Joint tenancy but no lead tenant with TDS?

by Readers Question

10:41 AM, 14th June 2018
About 6 months ago

Joint tenancy but no lead tenant with TDS?

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Joint tenancy but no lead tenant with TDS?

I entered into a joint tenancy last August with a friend, whom I am no longer on civil terms with. We both departed the property in March this year.

At the time I paid for the entire deposit, excluding her share of the first months rent up front and the holding deposit. I did phone and ask the letting agents beforehand about the possibility of separate tenancies and was told this was not possible, but that the deposit would be returned to the account
it was paid from.

They also never informed me about the possibility of nominating a lead tenant and put both our names on the TDS certificate. Now we have both left and they have said it will be repaid 50/50 minus the deductions for her unpaid rent and damages! As well as £150 for an additional clean, even though I already paid for a professional clean and provided proof.

So I refused to pay for another clean as the same company offered to return free of charge, however the letting agents refused to allow it and moved new tenants in. The TDS have also said the same thing about repaying it 50/50, even though I’ve explained the situation.

How do I go about getting the entire deposit back? So I can then take her to a small claims for reimbursement of the deductions she owes.

Many Thanks

Tara



Comments

Paul Kaye

11:55 AM, 14th June 2018
About 6 months ago

Bit confused,
you say you paid all the deposit, less her share of the first month's rent?
how did this work? this implies she paid some of the deposit.
perhaps you can make this more clear.
Most good tenancy agreements have a lead tenant and as joint tenants you both are joint and several to be responsible for all obligations under the tenancy.
This also sounds to me as negligence on the part of the agents and I would write to them saying you are complaing to their trade body.

John Frith

13:42 PM, 14th June 2018
About 6 months ago

The only way I could see this happening for you is to either reach an amicable agreement with your friend, or for you to (somehow) get nominated as the lead tenant.

Michael Barnes

14:02 PM, 14th June 2018
About 6 months ago

1. follow complaints procedure for the LA, as they have failed to adhere to the oral agreement you reached on the deposit.

2. take ex-friend to court for the money she owes you.

Chris Daniel

22:40 PM, 14th June 2018
About 6 months ago

Alternatively, - you could get some negotiation with the ex-tenant your past friend and have some mediation /
What you'd pay for this would likely be less than court fees, and quicker ?
http://www.PossessionFriend.uk

Kate Mellor

9:17 AM, 15th June 2018
About 6 months ago

No deductions can be made from your deposit without your agreement, so you do have a little power there to disrupt this process. In your place I would object to the suggested deductions. Your agent will then be informed and you will all be asked to come to an agreement between yourselves and the agent to resubmit the claim. If you carry on disagreeing you can force it to go to arbitration. In the arbitration process the agent must provide proof that the property was left unclean, that any damage claim is fair and wasn't pre-existing. That the correct amount was reclaimed with reference to the age and life-span of the item. ie an agent cannot reclaim the full cost of replacing a carpet. You have a reciept for a professional clean. That should stand you in good stead. Arbitrators do have a tendency to come down on the side of the tenant, so if you believe the deductions are excessive or unreasonable you’ve got nothing to lose.

You could ask your ex-friend to confirm in writing to the TDS/arbitrator that you paid the full amount of the deposit and all remaining deposit should be returned to you, or for her to simply supply your bank details for the refund of “her portion”. You never know your luck and it can’t hurt to ask. If she’s already cost you her unpaid rent she may agree if you ask in a non-confrontational way. Failing that you could provide evidence via bank statements and emails that the deposit came from you and was not contributed to equally. Hopefully you have your early emails to the agent regarding this issue. This may be unsuccessful, but if it works it beats having to go to court to try and get it back.

If you do decide to go to court you will need some sort of proof that your flat mate is responsible for the debt though and that she owed you half the deposit money. Does your ex-flat-mate have a stable job? If so you can apply for an attatchment to earnings once you've successfully been granted a judgement for the debt. This can be far more likely to succeed than getting bailiffs in.


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