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  1. #111

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    Apologies, I thought you were the one suggesting he stays on for an extra month. I only skimmed the start but became interested when people started throwing around legal princples.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    The landlord has the OP's deposit, and if he fails to return if then he is also breaching the terms of the tenancy agreement. The OP is equally entitled to go after the landlord in this situation.
    If OP changes the locks stays in the property, In court, this will be a circular (and rather pointless) argument:

    1. The LL claiming the T is in some form of random breach and retaining the deposit.
    2. T staying for the month because he doesn't have his deposit back.

    The court will likely offset the two. However, if the LL could evidence someone's intention to rent the property at twice the price for the intervening period, the LL may have an argument to sue at a higher amount for the breach.

    If the T leaves on the day, follows Jimbo's instructions and still doesn't receive his deposit, then he ought to sue for breach of contract. Clean and simple. I don't see why he then needs to muddy the water by retaining the keys and imposing (to my mind) some form of unlawful lien. It'll all end up in court anyway so might as well arrive there as clean as possible.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    I think a tribunal may even look favorably on the OP given the landlords harassment and failure to agree to the terms of the original tenancy by withholding the deposit without due cause.
    Equally, the T had a clear intent to sublet the flat so isn't entirely innocent, and some of the actions of the LL could be tempered in this light.

    OP, my advice to you would be to document everything, give the LL a clear indication of when you would like to vacate the property. Do as Jimbo said and if the LL turns up without a cheque, start video recording it and exit peacefully. Prepare a claim to court/land tribunal (whatever the correct process is for tenancy disputes) and then simply sue the LL. I don't think you want to be getting into potentially physical altercations and have the worry that the LL willl bust down the doors etc.
    Last edited by Ehiogu; 07-01-2016 at 10:07 AM.

  2. #112

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    I don't think it is in the interest of either side to end up in court to be honest - but if the tenant hands back the keys without getting his deposit back then that is his only option.

    Ehiogu likes this.

  3. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    I don't think it is in the interest of either side to end up in court to be honest - but if the tenant hands back the keys without getting his deposit back then that is his only option.
    True, but the only thing he could do is stay in the flat which would necessitate court proceedings anyway. Only this time, he's starting as the defendant and would need to counter-claim, thereby starting in a weaker position because he is in breach of contract.

  4. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ehiogu:
    True, but the only thing he could do is stay in the flat which would necessitate court proceedings anyway. Only this time, he's starting as the defendant and would need to counter-claim, thereby starting in a weaker position because he is in breach of contract.
    Yes, agreed. My view is the landlord is unlikely to act in a way deleterious to his own self-interest though, and when confronted with a tenant who refuses to be walked over the landlord has the choice to

    (a) hand back the deposit (which he is obligated to anyway) and gain vacant possession immediately
    (b) not hand back the deposit, and enter a lengthy and costly legal process to regain possession that - if all goes well - might see him gain possession in several months and have a legal claim to money he might fail to recover anyway.

    Any competent landlord would choose option (a), surely? What would you do in this situation?

  5. #115

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    I'm a really nice landlord and have always given the tenants their deposits back, whether or not there has been any minor damage.

    However, if I am a pyschopathic LL, as this one appears to be, i'd be trigger happy with court proceedings if this annoying gweilo T scumbag doesn't bend over and take my dry fisting with gratitude.

    TheBrit likes this.

  6. #116

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    Most of the tenancy agreement have a clause that rental deposit will be returned 2- 4 weeks after vacant possession is handed over. Landlord is not obliged to give the deposit on the day of taking vacant possession.

    shri likes this.

  7. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ehiogu:
    I'm a really nice landlord and have always given the tenants their deposits back, whether or not there has been any minor damage.

    However, if I am a pyschopathic LL, as this one appears to be, i'd be trigger happy with court proceedings if this annoying gweilo T scumbag doesn't bend over and take my dry fisting with gratitude.
    The landlord is a commercial landlord, in it for the money. I would think he would act in his own commercial interests, but as you say - it is a risk.
    Ehiogu likes this.

  8. #118

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    Dec 2015
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    Yeah, after consulting other landlords (from here and from my personal network), it seems that the best road to take is the "peaceful" road (probably known as the "pussy" road around here ).

    I'll keep documenting everything, take a few hundreds pictures of the place with a witness on the day that the lease ends, and videotape the mutual inspection. I'll remind the LL that according to the tenancy agreement he has to give me back the deposit within 7 days.

    If he fails to do so, I'll go to Small Claims. Still, I've heard that even if they ask the LL to give back the money, it often happens that they don't execute as apparently the judgment is only advisory. But we'll see what happens then.

    I hope that he won't be foolish and act stupidly. His property is on a very popular street of HK in the heart of the expat district, and he is targeting expat tenants. He has an English business name that he is advertising on Facebook and on expats forums, so he must know that a bad reputation on the Internet would definitely hurt his business.

    Last edited by TheDocHK; 07-01-2016 at 11:44 AM.

  9. #119

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    Dec 2015
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    Update -- we did the mutual inspection with an employee of the landlord's, nothing to declare, we have both signed a paper saying that everything was in order and the premise was in the same condition as it was when I first moved in.

    I asked for my deposit, and he said that if the lands tribunal says that I have not breached the tenancy agreement, then he'd give it back to me. Our hearing is in 10 days, so we'll know more at this moment.

    Claire ex-ax and shri like this.

  10. #120

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    Best of luck.

    Do read / print and carry a copy of the relevant ordinances (esp if they refer to subletting) with you. Incompetence is not unknown in the legal circles.


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