WAITING TWO MONTHS FOR RETURN OF DEPOSIT

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09 Dec 2011 00:00 by IST Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Hi,

I am glad to have found this website and was hoping some of you out there could advise me on an issue I am having with a rental agency.

 

My family an I rented an appartment for two years in Llança (costa Brava) paying €1000 deposit, a month up front and a months rent finders fee to the agency. We paid our rent on time evry month for the two years and at the begining of October moved to another appartment (due to a new addiditon to the family) using the same agents.

To move to the new appartment we paid again, 2 months deposit, month up front, finders fee.

To date the deposit for the first appartment has not been returned, I call in person to their office every week to be told they are waiting for the painters bill or the cleaners bill.

I have also used this company for short term rentals for accomodating people from the U.K that attend training courses I run here (I run a Bodyguard training company) In the last six months I have given them €3500 worth of business.

I have informed them that I will no longer use them for the short term lets due to their lack of professionalism and I have sent an email to their head office in Girona complaining (recieved no reply)

 

What concerns me is they now have €2200 of our money in deposits (for the old flat and now the new)

How would I go about making a claim and how what that effect my current rental agreement with them (I really don't want to have to move my family right now)

Another option I have considered is holding the rent to the value of the deposits when we decide to move from the current appartment (we are hoping to buy a place within the next 12 months - not through this agency!)

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Michael





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09 Dec 2011 13:32 by joanmalaga Star rating in Costa del Sol. 420 posts Send private message

Hi Michael,

You can not hold the rent on the new property for the deposit of the old one, this is taking money from your new landlord to pay for the deposit that your old landlord has.

Normally deposits are handed over to the landlords, therefore this is the person that need to refund you either direct or through the agency.

My advice: 

1. Email agency and advise you want the owners details to contact them with regards to your deposit, if they give you the details contact the owner direct and see if you can arrange something. It has been over 2 months since you vacated the property and therefore any bills they should have by now.

2. Send them an official letter (Burofax) via the post office requesting they solve this matter urgently or you will take matters further and contact a solicitor.

3. Contact a solicitor and get them to claim the money, they get very scared when they see these kind of letters

4. If no response start legal action, i can guarantee you they will contact you and refund you

5. Do not use this agency again

Hope this helps,

Joan

 





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09 Dec 2011 17:47 by meggie Star rating in England. 114 posts Send private message

Michael

It all depends on who the Company is you mention...

Rightly or wrongly...we were advised by three seperate British-run Agencies when we were looking for a long-term rent in Spain, ie; 'If you choose to rent from a local Spanish-run Agency, do what the locals do ie; DO NOT pay the last month's rent. You are highly unlikey to get your deposit back without alot of hassle, so let the rental company keep this in lieu of the last month's rent'.  As long as you have payed all utility bills and you haven't caused any damage to the property, you are not putting the Agency out-of-pocket. As you say, you are using the same Agent for the new property as the last property you rented....and they now have two lots of deposit from you.

As it happens, although we looked at property with several local, Spanish Agencies, we choose to rent with one of the British-run Agencies because they had the place we liked best. We DID pay a month's rent as deposit. We also payed our rent at the beginning of each month that we stayed in our place of choice...and we DID get our deposit back....on the day we moved out!  But, had we chosen one of the properties on the books of one of the local Spanish-run Agencies, we would definitely have taken the advice (given by Companies totally independent of each other) and we would not have payed the last month's rent. If the Company you are using aren't willing to let you have the first deposit back...do you think they'll let you have the second deposit back?  

As you can gather...I have little faith in Spanish business practices when it comes to getting money back that is due to you, money that was given in good faith and should now be returned.  I have my reasons!

 



_______________________

Mag




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09 Dec 2011 18:39 by joanmalaga Star rating in Costa del Sol. 420 posts Send private message

 Meggie, i am absolutely disgusted by your comment.

a. Agency can be English or Spanish but owners are all nationalities

b. The agency does not keep the deposit, the owner does

c. Contracts normally state the month deposit can not be used as rental, according to Spanish rental law a deposit can only cover damages and unpaid bills unless something different is agreed with the OWNER beforehand in writing

d. By not paying the last months rent it is the owner you leave out of pocket, not the agency and you can be sued for this 

e. Any agency who has told you the contrary is so desperate for money they will do anything

I myself rent properties and it is people like you and with your attitude that cause the problems

Of course Michael is to have his deposit back but advising him to do it this way is ridiculous

Lastly, Michael, i know a solictor that charges barely anything for these kind of matters so private message me if you want any other help but i do not recomend you do what Meggie says as this will get you a very bad reputations with landlords in the future.

Joan





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09 Dec 2011 18:41 by joanmalaga Star rating in Costa del Sol. 420 posts Send private message

10 Dec 2011 22:36 by meggie Star rating in England. 114 posts Send private message

Looking back at my reply I can see I didn't make myself clear.  I can see that it doesn't read well.

The point I was trying to make is that the Agent we dealt with kept our deposit in HIS safe-keeping and it was never passed on to the (British) owner.  We found this to be the case with other Companies in the area that were run by British expats.( Maybe there were Spanish-run Agencies that did this, too, and we just didn't get round to seeing them).  They did this with all the properties that were owned by British people, with their blessing, as they were renting mostly to British people who are used to the way we rent in the UK ie; the deposit is kept in a seperate account and never given to the owner.  This law was set up because there have been so many cases in the UK, prior to the new law, where the deposit wasn't returned. Even with the involvement of a Solicitor, withheld deposits were not always returned or it took months to get them back.  I do know what I am talking about.  My husband and I have rented out properties ourselves for many years very successfully and we have always given back deposits as the renters leave the property.  This has not always been the case when we have rented for ourselves.

The Agent we mentioned was not desperate. He was doing very well. Why? Because everyone that rented a British-owned property from him knew they would get their deposit back if the property was left in good order etc etc.  That was and is definitely not always the case where the deposit is given directly to the owner.  On the contrary, It is when the deposit is given to the owner that there is sometimes a problem getting it back....whatever nationality the owner.  I am sorry to say, in these troubled times, when people are having difficulty with finance, keeping hold of a deposit or delaying the return of it is becoming increasingly common.

What IS ridiculous is to say that 'people like me with my attitide' cause the problem.  The problem is.....some people do not get their deposit back. Why? Because greedy owners want to keep it....simple.

Obviously, you don't have that problem where you are.  I really mean it when I say, 'That's great, nice to know'.  But, in other areas it is a big problem and it has become accepted by both owners and renters that the final month's rent is kept back in lieu of the deposit.  And, no, it wasn't because of people like me that this has come about....it's because that's the way it is.

Ah, if only Spanish law was adhered to by all....

Everyone that should get their rental deposit back would get it returned to them immediately it was due...

Everyone that paid a deposit to buy a property would quickly get that deposit back if the property wasn't built or completed as  expected...

No-one would be living in an illegally-built property...

No-one would have had their property bulldozed when it had been passed as having met all legal requirements...

There wouldn't be thousands of people living without water and electricity in their homes because their properties weren't provided with the correct paperwork...

There wouldn't be hundreds of subsiding properties that were built in precarious locations...

Said properties' builders would have done their best to put these properties right.....

Etc, etc, etc, etc....

 

 

 



_______________________

Mag




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12 Dec 2011 07:38 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9294 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

 Michael:

Maybe a claim through a solicitor or through the local Consumers office will help.

Maria



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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12 Dec 2011 13:42 by IST Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Thanks for all of the advice, much appreciated it.

 

On a positive note, I checked my bank this morning for another matter and low and behold! the deposit has been returned minus elecricity, water and a minor deduction for painting and cleaning.

I believe the email to head office telling them I would pull the temporary lets business I give them each month for my courses did the trick.

 

Just to note as helpful as the advice given is and has opened my eyes for the future, renting from a British agent is not an option where we live as there are none, also thedeposit is held in the local Adjuntament not by the agnt or owner.

 

Once again thanks for all the advice.

 

Regards

Michael 





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10 Jan 2012 16:29 by mrnkar Star rating in Lancashire. 55 posts Send private message

Just my input on this from experience no 2 rental agents are the same. Both times we used British run agencies. Our first agency give us back our one months deposit minus €50 which was our usual monthly electricity bill on the day we left.

The second a completely different story. We were told by them that they were requesting our 2 months deposit,  from the owners who we knew were british and lived in UK from our rental agreement. After a month or so being told the same story I sent the owners a letter to ask the reasons for the delay.

This came as a surprise as the agent had not even contacted them to let them know we have left. They told us that the rental agency held the deposits as they had signed an agreement with the agency to conduct all renting etc. Found out they didn't even know how much rent I had been paying. Meanwhile we had to return to the UK.

Tried contacting the agency again only to find they had ceased business and think they owed a lot of people money. This business had been trading for over 10 years so the recession must have hit them badly.  Later found the apartment advertised with our first agents at €150 per month lower than we where charged.

Hoping to return to Spain shortly and to stop same happening, may be tempted to withhold final months rent. Not something I would normally do but feel may be left with little choice as I usually need deposits back to start new rental, unless I find an amazing apartment and I don't need to move again. Karen

 





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