Tenant wins double their deposit back in court

Renters are taking landlords to court to get their deposits and money back from issues relating to properties.

A tenant was able to successfully sue a lettings agent after they failed to return his £375 deposit.

Garry Musgrove, 50, will even get interest paid back to him on the amount which he originally used as a down payment for a property.

The delivery driver signed a year-long lease on the flat in Guildford, Surrey in November 2021.

At the time, Mr Musgrove was unaware that his landlord had failed to register the deposit in a Government-approved scheme.

As part of the Housing Act, landlords legally have to tell their tenants of deposit protection within 30 days or face paying up to three times the original amount.

This gives tenants up to six years to make a claim and helps protect people from landlords who take advantage of them.

According to Mr Musgrove, he was not informed about the tenancy deposit scheme and was concerned when his landlord, who was also a letting agent, refused to give his down payment back.

Some 18 months after renting the flat, the tenant got an email informing him that his deposit had recently been placed into a tenancy deposit scheme which should have been done at the time.

Upon getting this email, Mr Musgrove reached out to Barings Law to see if they would take up his claim to get his deposit back.

On September 12, he was successful at Manchester County Court and awarded £788 in compensation which is twice the amount of his deposit plus interest.

Ahmad Ismaiel was the case handler at Barings Law who was vital in pleading Mr Musgrover’s case which he believes is indicative of many others who are losing money to letting agents.

He explained: “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.

“Mr Musgrove’s perseverance in the face of adversity is a testament to the power of the law to protect individuals from unfair practices.”

Following his win, Mr Musgrove shared his delight at finally getting his money back and revealed what he plans to do with it.

The tenant said: “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.”