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Sorry for the long post, please bear with me.
I have a potential catch 22 which comes at the end of a nightmare experience with a letting agent and I hope I can get some speedy advice please.
I know that I have 30 days in which to register a deposit, the clock started ticking a few days ago.
I want to hold the deposit myself rather than trusting a potentially absconding ltd company letting agent.
I have used the letting agent on a tenant find only basis, I am a member of the RLA and I tick all the other eligibility boxes enabling me to use the RLA/TDS Deposit Guard Scheme.
Today the letting agent sent me their statement detailing the money collected minus their charges and confirmed the net payment to my bank account, I checked this and all is fine.
I emailed them back asking why the deposit money was not included as I need to get it protected and the whole project put to bed.
They replied that they cant release it to me until i demonstrate that I have protected it, so I called them.
I explained that I had read about a case (I saw it here in PT but I cant seem to find it) where a council was providing the deposit for the tenant for a normal PRS AST, presumably a tenant that needs some kind of community support.
The council had refused to release the deposit to the landlord until he demonstrated that he had protected it so he went and protected it then they released it.
Some time down the road they were in dispute then court over whatever.
The judge ruled that the deposit had not been protected because the landlord was not in possession of it at the time he paid the protection insurance policy, therefore he had paid a policy on nothing and then gone on to hold an unprotected deposit all this time and was made to pay some price, presumably three times the amount.
I called the RLA and was starting to explain my situation and the advisor stopped me and explained to me the folly of protecting it first presuming I was unaware, so I was right.
I called the agent who disagreed and subsequently called the TDS who have confirmed she is right and that Ï must protect the deposit first.
So I called the TDS and was told much the same thing.
Remember this is a joint scheme and they dont even agree.
It was futile going further with that advisor as they were singing off a sheet and I asked to be put through to someone more senior.
I spoke to someone in complaints with a mind of their own, she listened carefully, showed lots of interest, gave me an email address and then asked me to show her this court case or this ruling or whatever its termed.
Of course I cant find it, can anyone point me at it and/or give me some guidance here.
Its urgent because although there is 30 days and the tenancy has only just started I now also understand its 30 days from receiving the deposit, or the first part of it, not the start date of the tenancy.
One further point, I got the agent to use the correct AST provided for use with this scheme, not their own AST which also has other own goals in it like statutory not contractual periodic terms after the initial fixed term.
All advice welcome, please help before I go round there and shoot this agent.
Tell the agent to put it in the TDS custodial scheme and then transfer it -
From TDS Custodial to TDS Custodial:
With switches between custodial members, the process is straightforward. As a TDS Custodial member, you are able to independently use the member-to-member transfer function.
This seamlessly transfers the deposit from one member to another at the click of a button.
Also, if my understanding of your situation is correct, your agent already holds the deposit. As the agent IS your agent, then they have accepted the deposit on your behalf, which in turn means that you can protect it now.
The case with the council is different because they hadn't released it into the LL's custody when he protected it.
ok, thanks for these two pieces of advice, I will have to speak with the RLA again as i made clear it was my agent holding it rather than someone on the side of the tenant.
It would still be helpful to find the court case where the landlord ended up at fault if anyone can point me at it.