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Landlord refusing to return deposit, despite written agreement

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Landlord refusing to return deposit, despite written agreement

    We vacated our previous apartment 2 weeks ago. When my husband had the final inspection with the landlord and agent the agent arranged for a property surveyor to attend as we had a feeling we were going to have issues. They spent 2 hours going through the apartment and the landlord was trying to pick at everything.
    The surveyor ruled on an amount that we should have to pay (which I thought was too much, but this landlord is mentally unstable and we had been receiving in excess of 50 messages a day so we agreed - there were a few things that needed fixing, although we could have argued wear and tear).
    Upon handover of the keys a written agreement was signed by all parties agreeing to the amount to be returned to us and the date it was to be returned by (within 7 days).
    During the week we kept receiving further messages saying that she had now found this and that broken and would be deducting it from the agreed amount, we sent repeated very clear messages back saying this was unacceptable and we would only accept the amount from the agreement.
    Sure enough the 7 days have gone past and we don't have our money back. She said we might get some of it back in a few days but she needs to 'get more deductions'. She is sending photos of things that I believe she has broken and saying $3000 here, $4000 there.
    What is the next step? She is now in my books a common thief.
    We have a written agreement signed from both parties for the return amount and date and we had a surveyor present during handover.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    4,707

    sorry for your trouble. can you let us know which building you were in before and whats the LL's name. i'm about to move soon.

    arathi likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Stand firm and DO NOT give in. The surveyor was arranged by the agent on her (the landlady's) instructions for the purpose of determining what exactly was broken etc and the cost of replacing/making good the problem. The handover inspection was conducted with the surveyor and both parties present, both parties agreed and signed to signify agreement. She cannot now renegade on the agreement.

    If she doesn't pay the remainder of the security deposit to you, perhaps take her to the small claims tribunal?

    Sorry to hear you have a dishonest landlady, fortunately, not all landladies are like that!!


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    I too had a mentally unstable landlady in the past and it was a huge pain.
    There is no point arguing with that kind of people so do not waste your time.
    If your claim is <50k, file a claim with the small claim tribunal. You can download the form here under "Return of rental deposit" and attach the agreement you signed with the landlady. You will be given a hearing within 4 weeks.

    Court Services & Facilities - Small Claims Tribunal Sample Forms


    If your claim is >50k, you will need to file with the district court. There is a form and pro format affidavit but for some reasons I cannot find it on the court's website. May be give them a call. Good luck.

    * Edit: I believe the Land Tribunal can't hear a case like this for just recovery of rental deposit for an individual property, but may be give them a call to be sure. If you can file with the Land Tribunal, it will be better (enforcement will be more effective than if you filed with the small claim tribunal). Problem is enforcement cannot be done without hiring a solicitor in this case. Anyway, give them a call.

    Last edited by jrkob; 09-11-2015 at 12:40 PM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    small claim court, don't waste your time with maniac, some people only understand when you take them to court. I never had any problem with deposit. In general I'm quite firm with them, and tell them it's normal wear and tear. Most of the material they used in flat here are absolute rubbish that cost nothing. Like I drop a pint in the living room and it broke a tile. Just shows you the quality of this stuff.

    JAherbert likes this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    In future, simply don't give the keys back until your deposit is returned. This is the number one rule when dealing with landlords.

    In this instance your describe, you have very little leverage.

    MandM! and scrambler like this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Hong Kong
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    Yes, there are very difficult landlords and you can sort of tell going in a few weeks into a new agreement. With questionable landlords, I have always used the deposit as the remaining month's rent. This is not the normal practice "on paper" but it is a common practice among tenants and landlords in the Hong Kong community. Usually landlords would allow it because they don't want to risk a bad relationship and end up with a damaged flat.

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  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrkob
    * Edit: I believe the Land Tribunal can't hear a case like this for just recovery of rental deposit for an individual property, but may be give them a call to be sure.
    Apology for the self-quoting, wanted to clarify this. I was interested in making sure either way so had a quick chat tonight with my friend who practices conveyancing and he says that although your case is not strictly in-scope for the Land Tribunal** it should be able to hear your case and in fact, he recommends that you try to have you case heard there first, for the reason I mentioned (better enforceability than Small Claim Tribunal). The procedure is very straightforward apparently although as I said if the Landlord really is a bad payer you'll need to hire a solicitor to get your judgement enforced. Good luck.

    ** see below for what is in-scope for the Land Tribunal:

    http://www.judiciary.gov.hk/en/crt_s...ml/lands.htm#2
    Last edited by jrkob; 09-11-2015 at 10:46 PM.
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  9. #9
    PGC
    PGC is offline

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    Mar 2015
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    Typical , there is nothing absolutely nothing as greedy as a Chinese landlord oops sorry perhaps two Chinese landlords ! That's why there is such a dislike for these greedy low life grubs


  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit
    In future, simply don't give the keys back until your deposit is returned. This is the number one rule when dealing with landlords.

    In this instance your describe, you have very little leverage.
    Exactly...

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