Tenant claims deposit was given in cash?

Tenant claims deposit was given in cash?

12:05 PM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago 33

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We are in dispute with a tenant that upped and left over a mouse in the house. That’s another story. However, they failed to read the meter on leaving and the electrical company have refused to refund them. They demanded we pay their electric bill and return their deposit.

We have no record of a deposit being paid nothing in the bank no receipt nothing on the tenancy agreement. The tenant has gone to no-win-no-fee solicitors who want copies of the tenancy, how to rent guide, electric and gas certificates and energy performance certificates.

The tenant has a copy of the tenancy agreement but must have lost it. What are readers’ views on what the solicitors should receive?

Our view is nothing as they have a tenancy agreement and the other things don’t relate to the deposit scheme except the how to rent guide. All were provided.

The tenant states they have a message saying I received the bond in cash. I haven’t got this message and they won’t share it!

Many thanks


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Kate Mellor

11:12 AM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Christopher Lee at 15/02/2023 - 08:35
One of the great things about docusign is that it records a detailed audit trail that shows whether or not the document was viewed by the recipient, including the time and date. So even if they fail to sign it they can't claim they didn't receive it!

Laura Delow

11:53 AM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago

If they did pay by cash, the only reasons I can think of for a tenant paying the deposit in cash was either they had hooky money & stupidly forgot to get a receipt & check the AST stated the deposit amount & you as the landlord naughtily forgot to register it or naughtily chose not to, or they were told by you at outset this was the only way you'd let the property to them & again, they stupidly didn't ask for a receipt. The reason I doubt it's neither of these scenarios is because if you were this naughty type of landlord, I can't imagine why you'd be bringing this to our attention by posting this on this forum & you would have just said to them; "prove it".
It therefore feels like the only other possible reason is; they are trying it on. I suggest you call My Deposits helpline or whoever you usually use to register deposits, and for free get their advice. If they recommend you seek legal help, then do so. In future if you don't take a deposit, make sure it's noted in the AST you & the tenant sign.


12:37 PM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago

David at 16.01 is right.
Get legal advice pronto, don't fiddle about solo, that way leads expensive disaster.
Go to a L&T expert, ask around and do some research. Remember, cheapest is seldom the best!
I am a retired solicitor, NOT L&T.

Windsor Woman

12:55 PM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago

I agree it's a fishing expedition.
I'd be inclined to acknowledge the letter rather than ignore it, and simply advise the solicitors that all of the documentation requested (so far as it is relevant to the matter in hand) was supplied to the tenant who should provide it to to them, together with evidence of the cash deposit payment .
Once received and they have had chance to review the merits of the case, you would be willing to review your own records.
Effectively telling them there's nothing there but that you have comprehensive records and you are being cooperative. I doubt you'll hear anything more.

Letty Alot

13:39 PM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Windsor Woman at 15/02/2023 - 12:55
I would do as you suggest Windsor Woman. Had a similar case a few years back - a long ex-tenant had no win no fee solicitor (retired) looking for a pay out on a non-existent deposit. We acknowledged the letter confirming no deposit paid and asking for tenant's evidence of such but solicitor persisted with threatening responses and, despite us then providing evidence to the contrary, the tenant pursued it to the small claims court on his solicitors advice.

Took 10 minutes for the judge to dismiss the claim as spurious but it was no loss to the tenant - and his solicitor wasn't bothered either, just smiled and shrugged ' win some, lose some'. We defended without our own solicitor as we had meticulous records and witnesses but even so, it was quite streessful and time consuming.


13:57 PM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago

Seems better results come to those who keep meticulous records and have the experience to go with it. Not pushing to excess for my legal friends but lacking the hard won experience and perhaps not absolutely sure of my ground for the first few such skirmishes, I would still be safe - my fault if I pick the wrong solicitor!

David Houghton

14:13 PM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago

If I understand you correctly.
You have a signed tenancy agreement by your ex tenant, confirming no deposit was paid.

Don't even bother to reply. You have no obligation to provide additional copies of anything till after the court orders disclose.

So provided you are happy defending a small claims case Which is unlikely nothing to see here.

Luke P

15:20 PM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Windsor Woman at 15/02/2023 - 12:55
Why even acknowledge? It's like spam emails/calls...acknowledging you exist/have received something is enough in itself to warrant further pursuit. Silence could mean anything and/or nothing, but they've not a single thing to go on. There's no law to be polite.


16:31 PM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 15/02/2023 - 15:20
Silence can so often be golden!


22:36 PM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago

Cash payments whether deposit or rent payments are a taboo, they are hard to prove unless you have receipts, or some other trail.

So take my scenario, one of my tenants paid me rent in cash each month, there was no obligation on my part to issue him with a receipt, especially when he paid his rent in dribs and drabs, he was nearly always skint when it came to paying his rent, but he was never out of money to buy Tenants Extra strong beer cans with 9% alcohol contents, and consumed about 4 cans daily, at around £1 each can !

So when he build up rent arrears to over 3 months, I had enough of him, his behaviour was the other thing that I wish I could have used a S21 but because I never gave him a gas safe certificate from day 1, I had to use Section 8, ground 8, to evict him along with other grounds being regularly inconsistent with his rent.

As he paid me cash, often as little as £20 towards a £450 monthly rent, I did not print receipts, later on they came to bite me, so I learned my lesson never to take rent in cash and not issue receipts even if there is no obligation on a landlord.

So the day I went to serve him my 2 months notice, although I didn't need to have given him more than 2 weeks notice under S8, he looked straight into my eyes and asked what is this notice for? I replied it is for you falling behind on your rent, by more than two months, to which he replied I pay you regularly, by which he meant he paid me £20, £40, £100, £200 or whatever he could afford towards rent account, but was 3 months behind on his rent overall, so in his mind he thought I had no right to serve him a notice as he has always made the effort to make some payment towards his rent, which I could live with as I appreciate people often get into difficult times, but there was no way I was going let him carry on staying in my house as his behaviour towards my other tenants had become extreme, and my other tenants were petrified of him, needless to say I too was petrified of his behaviour, he had even pushed me once when I had allowed him to live rent free for two years in that property.

So he then said well I have always paid you cash and I don't give him any receipts so I cannot prove that he has not paid me his rent each and every months, so he was going to defend this eviction case.

Fortunately that Good Old man with white beard living up in the clouds saw the truth, and on the day of 2nd court hearing he turned up to defend his case at a wrong court, so an Angel sent by that Good Old man guided him to a wrong court, whereby me and my solicitor managed to get his eviction, thank God for that. Truth always prevails,

So got rid of this arrogant alcoholic and abusive and threatening tenant using S8, with a great deal of help from that Omnipotent.

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