Can I check if someone has any court judgments in their name?

Dear James,

I recently moved out of a rental property, and the landlord is refusing to repay the deposit. Is there a way to do a check on whether the landlord may have any court judgments from doing this previously? If so, could you point me in the right direction of how to get hold of this information. Thanks

Susie, Bournemouth

Dear Susie,

There is a way to check if someone has any court judgments registered against them. Since judgments are public record, you can contact the ‘Registry Trust’ and perform the search, for a small fee.

Although I don’t think this is the best avenue to resolve your issue. You won’t get a description of the person/organization who made the claim, or any details around why the claim made. So it probably won’t prove too useful.

Every landlord (since 2007) must protect the deposit in an authorised tenancy deposit scheme. Your landlord should have provided you with details of the type of scheme your deposit was held in. If they haven’t I would request this from the landlord or letting agent. You can also check yourself, via the three deposit scheme providers.

When you find your deposit scheme provider, you can contact them to discuss the situation, including how to initiate the dispute resolution process.

However, if your deposit was never protected then the landlord could be subject to fines and restrictions. You would need to seek some legal advice on next steps if this is the case. However, prompting the landlord about this at this stage may be enough to lead to satisfactory resolution.

Hopefully you get this resolved and the appropriate amount is returned. (July 2019)

James
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