Letting agent unwilling to release deposit to me?

by Readers Question

2 months ago

Letting agent unwilling to release deposit to me?

Make Text Bigger
Letting agent unwilling to release deposit to me?

I have two properties in Wales. One I manage myself and the other, up until now has been managed by a letting agent.

I decided some time ago to take over the management myself and duly gave 3 months notice to the letting company that I wished to do so. At that time I also informed them that I would like to hold the deposit and put it into my own scheme.

This seemed fine at the time and they agreed to this, getting my tenant’s agreement that the deposit could be held in my scheme.

I received the last month’s rent from the letting agent yesterday, but no deposit monies. I have telephoned them to ask where it is and they say they will not release the money to me until I have registered the deposit with my own scheme and given them proof that I have done this.

Can anybody advise me whether this is right?

Firstly I have not received the money so how can I register it with the scheme?

Secondly the deposit amount was £675.00 – if I was using a custodial scheme are they expecting me to pay the money over out of my own funds?

Rosanne



Comments

Neil Patterson

2 months ago

Hi Rosanne,

The letting agent is responsible to the tenant for the deposit so I can understand they are unwilling to release it directly to you without a guarantee that it will be protected especially as you are ending the relationship with them.

Chris Daniel

2 months ago

Two points Rosanne,
Firstly, you can and should use the agents formal complaints process, then when taken to its conclusion, refer the matter to the Property Redress scheme, All agents have to be a member or Trading Standards can prosecute them.
Secondly, you could easily protect the deposit with an Insurance policy ( I believe My deposits for NLA members is £16. odd ) That should satisfy the agent.

Yvonne Francis

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 07/06/2018 - 08:49
I thought Neil that at the end of a tenancy or any other time, if an agent failed to pay back the tenant, the Landlord is ultimately responsible to repay the tenant their deposit and even pay three times the amount if the deposit was not registered even if the Landlord never handled that money. Not quite sure what you mean by The letting agent is responsible to the tenant for the deposit.

Arthur Allen

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 07/06/2018 - 08:49
I quite understand your comment Neil that they are protecting the tenant but it is my duty as a landlord to make sure the deposit is protected in my own scheme. Unfortunately I am not willing to protect the deposit when I have not received it. I have to state on the form when I am protecting the deposit, the date I received it. Am I supposed to lie and say that I have it when I do not?

Arthur Allen

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 07/06/2018 - 09:49
I quite agree with you and I do use an insurance scheme but I feel that I shouldn't have to do that

Arthur Allen

2 months ago

I would also like to say that when I gave notice to them back in February that I wanted to manage the property myself and put the deposit into my scheme I was told by email that all they needed from me was the ID number of the deposit scheme I used and the agreement of my tenant - they were given both. I sent them a copy of this email which they have ignored. I also re-read my Terms and Conditions which I signed when they first took the property on and there is no mention that if I take over the management of the property I have to register the deposit before they will give it to me. I have pointed this fact out to them but their answer was as there is nothing in the T & C it doesn't matter! By the way the letting agent is Connells Estate Agents who are nationwide.

Adrian Matthews

2 months ago

I am in a similar position. I used an agent as a tenant find only, and they took it upon themselves to protect the deposit with DPS. I placed the management of the property straight away to another agent, who secured the deposit with My Deposits, and I requested the deposit back from the TFO agent...to be told they would not release it. 12 months on and they are still being awkward, even with a letter from the tenant asking them to release it.

Chris Daniel

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Adrian Matthews at 07/06/2018 - 12:12
I repeat, Use the Agents complaints process, then the Property Redress scheme.

Arthur Allen

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 07/06/2018 - 12:18
I have already asked for their address to make a formal complaint but as yet have not had a reply.

Chris Daniel

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Arthur Allen at 07/06/2018 - 12:25
A large agency such as Connells should have it published on their web site, but in the first instance, a letter addressed to the branch manager, outlining your complaint, asking for their formal complaints process and indicating you wish the contents of your letter to be treated as a formal complaint should start the process.

1 2 3

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Respond now or get 3 year tenancies!

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More