Here is a question to the blog clinic from Kirsty who is a tenant.
I lived in a property with 6 people each with separate tenancy agreements. The landlord did not secure the deposit £500 they called it a refundable administration fee in the contract.
I asked about why my deposit wasn’t in a deposit scheme and was served a notice to quit a few weeks later. Can I take them to court for not protecting my deposit?
I did receive my deposit back, many others didn’t from the house previously and before me. Should the local council fine the landlord for bypassing the tenancy deposit schemes?
If your tenancy deposit is not protected in a scheme within 30 days of receipt of the money by your landlord or agent, then you are entitled to claim a penalty from the Court of up to three times the value on your deposit.
If the deposit is not refunded then you can claim this also.
The court procedure is not straightforward but there is no defence and the Judge will have no option but to award at least 1x the deposit. In your case, it is likely that he would award 2 or 3x the deposit as the landlord should have known of his obligations.
I would not suggest you bring this type of claim without legal help but there are a number of firms now who offer a no win no fee service. A search on the internet should find them.
Make sure that the company you use is a proper solicitors firm as only solicitors can represent you in court proceedings. If they are solicitors it will say so on their website, probably in the ‘about’ page or similar. If they don’t say that they are solicitors then they won’t be and you should be wary about using them.
Your local CAB may also be able to recommend a local firm to you. If any tenant readers are able to recommend suitable firms please leave a comment below.
This is not really something that the Council can help you with.