13:00 PM, 1st July 2015, About 6 years ago 18
I had a tenant in one of my properties, they moved in in 2011, I duly lodged the deposit with the DPS, printed out the certificate and prescribed information, took it personally to the tenant for signature and then duly gave her a copy.
They recently moved out leaving quite a lot of damage. I had verbally agreed to the daughter having a kitten, tenant then informed me that she had adopted a dog, I verbally agreed on the proviso that any damage caused by the animals be made good prior to them vacating the property. unknown to me they then adopted 2 more cats, all indoor cats. I felt a bit mean asking them to get rid of the animals as the daughter was very attached to them, so again tenant agreed to make good any damage and ensure that the carpets were cleaned.
The tenants moved out prior to the end of the tenancy agreement but still paid rent until the due date. The tenants did not turn up for the checkout inventory and posted the keys through the letter box.
Tenants duly applied for return of the deposit from the DPS, so they knew it had been lodged there, I refused as I wanted some payment towards the costs incurred in making good the property. I duly informed the tenant and included pictures of the damage, invoices etc. I heard nothing so sent all relevant photos etc to the DPS so we could use their ADR procedure.
I subsequently received one of those lovely letters from a ‘no win no fee’ solicitor stating that their initial investigations at the DPS suggested I had not supplied tenants with the prescribed information and demanded the deposit and compensation of 1 1/2 times the deposit. No problem I thought as I knew it had been done correctly, but I cannot find my copy of the signed certificate anywhere.
I have a few questions, if it goes to court will I loose and have to pay back the deposit and 3 times the amount plus their court costs? Should I employ legal representation?
Would I be better to pay up what they are asking now rather than 3 times the deposit if it goes to court?
I did ask my tenant find agent to re sign the tenant when I put up the rent but I failed to supply the prescribed information again.
If I loose the case can I take out a private claim against my tenant for damaged caused?
A solicitor I spoke to briefly suggested that I call their bluff as it is the tenants word against mine and the deposit had been correctly lodged with the DPS.
I am sure someone on here will have had a similar experience and I would be really grateful for any advice.
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