Had a CCJ demanding 3 times the deposit

Had a CCJ demanding 3 times the deposit

10:27 AM, 13th December 2014, About 7 years ago 73

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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.


Steve Morton


by Monty Bodkin

21:26 PM, 15th December 2014, About 7 years ago

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

"also if the hearing goes against you you will have a county court judgement in your name"

As Shakeel says.


"Paying the CCJ in full within a month If you do this, details of the county court judgment are removed altogether from the register."

by Monty Bodkin

21:54 PM, 15th December 2014, About 7 years ago

I would ask for another 14 days to file a defence & to seek advice.

Then put forward a counter offer (they are claiming the maximum award possible).

Then put in a counter claim for the last months rent and any damage to the property.

by Don Holmes

9:30 AM, 16th December 2014, About 7 years ago

I too have just been booked for speeding, traveling along a dark country Rd in the North of Scotland doing 40, in what I believed was a 50, when the copper told me it was a 30 and gave me the bollocking, I had no choice but to take it on the chin and pay the £100 fine, I didn't put up any argument as there isn't one to argue.

Steve has tried to duck all levels of doing this correctly and acting within the laws Dismissed the agent, No AST, Didn't protect the deposit, Dint issue the proscribed information, and I will make no comment about the alleged harassment? I accept that this is on the whole a LL forum but am surprised no one on here has taken him to task on his professional approach to this?
Our industry is being attacked from all sides due to some rogue landlord behavior we professionals should take every opportunity to highlight bad practice and educate them, not offer advice on how to avoid the processes!!! Irritated professional agent.


by Jessie Jones

9:58 AM, 16th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Don Holmes" at "16/12/2014 - 09:30":

I wholeheartedly agree that Steve has broken the rules. But he hasn't been a bad landlord and the tenants have not suffered any loss.

The problems have arisen as a result of his tenants taking an greedy stance, looking for a technical breach and then trying to capitalise on this.

The tenants are in breach of contract so Steve has a right to a counter claim. He has a right to ask that any evidence is tested in Court, so therefore the tenants will have to appear in person and be asked to account for their failure to pay the rent and what they said in agreement with Steve regarding the exact nature of the deposit.

When you were speeding you were fined only £100. When a landlord fails to protect a deposit he could be fined typically £2,000. A speeding driver puts peoples lives in danger whereas this landlord was offering to repay the deposit.

He has done wrong, but let's keep this in proportion. I don't think he would do this again. Will you ever break the speed limit again?

by Steve Morton

17:25 PM, 16th December 2014, About 7 years ago

I have rented this house out for the last 8 years without one problem and had 3 previous very happy tennants yes i did not protect the deposit but i did offer to pay them in cash just in case they had a problem with cashing a cheque when they left for Aussie
Mary Latham methinks you have been in this game far too long and need to find another career or join a tennants forum or buy a little caravan near the coast
Thanks everyone else for your positive comments i think i will be making a counter offer so i do not feel totally ripped off by these money grabbing tennants

by Steve Morton

19:18 PM, 16th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Don Holmes" at "16/12/2014 - 09:30":

Thanks you and Mary Latham should get married

I hold my hands up i made a human error just like you did when you were speeding you could have knocked a child over and devastated someones family its you that should get the £2000 fine what did i do? be a good landlord bought everything new what they demanded instead of second hand washing machine, cooker, new lights, i left in brand new curtains mirrors and pictures within 2 hrs notice i fixed the central heating system
and got all the trees and bushes pruned by a landscape gardener, that is just what comes to mind, i bent over backwards to make these people comfortable just like i did the previous tennants
so get off your professional high horse you know nothing about me and you just make sure you do not ruin someones life by speeding in a 30mph zone, because i never have

by Alan Loughlin

19:34 PM, 16th December 2014, About 7 years ago

well said Steve, we get ripped off by tenants continually, even when doing our best, we never hear about rogue tenants, just rogue landlords, if there is anything you, or we can do to redress the balance then do it, play them at their own game. Ok a mistake was made, but who has not made a mistake.

by Mary Latham

15:07 PM, 17th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve Morton" at "16/12/2014 - 17:25":

Steve Morton I was not rude to you when I posted, in fact quite the opposite and I see no need for your very rude comment.

It is BECAUSE i have been a landlord for so long that I gave my opinion. I have made many, many mistakes and I have paid for most of them. I have also spent 25 years of my life working hard to help landlords in the PRS, mostly pro bono. I care about the business that I am committed to and I care about landlords. The biggest lesson that I have learned, and I passed this on to my children: When you are in the wrong say sorry and try to make it right. It has served me well for almost 43 years as a landlord. You are perfectly at liberty to ignore my opinion but you have no right to be rude. People in glass houses should not throw stones!!!!!!!

by Mark Alexander

15:23 PM, 17th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "17/12/2014 - 15:07":

Thank you for posting again Mary, I agree that personal attacks are completely unnecessary. I have known you for several years and that you always do what you believe is right, just as I do. I also agree that we all make mistakes, we should forgive those mistakes wherever possible and learn from our own and others mistakes too. It's all part and parcel of growing with experience.

In this instance I think the Property118 community is angry with the injustice of Steve Morton's scenario and that many have united in anger to help him fight back.

Steve, et al, realise that he's screwed up but disapprove of the morals (or lack of them) of his tenant who doesn't appear to have suffered and simply wants to screw over his landlord just because he can.

If you or I were tenants, and our landlord made a silly error, would we really capitalise on that and sue him for a few grand? I know that I certainly wouldn't, unless of course I had incurred financial damages or had another cause to seek vengeance. I'd be shocked if you were not on the same page with me on that.

by Renovate To let

16:50 PM, 17th December 2014, About 7 years ago

I'm will add my opinion and I have rhino skin so any responses are fine....

The failure to protect and the tenant's failure to pay the last month's rent are separate issues. The tenant actions have no bearing on your guilt re the failure to protect.

If the failure to protect goes in front of a judge, he is compelled by the law to use his discretion to set the penalty between 1x (the minimum) and 3x (the maximum) the deposit plus return of 100% of the deposit (unless the tenant agrees to voluntary deductions).

So, the key is to look critically at your actions and how that might affect his discretion...

Other cases show that landlords who are a few days late and quickly comply once they realise their mistake get the 1x penalty.

Those who think "oh well, its late so sod it" or who knowingly leave it or argue with tenants about the need or still haven't complied at the time the case is raised get 3x.

Objectively look at your own actions, timescales and tenants' evidence (the emails) and see where you think you fit on the scale.....then add an amount for the other side's costs AND yours if you are not "up for" being litigant in person (on you own in front of the judge).

(There is no defence to failure to protect so return plus 1x is the absolute minimum - there is NO equivalent of a speed awareness course!)

This will give you one side of the scales.

Then look at your ability to counterclaim. Clearly you can only claim what's owed not what might be owed in future, should they ACTUALLY leave with rent arrears and give possession back with damage that you can prove they caused on the basis of provable check in and check out inventories. In the meantime they can live like pigs if they so wish (AKA quiet enjoyment while behaving in a tenant-like manner) as long as they rectify (allowing for fair wear and tear) before they leave.

I'm not sure if the timings allow this to be turned into a counterclaim that you could request to be heard at the same time (to offset against the penalty) or not...that would need qualified advice AND to do the maths to see if your likely "winnings" would offset additional legal costs etc enough to be worthwhile.

Then, decide what to do.....this is you, your claim, your money, your stress, your lost opportunity from the time you spend on it.

Look at the creative route - e.g. you could decide to offer 1.5x the penalty "without prejudice" in return for not pursuing the last month rent and see if they would settle.
If you do this, have a solicitor draft it!

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