Agent’s breach or tenant’s breach? Please HELP!!Make Text Bigger
Our tenants moved in with pets (ferret, cat and a dog) even though we had advised our letting agents that we would not allow tenants to keep pets.
We discovered our tenants little zoo when we arrived a month after they moved in to fix a problem with their kitchen taps. We Immediately informed the agent, who said they did not know about their pets. They duly sent them a letter to inform them they were in breach of tenancy agreement and liable for any damage.
We requested for a top up deposit to cover for any possible adverse damage to the property. However, after months and months of chasing to no avail, their excuse was unless we sort our the damp issues in the house (we found that it was because they left the air vent closed with not adequate ventilation, forming moulds around the house), they will not be willing to pay the top up deposit.
2 months before the end of 6 month tenancy they requested a renewal. We declined due to their refusal to pay the top up deposit, blackmailing us with a damp issue that does’t exist and our concerns with the number of animals they kept.
Strangely enough they suddenly changed their tone and said what about if they pay their top up deposit, can they stay as they liked the property! As you guessed it, the answer was of course NO !!
We visited the property after they moved out only to find the stench of animal’s urine and hairs, not to mention, a long list of other problems, not picked up by the agent in the closing inspection, including an obvious huge chunk of plaster being knocked off the wall by the tenants caused by moving fridge/freezer.
We obtained quotes to put right the house, amounting to well over their deposit which they are trying to claim back.
The agent is not helping as they are on the tenants’ side, claiming the property was in perfect, clean order and the tenants should have their deposit back, and would involve a solicitor if we do not refund their deposit. Agent are clueless what to do, asking us what they should now do, due to the tenants threat.
1) What would you advise please, in terms of the legal side of things?
2) What are our chances of getting the deposit to cover the damage, cleaning, getting rid of smell, getting rid of rubbish left, repairs etc?
3) How should we approach the agent as they are adamant that the tenant has done nothing wrong and should have their deposit back?
We have photo evidence of our findings to the state of the house as we found it. Would that be enough or would the fact that the tenants have been in breach of contract with Pets be good enough?
Thanks so much
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