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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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If a property letting agent takes over a management of a property

Resolved Question:

If a property letting agent takes over a management of a property with a tenant in, who does not want to sign another lease agreement because she is looking to move, does the deposit need to be protected?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your question. I assume you refer to an assured shorthold tenancy agreement.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following using the same numbering:-
1. When was the tenancy agreement executed?
2. Who executed the agreement? Landlord? Previous Agent?
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

1. The last agreement was signed and started on 20th August 2008 for a year.

2. The previous Agent, the tenant did not want to sign another agreement commencing in August 2009, approx. at the same time the previous agent was closing his mydeposit scheme/membership, so the deposit amount of £400 was transferred to me, however we were both under the impression that it did not have to be protected, as there was no new agreement.

The tenant left in May 2010, without a forwarding address and the Landlords were dissatisfied with the state of the property and demanded the deposit went to them. They did sign a declaration from me to that effect. The tenants daughter has now come back demanding the £400.

I just need to know if I should have protected the deposit and should I have returned it to the Landlords and whose fight is it now the Landlord or me.

Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

I'll be able to answer in half an hour or so, just on the move at the moment.

Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

The tenant’s deposit should have been protected even if a new tenancy agreement had not been executed. Once the previous tenancy expire it automatically became a statutory periodic tenancy, which means that the tenancy continues on the same terms but from one month to the next.

This does not mean that the deposit should no longer be protected. If a deposit has never been protected then the tenant is entitled to the return of the deposit without deduction. Your situation is obviously a bit more complicated because it was originally protected.

In any event it is the tenant who is the only person who the deposit should be released to. It should not be released to the tenant’s daughter unless authorise to do so in person by the landlord and in this event I would certainly advise getting it in writing .

Providing the landlord was aware the deposit passed to you and he did not instruct you to put the deposit in another scheme and you did not advise the landlord that it was not necessary to replace the deposit in a scheme then the liability would remain that of the landlord. If however you have a full management agreement with the landlord then it would probably be your responsibility to lodge the deposit.

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Kind regards,

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