Edinburgh students win flat dispute

Edinburgh students took their landlady to court. Picture; John Savage
Edinburgh students took their landlady to court. Picture; John Savage
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Three Edinburgh University students have been awarded £1853 because their landlady, a biology professor, failed to lodge their rental deposit in the approved Tenancy Scheme.

Phoebe Russel-Smith, Stephanie Dion-Jones and Alexis Herskowit, along with a fourth student, Marc Fitchett, paid Ijeoma Uchegbu, a professor in London, who lives in St Albans, a deposit of £1550 in May, 2015. Prof Uchegbu only lodged the deposit on May 28 this year after three of the students raised their court action.

At a hearing in Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Thomas Welsh QC, heard the deposit had now been returned to the students, but for eight months there had been no protection of the tenants and no information given to them of their rights.

Prof Uchegbu was described as “an experienced landlady who received strong advice that the deposit had to be lodged in the approved scheme from the tenants and the regulatory authority”. Her legal representative described his client as “an amateur landlady” and admitted she had been in breach of the regulations.