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Old 23rd March 2009, 06:09 PM
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Default Landlord has run off with my deposit

Hi

I was informed yesterday that my letting agent has been reported to the police for 'financial irregularites' it turns out he has been stealing the deposits of tennants and not paying landlords the rent. due to this he is now closed down and all the properties have been moved over to another franchise in the same organisation. After speaking to the new letting agents he told me that my depsit was one of the ones stolen and advised me to cancel the standing order for the rent. The tennacy agreement runs out at the end of this month and we have not renewed it as we were keen to move anyway before all this happened. My question is where do i stand legally if i cancel the standing order and stay for an extra month to reclaim what would have been my deposit and then move on at the end of april? i know it sounds quite immoral but i wont be able to move house without the deposit back from where i'm living now.
HELP!!!

thanks
Paul
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Old 23rd March 2009, 09:29 PM
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Have you checked the contract, surely if it is a franchise the parent organisation must have some liability. Who was your contract with? Was it specifically with the guy who ran off with your money?

Tony
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Old 24th March 2009, 07:24 AM
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Although you will still be owed your deposit, legally you can't withhold your rent and it could give you problems with further lettings, landlords/letting agents will share this information, possibly through credit reference agencies which means you could also have problems with credit in other areas.

The theft will be a police matter and as you are not the only one to be stung, there will be pressure on them to track down this guy, not that there is any guarantee he'll still have the money, they may recover some of it.

I should think Landlords/letting agents have some sort of insurance against this sort off thing happening, speak to your landlord or the new letting agency and see what they say but even if not, if it is a chain and your contract is with them as Tony says, they should be liable.

I definitely wouldn't withhold rent tho, how about looking for your new place with the same franchise and telling them they already have your deposit???
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Old 24th March 2009, 08:23 PM
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Good advice as ever Witch Consumer - looks like redman693 has done a runner from the forum lol.
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