Tenant Disappeared

by Readers Question

12:10 PM, 15th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Tenant Disappeared

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Tenant Disappeared

Hi, hope I am in the correct place!! Tenant Disappeared

I rent out a flat using a letting Agent.

I should just like to know the legal position regarding the tenant’s deposit?

Tenant left owing 1 months rent, and had removed existing vertical blinds.

Tenant does not respond to emails, phone calls, etc.

Can I now claim the deposit?

Thanks

Robert Milliken



Comments

Mark Alexander

12:12 PM, 15th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Robert

Why isn't your letting agent dealing with this for you?
.

David Sweeney

12:34 PM, 15th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "15/08/2013 - 12:12":

How did the tenancy end - did you evict or did the tenant give notice?

Mary Latham

12:48 PM, 15th August 2013
About 5 years ago

If the deposit it held in the custodial scheme you will need the tenant to sign it out to you. If an insured scheme was used the agent will be holding the deposit and if the tenant has just walked away it is yours. Often tenants who know that they are not entitled to the return of their deposit just don't reply to correspondence and this is why I never use the custodial scheme.

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

Romain Garcin

13:11 PM, 15th August 2013
About 5 years ago

If the deposit is held by the agent as stakeholder, the agent is not allowed to release it to the landlord without a proper authority allowing it (tenant, adjudicator, court), and the tenant could go after him if he does otherwise.
Actually, even if the landlord himself holds the money he won't be entitled to it until the same happens. But of course in that case the landlord can just be prepared in case the tenant to try to get the money back from him.

If deposit is held by scheme or agent as stakeholder and the tenant does not agree to adjudication or to release the deposit to the landlord, the way forward is to sue for the money and to specifically request the court that any order specify that the award may be deducted from the deposit. Scheme/agent will then agree to release the money.

Mary Latham

13:17 PM, 15th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "15/08/2013 - 13:11":

If the landlord asks for ADR to make a claim against a deposit and the tenant refuses or does not reply, unless the tenant takes it to court within 6 months, the deposit protection scheme will release the funds to the landlord. The landlord does not need to take legal action.

http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/sites/default/files/Tenant%20Guide%20to%20ADR.pdf

http://www.tds.gb.com/resources/files/What%20happens%20when%20the%20Court%20is%20involved%20in%20a%20tenancy%20deposit%20dispute.pdf

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

Mark Alexander

13:33 PM, 15th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "15/08/2013 - 13:17":

That seems pretty obvious to me Mary, I am amazed that two such knowledgeable posters thought otherwise. Thanks for backing this up with documentary evidence from my|deposits and TDS.

What I had not appreciated is that a tenant has up to 6 months to make a counter claim and that a custodial scheme or agent would have to hold onto the money for that period of time, perhaps because I've never had this problem. It is logical though.
.

Robert Milliken

13:42 PM, 15th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Thanks for all your help 🙂

Romain Garcin

13:53 PM, 15th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "15/08/2013 - 13:17":

Thanks for the links, Mary.

MyDeposit/TDS might get the deposit temporarily but it is the tenant's money: Unless the tenant agrees to ADR, I think he has 6 years to go after the landlord and the 6 month deadline is just when the scheme decides to wash its hands off of it.

I think that any earlier deadline would need to be specifically agreed by the tenant, e.g. in tenancy agreement. In any case, as mentioned earlier, once the landlord holds the money he can just play the clock and be prepared just in case (something to keep in mind for him).

Mary Latham

14:51 PM, 15th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain " at "15/08/2013 - 13:53":

I would be surprised if a term in an AST could reduce the tenants legal rights to take a case to court ie the normal 6 years limit?

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

Christopher Giles

15:50 PM, 16th August 2013
About 5 years ago

Do not forget to get a court order to evict if you can't find the tenant. If you don't he can possibly sue you for damages upon return months later. This is being done on a serial basis by some tenants. It is a must to be able to serve notices etc in the property ie: clause in the contract. Last but not least. Wake up your agent !!!!!!!!!!

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