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sorry to hear all that...why would anyone want to be a landlord!?
isnt the claim statute barred after 7 years, i.e. out of time?
The tenant had 6 years 30 days from the date the deposit was received to make a claim in the small claims court. Have a look at https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/d...2015.shtml.
Also have a look at https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co...s-deposit/ (in particular response 226) and https://www.propertyinvestmentproject.co...y-deposit/
These no win no fee solicitors try it on all the time hoping people will not take them on.Just see a solicitor and i expect a letter from him/her will see them off.When they know you are not a walk over they will back off but don't leave it alone. They do not go away and take it as a sign of weakness if you do nothing.I think the statute of limitations on contracts is 6 years - but I am not a lawyer. Make sure your solicitors letter includes your comment about the council flat as this will show them they are opening up a can of worms and would probably back down as going to court would not look good for their client. I say again get a legal letter off to them so they see they have a fight on their hands.
qweasdzxc posted just before my reply so read the information suggested, but deal with it and don't delay.
The case won't be heard in the small claims court (in fact, in theory, the small claims court is not supposed to hear deposit penalty cases).
If it was held in the small claims court, the no-won-no-fee company would not have any chance of making their fees.
There is a second breach which occurs when the periodic tenancy begins after 6 months (plus 30 days) if the deposit wasn't protected the first time.
First of all, I'd check the dates very carefully and then I would reply pointing out that you are the executor and will require some time to investigate. In the meantime, could the claimant provide evidence of where and when the deposit was paid and a copy of the tenancy agreement to assist you in your work. You are surprised that the deposit wasn't protected as the deceased was careful in his dealings as a landlord.
That may be enough to put the company off.
If there was a deposit and it wasn't protected, the issue is that the penalty is due - the reasons for it not being protected might cause the court to keep the penalty at the lower end of the scale, but it's not certain. The main cost is the legal fees, which will be much higher than the penalty - contingency firms are allowed to apply a win bonus if they are successful in court which can be up to 100%.
I would not act without advice.
For example you do not know if the tenant has a right to sue a deceased person. You also do not want to inadvertently make yourself liable.
I would contact a firm such as Landlord Action initially who are a legal firm but more practical than for example contacting your local solicitor's firm who will not be dealing with these things day in day out.
Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor. Experienced in estate management, residential investments, planning and development and rights for utility apparatus. All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.