Landlady holding onto deposit for condemned building

I left my old flat in early December, the building is ex-council and managed by a local housing association who are planning to demolish and redevelop the land. My ex-landlady was made an offer by the housing association (to buy the flat from her) but does not wish to sell and is unhappy with the offer. The flat is part of around 30 properties that have almost all been vacated. My landlady is currently hanging onto my deposit on the off chance she can relet the property and may need to repaint. I do not see how she can expect to re-let a condemned building and I think she is just buying time to hang on to my deposit! For all I know this could continue for months with legal discussions at her end which her rejecting each offer and trying to negotiate with the HA. What can I do to get my deposit back? Do I call the HA? Can I write a letter mentioning Small Claims Court to encourage her to return it? Is there a deadline when deposits are normally meant to be returned?

When you say condemned do you mean the council have said it is uninhabitable ? Or is it a redevelopment to provide warmer houses?

The building is in a state of disrepair, not all un-inhabitable but not worth repairing with major flooding/damp issues on the basement level (those are un-inhabitable). Nobody has ‘officially’ said the building will be demolished but everyone has suggested it, even the HA. We all think it’s just about money - land and rebuilding is more profitable than fixing the current buildings.

If the only issue is paint then surely she can price up a reasonable amount for paint and return the rest of the deposit.

How is the deposit secured? Can you contact the company holding it?

Did you cause damage to the property beyond fair wear and tear? If so, then she is entitled to make a claim from your deposit to cover her loss regardless of whether the property will be refurbished or not.

If it was just the usual wear and tear then she is not entitled to anything.

Speak to the deposit scheme about how you can get it back.

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Yes I’ll do that. Thanks

So, two things to keep separate here.

  1. The LLs choice/need etc. to sell or let the property does not concern you. Why would it?

  2. If you have damaged things above and beyond normal wear then you pay.

You should’ve asked for the deposit back through the scheme as soon as you’d moved out and the LL would then have had to respond or release by now

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I assume the landlord has to prove what they have spent the deposit on via invoices? My landlady has said ‘they are waiting to see if they can relet and if the new tenant would want the place repainted and will keep some of the deposit if so’ that doesn’t seem fair to keep me hanging, especially when the building is condemned. Anyway, I’ll try the deposit company. I painted high quality murals in the flat with permission, so I suppose ‘damage’ is debatable (I’m a professional artist).

so the building is not condemned, it is to be taken down to put another property on the site. If you have painted the walls with “high quality murals”, such as we see on walls and other peoples buildings?, that will not be acceptable to a landlord or another tenant

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No, the landlady is under no obligation to do any of the work so doesn’t have to show you any invoices.

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