UK Property Law
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What was the fixed term of the agreement? and was it an assured shorthold tenancy agreement? Please state how many agreements there were (ie. one copy all signed by the tenants, or multiple copies individually signed) and what the annual rent was.
Yes it was an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, provided from a solicitor ( i think they have a template that they use.Fixed term of six months and monthly thereafter
There was just one agreement between myself ( landlord ) and joint tenants, who were partners. I kept one signed copy and they kept the other.
Rent was £7200 per year ( £600 per month )
All AST deposit must be lodged in a tenancy deposit scheme and I note you have not done this. This gives the tenants a right to apply for the return of the whole of the deposit amount and a fine of three times the deposit amount from you to them.
Putting the deposit in a scheme now is shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted and would not be convincing to a Court. I would advise giving them the whole of the deposit back and not pursuing them for the rent, to hope that they don't look in to their rights and issue at Court for the above.
If you dig your heels in about the rent then they are more likely to research or take legal advice on the deposit and issue.
Treat it as a learning experience and cross your fingers. The solicitor - if you spoke with him - really should have mentioned about TDSs, here is some information for the future:-
Sorry it could not be better news.
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