The Good Landlord and the Rogue Tenant
One landlord has written into The Guardian after dealing with a rogue tenant. The newspaper’s expert resolves their query.
The landlord from Ipswich, Suffolk, writes: “I let a property through a well-known estate agent. After a couple of months the tenants abandoned it and I had to spend £150 on cleaning. They owed several months’ rent and I had to pay the Council Tax.
“I have been unable to get the agent to release the deposit held through the Tenancy Deposit Scheme [TDS]. They say they cannot release it without the agreement of the tenants. Is there any way I can force them to, as clearly the tenants are not going to return or respond?”1
Anna Tims explains what can be done: “The law, in seeking to protect tenants from rogue landlords, makes it difficult for landlords to seek redress from rogue tenants. The agent can only hand over the deposit with the tenant’s permission or, if that is not forthcoming, following a decision by the TDS or a court.
“You could ask the TDS to adjudicate, but it is not allowed to do so if, as in this case, the tenant is uncontactable. You would have to take your case to court and the deposit holder would need to pay the amount into a suitable client account pending the judgement.”1
Have you had a similar experience and what was the outcome?