Tenancy Deposit Claim
LexInter | September 9, 2022 | 0 Comments

Tenancy Deposit Claims: What You Need To Know

The UK is a country where everything is by law. So even if you rent a house, it follows through with the complex process to protect both landlord and tenant from unnecessary problems.

One of the major problems that occur in a tenant and landlord relationship is related to deposit claims. The thing is that before a tenant can take the property and start living, they need to submit a security deposit to the landlord.

The security money is equivalent to almost three months’ rent. This is done to protect the landlord in case the tenant is unable to pay rent on time or damages the property.

When the tenant leaves the property, it is the responsibility of the landlord to give back the security deposit. However, the landlord has the authority not to give the security money back to the tenant if they have damaged the property in any way possible.

The conflict between the landlord and tenant occurs with the security money; it is usually resolved in court.

This article will discuss tenancy deposit claims and the steps you can take to apply for them.

What Is Tenancy Deposit Claim?

Tenancy Deposit Claim

According to UK deposit protection claims, a landlord is responsible for protecting the deposit paid by the tenants using one of three approved government schemes. Moreover, they must do this within the first 30 days after receiving the deposit.

If your landlord is unable to do so and give back your security deposit at the time when you leave the property, they are liable to pay almost three times the total security deposit amount.

The three government-backed schemes are –

  • Deposit protection services.
  • Tenancy deposit scheme.
  • My deposit.

If your tenancy deposit is not secured under any of these three programs, you have the full right to make claims in court.

How To Make Tenancy Deposit Claims?

Step 1: Check Whether You Can Claim Compensation

To ask for compensation, you first need to see whether or not your case qualifies for any compensation claim. For instance, you must see if your landlord or the agent has broken the tenancy deposit rule.

You can get almost three times your original deposit if they failed to:

  • Protect your security deposit money within the first 30 days.
  • Give you written information about the security money being secured under the government scheme.
  • Keep your security deposit protected throughout the tenancy.

Step 2: Gather Evidence To Support Your Case

You need to provide relevant documents to prove your case and get compensation. The relevant document might include:

  • A copy of the tenancy agreement.
  • Messages are shared with and from the landlords.
  • Record of rent payments.
  • The receipt or any other form of confirmation that you have paid security money.

Once you are able to offer these documents, only then will your case have any weight to be presented in front of the judges.

Step 3: Get Legal Advice

Personal injury lawyer

While you don’t actually need any solicitor to apply for the compensation claim, it is a good idea to have legal guidance. In fact, you can’t actually have legal aid by your side unless you are defending yourself against any claim.

However, there may be other ways to get legal aid. For instance, you can hire a lawyer with a condition of ‘no fee no win’.

Step 4: Send A Letter Before Court Action

Before you can take any legal action, it is important that you send a letter before action to the landlord. This letter must have all the necessary details that talk about the case, issues, and what the claim is all about.

This is where your landlord might come up with a settlement to avoid taking the case to court. This gives you the opportunity to solve problems without following any complex process.

Step 5: Apply To The Court

You don’t have to use a solicitor to make an application to the court. You can do this on your own by filling up a form.

  • Complete The Form: You will need to fill out three copies of the form – one for the courts, one for the landlord, and one for yourself. While you are filling out the claims, you can also ask for interest on the security deposit.
  • Attach Your Evidence: Attach copies of the relevant documents. This might include – letters or emails of conversation, receipt of the security deposit, tenancy agreement, and details of the inquiries made for the tenancy agreement.
  • Send In The Forms: Send the form along with all the necessary documents to the local county court.
  • Pay Court Fees: You have to pay a court fee of £308 to start your claim. Once you win your case, you can claim the court fee from your landlord.

Step 6: Consider Any Offer Made For Settlement

The court will send your landlord or the agency the form and the claim. After going through with the claim, your landlord will decide to take the case to court or offer a settlement.

The case can be resolved in the settlement phase if the landlord’s offer is good enough to cover all your calm.

Step 7: Prepare For Court

However, you need to be prepared for a court hearing if the landlord –

  • Doesn’t respond to the court within a given time frame.
  • Disagree with the claim.

You will be given 14 days to gather all the relevant evidence before the hearing and build your case.

How Is The Amount Of Compensation Decided?

Amount Of Compensation

The compensation is at the judge’s discretion. They go through your case, listen to both sides’ opinions, and make their own decisions. This is where having experienced lawyers by your side can help you gain the upper hand. Because if you are not hiring lawyers, the other side will most certainly will.

While a lawyer helps to get the true value of your claim, a few factors affect the amount.

  • The number of properties landlords own.
  • If the tenancy deposit was protected incorrectly.
  • How does the landlord or the agent behave regarding the return of the deposit?

To get a better idea, you should hire a professional lawyer who has experience in dealing with tenancy deposit claims.

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