Potential Deposit dispute – Question from a Concerned Tenant

Potential Deposit dispute – Question from a Concerned Tenant

11:09 AM, 7th May 2013, About 8 years ago 17

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I was a tenant at a property that I recently left. A few issues have come up and I would appreciate any advice people care to give.

The Notice: The landlord knew I would be going as I had let him know before X’mas 2012. The rent for the property is paid up and all the bills have been settled. The rent was due on the 14th of each month and in the final few months I gave my notice on the 1st April, cleared out completely and gave the landlord the keys back on the 27th of April.

However I paid the full rent for the final month so was fully paid up for two weeks past the date I gave for moving out of the property although I had made it clear to the landlord that the additional rent money I gave was to cover any damages and I had stated this on my written notice and in a few conversations I had with the landlord prior to moving out.

I admit to a problem with the gas fire that was my fault and paid the landlord extra money to cover the costs for fixing that item in particular although I don’t believe the cost will be that excessive. The extra money I left should easily cover that item and any other issues he may have.

Since leaving the property the landlord has come up with additional items and I feel that he’s making a grab for more money. The landlord is also now trying to tell me that the extra rent money I paid him will not cover any damages as it’s rent that was due and the only time I should be leaving the house was on the 13th of the month.

Issue 1: My cat had scratched wallpaper in the kitchen near the door frame and there are a couple of patches, say a square foot, either side the door frame that are now affected. The landlord has told me that he doesn’t have matching wallpaper and that the whole kitchen now needs re-papering. An additional point to note, there was no extractor fan in the kitchen and the wallpaper is peeling off the walls near the ceiling due to condensation – when I cooked I always left the door’s and windows open however this didn’t stop the wallpaper from peeling.

Issue 2: There was a bed that came with the property. I asked the landlord to remove it and he told me that I should put in the garage which I did. After I left the property he’s told me that he needs to replace the mattress as its gone moldy and he’s also denying that he told me to put the bed in the garage.

Issue 3: Bathtub – There is a cast iron tub in the bathroom. The enamel had started peeling off under the hot water tap and there is a small patch missing at that position. The landlord has told me he needs to replace the bathtub.

Issue 4: Garden – The landlord has told me that parts of the garden need weeding however I feel that I have left the garden in reasonable condition. I know that he’s going to contact some gardeners and arrange for the work to be done however I think that he may get them to do the whole garden and try to push all the costs on to me.

I had hoped to leave the house and maintain a good relationship with my landlord however since all these issues have come about I feel that he’s trying to take as much of my deposit as possible and I don’t think I want to maintain any contact with him from now on.

I don’t know if he will go for competitive quotes or even if he will get any quotes he can just tell me the cost was £X in a bid to take more money from me.

I would appreciate any advice.

Concerned Tenant



Comments

by Jan Martin

21:36 PM, 9th May 2013, About 8 years ago

I would also expect the rental payment to take me up to the 13 th of may.
My contracts always state You must give four weeks ( or a month if you pay monthly ) notice to end tenancy. This notice must end on the last day of a tenancy period.

by Jan Martin

21:40 PM, 9th May 2013, About 8 years ago

I really think thats very unfair of Paul Cole to make a statement saying" its always risky renting through a private landlord "

by

22:15 PM, 9th May 2013, About 8 years ago

Ive found the Appeal Court case, it is Laine v Cadwallader. The judges ruled that notwithstanding any clauses in the AST, S5 of The Housing Act applies and they decided that the notice must end on the last day of a rent period - Check it out yourself if you need to.

As Jan says is you put that wording in your AST at least it makes it clear to the tenant from the start what to expect rather arguing over the law at the end.

Jan, you are correct, Paul's comment displays lack of understanding of the issues. Its simple really, there is a contract in which both parties have there part to play. Its just a shame that when circumstances change, peoples attitudes change. This can be Landlord as well but is very common with Tenants. I regularly find tenants asking if they can give shorter notice but what would happen if a Landlord tried to give them 2 weeks notice to leave? Cries of 'Foul' and 'Rogue Landlord' that's what!

by chris howells

22:30 PM, 9th May 2013, About 8 years ago

what a nightmare for the tenant. The deposit must be reigtered in a governement approved scheme
I founf that although I had done this through a letting agent who had done inventory etc and photos, although the oven had been cleaned cleaned prior to the tenants moving in, the actual inventory and inspection has been done done 3 weeks later.
Whent he tenants left after a year only item i claimed for was oven clean, but I lost as
the letting agent when doing the check in (3 weeks late) noticed that the oven was dirtdirty.Although I was annoyed at the time it shows the arbitration process with the bond is fair

by

22:47 PM, 9th May 2013, About 8 years ago

Yes Chris, your case demonstrates very clearly why the only time an inventory check is of any use is if it has been carried out with the tenant at the point of check-in and then again at the point of check-out. If you cannot do this yourself you need to make sure that is what your agent does. The tenant will be keen to get moved in but they must go through the paperwork first.

It is surprising how many agents just hand over the keys to the tenant and ask them to send back the signed inventory some time later. Of course any once they are in what can you do if they do not send it back or refuse to sign? All the paperwork needs to be completed and signed before the AST or keys are handed over.

by Ron Adams

16:14 PM, 18th May 2013, About 8 years ago

It is very difficult once a tenant moves out. The bath could well have had this problem regularly, with a quick fix being applied between tenants- then each one being stung for a replacement bath. However that is bye the bye as a Landlord I have always tried to be fair and have tended to lose out regularly. The best way to avoid such things happening in the future is to conduct a thorough check with a photographic record so that there are no arguments. If, with your hand on your heart you feel that you have been hard done by, get in touch first with the council dept for multiple occupancy properties and in the end you can go to the small claims court for up to £500 for a small outlay. If your landlord is fair then he/she may negotiate (do not take the first offer) if he/she is not fair then it is quite possible that if you present a good case to the small claims court he/she will roll over and give in as it just too much of a hassle for some lazy people. Be objective, fair and firm- learn from it. Good luck.

by

20:02 PM, 18th May 2013, About 8 years ago

Mr Cole should not be allowed to give misleading advice on this board in an attempt to better his own business.

I have been a private landlord for 30 years and have never been in dispute with regards to tenants deposit. If we are to open this forum to bitchy remarks may I add the fact that I have had more misdealing's and trouble from letting agents than tenants. We should all be careful who we chose to do business with.

Certainly after Mr. Coles underhand bowling I would not consider “personal homefinders” as a business I would have any relationship with. Lets keep the advice given here straightforward and without financial motivation.


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