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Category: UK Property Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Prospective tenant signed undated A.S.T in december 2009, giving

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Prospective tenant signed undated A.S.T in december 2009, giving a deposit of ?550 for agreed occupation on the 1st of february 2010. She advised in mid january she no longer wished to occupy and has asked for return of her deposit? We have not returned her deposit as we are several months without rental income in view of her terminating her A.S.T. Are we legally obliged to return her deposit?
Submitted: 4 years ago via Tenancy Agreement Service.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Hello Ancasure,

 

Thank you for your question.

 

Did you place the deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme?

 

Kind regards,

 

Tom

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no. our feeling is that she has renaged on her tenancy agreement without paying any rent we are assuming the deposit will be put towards her first months rent and expenses in setting up tenancy etc. this will still leave us considerably out of pocket.

many thanks derek

Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Right. You have to play this very very carefully.

 

Unfortunately, you were obligated to place the deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme within 14 days of the date of the AST. As you have not the tenant has a right to apply to Court on the basis of this breach and the Court will order the return of the whole of the deposit monies and will levy a fine upon you (payable to the tenant) of three times the deposit amount.

 

I appreciate that three months rent is outstanding, but given that she has the above mentioned right I'm afraid that you may have to take a view about returning the deposit to her and see what money you can get out of her informally in respect of the rent arrears. You do not want her to take legal advice as the first thing they will ask her is if the deposit was placed in a TDS, they will then immediately advise her to make an application in the above described way. You have to protect youself against this.

 

Here is information relating to tenancy deposits for future reference:-

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/DG_066383

 

Sorry it could not be better news. If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,


Tom

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6444
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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