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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Can my ex-tenants start legal proceedings against me for not

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Can my ex-tenants start legal proceedings against me for not putting their deposit into the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme after they have vacated?

They rented for 17 months on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and have left without paying the final month?s rent. We agreed to use the deposit for unpaid bills, leaving just ?60 towards the ?400 rent. I have warned them that I will start legal proceedings against them if they don?t pay up and they have suggested that they will start proceedings against me because I didn?t put their deposit into the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (no excuse, I know, but I genuinely didn?t know about it when they moved in and the agreement made no mention of it).

Can they do this after they have vacated?


Thank you for your question.


It's bad news I'm afraid, the penalties on landlord's for not having placed a deposit in to a tenancy deposit scheme are severe.


All deposits taken under ASTs must be paid in to a scheme and if they are not the tenants may make an application at Court for the return of the whole of the deposit monies (regardless of the fact that they may have been 'bad' tenants) and if the Court finds the landlord in breach of their obligations (as you are I'm afraid) then the Court will order the landlord to pay a fine of three times the deposit amount to the tenant.


They can make the application after they have vacated.


You've got to think practically about the situation, if you think you can come to some understanding with them about the remaining rent in exchange for them not making an application then I would leave it there and wait to see what happens. You will still have an action against them for the rent arrears but I assume the potential liability for not having placed the deposit in a scheme far exceeds the arrears and so is not worth pursuing unless they issue in respect of the deposit. I would imagine any action by you for the arrears would quickly precipitate an action by them for the deposit/fine.


Fingers crossed they have not done much research in to the penalties on the deposit issue.


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Kind regards,


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Okay, thanks. It's my own fault of course for not checking if things had changed since the agreement was printed.


Is there a statute of limitations after which they wouldn't be able to start legal proceedings or is this something that they could start years later?


Do the penalties get paid to them?

Thank you for the accept and kind bonus. You're not on your own; It's caught a lot of landlord's out


They would be time barred from making an application after 6 years, although it's a little unclear presently when this runs from the better view is that if probably runs from the date at which they discovered the breach. Unfortunately, It doesn't sound as if they will let it get that far if they know about your obligations already.


The penalties do get paid to them.


You've just got to try and 'manage' them from this point.


Good luck.



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