Feeling abused over missing deposits

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J
John R
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I have the misfortune to have suffered from an agency going bust holding my tenants deposits. At the time, letters were written to my tenants informing that the agency was ending its membership and that should they wish to make a claim they should do so within three months. This letter was misleading as it never explained that the agency had gone bust with the money. The letter was also very complicated, my tenants are not british and their language skills are not so good. As their tenancy was not ending, they would have not given this full thought as they had no reason to believe the deposits were at risk.

The TDS also wrote to me, although at the rented property address. This letter never reached me and the TDS is negligent by not following this up or trying to get hold of me via other means. The scheme knew i would not be living there, as if i did as a resident landlord, i would not be required to register a deposit at all.


Bottom line, every deposit held needed to be claimed for, but if the TDS received no response nothing extra was done to protect the very people this scheme was designed to protect. I was in the dark, as my tenants failed to forward to me and i was therefore unable to do anything about it .

I am not sure about the status of the deposit thereafter. The tenants have foregone their right to claim for the deposit after the three months is up, but as the tenancy did not end, they presumably have another three months to claim when they eventually move out. I am in the impossible position of not having their funds, and indeed not having a deposit to register AND being outside of the 30 day registration period, so in fact I cant register and protect it, thereby breaking the law with no way of being able to register it without ending the tenancy and starting a new 12 month AST which i am not currently wanting to do. I am assuming given how ridiculous this is, i will take the hit on all this, but it would be good to know if anyone else has solved this conundrum before.

I believe that the application of the scheme rules and law to the ending of tenancies is at fault by not recognising a separate practice necessary for when agents go bust with the deposits. The time taken should be extended indefinitely or at least until the tenancy has ended. The schemes must offer simpler documentation to tenants but focus on the landlords being the main point of contact as they are legally responsible for the deposit. And i should never be in the ridiculous position of being unable to to not break the law by firstly not knowing there was no protection on the deposits and secondly when I did realise, not being able to rectify it. This is frankly ridiculous. Is there anyone lobbying on a change in the law? If not then I am considering writing to my MP.

Thanks!

John
21/03/2014 02:24

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