My Tamworth letting agent is unwilling to release deposit to me?

Ask Lorraine

I have two properties, one in Tamworth and the other in Hinckley.  The local one has always been managed by a letting agent and the Hinckley property, I manage myself due to a friend renting the flat.

I decided some time ago to take over the management myself and duly gave 3 months notice to the letting company that I wished to do so. At that time I also informed them that I would like to hold the deposit and put it into my own scheme.

This seemed fine at the time and they confirmed in email, their agreement to this, getting my tenant’s agreement that the deposit could be held in my scheme.

I received the last month’s rent from the letting agent yesterday, but no deposit monies. I have telephoned them to ask where it is and they say they will not release the money to me until I have registered the deposit with my own scheme and given them proof that I have done this.

Can anybody advise me whether this is right?

Lorraine’s Answer

The letting agent is responsible to the tenant for the deposit and as you are breaking all ties with the agent, I can understand they are unwilling to release the deposit directly to you without a guarantee that it will be protected.

Register the deposit with your scheme and send the agent  the details, they will then transfer the deposit into your account.

Until next week.


My Tamworth tenant is claiming 3 times the deposit after he has moved out!

Ask Lorraine

My old tenant is trying to claim back 3 x his original deposit due to him stating that I was 22 days late in protecting it.

My annual family holiday happended to fall the following day  after the tenancy started and I had no time in which to lodge the deposit.

The tenancy ended 9 months ago, so how can he bring this claim against me now?

Any advice will be gratefully received.

Thanks Ron

Lorraine’s Answer 

Changes made by the Localism Act in 2012 did clarify that ex-tenants can make a claim for a deposit penalty. Unfortunately, they have 6 years to make a claim.

The penalty is between  1 and 3 times deposit, however this is at the discretion of the court. (The court must give at least 1 x deposit).

I cannot say how the judge will rule as there are no mitigating circumstances for not lodging a deposit within the 30 day timescale, so the 3 x deposit may be awarded to the tenant.

With over 200 pieces of legislation on renting property, if not already, you should join an organisation for example “The National Landlords Association” they offer advice and assistance to landlords. Or you may want to think about letting an agency manage the property!

Until next week.

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Ask Lorraine – My problem tenant

Ask Lorraine – One of my Tamworth tenants who has

ask lorraine my problem tenant
ask lorraine my problem tenant

been renting off me for nearly there years is on housing benefit. I gave this lady a chance when others would not take benefit tenants. Five months ago she became a nightmare tenant, she is now causing the neighbours problems and I am getting so many phone calls from them asking that I  resolve the situation. Three weeks ago I received a visit from two of her neighbours demanding that I  evict her. Unfortunately I live on the same Tamworth estate as my tenant.

ask lorraine mad woman

I served a section 21 notice straight away and after receiving notification from the housing benefit department I returned the £500.00 deposit. It appears that the council are on her side as they are now saying that my section 21 is invalid and they have told her not to move out. I have been advised that I must provide evidence that the deposit was protected in accordance with regulations.

For the sake of my tenants neighbours, I need this lady out of my life as soon as possible and hope that you can advise on the best course of action in order to evict her.

Help  A.J.

Lorraine’s Answer

Hi  A.J.

It sounds as though the deposit wasn’t protected within 30 days of being received, if at all?

If you served the section 21 before returning the deposit, you will need to serve  a new one as the council are correct, it is invalid.

In order to serve a valid section 21 there is also legislation paperwork that must be issued (and signed for) at the start of the tenancy. I would recommend checking out the government website     to ensure you did issue this. Once you have your ducks in a row, serve a new section 21.

Good luck in your quest.

Until next week

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Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth tenant wants to be released from her tenancy

🙋  Landlord’s Question: 

Over the weekend, my least favourite tenant asked to be released from the tenancy. To say I’m over the moon is an understatement.

Surrender of tenancy
Surrender of tenancy

A little bit of history – It was to be a joint tenancy so both parties were to be referenced, needless to say the fella failed however the wife passed and feeling under pressure from the couple and not wanting a void,  I gave in and made a decision that was to be a costly mistake.

Shortly after the 12 month tenancy commenced the husband ran off with his best friend, we won’t go there! so he left and Mrs continued to live in the property. The rent was never paid on time and never the correct amount of rent. She would text in the early hours of the morning with excuse after excuse and was always looking for a shoulder to cry on. I was never able to issue notice as rent arrears never quite got to 2 months, she always managed to pay just the right amount to fend me off.

So into the fifth month I had come to the end of my tether. I thought about serving a no fault notice but couldn’t handle the thought of possibly having to apply to the Court for a possession order if she didn’t leave.

My breakthrough came over the weekend, she decided that she wanted to go back home to her parents as she no longer wanted to be responsible for the property and she’s asked if I would agree that she could leave.

So now  I  would be grateful for any advice to get this over with quickly, so that I can sleep easy again.

Lorraine’s Answer:

You could ask for a surrender of tenancy to be completed by Mrs.

So what is a Surrender of Tenancy letter?

 It’s a mutual agreement between landlord and tenant to end a tenancy. This is called ‘surrender’. To be valid, both sides must agree, and it’s always best to put what’s been agreed in writing so everyone knows where they stand. If the tenancy is joint, all joint tenants and the landlord must agree to the surrender.


Whatever you do, it must be completed correctly and swiftly to cover all avenues. Ensuring illegal eviction can not be claimed at a later date or Mr deciding that he wants to move back into the property should he find out that Mrs has moved out.

You don’t mention if a deposit was taken and if there are still rent arrears, so try to reach an amicable agreement if at all possible. Let the tenant be released early from the tenancy and agree to keep any deposit if need be which can be used to offset any rent arrears. If the rent arrears are small,  you may wish to write off anyway in order that you can get your property back and with the least amount of fuss.

Hopefully the lady has kept the property in a clean and tidy state so your spend will not be too much before finding your next tenants.

You may also wish to think about a “break clause” for  any future 12 month tenancy agreements that you propose.

Until next week!





I’m a Landlord in Tamworth and have just started using the DPS custodial scheme for my deposits

🙋  Landlord’s Question: 

I’m a Landlord in Tamworth and have just started using  the DPS custodial scheme for my deposits. I find it all utterly confusing, even the website, I’m thinking that perhaps I should stop taking a deposit and save myself this hassle. What are your thoughts?

Frustrated Landlord

Should I take a depost?

Should I take a deposit?


Lorraine’s Answer:

You may be a frustrated Landlord now, but I honestly think that if you didn’t take a deposit you would be eventually become a very unhappy Landlord and would be kicking yourself. Not taking a deposit whatsoever is sheer madness.

You hear about properties being converted into cannabis houses or tenants ripping everything out of the property. Yes, your deposit wouldn’t cover the thousands of pounds it would take to put the property back in tenable condition, however it would go some way of helping your pain and frustration.

What if you are trying to evict a tenant and the rent isn’t being paid, it can take up to 6 months to evict them and the cost escalates when courts are involved. Locksmiths don’t come cheap, I recently paid £70 per lock, so £140 later!!

You can always take out Landlords insurance, however this does affect your yield and you may not think it’s worth paying out the extra money. If you are a member of a trade body i.e. National Landlords Association you may get a discount.

So my advice before turning the keys over, take a deposit and take at least 1.5 x the monthly rent, more if possible and for goodness sake, ensure you deal with the deposit correctly.

Until next time.

Ask Lorraine – My tenant has refused to supply a forwarding address

🙋  Landlord’s Question: 

”Dear Lorraine,

My tenant has refused to supply a forwarding address, how can I  inform the relevant authorities if I don’t have the information?

My tenant has refused to supply a forwarding address

Lorraine’s Answer

I don’t know anywhere that says it’s a legal requirement to leave a forwarding address, however I’m a little concerned why the tenant did not feel able or want to give you this.

Did the tenancy end on friendly terms?

As a tenancy ends do you advise your tenants, that  in order to send mail on that has not been redirected, you require a forwarding address. It’s surprising the number of people who do not redirect mail!

Do you take a deposit – I’m sure the tenant would like their deposit back quickly. Then you require a forwarding address to enable you to complete the Deposit Return process forms. Without a forwarding address the deposit can take many months to be returned to either the tenant or landlord. I usually find that tenants are only too willing to give me their forwarding address where a deposit is involved.

If you do take a forwarding address, don’t forget to advise the utility companies including all meter readings and of course don’t forget to advise the local council so that they can chase any outstanding council tax.

Until next week.

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!