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Defend a Deposit Claim

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Great Interaction
Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
Great Interaction
Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
Rated 4.8 / 5. Showing our 4 & 5 star reviews.

About

Defending a Deposit Claim is a legal process in which a landlord can claim back a deposit from a tenant. The landlord must give the tenant a valid reason for the claim, and the tenant has the right to defend the claim. Solicitors can ensure the process is carried out correctly and both the landlord and tenant are protected.Next steps

How much does it cost to Defend a Deposit Claim?

The cost for a licensed solicitor to Defend a Deposit Claim is dependent on many factors including the complexity and specific requirements of the case. On average it is expected to range from £150-£200 but in some cases it could cost as much as £250.

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Defend A Deposit Claim

Landlords must protect any deposit received from tenants in a Government-approved deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it. Landlords must also keep evidence of providing the deposit certificate and prescribed information to tenants if they collect a deposit.

There are legal consequences if you fail to protect a tenant’s deposit, the first being that you won’t be able to serve a section 21 notice. The second is that the tenant may claim compensation at 1-3 times the value of the tenancy deposit.

If you are a landlord looking to defend a tenancy deposit claim, our network of specialist landlord lawyers is on hand to provide guidance and representation should you need it. Contact our legal assessment team for a free case assessment and to get a fixed-fee quote for your needs. 

How to defend a deposit claim 

If you’ve received a letter of claim from a tenant regarding an unprotected deposit, you should seek legal advice from a specialist landlord and tenant lawyer. They will 

  1. Review the letter of claim

  2. Determine whether the tenant’s claim is valid. 

If the claim is invalid, your solicitor can draft a letter of response outlining why. If the tenant’s claim holds some weight, your solicitor can support you in negotiating a settlement, like refunding the deposit, making a counterclaim, or taking further action to address the issue. 

What are the potential outcomes of a tenant deposit claim? 

Under Section 214(4) of the Housing Act 2004, the court can order a landlord to pay a tenant a sum equal to or up to three times the deposit. 

Alternatively, landlords and tenants can also opt to try and resolve disputes outside of court through alternative dispute resolution (ADR), the most popular method being through the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).

ADR is often favoured over going to court because it tends to be more cost-effective and can lead to quicker resolutions. The TDS, in particular, is an independent scheme, and its decisions hold weight. However, it's important to note that TDS is typically only suitable for resolving disputes when a tenancy ends.

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Traditional Law Firms

Pay by the hour

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Frustrating

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Offline and slow procedures will require you to visit firms in-person.

No support

No dedicated support team. You'll have to deal with issues on your own.

Landlords are legally required to protect any deposit received from tenants in a government-approved scheme. This must be done within 30 days of receiving the deposit. 

Landlords must also return the deposit to tenants within 10 days of both parties agreeing on the final amount at the end of the tenancy. 

Whose responsibility is it to protect a tenant’s deposit?

The responsibility to protect a tenant's deposit ultimately falls on the landlord. It is a statutory obligation outlined in deposit regulations, and landlords cannot contract out of statutory obligations.

This means that landlords can't shift the responsibility onto their agents if a deposit is not protected.

However, suppose the landlord has a clause in the agency agreement instructing the agent to fulfill these duties on their behalf, and the agent fails to do so. In that case, the landlord may have grounds for a separate legal action against the agent for breach of contract.

What to do if you don’t protect your tenant’s deposit? 

If you’ve missed the 30-day window to protect your tenant’s deposit, they can file a claim in county court at any point during their tenancy. 

If the court says that you haven’t protected the deposit, you will have to either repay the deposit to your tenants or put it into a custodial tenant’s deposit protection scheme within 14 days. 

How can Lawhive help?

Our network of landlord solicitors is on hand to help guide you through defending a deposit claim. 

To get started, contact us today for a free case assessment. 

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Lawhive is your gateway to affordable, fast legal help in the UK. Lawhive uses licensed solicitors you can connect with online for up to 50% of the cost of a high-street law firm.

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