Tenant’s £120,000 Claim Threatens Entire Deposits Protection System

A tenant who failed to convince a judge that his landlord did not give him statutory tenancy deposit information is taking his case to the High Court.

Merryck Lowe’s application – relating to a claim for £120,888 against charitable landlord, the Governors of Sutton’s Hospital in The Charterhouse – is pending – and raises issues about tenancy deposit protection schemes.

During the previous case last October, Lowe claimed to have had a sequence of ten tenancies over the course of 12 years, in respect of each of which his £4,029 deposit was taken and held.

He said he had never received the statutorily prescribed information relating to deposit protection; however, it was thrown out by a county court judge.

Unsuccessful In 2021, Lowe had also tried unsuccessfully to claim that Charterhouse operated an unlicensed HMO and had harassed him.

The landlord argued that the deposit paid was only £3,300, there were fewer than ten assured shorthold tenancies, that the deposit was protected and there was “no material want of compliance in relation to the provision of the statutorily prescribed information concerning the protection of the deposit”.

The judge agreed and said the landlord’s professional agents had sought to comply with the law and that if they had failed to do this, “it was not in the absence of a genuine attempt”. Any issues only related to the final tenancy agreement.

After the previous case, the landlord failed in its attempt to win costs from Lowe and his legal firm when he tried to claim a rent repayment order.

It said he had acted unreasonably in making an application that it operated an unlicensed HMO and had also harassed him because it was “hopeless”. A tribunal had previously dismissed Lowe’s original HMO claims.

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