Here is a question to the blog clinic from Mike who is a tenant:
Problem : Tenancy deposit paid in January 2012, we move out of the property next week. We have since found out that the deposit has not been registered and no prescribed information received.
We have asked LL for deposit to be returned subject to section 214 of housing act 2004 and Localism Act 2011. LL declined request and deposited money yesterday just 5 days before we move out.
Question. Am I able to legally secure and clean the property and upon vacating return hand the keys to a solicitor who will return keys to the LL upon production of our deposit.
That is an interesting suggestion. The ‘proper’ routes for a tenant to take where his deposit has not been returned is to either claim it via the tenancy deposit scheme adjudication service or to bring a claim in the County Court.
If the landlord is in breach of the tenancy deposit regulations, court proceedings are more suitable as then you can also claim the penalty (and the Judge might order more than the minimum penalty in this case as the protection was so late).
You are suggesting an alternative solution of withholding the keys until the money is paid. As this is a ‘self help’ solution, not sanctioned by the regulations you run the danger of being held responsible for the rent as vacant possession will not have been given up.
I also doubt whether you would find a firm of solicitors willing to act.
What do readers think?