Landlord problems

  interzone55 10:44 01 Jul 11
Locked

Not sure if this belongs in Speakers Corner or Consumer Watch, so please feel free to move it as appropriate.

In March I moved out of a rented property, after a detailed inspection the landlord agreed everything was OK and said he had no problems releasing my deposit, which is held by the Deposit Protection Agency - this is supposed to take 14 days at most.

Nothing happened, so I contacted the DPA, sorry Landlord not logged in to approve repayment, they can do nothing without his approval. Contact landlord, but no response Wait a bit repeat as above

After 10 weeks still nothing, but mail sent to old address starts arriving at new address, and I get an email from former landlord saying he's just been in house and it's very dirty and the fridge is mouldy. Odd, everything was fine when I moved out - I have photographs - but now after leaving house closed up for 10 weeks it's dirty. This is probably because of extensive building work going on outside the building, and gaps in the windows causing dirt to blow in, and I saw him close the fridge door as I left.

Without his approval I get none of my deposit back. The DPA was set up to stop landlords withholding payment, but it's just the same as it was before, but with an extra layer to deal with.

Looks like I'll have to go to Small Claims Court, do I have to do it in the town where I used to live, or can I take action where I live now, 60 miles away?

  spuds 11:00 01 Jul 11

Contact Consumer Direct or CAB for advice before considering the small claims court. Even if you win the case, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will get your deposit back or anything else, without further stress.

I believe there is a program on one of television channels next week about landlords and some of the problems tenants have had. Might be worth watching?.

  interzone55 11:45 01 Jul 11

spuds

Thanks, if I thought our local CAB could help I'd give them a call, but to be honest on the two occasions I've called them about this I got the distinct feeling I was interrupting the guy's siesta.

I'm reading the court's Money Claim Onine section and it looks like I may be able to do all this online, which is nice.

I will watch that program though...

  spuds 11:59 01 Jul 11

alan14--Perhaps as a further pointer , that might be worth considering of a possible route available to you. Since the Rachman days, many council's have now set up sections that deal with private tenant complaints including rent problems etc. Would it be worth contacting the council or their Trading Standards office in the area that you use to live in. They may have records of your previous landlord?.

  spuds 12:04 01 Jul 11

Whoops, posted before it should have done!.

(continuation) Or even offer further advice in the resolving the problem?.

  interzone55 14:53 01 Jul 11

spuds

I never even considered speaking to the council about this, will give them a try.

I am going to report him to the council though, as during my 13 month tenancy no-one came round to check the gas boiler, and they should be inspected every 12 months...

  spuds 13:56 04 Jul 11

Reference to the program mentioned, and as a reminder, it should be on Channel 4 this evening at 8.00pm

  Forum Editor 18:23 04 Jul 11

The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) (which I assume is the one you refer to) is one of three government approved services. All of them have a dispute resolution service in the event that one or other of the parties involved cannot (or will not) be contacted.

Take a look at this for more information about the DPS dispute resolution service - it's free by the way.

  interzone55 20:05 04 Jul 11

Forum Editor

Oh yes, they have a dispute resolution process alright, but they still won't do diddly squat until the landlord logs in and agrees to the arbitration process. If that doesn't happen they just point you in the direction of court action, which is what I'm about to do.

  Forum Editor 23:00 04 Jul 11

Obviously both parties must agree to enter into arbitration - that's the whole idea of the service.

They're holding money in escrow, and that can't be released unless there's an arbitration or a court order, because at the moment they only have one side of the story - yours.

  interzone55 09:48 05 Jul 11

Forum Editor

Of course, I agree with you they can't just give me my deposit back without the landlord's consent. But I can't see the point of an agency that just sits there earning interest on my deposit while my former landlord does nothing.

I'm going to have to go to court to get access to my money, in just the same way as if the DPS didn't exist.

When I rented the property the deposit was held by the letting agent, who were in the same town, and had an office I could walk into, and a phone that was answered. Then in January, entirely without consulting any of his tenants, the money was moved to this service. I'm not happy at all.

Luckily I know my current land lady, it's my partner's mother, so we shouldn't have any problems like this in future...

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