|Chiswick Couple Win Case in Small Claims Court|
After Foxtons Paid Their Deposit To Landlord Without Cause
Chiswick residents, Becky Hirst and Dan Procter are urging private tenants to sign up to a charity's scheme to protect their deposits after a successful but lengthy battle to have theirs returned after it was held back by Foxtons on behalf of the landlord.
The couple, who took their Landlord to the small claims court after advice from ChiswickW4.com forum members, are encouraging new tenants to join homeless charity Shelter's new scheme aimed at protecting the deposits of private tenants after research revealed renters are risking more than one billion pounds in deposits held by landlords.
Becky told ChiswickW4.com, “We moved into the flat on Chiswick High Road in June 2005, and at the end of our tenancy in June 2006 moved out. We left the flat in good condition, as it had been when we moved in. We never met the landlord as it was all done through a letting agency. Though we requested it, no inventory was carried out, which is something we will now always demand. I noticed about £65 had been paid back into my bank account so called the letting agent to query this. They advised me that £1100 had been paid to the landlord for redecoration and re-carpeting. I was really shocked and upset that we hadn't even been notified about this and no discussion had taken place. We had trusted the letting agent with our money.”
Last year, more than three-quarters of all tenants who had money withheld claimed it was retained by their landlords unfairly. With the average deposit now reaching £700 in England, losing a deposit causes financial hardship and in the worst cases, homelessness.
The new tenancy deposit protection scheme requires landlords to protect tenants' deposits in one of three independent government-approved custodial or insurance-based schemes. Deposits are held within the scheme until the end of a tenancy, at which point tenants can reclaim their cash. The schemes also provide a quick, easy way to resolve disputes without resorting to the courts.
March 11, 2007