Dodgy Landlord

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Bolo-Driller, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. Firstly apologies if this is in the wrong forum, it seemed the most logical choice!

    Anyway, My girlfriend and I moved into an appartment 6 months ago and signed all the relevant paperwork with the landlord and handed over £950 as a deposit (along with £50 for the "Tenancy deposit protection scheme?")

    After paying 4 months money to the landlord we recieved a letter from an insolvency company telling us we should now pay the rent to them as the Landlord has failed to keep up the payments on the mortgage. This I found quite odd as they didnt know any contact numbers for him, said they cant get hold of him by other means but to make sure we dont pay him anymore money and dont contact him again. The letter was hand delivered to all the flats in the block.

    This did not stop our Landlord sending us a text claiming that we needed to send it to him still (he had never sent a reminder any month before this!)

    So to be on the safe side we tell them we are keeping hold of the rent money in a safe account until the matter was resolved by the 2 parties and we knew who to pay it too.

    Towards the end of the tenancy we still havent heard anything but have a letter from the landlord for our eviction (due to non payment of rent), the insolvency people tell us to ignore it and ask us what we wanted to do at the end of the tenancy.

    We asked the insolovency company about our deposit, assuming that they will have taken control of that as well as the rent payments, they said they are not responsible and that we will need to chase the landlord for it - good blokes!

    Last week we met at the property to hand the keys to the landlord. He arrived and wrote out a cheque for our deposit of £975 and sent us on our way. No mention of the 2 months missing payments.

    Shock of shocks the cheque bounced and he is not returning any of my calls or messages.

    I know we are still up 2 months rent but there is nothing to stop either party to chase us for the missing payments while we are still down our deposit.

    Any ideas where I stand and what I can do next?

    Cheers for any help guys
  2. Go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau. They'll be able to give you some "proper" advice, and it's free.
  3. Yes agreed... you can also Google the Insolvency Company ......
  4. I'd think (note: I'm NOT an expert in this and you DO need to get expert, professional advice on this) that if you've no contractual relationship with the insolvency company then you'd need to be wary of providing them with any cash without either (a) his authority or (b) a Court order.

    In addition to this, you might also want to find out what, if any, criminal action you might be able to take in relation to the bounced cheque.

    Again, for reference, I'm NOT an expert in this and you'd be well advised to nip down to your local CAB.
  5. Cheers for the replies so far guys, the problem with my CAB is that I was greeted by a rather strange looking lady that took one look at us and said in a very loud ghanain sounding drawl "come back another time, we have no help for you here!!" They seem more interested in helping out the queue of track suit wearing mums and the smack heads sitting in the corner of the waiting area.
  6. TryTenancy Deposit Protection Scheme regarding your deposit.

    DOn't give the 'insolvency company' (debt collection agency?) anything. If the landlord is a company, then there is a formal procedure before an administrator/receiver can take over the debts. If an individual, then I think bankruptcy is the only way. Otherwise, in the same way that they say the deposit is between you and the landlord, you can tell them their debts are between them and the landlord.

    Landlord is unlikely to chase you for rent when he has bounced the deposit. 'Insolvency company' isn't entitled to anything, so you may be better off staying schtum.
  7. Dilfor - good call.

    If the landlord took the extra money from you on the basis that he was going to provide a surety against the deposit then you should be looking to it for reimbursement.
  8. I think that is disgusting. You are a citizen and looking for advice. Go back, and try again. I aways find it useful to have a Dictaphone or mobile recording while I visit.

    If you get told again that you won't get any advice here, ask why being firm but polite. If you don't get a satisfactory answer then complain.
  9. Yeah I think I will try the CAB again and see what happens. I have a nagging feeling this guy is a proper con artist. The Insolvency company are claiming to have control of the property yet the landlord is advertising them on rightmove and has already got another guy in the one I vacated last week!

    Also, thinking about the cheque that bounced, it was from his personal account, are monies held as tenancy deposits not supposed to be kept in a seperate account? I know it may seem like im being greedy but the way I see it he has tried to con me and my Girlfriend out of extra money by bringing this "insolvency company" into play and he is obviously just a cheap con man. The fact that I had to pay an extra £50 for administrating the "tenancy deposit protection scheme" is just putting the boot in while im down.

    Do I let him win and just pop smoke and fcuk off with the money we have set aside or do we continue trying to get the deposit back?

    The name of the "insolvency company" is MB Insolvency. They look gen enough on the net, but then im no trained eye when it comes to these things!!
  10. From the website I gave you:

    Edited to add: if the insolvency company have really taken over the financial affairs of your landlord, then I cannot see how they are not responsible for debtors as well as creditors. Their website does make them appear pukka, but I would ask them to clarify in writing why they think they are entitled to rent but not to pay the deposit. It still looks like a try-on.
  11. The Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme are the ones who are supposed to be looking after your deposit. Once registered, you get a unique PIN number to identify your deposit and they are meant to look into any discrepancy with your deposit. If a landlord claims against your deposit and you counterclaim, they hold back the amount claimed from your deposit, giving you the rest, until the claim has been sorted satisfactorily by both parties, they are an impartial agency. It might be an idea to give them a ring, you should have had a bundle of paperwork from them when you registered.
    I've just gone through this process myself as I've just moved and reckon it's a good idea, stops you from getting ripped off by paying £200 for a plate etc.
  12. Unfortunate that you've had a bad experience with the CAB Bolo-Driller. Service, seems to differ throughout different branches. Visit CAB's webpage at:

    which covers tenancy.

    Polite suggestion would be to summarise this over half a page of A4 with your contact details and take this envelope with you to the CAB. If the queue of shell-suits is going to make it impractical for you to wait in-line. Leave the envelope, and ask that somebody calls you, as you fear you may lose your home, once they have read through your brief. Ask for the name of the person who you pass the envelope to. If nothing is heard within a couple of days, call them: and ask if somebody is addressing it? Having been through a similar loop, it is more likely that the brief will be passed to an advisor who has the best knowledge in this area, as opposed to the next available, so a useful approach.

    Good luck either way.
  13. Bolo

    Just had a similar issue with my step-daughter's landlord. The advice I got was the deposit you paid was an agreement between you and that person and not your new landlord. You will need to take him to court to get your money back.

    As regards your new landlord, they won't be able to evict you legally without a court order an that takes time. Your local council will have leaflets about your rights as a tenant and the right one depend on the type of tenancy agreement you have. You should have one of these or, at least a rent book. You are doing the right thing by putting the money aside because when it does come before the court I would imagine that you will have the chance to pay the right person (though I'm no expert).

    It's important to note that despite what some may try and tell you, you can't sign away any of your rights. My step-daughter's new landlord claimed that since she had signed a tenancy agreement (which he had subsequently, clearly altered in blue biro...ffs!) that he did not need to give the required notice.
  14. If (as it seems) your (former) landlord is a conning cnut-artist; it is very possible that your deposit was never lodged with the tenancy deposit protection scheme - do you have an account/policy number, or similar?. Try contacting them to see if there is any record of a deposit/bond/covenant held by them, for your property.

    If not, then it's very likely that he's simply 'trousered' your deposit and you may as well start whistling for it. If the two months rent (that you withheld) are roughly equall to what you are owned, then at least you're not out of pocket now. The other party may though, still pursue you for the backrent. So you may end up with a CCJ against, further down the line.
  15. The 2 months rent is actually more than the deposit - so thankfully im not out of pocket right now.
    I havent been given a PIN code or anything in relation to the tenancy deposit scheme, however it is clearly stated on the tenancy agreement signed by both parties "Tenency deposit protection scheme - £50".
    The problem is that I dont want to pocket the 2 months rent as I can see it coming back to bite us on the ass in the future. it appears, as you say, he has "trousered" the deposit and also charged me 50 sheets for the privelege!!!

    Would this sort of thing be dealt with by the small claims court or would I be effectively shooting myself in the foot by announcing to the court that I still hold 2 months of his/insolvency companies rent money?

    Cheers for the advice so far guys, im not the georgey with this sort of thing!