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  • Deposit Protection

    Letting agent refusing to hand over deposit

    Hi PT,

    Our new tenants were sourced by an agent as Tenant Find Only, as I self manage. 

    The tenants signed the AST with the agent on 30/1/19 and I checked them in last night. 

    I've asked for the deposit to be transferred to us but the LA are refusing to do so until I provide them with the Deposit Protection Certificate. 

    Although I believe they will transfer the deposit, I feel very uncomfortable protecting monies that we have not received. 

    I called MyDeposits about it and they've said that the deposit should be transferred to me, unless the agents have protected it (which they haven't), in which case, I would have to provide evidence of re-protection.

    Is this normal practice for LAs?

    Thanks for your help.

    Heather.

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    I don't know how it could be. How can you protect a deposit you've not received and what has it to do with the LA anyway? The come back is on you if you don't protect it.

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    The lettings admin said:

    "As your agents we are required to receive proof that the deposit has been registered before we can release these funds unfortunately.  As we have received the funds first it is our responsibility to make sure that these funds will be registered in a deposit scheme. We have had previous circumstances where landlords have not put the tenants deposit monies into a scheme and as a result it is now our process to receive the proof before we can release the funds.

    The manager has responded with:

    "Unfortunately this is not something we can do. It is standard practice, for an reputable agent to require sight of the deposit registration before the deposit is forwarded to the landlord. All parties are bound by the tenancy agreement and the deposit terms, and should confirmation of a deposit not be received in the required 30 days, we then have time to register it on the LL behalf, as a last resort."

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    I do not use agents and to be honest would not be happy registering a deposit until I received the money .

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    Ask the agent to send the deposit to you through bank and then they have proof you have the deposit .

    Once that has happened its not up to the letting agent to monitor you .

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    I have 30 odd years of lettings experience and am also a landlord. My current agent (tenant find/let only service) required proof of me having registered the deposit before paying over any money. I was happy with this, they need to ensure that protection rules are followed, if I couldn’t provide proof they would hold the deposit, arrange protection and charge me. Good lettings practice.

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    I've not used myDeposits, but with the DPS, I register the deposit, then I pay the deposit. I think the agent is asking you to register the deposit (but not pay it). If you then give them the reference number, they can then pay the money into the scheme (not you).

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    Assuming you have funds available, why don't you just register the deposit with your own funds  and then get in touch with LA to get the monies.

    If the LA is going to do a runner with the money then you as landlord are still responsible for the deposit so you will need to protect it anyway. Get it protected and at least you know the tenant isn't going to come after you.

    Then see what happens with the LA... and take things from there.

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    I've had this problem. All they need is your membership number from the scheme you use. Insist , then send them proof  of cover when done. Once established, further deposits will be dealt with the same way.

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