Tenant Takes Legal Action Against Landlord: A Case of Deposit Withholding

Surrey Tenant Wins Legal Battle Against Property Giant Landlord

3 mins read
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Key Takeaways:

  • Surrey tenant, Garry Musgrove, sues landlord for withholding his deposit.
  • Landlord, Adhan Commercial Lettings, failed to safeguard the tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme.
  • Musgrove’s perseverance and legal action lead to a successful court verdict.

In the world of business and property rental, disputes between tenants and landlords are far from uncommon. These disputes often revolve around issues related to property condition, lease terms, and, occasionally, deposit disputes. In a recent case, a Surrey tenant found himself in a situation where he had to take legal action against his landlord for withholding his deposit. This article explores the details of the case, highlighting the legal obligations of landlords and the tenant’s journey to justice.

The Background: A Tenant’s Struggle

Garry Musgrove, a 50-year-old delivery driver, entered into a 12-month lease agreement for an apartment in Guildford in November 2021. Like many tenants, he had to scrape together his hard-earned money, with the assistance of his elderly mother, to make the initial downpayment.

Mr. Musgrove’s trouble began when he realized that his landlord, Adhan Commercial Lettings, had failed to register his deposit in a government-approved scheme, as required by the Housing Act. This act mandates that landlords inform their tenants of deposit protection within 30 days, failing which they could face penalties of up to three times the original deposit amount.

Understandably, Mr. Musgrove was concerned when he received no information about the tenancy deposit scheme and was distressed when his landlord outright refused to return his deposit. The £375, equivalent to one month’s rent, was a significant sum for him, and he had to budget meticulously to make these payments.

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The Frustration Mounts

As the months passed, Mr. Musgrove diligently paid his rent every month, hoping that he would eventually receive his deposit back. However, when his lease ended in November the following year, the situation took an even more frustrating turn.

Upon notifying Adhan Commercial Lettings of his departure, representatives were sent to inspect the flat. Despite Mr. Musgrove’s assertion that the property was in an acceptable condition, they steadfastly refused to return his deposit.

The tenant recalls, “There were four or five of them, and I was on my own. It was a moment when I felt so small and helpless. I was trying to get my mum’s money back, but they refused.”

Mr. Musgrove was well aware of his legal rights regarding the return of his deposit, but every attempt to discuss the matter with his landlord was met with rejection.

A Long-Awaited Resolution

It took a year and a half after renting the apartment for Mr. Musgrove to receive an email informing him that his deposit had been placed in a tenancy deposit scheme. This was something he should have been informed about within 30 days of moving in.

Realizing that he needed legal assistance to resolve this matter, Mr. Musgrove contacted Barings Law. The outcome of his legal journey was a victorious one. On September 12th, the Manchester County Court ruled in his favor, awarding him £788 in compensation, which amounted to twice the initial deposit plus interest.

Ahmad Ismaiel, the case handler at Barings Law, who played a crucial role in Mr. Musgrove’s case, emphasized the importance of tenants’ rights and the significance of legal actions when these rights are violated. He stated, “It exemplifies the importance of tenants’ rights and the significance of legal actions when those rights are violated. We are committed to ensuring that people are treated fairly, and that justice prevails.”

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A Tenant’s Triumph

Mr. Musgrove, reflecting on his experience, expressed his gratitude for the legal support he received. He mentioned, “I was a bit worried about speaking to anyone after how the landlord spoke to me, but Barings Law made me completely at ease. I’m very grateful, and I was so delighted when I found out they won the case. Now I can put that money into my savings. It took a long time, but I am happy now. It would’ve been a lot harder without lawyers fighting my corner.”

This case serves as a reminder of the importance of tenants understanding their rights and legal recourse when facing unjust treatment from landlords. It also highlights the pivotal role that legal experts like Barings Law play in ensuring justice is served in such disputes.

In conclusion, while disputes between tenants and landlords may be common in the world of rental properties, tenants like Garry Musgrove are willing to stand up for their rights and pursue legal action to secure their hard-earned money. This case underscores the significance of landlords fulfilling their legal obligations and treating tenants fairly and transparently.

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