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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Henry Malone

5:50 AM, 16th February 2023, About A year ago

The ex tenant has a right to request a SAR Subject Access Request on documents, it should take you up to 30 days to reply
To me it looks like They are hoping to get 3 times the deposit by taking you to court.
So If your Documents show no deposit was taken then you have nothing to worry about.
But if you ignore the SAR request they will take it further. And the court will think your hiding something.

Do the same to them send a SAR for a copy of this mystery text with all data showing the mobile number and date and time of the text they received.


7:27 AM, 16th February 2023, About A year ago

The other issue you could raise is ask where the cash was obtained from and ask for evidence. It is for the claimant to prove their case.


7:38 AM, 16th February 2023, About A year ago

Give them absolutely nothing, it is for them to prove their claim.

A very simple letter stating you dispute their claim and will only respond to a summons, should be all you need to do.

eagle view

9:45 AM, 18th February 2023, About A year ago

Did you rent the property without a deposit, and what does the tenancy agreement say about deposits? They said they had paid a deposit, and you said they had not paid a deposit. If the tenancy agreement does not state this and they cannot provide proof of payment, the case ends. If they had balance in their gas and electric accounts then they can ask refund from the supplier or you reimburse them.

Kate Mellor

11:24 AM, 18th February 2023, About A year ago

Your question reads as though you don’t actually know whether you took a deposit or not. You don’t say that you didn’t, just that you don’t have any record of it. Is this the case? Does your AST state that a deposit was payable? If so, it’s not going to look good in court. I would suggest that a magistrate will side with the tenant regardless of proof existing of actual receipt. You could’ve simply spent the cash. Cash doesn’t tend to produce much of an audit trail.

The request for the other documents on the surface sounds irrelevant as you didn’t issue a s21 notice, but my thoughts are that the solicitor is interested in putting together a picture of your behaviour as a landlord. Did you follow all legal requirements?

If not, your penalty for not properly protecting the deposit and issuing Prescribed Information is likely to be higher than if this was your only mistake. Also it sways the probability to the tenant’s side where there’s no proof of payment and simply “he said, she said”.

The maximum claim is usually 1-3 times the deposit (plus the return of the deposit), but I believe that “no win no fee” lawyers are also claiming the same again for non-service of the Prescribed Information. I’m sorry to be scare-mongering, but people who engage solicitors generally do follow through. Especially when there’s no cost to themselves.

Jessie Jones

23:42 PM, 18th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Henry Malone at 16/02/2023 - 05:50
A Subject Access Request extends to the tenants personal data, but would not extend to your own bank records, records of Gas Safe, EPC, EICR records of your property or copies of the How to Rent guide, which is a document with no personal data whatsoever.
At most, they could request an itemised list of the rental payments that you did receive, but they cannot include a list of payments you didn't receive.
An SAR request does not give them the right to copies of documents, only the personal data on these documents. So, for example, on a tenancy agreement they may well be entitled only to the fact that their name is on the document, the date they signed it, the address and the amount they were paying. You don't have to list the things that are not on the document, such as the absence of any deposit, and the terms and conditions of the AST.
An SAR request should also clearly be identified as such when the request is made. Full details are clearly set out on the ICO website.

Christopher Lee

8:09 AM, 19th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Kate Mellor at 18/02/2023 - 11:24
Why do you think they would side with the tenant? Even if the Landlord forgot to get the deposit, the absence of a receipt is also pretty damning for the tenant. It would be pretty unreasonable for a court to have an opinion in the absence of any evidence either way.
If all other payments have been made either by check or direct transfer that should count in the landlords favour if we're just basing this on best guess.
The contractual obligation to pay a deposit really isn't evidence it was actually paid.
I realise the courts are far from perfect but that does seem a stretch to assume they would lose on that basis.

David Houghton

9:08 AM, 19th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Jessie Jones at 18/02/2023 - 23:42
Are landlords an "organization" now? Where did this come from? Do we have to get gdpr consent? If not I'm not sure of the legal authority for a SAR.

John Grefe

10:48 AM, 19th February 2023, About A year ago

It seems that you have been plenty of good advice! But I would acknowledge the solicitor but don't give any information. In my opinion ask for their proof stating that you have complied with the strict regulations. I reiterate, DON't give anything away.
There's a lesson we ALL need to re-learn; Don't rent to a tenant until all the boxes are ticked, references, income information(to make sure they can afford it or a credit check), full deposit & rent paid into your bank.
If you succumb to "wanting the money" and cutting corners for the sake of renting the property, then you deserve hell on earth! Sorry, but you have to be as hard as nails without being nasty. Otherwise you will go bankrupt. John

Kate Mellor

23:52 PM, 19th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Christopher Lee at 19/02/2023 - 08:09
Nothing should surprise you after reading the recent article on here titled Section 21, I kid you not! Where the judge decided, despite the tenancy agreement stating there wasn’t a deposit and the tenant not disputing that fact, to adjourn the case to allow the parties to come back with proof that a deposit hadn’t been taken. So if you’re sporting a tenancy agreement stating that a deposit must be paid and your tenant claims they paid one, I really don’t like your chances, especially if you’re unlucky enough to come up before that particular magistrate…

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