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I have been living in a shared house in London at some point. When I left (more than a year ago), the landlord (an agency) told me he would pay me back my deposit shortly. As they still have not done it, I googled online and found out that they actually never protected the deposit. So I followed the guidlines at

https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits/how_to_get_your_tenancy_deposit_back

and sent them a letter before action 2 months ago to which they never answered. So now I'd like to take it to court, so I found:

https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/search/aol

From there, I picked the "Housing possession" category. The problem is that I emailed more than 5 of them and none of them answered me but one which told me to make a money claim (which was clearly inappropriate according to money claim website).

The problem is that I'm currently abroad (until end of March or even June) and cannot go there in person.

Would you have in mind a local court (anywhere in London) which deals with deposit claims? Also, would you know if it is possible to start the process (ie make the claim, pay the fees online)?

Thank you for you advice. Franck

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It sounds like you need to take the landlord to court. Make sure you are suing the right person; look at your rental contract to see who you the other party was and name them on the court documents. A common mistake is to sue an agent when you should be suing the landlord, or vice versa.

The reply you got back from the court is correct: you need to make a money claim because you are claiming back money you are owed. Housing possession is for landlords evicting tenants. Any local court will be able to handle this case; you should pick the nearest one to the property you rented or to your landlord's agent.

Since you are abroad you might want to use the European process as this will try to avoid dragging you in for an actual hearing when it isn't necessary.

Alternatively you could wait until you are going to be back in the UK. You can start proceedings up to 6 years after the issue arose, so waiting a few months won't make any difference from a legal point of view, although a dodgy landlord might take advantage of the delay to make himself harder to find.

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  • Thank you for your detailed answer. My problem was that on: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/… I could read on page 4: "Claims relating to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme should not be issued via MCOL". Dec 7, 2018 at 14:00
  • @franck.mato94 Yes, but you said that your landlord wasn't using that. The point is that if your landlord had used that scheme then you could (as I understand it) claim back from the scheme rather than the landlord. As he hasn't, they are not involved and you have to sue the landlord directly. Dec 7, 2018 at 14:24
  • Ok I see the difference. Does it mean I'm still elligible to claiming up to 3 times the deposit amount? Dec 7, 2018 at 14:34
  • @franck.mato94 I don't know. On what theory do you think you might? The UK legal system doesn't have punitive damages. Dec 7, 2018 at 15:03
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    @PaulJohnson: Housing Act 2004, section 214(4) (as amended): "The court must order the landlord to pay to the applicant a sum of money not less than the amount of the deposit and not more than three times the amount of the deposit within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the making of the order." That's in addition to returning the deposit (s214(3)). Note that this must all happen in a county court (s214(1)). Jul 17, 2022 at 19:51

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