DPS followed by S8 notice

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Would love advice I'm a 1st time LL and this my first tenant.

We have a Housing Benefit Tenant move into our flat 1st Nov 07. A deposit = to 1 month rent is stated in AST. Tenant asked if we could wait for her previous deposit to be cleared into her a/c for 5 days so sufficient funds to pay our deposit. Request seemed reasonable so we said yes, after 7 days my wife had to ask tenant for the deposit, the tenant asked we hold off depositing as she had to buy whiteware for the flat. We were reluctant but she said it would be a delay of 1 week max and she will let us know when she had sufficient funds to cover. In December we wrote to the tenant saying we are in breach of the DPS so the cheque would be lodged Jan 10th and we asked that sufficient funds be available to cover.

The tenancy situation deteriorated so we issued a S8 notice 21st Dec on grounds 10,11,13,17. We have asked/written tenant regarding her intentions when council notice we received set her HB pymt very low, their records state flat is one bdrm, when it has 2. She says she is following up 2 memos filed etc, when the wife rings she is told the notice we received correct,
Sunday we did a LL inspection, and took photos to support relevant S8 grounds, tenant laughed when queried if the deposit would be honored. Tenant said ok to be taken to court, she wants to move out but cant find anything so intends to stay as long as poss. We have not used the Deposit as grounds as we didnt want the judge to throw the S8 out on this tech, when there other problems we could use.
We are worried we will be in trouble for holding the deposit and not lodging within the 2 week timeperiod although we did give her a receipt. We have correspondence stating this situation arose at the behest of tenant. We have a letter dated Nov from our bank advising tenant cheque (the November rent shortfall) was declined due to insufficient funds, followed by a 2nd one stating cheque stopped. Will this be enough to show we trying to be reasonable or should we expect a handslap or worse.

Can we add other issues to the S8 notice i.e. the Deposit.
Would appreciate any advice.

07/01/2008 00:00

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