admit and pay in full (£2055) 2) to admit in part and put my reasons and offer (both these require a 14 day response) 3) to totally refuse to make any payment and to refuse the allegation (for this you can take 28 days but you have to tell them what you are doing within the 14 days) you then have to put your reasons for your defence, also if the hearing goes against you you will have a county court judgement in your name and also the costs will be higher and the thing being how can i deny it because i did not put the money in a scheme.
But by the end of 28 days they will be in Australia so can the still claim from there?

On reflection i think the safest is wait until the 14 days are up offer 1 x the deposit and court cost (£755) but not send the money because i do not have to yet, put all the reasons that are going for me i.e.: they did not pay the last months rent nor did they inform me that they were not going to, they asked me to use the deposit as the last month (verbally), they have not given me written conformation on when they are leaving, They will not grant me access not even to show round a potential buyer and finally that i do not know what state the house is going to be left in.
Hmmm now i have put it down in writing i am tempted to deny it all and go for the 28 days
whatever i choose will be the wrong way

Alan Loughlin

19:00 PM, 15th December 2014
About 5 years ago

take option 3, call their bluff, it is not a hanging offence, and they will by then be gone so cannot turn up in court.

Renovate To let

19:45 PM, 15th December 2014
About 5 years ago

I have to say it sounds to me like they have sent you a scam letter hoping you will just pay.

The only way a judgement could have been made against you already is if they had filed a claim and you had failed to respond or attend.....

If the letter IS a forgery of a court doc then the police need to be involved.

Steve Morton

20:01 PM, 15th December 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Renovate To let" at "15/12/2014 - 19:45":

It is a claim form from the county court with a claim number etc from the county court business centre which requires a response as i have previously stated it is bona fidi from the small claims court these tenants are very clever and good at manipulating but i have checked the claim number out and its for real

Mark Alexander

20:13 PM, 15th December 2014
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve Morton" at "15/12/2014 - 18:52":

I'd be tempted to go with option three as well.

Say you are not holding a deposit and you never were. Your tenants paid the last months in advance and before the case ever gets to Court your tenants will have confirmed this by their actions.

The rest of your case is also strong.

The reason for your delay is that you will, of course, be seeking independent advice. You do not have to say where from 😉
.

Mary Latham

20:19 PM, 15th December 2014
About 5 years ago

They have taken action because you have broken the law and not protected their deposit.

The only defenses possible is 1. they did not pay a deposit or 2.you did protect it. Neither apply here.

The fact that they did not pay rent would have given you a claim against the deposit at the end of the tenancy but not during the tenancy and therefore it is not a defense

The harassment issue is because you did not act within the law when you asked them to leave "asap" - this is potential illegal eviction.

They have a legal right to prevent you entering the property while the tenancy is in place and this would have no impact on the case.

My opinion - pay up and move on. Protect all deposits in future because breaking the law makes us vulnerable

Alan Loughlin

20:20 PM, 15th December 2014
About 5 years ago

you say there is no contract, is there any proof of anything? who says it was a deposit, it could equally be a fee. how much was taken? play them at their game, no deposit, no case, let them prove it.

Mary Latham

20:28 PM, 15th December 2014
About 5 years ago

Steve Mason has told us that there is email evidence that he took a deposit which the tenants asked him to protect.

Alan Loughlin

20:30 PM, 15th December 2014
About 5 years ago

ok, then I would just call their bluff, and put it off till they have gone. Tenants use the system to their advantage, do not see why we should not do the same.

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