Representing a Tenant in a Possession Claim

Civil Law

29 November 2023

Case Summary

The claimant issued a section 21 notice to end the defendant’s tenancy.  This was followed by a claim in the County Court for possession.  The claimant admitted in the claim form that they did not know when the tenancy had started as their records of the time had been destroyed.

The defendant produced evidence of having paid a holding deposit on taking the property in 2013.  They also produced the first tenancy agreement showing a deposit requirement, albeit this was not shown on subsequent agreements. The defendant was unable to show whether the holding deposit had been converted into a tenancy deposit or had gone to the first month’s rent.


I successfully argued that as the holding deposit was larger than the monthly rent, even if it had gone to rent rather than deposit, the surplus was still in the hands of the landlord and should be treated as a tenancy deposit.  That being so, the section 21 notice was ineffective as the deposit had not been treated in accordance with legislation and placed in a tenancy deposit scheme.  As a result the possession claim was dismissed.

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