Forgot to protect deposit, now being taken to court
Hi, I forgot to protect my tenants deposit and am now being taken to court. The deposit was £1790, double the monthly rent. The tenant has claimed £5k.
I granted a 12 month tenancy which expired on around 5th September 2016. My tenant failed to provide notice until I asked her what her plans were on 20th August. At that point she said she was going to move out at the end of the tenancy.
I advised that she needed to provide one months notice from the date of the next payment date, thus continuing her tenancy until 5th October.
I then went to inspect the property which was in a very poor state. When the rent was taken into account I calculated that she owes me some £500 in addition to the deposit sum.
When I asked for this sum she asked for the deposit protection details, at which point I realised I hadn't protected it. I immediately took measures to protect it, but this was not until 7th September 2016.
She retained the keys until 12th September. I did not realise why at the time.
I have today received a copy of the court claim form and court order awarding her £5000. I did not receive the claim form and can see that she sent it to the rental property address in time for her to collect it before she returned the keys to me.
I will apply to set aside the judgement as it appears to be the only option I have at the moment, other than paying her £5k, which I would rather avoid.
Do I actually have a defence in this matter? I am of the opinion that her tenancy continued until 5th October or. When she handed the keys back on 12th September and whilst I accept I should have protected the deposit some 12 months prior, I believe that I protected the deposit within the tenancy period. Will the court take the same view however or are they likely to uphold the award of £5k.
My agent provided the tenancy agreement which was not Rla linked. I can email a copy across.
Want to read more?
This is a members only forum, if you want to read more you need to login to your membership, if you are not a member, click here to join.