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Has anyone ever gone through the small claims court(landlady not retuning bond)

(33 Posts)
bikergran Thu 15-Sep-11 18:29:55

Will try make it short....daughter has moved house (thats another story for a rainy day)!
initialy she paid months rent /bond £525 it has now been 18 days...(according to contract the bond is supposed to be back with in 14 days) also!! it is supposed!!! to be held in a "secure bond scheme" not sure if any of you have herd that..but basicly when you pay bond it goes to a thrid party who looks after it...and so long as no damage etc to property then you get it back...anyway we are almost certain daughters bond is NOT in secure scheme which is illigal and if taken to court landlady then has to pay costs and 3 times the bond.....we have asked for the certificate or at least a copy 3 tiems no but nothing..landlady says daughter will get bond back when she has inspected th house..!! this has been promised since 28th August....daughter lives here in lancashire landlady lives in Scotland and we know she has money problems debt letters concerning non payment of mortgage were coming to house....soooooooo has anyone taken any one to small looks like we are going to go down that route....and it could cost as much as £500 to do that......?? any help is very distressing as daughter cannot move on...with the bond money...and the upset it is causing me and hubby...he is that distressed that earlier today after I made no further progress with the letting agent was ....and these were his exact word!!! " if I had the courage to commit suicide then I would"!! as you can imagine this is very distressing he is quite down most of the tiem these days.....but that si yet another story he soon gets depressed i am trying to find the best solution..I have a rung a free helpline but as daughter works it is going to cost her/us money I can go CAB in the morning but to be honest they just rhyme off whats on the net which I already small claims anyone???

Elegran Thu 15-Sep-11 18:53:02

I googled "secure bond scheme" and had only two results - one clearly irrelevant - but this site says it has 11 property solicitors standing by to answer your questions, and an "ask your question now" link. Maybe someone there can help?

11 of them doing nothing but drink coffee must surely be glad of a chance to answer!

nannym Thu 15-Sep-11 19:02:34

Biker I'm not sure if this will be particularly comforting, but a few years ago one of my friends resorted to the small claims court to try and resolve a financial issue and though she won the case she didn't get a penny as the other party claimed severe financial problems and said they were unable to pay. Only good thing was that she didn't have to pay anything in the way of costs.

Nanban Thu 15-Sep-11 19:07:06

CAB would be the best solution - they are marvellous. I think there is a small court fee but I would have thought £500 far too much for them to charge. This is one of those horrible problems that shouldn't but only too often happen and I so hope you have a successful outcome.

bikergran Thu 15-Sep-11 19:34:36

hello and thanks for all replies...have bene searching for a few hours..and found N1 form which I can fill it in and then take it to your county court with a fee (think around £80) to start with...then the next stage happens and you pay anothe fee..forget what its called then another stage where you pay around £150 I read one letter but ti may havebeen an old one and it cost them over £350 all told...they did get money back and court costs.....obviously we really dont wnat the stress or the wait as it could take 6 months...all my daughter wants is her money back that this landlady has obviously spent!
Elegran if you google landlords secure deposite scheme it should come up with the info....which if anyone is ever thinking of renting should take a look at...we /daughtr was a bit has been law from april 2007 that any deposite you pay MUST! be put into one of the schemes it is the law...also you must ask and receive a certificate to tell you in which scheme your deposiet is held in..this your landlord/lady must do! not much help to us now but if it helps anyone else or any of your daughters/sons/freinds etc....then it may be worth checking up on if you or anyone has paid a deposiet(some times called a bond)....thanks for all your replies I will look into each one of heads full at he mo......
goodnight all smile

bikergran Thu 15-Sep-11 19:36:04

sorry do appologise for spelling .....please can w ehave spell checker ......its yrs since I left school [smile[

glammanana Thu 15-Sep-11 23:03:08

biker The letting agent is responsible for lodging the deposit in a secure account and he should have the detail's to hand by law if he took the deposit from your DD and arranged her the letting of the property,he is also the person responsible for the final inspection and returning of the deposit,I know this as my DD went through the exact same problem 18mths ago.A word to the wise some landlords try to wait until final meter reading have been made and use this as an excuss to hold on to monie's.Good luck to-morrow

Nanban Thu 15-Sep-11 23:15:21

Supposing there was a letting agent and not simply a landlord - which is of course a tip - letting agents generally mean the rules are followed but individuals letting out for themselves may not be as easy

glammanana Thu 15-Sep-11 23:24:36

Its so difficult nanban isn't it when unregistered people let out propertie's some landlords think the are a law unto themselve's,but if a Registered Estate Agent let's the property and charge's a % of the rent for doing so they are then obligied by law to register for the receiving of deposit's and the return of the said deposit,but as I said it all rests on the fact that the let was done properly by the agent in the first place,so unfare to the person who is renting.

bikergran Fri 16-Sep-11 06:29:31

hi all..........yes the house was let by official well know locla letting agency....apparently the bond/deposit is held with them for 2 weeks .it is then passed to the landlord or lady in our case and he/she is supposed! to place in secure deposite scheme.......(or not as the case is looking)...I and my daughetr have bene into the letting agency and of course they say it is the landaly we should be dealing with..!!! they are no help whatso ever....I have emailed the landlady but my emails keep coming back.......(think she has blocked my email address) I have txt her earlier in the week and she and she ws replying unitl!! I asked for proof of the certifiate of the secure deposite!! ie..certificate number and as to which scheme she has chosen ,,,of course she has now become silent as we are 99% sure she has not secured the deposite.......she syas my daughetr will have her deposite in the next 2 weeks (she just keeps proloning things)..soooooooo we have to decide over the weekedn as to if we should start small claim I may pop down to CAB although in the past it seems to me thats telling them what I should do!! lol..
o well best get ready for the terror arriving...have a good day all...bfn smile

glammanana Fri 16-Sep-11 10:39:31

biker will try and get you some more info from friend of mine before Monday.

absentgrana Fri 16-Sep-11 10:39:47

I can't be any help with the present situation, but wish you a speedy and successful resolution. However, for future reference, it is common to use a lettings agent for advertising the property, finding the tenant and drawing up the contract, after which he has no further responsibilities. If however, he is providing a management service to the landlord, then he will handle stuff such as bond/deposit and, providing it is a reputable agency, will apply the law properly. In this latter case, the landlord never sees the bond/deposit and cannot touch it.

absentgrana Fri 16-Sep-11 11:14:39

biker I have had another thought that is no help for now but might be worth bearing in mind to avoid horrible situations with rented property in the future. When a reputable agent manages the property for the landlord, he will draw up a detailed inventory of the contents and condition of the property at the beginning of the tenancy. This not only includes things such as the make of the fridge freezer and washing machine, but also that there is, say, some chipped paint on the staircase and the carpets are brand new. This is signed by both landlord and tenant and is later used for assessing the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy, minimising the possibility of arguments about damage caused by the tenant.

As I have no company pension, I have recently put my savings into rental properties, managed properly and professionally (and expensively) by a reputable agent. Sharp practice by private landlords makes me very angry both on behalf of tenants and because it gives all private landlords, including responsible ones, a bad name.

glammanana Fri 16-Sep-11 11:27:07

absent it is so sad that not all L/Lords cannot be responsible as you say,but where ever money is concerned unfortunatley we are alway's going to come across people like this,when my DD was fighting for the return of her deposit nothing was taken into account to the improvememt's that she had done to the said property this was done for her own self esteem and to make the property more desireable but was not taken into account by the L/Lord.

em Fri 16-Sep-11 14:35:30

The other side if the coin - my SIL depends for part of the family income on 3 rented flats he's owned for years. One young couple ran up a debt of £5000. They are related to friends of the family and know this rent is needed to pay mortgage, feed and clothe kids etc (ie not a wealthy developer). When he was reaching the stage of taking them to court, they went into some legal state resembling bankruptcy where all their debts were taken into account. End result was that SIL will be repaid at the rate of £20 per month from now to eternity! Not a lot of help when he thought he was being helpful to a young couple!

glammanana Fri 16-Sep-11 14:47:18

em so sorry to hear about SIL there is an old saying isn't there that you can never have friend's where business is concerned,I hope it hasn't ruined his trust in human nature because there are alot of good honest people out there.

Annobel Fri 16-Sep-11 16:14:17

biker, what a shambles! Here is the CAB public access web site which takes you through the small claims procedure:

bikergran Sat 17-Sep-11 09:16:53

Hello all and many thanks for your comments and advice..isnt it strange that a subject we may know nothing about..once we have delved deep/searched high and low/via internet and various stories...that is becomes a learning curve..and that we then are able to give advice to maybe some one else who has similar problems, to be honest I never knew about the "secure deposite scheme" and didnt realise you had a certificate etc..etc..I presumed the letting agency held on to your deposite until the property ws checked when you left....(wrong)!
What makes me angry is yes we have repainted all the walls, put a new flushing system in the toilet and kept the hosue is a lovely little house no distracting from that.....but also the landlady ws "very nice" when we paid 6 months rent in advance as my daughter didnt pass the check (due to a past debts)! I paid the landady up front..(daughter paid me back each month) daughter used to get paid o the 28th of each month...the lanlady insisted that her rent was in her ! bank account on the 28 due to daughter being with Yorkshire bank who seem to live in the back of beyond this was almost impossible....and she got shirty on many occasion meaning I had to pysicaly run down to bank and putt he cash in lanladys account...
we cant decide if to go through the small claims but we will see how things go..
em yes I can imagine the other side of the coin as before my daughter moved into the propety the previous tenant took all sorts...! sofas, wardrobes, beds etc etc she cleared the landlady out.!

We used to have nasty neighbours next door....long story..but they were eventualy evicted..but!!!! they because they didnt get their bond back..they managed to creep back in one night they put all the plugs in the bath/sink/kitchen and turned on all the taps!!!!!!!!!!! it had been running for over 12 hours before we realised and informed the letting agency! and we are joined on!!!! we now have a lovely young quiet well mannered girl in....who has occasionaly friends in..and she is lovely.....couldnt wish for a better neighbour............ok well Im off to Colne (near boundry mill lancs) for supplies (husbands train set) lol.....he says its grandsons ha ha least hes interested enough to play with it today (husband I mean not grandson)....have a lovely day all...wet n nasty here in lancashire this

Annobel Sat 17-Sep-11 11:37:55

On BBC breakfast this morning Paul Lewis was talking about rent deposit problems. I was only listening with half an ear, but it might be worth trying to find it on i-player. He usually gives very shrewd advice and can be contacted on Twitter - if you know how to use it!

absentgrana Sat 17-Sep-11 11:42:38

One thing Paul Lewis did mention is that once the tenant has ceased to be the tenant, the rules about the deposit being in a safe and untouchable place no longer apply – a very unfortunate loophole.

bikergran Sat 17-Sep-11 13:06:53

hmm think I will take a look at iplayer thanks

gettingonabit Sat 17-Sep-11 17:52:18

Hi Biker. I'm a landlady, with some limited experience of tenancy deposit schemes. The scheme I use is the Government one - there are a few - and exist to protect the tenant, not the landlord. I would not write this landlord off yet, however, as I have heard of deposits not being returned from the scheme in time to honour the initial agreement, and the return of the money should in any case be dependent upon a satisfactory inventory, carried out by a landlord or agent acting on his behalf. If your landlord lives in Scotland, I'm not surprised she is slow to act.

Go to CAB by all means, and sometimes even a threat of the Small Claims Court is enough to make a rogue pay up. I threatened a car dealer with this once, to get back a returnable deposit on a car I didn't subsequently buy.

Also, chat to some letting agents - they will have experience of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and any case you may have.

bikergran Sat 17-Sep-11 20:35:48

hi gettingona bit love the
yes I understand what you are saying..... we just feel like she is taking the my daughter has had a person knocking at the door looking for the landlady..apparently she owes a substantial ammount in mortgage arrears..
she has been promising to come down before the 28th of August and as yet not appeared. Last week she more os less told my daughter that she would not get her deposit back until the next tenant had paid thers hence daughter getting her dep back from to new tenent... we are not talking about a little scruffy nasty house here...but a small modern detached house on a new housing my daughters contract it states the deposit will be paid back within 1 4 days of handing back the keys(we have done on the 28th August) and also on completion of the check from the landlady) not done as she keeps putting it off! the thing that has got our feathers ruffled is....when my daughter took over the tenency it was the letting agent that inspected the house..not the seems she has now changed the rules...what we are concerned about is...if! the new tenant moves in before! the landlady comes down to inspect then how can we be sure the new tenant is not going to spill bleach/paint or burn hole in carpet and then blame my daughter...surley if the letting agents let the new tenant in then they will have inspected it enough to say yes all ok....and believe me it is ok as ive done it myself....oven/fridge garden the all spick n span...I did take photos and stupidly deleted them!!!!!! grrrrrrrrr...
also the landlady will not answer my emails she will now not answer my daughters phone calls....we have asked her 3 times now for a copy or a certificate number or the name of the deposiet scheme she has chosen.but obviously alarm bells are ringing (the good thing is the house is 2minutes walk away form where I live!) so I am keeping an eye on it for anyone that moves in and I will be round there to put them in the I would not want anyone else to be conned......I shall keep you all updated..I hate being duped and I hate other people bing duped....I think as we get older we are prepared to stand up more for ourselves and others. My daughter like others is a hard working nurse who works hard for her wages..I just hate anyone being taken advantage of.. especially young people that are trying to get on in sorry long rant....

em Sun 18-Sep-11 01:00:33

Biker - you sound like someone I'd love to have on my side - but would worry if you were on the other side! Good luck to you and DD. Look forward to reading the post that says you've sorted it all out ( as I'm sure you will!)

bikergran Sun 18-Sep-11 21:07:05

lol em lol well my friend and I do call ourselves the scary bikers lol
I would love to have the knowledge to help others once I have sorted my own probs out...... its like people with debt problems..I mean genuine nice people who have got themselves into debt and don't know which way to turn, it must be such a good feeling to point some one in the right direction and see the relief on their faces, and I dont mean for any payment I mean free! adivce for them that need it..
I am sure we will! sort this out but we have to tread very carefully! at the mo, and decide which direction to take so as not to loose any money by going down the wrong avenue..i will keep posted and hoep the daughters outcome may help others which ever way it goes! smile take care all. keep smiling smile