Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About 6 days ago 96
I have 3 tenants who recently vacated a property. During their rental I only dealt with one of the tenants and we went through the check out procedure thoroughly so that he understood what was expected. On the day of the checkout the property was very unclean and the inventory clerk explained to the tenant that cleaning would have to be done. The clerk was also concerned to note that handles had been broken off the windows. The tenant explained they had not been able to open them, yet had never mentioned this to us. We have since had a repair man in who has told us that the windows have ceased up inside completely and he will have to drill through each window in order to release it, patch it up etc. It will be quite a big job. They have ceased up due to rust. We noticed when they were checked out that the boiler was off, that they used cold water only and we suspect that they did not use the heating (fans were all turned off too). Presumably the resulting condensation (no ventilation as windows were closed!) has rusted the mechanics of the windows. Once the tenants vacated and we were able to pull furniture away from walls, we can see black mould developing there, evidence of lack of ventilation and condensation.
They vacated early July but the first appointment we could get for the window repair man was 26th July. Now that he has seen the extent of the problem, it may take some time before we know on costs, particularly as windows are included in our service charges, therefore the costs of these may be applied to the service charge and we would then only need to pass on to the tenant the cost of our portion of this charge. That cost though would not be known for over a year, though with a bit of digging around we might be able to know what the charge is in 3 months or so.
We have written to the lead tenant letting him know that we are doing all we can to find out costs for the windows, but meanwhile we await his final bills. We still await those final bills from him, 3 weeks after he has moved out. He also lives just around the corner from the flat and knows my husband is there presently doing some internal work, so could pop round at any time.
My question is- what do I do regarding his deposit. There are other deductions which we will have to make, but they are more straightforward. I would like to return as much of his deposit as possible, but the windows may only cost £100 or it may be £1000 – it really depends on how the management company deal with it. We want to be fair, but on the other hand don’t want to leave ourselves with a bill. At the very minimum all broken handles will need to be fixed. These are clearly shown on the inventory as being OK at the beginning of the tenancy.
I have dug around trying to find out rough costs for these, but have drawn a blank.
My question mainly goes out to other hands on landlords who have to deal with this regularly and who have not been able to return the deposit as quickly as 10 days.
I would appreciate your responses, thanks very much.
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