I’m afraid that your disastrous personal life has nothing whatsoever to do with a defence to failure to protect the deposit. You have a statutory duty to do so.
It also doesn’t matter whether you are a professional landlord with 100 properties or are just dabbling with just 1 property. There is a statutory requirement you to protect the deposit in a recognised scheme within one month. it is irrelevant howupstanding your own financial circumstances are.
The statutory provision under the Housing Act, is that if you failed to protect the deposit within the statutory period they are entitled to “up to” three times the deposit as compensation. That does not mean they will get three times the deposit it means, literally what it says, they will get “up to” three times the deposit.
It is not common for the courts to simply award three times the deposit as compensation because that would be a windfall for the tenant.
You are still entitled to counterclaim for any damage to property or any loss of rent if they left early plus any increase in rent which they did not pay, provided you asked for it.
The solicitor will be milking this for costs and the claim for costs is likely to be as much or potentially more than the claimant’s claim.
It is unlikely that the claimant will get some money judgement unless you have a defence. It is not unreasonable for them to send you a copy of any documentation they have sent to the court and indeed, they should have already sent you documentation. You can raise that in court as part of your defence to any costs claim they may be making.
Based upon what you have told me, you do not have a defence. It really is a case of mitigating the amount you are paying in respect of your statutory beach and making them an offer to keep this out of court.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
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