Help! I didn’t protect the tenancy deposit

Help! I didn’t protect the tenancy deposit

9:46 AM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago 38

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Hello, We let our property to a couple with a baby in 2019, with 90% of their rent paid by the council through a housing benefit.

They immediately fell into arrears, not paying the rent at all, so the council told me they would pay the 90% direct to me. Since then the 10% payments have been erratic and they are now around £1,000 in arrears.

Mutually, we would all like them to move out. I need to do some refurbishment, and they are now overcrowded. Another child was moved in without my knowledge – not a baby – and also a large dog. It’s a 2 bed flat.

I now want to just sell the place.

They want to go somewhere bigger, and have got themselves on the list for a council property, but this could take years. I thought an eviction would help them to get bumped up the list, and I considered an s8 as they aren’t supposed to have a dog, and are in arrears, but I chose instead a s21.

I issued one, but the council have asked for the tenancy deposit receipt. [And a how to rent leaflet]. The problem is, and I’m of course in the wrong here, as an amateur, I didn’t protect the deposit.

I’ve returned it to them by bank transfer to try to draw a line under this, but they have been to citizens advice who is advising them to take me to court.

I’m not sure how this will help them find a new home, and she said she doesn’t want to go down that route. And now she’s asked me for a £20 loan.

I am now not sure what to do. They want to leave, but cannot, and they cannot afford a larger private rental.

How is this going to end? My gut says “badly”.

Any advice please?

Kate



Comments

K Anon

12:08 PM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago

Hi,
you are in the realm of hoping for good outcome I am afraid.
You need to get that deposit lodged ASAP and you have to give them a copy of certificate.
Our council tenant deposit (the council paid the deposit) was lodged late (for genuine reasons it was 2 months late).
Our tenant got a No Win No Fee solicitor involved, they hit us for £8500 in costs. The court imposed a £1500 penalty. Our fees to a solicitor were £3500.
Sickening. Even though they did not pay the deposit they get compensated for your late security of it.
Then (S8) it went into a dilapidation counter claim, fake invoices etc, appalling situation to end up in. Your tenant is entitled to unlimited legal aid, pockets deeper than you will ever have I am afraid.
So you need to prey and hope that your tenants don't come across a NWNF firm looking to exploit this.
My advice would be to look into "open access" and go direct to a barrister, don't bother with solicitors, ours were rubbish and bled us dry. It will cost you but you need the most direct route to an exit.
Good luck.

Seething Landlord

12:28 PM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago

As a self-confessed amateur you are in a hole and need to stop digging before you make the situation worse.

I suggest that you seek advice from a specialist eviction firm such as Landlord Action.

Jaye

12:35 PM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago

If you can avoid going to court, then avoid it as you will have to pay them 3 times the rent amount for starters, then court fees etc let alone the S8/S21 etc. It might be cheaper if you offered them money to move out. Erratic missed payment is nothing compared to what they can extort from you. Unfortunately, the court system do not really favour landlords. My lost costs ran up to £18k plus! Good luck and like K Anon says, let them not go near NWNF companies. Get special advise - Landlord action, landlord group etc

Rob Crawford

12:57 PM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago

I suggest you withdraw the section 21 and accept the 90% of rent that you are getting! Hopefully, the tenants will eventually leave of their own accord. In the mean time, protect the deposit and serve all relevant papers. You can change deposit protection service providers during the term of an AST, maybe use this as an excuse if you feel you can get away with it - but taking it on the chin or taking the risk of skullduggery is your choice!

Seething Landlord

12:58 PM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Jaye at 31/10/2022 - 12:35
Please do not offer them anything without taking advice first.

Seething Landlord

12:59 PM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 31/10/2022 - 12:57
She said she has already returned the deposit.

David Houghton

13:01 PM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago

Easily fixed

1) go on to hm courts website
2) download n5b? Accelerated possession form
3) read it check you comply eg. EPC elec safety had safety etc
4) if not rectify and give tenant copy of paperwork
5) serve s21
6) issue 2montns later

K Anon

13:10 PM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by David Houghton at 31/10/2022 - 13:01that doesn't fix the deposit not protected. Tenant has up to 6 years I think to make claim.
N5B if out of term but if still inside term of AST then its S8 route.
(most councils force you to take 3 years .. don't ... ever!, you can do 4 months then 2 months if you are in trouble to elapse an S21 gives you the min 6 months but don't ever make our mistake of 3yrs with council.
but like said already avoid court at all costs, esp if they are legally aided. You need advice to navigate this, you could end up in lot trouble.

Mr.A

13:41 PM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago

This day and age you have got to know the rules and regulations, especially fire safety, rules are all heavily weighted against Landlord’s , if you can't be bothered, best sell up and enjoy the money .

Luke P

13:52 PM, 31st October 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by David Houghton at 31/10/2022 - 13:01
Won't make the past mistake disappear, I'm afraid!

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