14:12 PM, 30th January 2020, About A year ago 9
I am trying to get my deposit back from a landlord that was illegally subletting his room to me, and that did not protect my deposit.
Here are the details of my situation, I truly hope you can help me with it:
– I rented last year a bedroom in a 2-bed apartment from someone (let’s call him “T”) and paid him a deposit on move in (£800).
– “T” was originally a tenant of the flat along with “U” who was his roommate. Then “T” sublet his room to me, therefore I lived with “U” throughout my tenancy, we shared kitchen and bathroom. “T” did NOT live with me during the tenancy.
– I have signed an AST with “T” when I moved in (although on the contract he did not sign anything as a landlord, his name is only mentioned as Lead Tenant, the other person that signed with me was my former roommate “U”).
– It is only when I moved out of the flat and asked to get my deposit back that I discovered that my Deposit Certificate was actually a FAKE one (copied from the certificate between “T” and the lead landlord of the flat). But here he is referred to as the landlord and I as lead tenant.
– I discovered later during the tenancy that it was actually an illegal sublet. The AST agreement that “T” used with me was probably a copy of the one he signed as a tenant along with U, with the lead landlord, with my name instead of his on the agreement.
– Now this “T” is refusing to pay back my deposit, he has blocked me on social media and doesn’t answer any of my messages anymore.
Now I have 2 questions:
– I am entitled to go to Small Claims Court and ask for my £800 deposit back + interests? What are the costs of that? I’ve heard you can make the defendant pay for your fees if you win.
– More importantly, am I entitled, on top of the Small Claims Court, to make a tenancy deposit compensation claim, and ask for up to 3 times the deposit amount, since he did NOT protect my deposit? Is that claim legit even if I signed an AST for a sublet that was illegal?
The other way to put that last question is:
– Did “T” have to protect my deposit even if the sublet was illegal and I was only renting a bedroom, not the whole apartment? (I remind here that he was NOT living there with me, hence I was not considered a lodger)
– As per “T”‘s AST with the lead landlord, was he not living there from a legal standpoint? Because he still paid his part of the rent on a monthly basis to the lead landlord, which would make my claim invalid?
I’m really lost here I don’t know what to do. Thanks in advance for your help.
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