Short term - they were there for a year, then renewed for another year
No. They asked me about their deposit at the end of their tenancy. I told them they need to refer to the documents I sent them at the beginning of their tenancy. I then emailed them a list of the damages they have done. To which they accused me of exaggerating the amount owed and how horrified they were that I was being so and so. I then replied that I have not exaggerated and is willing to discuss the matter face to face. The next thing I know they emailed me to say that they have been in touch with mydeposits who confirmed that the last year of their tenancy the deposit was not insured. I then called mydeposits to confirm this who then confirmed that 18 months of their tenancy was insured just not the last 6 months. The last 3 years my two sisters have had endomitrial and rectal cancer stage 4 one after the other which the tenants knew about. Between my mum and I we cared for both of them. We were extremely worried that they wouldn't make it as stage 4 is as advance as you can get on both types. So the reinsurance of the deposit slipped my mind. It was not intentional. This I also told my tenants. Then the next thing I know I get emails accusing me of this and other with veiled threats. I then responded calmly that these accusations are false. That the threats are not necessary and I was willing to provide them any info they need and discuss both issues with them face to face if they need to do so.
I then receive an email telling me that they are going to court over the matter, totally ignoring the issue of the damages, and I responded again that I am willing to discuss both issues outside of court. I didn't hear anything back from them, so I chased.
Around beginning of December I then received an email with an unsigned Letter Before Action from one of them with veiled accusation that I provided them with incorrect postal address. I then responded and confirmed my postal address and that in order for me to respond to the Letter Before Action I need the letter to be signed by all three of them as all three were listed as my tenants, or signed by one of them accompanied by a legal document which states that all three have nominated that person to represent them. I didn't receive a reply. I then chased them last week about it to which I received an email from a different tenant to say that what I have requested was not necessary and that they all have agreed for one person to communicate with me and that the claim done via the court for the deposit will be in that person's name only too.
I responded to say that I do not acknowledge receipt of the letter before action as it's incorrect. That I still have not received the correct documents in order for me to respond accordingly. That I did respond promptly as requested in their email. That they still ignored and have not addressed my claim for the damages.
Before I send that reply off I just need to know the answer to my Question 1 and 2.
Below's the main body of what they wrote in the unsigned letter before action:
Letter before action
Failure to protect my tenancy deposit with a deposit protection scheme
I, along with [name of two other tenants], are the former tenants of [property address] which you let to us on an assured shorthold tenancy starting on 4 Sept 2010 and again 04 Aug 2011.
I am writing concerning the deposit I paid to you on 1 Sept 2010 as a security against my obligations to you under the terms of my tenancy agreement.
Before my tenancy ended:
I did not receive information from you about the protection of my security deposit with a government backed scheme.
It is my belief that:
you failed to comply with your legal obligations to protect my deposit with a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.
I have made enquiries of the deposit protection schemes to establish if my deposit is protected, but have been unable to find any evidence that my deposit has been protected with My Deposits.
The law required you to protect my tenancy deposit within 30 days of it being received by you, and provide me with certain information about which scheme you used. As you have failed to comply with the requirements of the law, I am entitled to have my deposit refunded to me in full.
I have previously requested that you return my deposit to me as far back as 18 Sept
I therefore request that, within 14 days of receiving this letter, you pay me the sum of
£3834.29 being the amount of the deposit paid to you less the water bills for the 2 years of the tenancy.
If I do not receive payment or a substantial response from you by 18 Nov 2012, I intend to issue court proceedings in the County Court without further notice. I reserve the right to include a claim for interest, costs and compensation in addition to the amount of the deposit. Please be advised that the courts may order you to pay compensation of between one and three times the value of my deposit.
I will be relying on the Court Civil Procedure Rules Practice Direction: Pre-action Conduct. I must therefore draw your attention to paragraph 4 concerning the court's powers to impose sanctions for failure to comply with the Practice Direction; and inform you that ignoring this letter before action may increase your liability for costs.
Do I need to do a counter claim to their claim for the deposit? And if so how do I do so please Jomo?
it does exceed so what should I expect and how do I go about submitting my documents to counter claim please?
Thank you Jomo you've been ace as always!
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