Fair or unfair landlord treatment – We’re OUT!

by Readers Question

10:56 AM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

Fair or unfair landlord treatment – We’re OUT!

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Fair or unfair landlord treatment – We’re OUT!

It’s an absolute Joke – Unfair and UNJUST LEGISLATION on the Private Sector. The same as the Deposit Protection Service – I had £2,000 of repairs to address burned / damaged carpets / Ripped wallpaper / cleaning / etc.

All the carpets were brand new as was the wallpaper. I put in a claim against the £495 Bond, it went to the DPS to decide, we had pictures of the rooms before and after, but they said because we didn’t have specific close up photos from before, of the damaged area they would only give us £110 for the cleaning !

Who is going to take a photo of every square foot of carpet? Whenever we rented a property it was refurbished clean and presentable, we seen a documentary where Bristol council offered a premises to a young mum with black and mould on the walls and offered her £150 towards decorating. If that had been a private landlord he would have been fined and if he did not correct it – lose his License!

It is An Absolute Travesty of Justice – A Real Mockery of Fair Proceedings. With HMO and Renting Rules, It got to a stage where I was afraid to sneeze or operate because I feared Prosecution / fines! We have recently sold 3 of our properties, we no longer want to endure this nonsense, we were Landlords for 30 years and offered Good, very reasonably priced accommodation to many.

We NEVER had a Fine or Prosecution. It is becoming clearly evident that the system is BIASED in favour of Council and Tenants – And For that Reason ” We’re OUT ”

Joe



Comments

Harlequin Garden

11:37 AM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

It is an absolutely unfair system - I had a tenant leave the place not only in a mess (that wasn't the issue, I always clean carpets and touch up between tenancies anyway) - but he'd been out of his window onto the roof of the mezzanine level and damaged the roof - lots of broken tiles etc - I spoke to him as he'd left beer cans out there and he apologised and said it wouldn't happen again, but I didn't realise the extensive damage until he'd gone. On claiming obviously I wouldn't have photographs of the roof pre damage as no one had climbed out of the window to party before - but did of the tips and spills inside and beer cans on the window sill but had minimal amount because the photographs I sent in weren't dated - I dated them but they wanted them printed on the photograph - this as far as I'm aware wasn't available on the phone that was used at the time and I wasn't asked or given the opportunity to produce more (they are in date order on the phone but it doesn't come on the photo). Waste of time, I take a deposit as some tenants take it seriously - most don't though so I always expect to take it back needing cleaning and repairing and pleased that (touch wood) I have rent paid - sad situation though that we are pleased to get the rent!!

Frank Pointon

11:45 AM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

You do get the impression that adjudicators come from another planet.
We recently had a major task cleaning up after two tenants left.
The hob was left dark brown and black with food burnt on the top.
We had to get in a professional oven cleaning company, who took hours to clean it.
Supplied check in pic to TDS, which clearly showed the hob gleaming as new, with not a mark on it.
The adjudicator's comment....."we couldn't produce a receipt for professional cleaning at the start, so couldn't charge for professional cleaning at check out"

David Dorset

12:03 PM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

I have had similar situation with my portfolio.
Mould and condensation - they won't allow any compensation unless i had a professional damp report at the beginning of the tenancy. The cost of such a report is high and not recoverable.
Carpet - if you cant show a picture of the exact area of carpet that has been damaged prior to tenancy then they will not entertain it. Again who would go around picturing every square foot of carpet and wall surface. This is what the inventory company are for.
Cleaning - the tenant accepts the property as clean and signs the inventory that also states that it was clean. They live there for 18 months and then when challenged about how they left the flat they then said they say they didn't feel it was clean enough when they moved in. Cleaning costs split 50/50 because they said this.
The whole TDS is a shambles and clearly totally tenant orientated.

Ann Shaw

12:18 PM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

Absolute disgrace!! So sorry to hear this Joe. I never seek arbitration with ANY of the Government backed deposit schemes. In my view, they are heavily weighted in the tenants' favour. If there is a dispute at handover which cannot be rectified directly with the tenants, I seek the intervention of the County Court to decide and also ask for costs to be considered.

Ken Smith

12:27 PM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

The way to avoid this though is to take high resolution shots of every part of the carpet. You can do that with about 10 shots in every room.

They can then be zoomed in on via a big screen. My inventory clerk always does this because it takes just 2 minutes per room. We always send the shots to the tenant and to their guarantor (along with around 300+ other shots of the house too).

It's a forensic approach.

We explain politely that these will be used in the event of a dispute at tenancy end. It kind of gets the message across that you are on the ball.
Regarding cleanliness, we take shots of typical examples of skirting boards/walls etc for example and get the tenant to sign that the shot represents the standard of all skirting boards etc. In other words, we make a massive issue of pre-letting and photographs/descriptions etc. We get them to sign that they are happy with the level of cleanliness too - plus we have 300+ photos to back that up.

I can only say we have never had any issues when taking monies from deposits and approaching guarantors for top-ups (we always have guarantors - no exceptions).

We always have a meeting with the guarantor beforehand too. This way we can assess them and their home, their manner, character etc and build some with them too rapport too.

We also, for fairness and balance, make sure to take shots of places that aren't 100% perfect and highlight these to the tenant along the lines of us not trying to pin anything on them that they aren't going to be responsible for when they leave.

All in all, it's all about foresight and tight tenant/guarantor management.

Many tenants can sniff out a landlord whom they feel they can dupe - don't let it be you.

However, Joe's post is another reminder of how decent landlords are being shafted by 'the system' more and more.

2 years to go to my Lexit....

Shivani Flower

12:30 PM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Dorset at 19/03/2018 - 12:03
Hi,

I am writing to share that I have had a similar experience with TDS. I furnished a property with brand new furniture at the start of tenancy. The bathroom flooring was also in excellent condition.

When the tenant left, I outsourced check out to a local agent as I was very busy at the time, and the tenant failed to return both keys to the agency. So I had to replace the locks in the house. He had also damaged lounge chairs - he had them cleaned and I consulted a fabric cleaning company and they said the price to attempt another clean or reupholster would be the same or greater than the cost of replacing the item.

Anyway, when I charged him to replace the lounge chair and for replacement locks, he raised a dispute with TDS. Despite the tenant including sending photos (undated) showing he had returned two sets of keys, albeit the agent confirmed only received one set, TDS refused to allow the replacement locks/keys to be deducted from the deposit, despite contract wording. TDS said there was no evidence that that two sets of keys were handed to the tenant - even the tenant was not disputing he had been given two sets of keys.

TDS also refused to allow for the lounge chair to be replaced due to damage 9 months after being bought as evidence for the cleaning had not been supplied. Who is going to issue an invoice for not having done the work? Landlords have to make decisions based on weighing the most cost efficient decision for them and for their tenants to fix damage. Had I cleaned the chair, then found I had to still replace, that would have cost me twice as much of just replacing the chair.

I wonder if TDS took into consideration that subsequent tenants would have to live in a house with food/child's urine marks all over a lounge chair. I bet if tenants bought the furniture themselves they would have looked after it better.

I think adjudicators have to have a good idea what it costs to replace and fix homes themselves - having done this themselves or having support form individulas who can assess whether the costs being deducted to repair and replace damage at property is reasonable. Also the amount of information required to be filled in by the TDS for even small amounts is tedious and time consuming.

Barbara Gwyer

12:39 PM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

The one and only time I have ever been taken to arbitration was over a 5-day old washing machine that the tenants had trashed through complete stupidity. The tenants knew that I would be charging them for the vandalised washing machine before I went ahead and bought it, but at the end of the tenancy they contested it. I lost because although MyDeposits arbitrator agreed according to the AST I had a right to charge them, I had no paper trail offering them the option of purchasing the replacement washing machine themselves before I bought the replacement.

Rod

14:40 PM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

L/Ls are bad, bad, bad, tenants are 'bad done by' little angels and deserve all the simpathy they can get and couldn't possibly do anything wrong! DPS and useless insurance is nature of the beast. I've just had a T go to the council re' repairs without even bothering to contact me! By the way, does anyone know if mobile text messages are admissible in court?

Pamela Young

14:53 PM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

I claimed for over £2,000 of rent arrears and damages against a £500 deposit. I hadn't listed the damages in any particular order, but the deposit company said they could only deal with a claim up to the amount of the deposit, i.e. £500. They looked at the first item - £600 to remove the garish decoration in the living room. They found that the condition of the decoration was better now than at the start of tenancy, completely ignoring the agreement I had with the tenant that they would turn it back to magnolia at the end of the tenancy. I also couldn't rent out a purple, pink and black living room. With silver stripes.
I was awarded £35 to repair the holes left in the wall when the tenant removed her TV. To add insult to injury the deposit company refused to consider the rest of my £2,000 claim as I had "used up" my £500.
My letting agents all use different Deposit Schemes now, but it's still just an administrative headache I can do without. I'm now selling off my portfolio......

Brian Jackson

15:03 PM, 19th March 2018
About 9 months ago

Be like me - dont charge a deposit and choose your tenants very carefully.
I have had tenants for 5+ years continuous.
They know they won't find another landlord like me.

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