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I assume that your mean £200+Vat per hour.
Can you explain the reference to "3 difference schemes" a deposit taken under an assured shorthold tenancy at under £25k pa need only be protected in one such scheme?
Are you certain the deposit has not been lodged in one of these schemes?
I think you must have submitted your answer half-drafted....
I'm a UK solicitor, I just needed you to clarify what you meant to be certain.
If the landlord has genuinely not lodged the deposit with a TDS for an assured shorthold tenancy under £25k pa then you do have the right to apply to Court for the return of the whole deposit and a fine payable from the landlord to you of three times the deposit amount. If the sum claimed is less than £5,000.00 then you can do it through http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/ it's very easy to use and straightforward for lay person.
Obviously, you need to be certain that the landlord has not protected the deposit and I would advise you to ask one of the solicitors to write a letter before action to the landlord first explaining the basis of your potential claim and asking for him to provide you with the scheme's reference details or, if not, an offer of settlement to avoid litigating. This would cost in the region of £40 +Vat and is a cheap alternative to fully instructing the solicitor and it avoids the administrative hassle of applying to Court and attending a hearing.
Ideally you would instruct a solicitor and you can use the following site to shop around for the cheapest in your area:-
If you choose not to instruct a solicitor then I would ask the solicitor who wrote your letter before action to check your Court application for you (though you could also do this via citizen's advice) again for a relatively small fee.
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