The five ways renters could be entitled to up to 12 months’ refund – are you eligible? | The Sun

THOUSANDS of households could be owed money back from their landlords.

You could be owed you thousands if they didn't protect your deposit, are an unlicensed landlord, charge for unfair admin costs and more.

Here's how you may be able to claim back money that you may be owed.

Not protecting your deposit

Upon moving into a property, your landlord must put your deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) within 30 days of you handing over the money.

A TDS ensures your landlord doesn't wrongly keep your deposit if you haven't damaged their property and paid the bills.

The deposit must be placed in a scheme if you're signed up to an assured shorthold tenancy that started after April 6, 2007.

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The chances are that if you've just signed up for one then your cash needs to be protected.

It's also important that your landlord follows this scheme because if they don't, they could owe you up to three times more than the original cost.

For example, if you put down a deposit of £1,000 you would be owed £3,000 or alternatively if you put down a deposit of £2,000 you would be owed £6,000.

It's also important to note that it could also invalidate any "no fault" eviction notice that you may served by your landlord.

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However, this scheme doesn't apply to lodgers or students living in halls.

The registered schemes in the UK are:

  • Deposit Protection Service
  • MyDeposits
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Contact the deposit protection schemes and enquire if yours is registered with them.

If it isn't then ask your landlord to register your deposit immediately.

You can also contact your county court and start proceedings against your landlord.

If your deposit isn't protected within 14 days, they will be ordered to repay it to you or pay into a custodial scheme within 14 days.

Unlicensed landlord

You could be entitled to a refund for 12 months worth of rent.

Landlords must have a license for a property with several people residing in it.

And when tenants are leaving the property, they must follow the correct rules which includes giving them enough notice.

If your landlord hasn't followed these rules then you could be owed a refund. In some cases this could amount to thousands of pounds.

A rent repayment order (RRO) can force your landlord to return the money if they break the rules.

You or the council can apply this through a tribunal. The council may offer help doing this as they may run the licensing scheme.

A non-profit named Justice for Tenants also helps renters make claims.

Justice for Tenants have stated that breaking the rules includes:

  • The property your renting doesn't have a license
  • The landlord has not complied with a council notice
  • The tenant has been harassed or evicted without the correct paperwork.

Unfair admin costs

You could also claim back unfair admin costs.

Estate agents and landlords are banned from charging their tenants extra fees to cover administration costs.

You also cannot be charged for viewing a property, reference checks and a guarantor request.

These are covered by the Tenant Fees Act, which prevent tenants from being charged extra on top of the cost of moving to another property.

If you believe you've been wrongly charged, and the landlord or agent refuses to return the money, then you can apply through the First Tier Tribunal.

Failing to pay for repairs

Your landlord is responsible for arranging any repairs that need to be undertaken on the property your renting. These include issues with electrical wiring, gas pipes and boilers, heating, hot water, sinks, baths and toilets.

However, you're responsible for repairing your own furnishings such as a fridge or freezer.

In more simple terms, anything you legally own is your responsibility whilst what the landlord owns is theirs.

If your landlord fails to conduct repairs within a reasonable amount of time then you be entitled to compensation. This can include a rent reduction or pay out.

If your landlord won't agree to this, then you can take legal action against them.

To start the legal process, apply to your local county court. The court can then force a landlord to carry out a fix and pay compensation.

If the court agrees in your favour then your landlord could be liable for some or all of the legal costs.

You can also complain to Environmental Health or a relevant association your landlord is registered with.

You can also take legal action against your landlord under the Fitness for Human Habitation Act, if the conditions of the property are affecting your health.

Deposit refund

In 2019, new rules were introduced that restricted landlords and lettings agents on how much they can ask for a deposit in order to secure a property.

Security deposits are capped at five weeks' rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000. If the rent is £50,000 or more then it's capped at six weeks' rent.

Security deposits will be capped at five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000 and six weeks’ rent where the annual rent is £50,000 or more;

Anyone who has renewed their tenancy since the rules came into place could be owed a refund.

This is due to all deposits needing to be capped, even if it was put down before the changes were made.

During the first few months after the changes to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme was made, 2,550 repayments were made.

However, there could still be tenants that are owed money back. Your landlord must refund the money if they're asked.

If they don't then you can contact your Council's trading standards department or your letting agent's redress scheme. You could also apply to the First Tier Tribunal.

You may also be owed the £650 cost of living payment. If it hasn't landed in your bank, these maybe the four reasons why.

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