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Landlord withholding entire deposit

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  1. #21

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    3,692

    tell everyone you know or will listen that the LL is shitbag including every estate agent in town

    ADD: would NOT bother with the agent, he probably told the LL that the place needs full decoration before it can be let, agents only act for the LL


  2. #22

    Doesn't matter what the agent said. The agent is acting on behalf of the landlord and accepted the flat back with the keys and said nothing. His silence at the time means everything was fine unless he did open his mouth and speak. ..no point telling other estate agents.

    I am both a landlord and a tenant. Yesterday, I went to look at a flat with an agent. He listed on a property website where all agents listed. The picture of "full seaview " which he had shown in his posting turns out to be a speck of sea and a window full of concrete and drainage pipes. When challenged, he said Yes, that is the view from higher floors?" ...after I had spent an hour getting there ! They don't care.


  3. #23

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    6,356

    Why do people speak as if holding the keys has any power?

    HK has, I think, zero regulations when it comes to key making, and it's cheap and easy. I'm pretty sure our agents hold a key to our flat. Or getting locks changed is also a lot cheaper than housing deposits.

    Anyway, good luck to the LL. Hope it gets sorted quickly and fairly in his favor.


  4. #24

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    24,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Elegiaque:
    Why do people speak as if holding the keys has any power?
    Until you yield the flat to the landlord, he can't do anything. Landlord are not alowed to break in and change the locks anytime they feel like it.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    2,913
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    Until you yield the flat to the landlord, he can't do anything. Landlord are not alowed to break in and change the locks anytime they feel like it.
    But I think the other posters point is that if you have finished paying rent and have moved out, and are still waiting to get the deposit back and are keeping the keys as leverage, doesn't that give them the two options of either paying the deposit back to you, or breaking I to the empty property that they own and is currently without tenant and changing the locks?

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,891
    Quote Originally Posted by GentleGeorge:
    But I think the other posters point is that if you have finished paying rent and have moved out, and are still waiting to get the deposit back and are keeping the keys as leverage, doesn't that give them the two options of either paying the deposit back to you, or breaking I to the empty property that they own and is currently without tenant and changing the locks?
    Kinda, but the act of handing back the keys is a symbolic exchange of rights, it’s the point at which both parties agree that the terms of the contract are finalised. It’s not the physical keys themselves that matter so much. They obviously have a practical leverage too.

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    305
    Quote Originally Posted by dinosaurs88:
    You know where your landlord lives. His address is in the tenancy agreement. Write him a detailed letter and demand your money back by (insert date) or further action will be taken.

    Post it by registered mail and then send a copy by whatsapp to to the agent as well. Then both have no excuse of never having been contacted.
    I have WhatsApped him but he hasn't read the message.

    No matter. Tomorrow is day 30 and he hasn't returned the deposit or even replied to my previous message from more than a week ago.

    I will file in the small claims court and once I do that he has to negotiate or he will lose the case by default.

    Having said that, it does seem that a particularly recalcitrant landlord could refuse to pay, and then also refuse to let the bailiffs in.

    I read on the small claims court website that the claimant has to pay the bailiffs every time they go out. The entire system seems to loaded against the claimant in fact, who has to pay to do things at every stage. The landlords can only ever really lose the deposit (which they are supposed to return anyway).
    HK_Katherine likes this.

  8. #28

    He has blocked you from whatsapp and will not reply.

    First send the letter to the landlord by registered post,
    then attach a copy of the letter and a copy of the registered post to the small claims form.
    Print out colour copies of the whatsapp messages and attach.

    If you think you just turn up for small claims and the case is sorted out, then you are in for a surprise. In front of the judge its he said she said,...judge asks for more paperwork...then you come back one month later...and one month later...(been there, done that....)


  9. #29

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Taiwan and HK
    Posts
    5,691

    A lot of people are really freaked out by registered mail, it's an inexpensive touch that shows how serious you are and also shows the judge all the reasonable steps you took. Very worth doing.


  10. #30

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,891

    Its also worth continuing to send occasional message on WhatsApp at important junctures. You have the WhatsApp chat logs and will be able to demonstrate continued engagement.

    The he said she said debate gets cut short pretty damn fast when you have that type of evidence.


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