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Rental deposits

Rental deposits

Old May 7th 2018, 2:17 pm
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Default Rental deposits

I've been reading the forum for many years and am finally looking to rent a villa in the Javea area for a year before considering purchasing.
Many times I've read on here that it is often the case that the one month deposit is not returned at the end of contract, so don't pay the last months rent to balance this.
Having had emails back from agents with properties of interest, they are all quoting two months deposit.
What are people's experience of the two months deposit? Are we likely to see any return?
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Old May 7th 2018, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Rental deposits

I would say, from my own experience, if the deposit is being held by the agent then there is a fair chance you might get it back because they will want to maintain some sort of good reputation.
If the deposit is held by the owner then forget it because the chances of the owner giving it back are zero.

There's pretty much no recourse or legal route or small claims court that you can use that is worth the hassle and expense of pursuing it.
I've tried.
My previous landlord did this to me, refused to return the deposit after assuring me that he would, asking me to trust him and pay the last months rent because I was contractually obliged to.
So being an honest chap I did pay the last months rent and now I'm still waiting to get my deposit back two years later.

I went to the citizen's advice office in Almunecar and was told I could go to the court and get them to force the landlord to pay me back.
This I did, resulting in a court hearing and eventually a final decision in my favour. Yippee!

That took two years and even though I won the case because the landlord didn't bother to turn up, it only confirmed that he owes me the money.
I now have to raise a new claim against the landlord to force him to repay me the money, and if after that he still refuses to pay then the court will take it from his bank account.
How many years that will take I have no idea, but I've gone this far so I'll continue to the end.

It's a load of hassle, time and expense, and all for 450 euros.

The landlord has basically thumbed his nose throughout the entire period and just got on with his life, whilst I have had to run around doing the legal stuff to get him to court.
If I ever get the 450 euros back then it still won't have cost the landlord a cent - it was my money in the first place.

So there is virtually no deterrent for a landlord just pocketing the deposit.
Probably why no-one except the mugs ever pay the last months rent.
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Old May 7th 2018, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: Rental deposits

Originally Posted by EagleJ View Post
I've been reading the forum for many years and am finally looking to rent a villa in the Javea area for a year before considering purchasing.
Many times I've read on here that it is often the case that the one month deposit is not returned at the end of contract, so don't pay the last months rent to balance this.
Having had emails back from agents with properties of interest, they are all quoting two months deposit.
What are people's experience of the two months deposit? Are we likely to see any return?
As a landlord of a long term rental first you as a tenant must ensure the deposit is reflected in the rental contract and "Yes" we do give it back. Normally hold it for about one month after the tenancy has been completed to clear any outstanding water, electricity and/or gas bills. Balance refunded when statement from utility providers confirm "All Paid and Up to Date". On last tenant should have retained more to cover damages but that was an oversight on our behalf as we failed to check the inventory when the tenant moved out.
As a tenant on three rentals we have had over some twelve years the landlord has always returned our deposit .

Alternative is offer a bank guarantee sometimes asked for by landlords. No cash deposit but the bank will charge an annual maintenance fee , normally not very much.
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Old May 8th 2018, 1:19 pm
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Default Re: Rental deposits

If you're at all concerned about getting it back, INSIST it's held in an escrow account as per the law!
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Old May 8th 2018, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Rental deposits

Thanks for the replies.
I will definitely use one of the larger agencies, I was not aware of the Escrow requirement.
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Old May 9th 2018, 9:21 am
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Default Re: Rental deposits

Originally Posted by snikpoh View Post
If you're at all concerned about getting it back, INSIST it's held in an escrow account as per the law!
I was with an elderly friend in a popular estate agents office where he was signing a rental agreement for a flat.
I enquired as to who held the deposit and they said the landlord will hold it, they didn't get involved with deposits.
Obviously I voiced my concerns about getting it returned after my friend's tenancy ended and the estate agent just tried to assure me that the contract would be honored and the deposit returned subject to damage reductions. Their argument was that they have a reputation to keep and although they don't hold deposits, they do advertise rentals and act as go-between for landlord and tenant. They assured me that they value their reputation and will not take dishonest landlords on their books.
There was no mention of an escrow account, it was take it or leave it.

What do you do in this situation? My friend really wanted the flat.
As it happens in this case, my friend is very elderly and will probably only leave the flat in a box so the deposit may not be an issue to him, but this is exactly the situation I had with my previous landlord. My previous tenancy was drawn up by a different agent who didn't deal with any finance as the landlord held all deposits. They just shrugged when I informed them of my dispute and court case, so reputation doesn't count for much with them.

From my own experience and general public opinion, I personally believe that in Spain private landlords simply view the deposit as an extra payment up front, for their own use and for future rentals I will never pay the last months rent.
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