Tenant Refused Deposit Back!

by Readers Question

5 years ago

Tenant Refused Deposit Back!

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Tenant Refused Deposit Back!

Being a first time landlord I was very naive in the rules around securing the deposit (yes, I am another one of those!). Tenant Refused Deposit Back!

I realised this after I tried to issue a s.21 notice seeking possession, being advised that I had to return the deposit in full.

I realised this very late on and have tried to return the deposit to the tenant, I tried getting their bank details, asking to hand over a cheque, even getting a cheque witnessed and put in their post box. The last option happened and the day after I issued a s.21 notice.

A couple of days later I received a letter to be signed for with the deposit cheque inside from my tenant. I knew the letter was from them but I am not a bad landlord to refuse a letter from my tenant so I took it. Now that I have the cheque, am I back to square one on this. It was issued and received by the tenant before I hand delivered the s.21 so surely the possession order is valid.

I can’t guarantee the tenant will cash the cheque, now I can’t even guarantee they keep it.

Does this means the s.21 is invalid?

Can someone guide me, is there any case thats gone in front of a judge like this and what was the result.

This has been a huge learning curve for me and I’m just looking to see whether I now need to put it in a scheme, which is not a problem at all, happy to do it.

Can you help guide me on this?

Giuliana Quadernucci



Comments

Mark Alexander

5 years ago

How does you tenant pay the rent?
.

The pay via cash into my bank account.

Mark Alexander

5 years ago

Have you checked your property internally?

I don't want to worry you unduly but this carries the hallmarks of your property being used as a Cannabis Factory!

If you have not been allowed access to the property I recommend you to read this article >>> http://www.property118.com/cannabis-factory-landlords-case-study/41640/

Did they pay the first months rent and the deposit in cash too?

If they paid by cheque your bank should be able to send you a copy.

If they paid by cash, how can they prove they actually paid you a deposit?
.

Mary Latham

5 years ago

Smart tenants - they are working the system.

Your Section 21 is not valid because the deposit which has not been protected must be returned BEFORE it is served.

This is a really difficult situation and I think that I would put cash into an envelope and post it through the tenants door with a covering letter to say that 100% of the deposit is returned in full. I would get an independant witness to give me a statement that he saw me do this.

I would then serve the S21 again with a witness statement that I have done so.

I have not come across a case like this and I am interested to see if anyone more knowledgeable than I am has a better answer.

One word of warning they will probably take action against you for not protecting the deposit within the 30 days the law requires and this could cost you up to 300% of the deposit. I am sorry to say there is now no way out of this but I thought that you should know - these tenants seem very knowing.

Good luck

Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

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

Mark Alexander

5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "29/07/2013 - 16:26":

Hi Mary

Have you considered mentioning your book on your Member Profile and putting a link there?

When you comment regularly your Member Profile also get's viewed regularly so it's well worth doing.
.

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "29/07/2013 - 16:45":

Hi Mary

There is no letter box on the front door, I always thought there was, so my only option is an external lockable post box which I am not keen on putting cash into it.

Can I register the deposit now, albeit very late, we are now in a periodic contract as the last one expired end of April. Once the deposit is registered and the tenant is informed, can I then reissue a s.21?

Yes, I could still get a slap on the wrist and perhaps a fine, but at least I can get possession?

Thanks for your advice, much appreciated.

Reply to the comment left by "Giuliana Quadernucci" at "29/07/2013 - 17:29":

Just to say that I had a witness with me when I put the cheque in the external post box, then went back the next day with the same witness and noted that the envelope with the cheque for the deposit was no longer there, this is when I served the s.21 in the same box.

Mark Alexander

5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Giuliana Quadernucci" at "29/07/2013 - 17:29":

Protecting the deposit after 30 days does not entitle you to serve notice, you MUST return it before serving notice.

You have not responded to my other question about what may be going on at the property.
.

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "29/07/2013 - 17:36":

Hi Mark

I did an inspection less than a month ago after carrying out some repairs, nothing going on.

So if I can't return the deposit because they would return it to me or protect the deposit, then what are my options for serving notice?

Mark Alexander

5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Giuliana Quadernucci" at "29/07/2013 - 17:41":

How did you gain access to do the inspection? Maybe you could do the same and hand over cash at that point?

Also, you haven't answered my question about the first months rent and the deposit.

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