Q&A Can I deduct court costs for eviction order from my tenants’ deposit?

Q:        I have just successfully gained an eviction order for tenants who have failed to leave a property I own despite me having served two Section 21 notices because I wish to sell the property. I was also awarded the court costs. The problem is that the tenants have no money and, as they don’t work, they are unlikely to be able to acquire any. Are we entitled to take the costs out of their deposit?

A:        Whether you can deduct the awarded fees from the tenants’ deposit will depend on what it says about deposits in their tenancy agreement. Usually there will be a clause saying something like ‘The Landlord shall be entitled to claim an appropriate amount of compensation from the deposit for and to be used for the following:’ If it states among the listed things‘any fees or other monies that the Landlord is entitled to recover from the Tenant’, then that would include the fees you paid to the Court and which it has instructed the tenant to pay you.

Such costs would have to be paid to you directly by the tenant, they would not be paid through the Court. Therefore, since the deposit should be registered for protection with a recognised Deposit Scheme, you would need to inform them. If they hold the deposit, they will make the decision as to whether the court costs can be deducted before releasing the monies. If you have taken registration only and you hold the deposit monies, you will still need to inform them of what you have withheld and why.

You should also take into consideration that if your tenants still don’t move out and you have to instruct bailiffs, then that will be another cost that you will probably want to seek to recover.

This question has been answered by James Denton, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter, please visit our website www.ghplegal.com and use the contact us form, or call us on: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194 

James Denton

James Denton

Solicitor

Solicitor in our Civil Litigation team in the Oswestry and Wrexham offices.