Return of deposit with Blu Tack marks on walls

Return of deposit with Blu Tack marks on walls

11:35 AM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago 16

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Hello, I value everybody’s opinion here. I had a long term tenant in a flat which has been quite low maintenance. He asked for new carpet which I provided and 4 days later he gave notice, a month after renewing, which I wasn’t best pleased about.

Anyway, he put posters up on every wall in the flat and used Blu Tack. There are horrible marks everywhere and all the walls need painting, which I wouldn’t have had to do as the flat is in good condition. The contract states plainly that the tenant can put 2 picture hooks on each wall and mustn’t use adhesive material without permission.

He is saying that I should have told him when I visited the flat periodically that this was a problem and he is only going to pay half.

There is also some condensation which he didn’t complain about, strangely, and was always very complimentary of me as a landlord. I would of course have had to decorate that wall anyway, but not the whole flat!

Now he is talking about a crack he mentioned 2 years ago – which is a small settlement crack in a corner, and saying that I should have decorated that area. I would not normally decorate while a tenant is in situ unless there has been a leak or it is very unsightly.

He only mentioned it once and I went to check that it wasn’t an area of concern, in terms of the structure. I thought that was his main worry too. I think he is clutching at straws to reduce his decorating liability.

I don’t like conflict and our relationship was very good, but you know what it’s like when it comes to money – he seems to be getting petty and nasty.

He was also very dirty and managed to clean most of the flat well (after I didn’t pass it the first time) but there is mould around the shower silicone which, if he had sprayed and cleaned it regularly, would not have occurred. I also had to change the toilet seat as it was disgusting but unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of that. The shower unit glass is also very stained and he couldn’t clean it properly as it had been neglected for so long, so that will still need another clean.

I was going to let him off those things but now I don’t think I will…

Do you think I should charge him the full whack for all the walls damaged by the Blu Tack?

Thank you,

Helen



Comments

The Forever Tenant

11:48 AM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

I think your success at this is going to really depend on how long of a "Long Term Tenant" they have been.

If they have been in there 7 years or more I think it would be pretty much expected that you would have needed to redecorate anyway. You can probably claim from the deposit but do not go in expecting to get everything you ask for. I suspect that any award will be a fraction of any costs.

Honestly speaking, the issues you are describing are pretty minor if everything else has been good with the tenancy up until now. It may irk you, but may be best just to let this one go.

J CHAPMAN

11:51 AM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

If I had a low maintenance tenant who had always paid the rent, I would overlook petty things like the toilet seat and the crack. If I was being offered half the cost of redecorating I would gratefully accept the offer.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

11:58 AM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

When did you last decorate the flat?

In my experience, if it’s more than a couple of years ago since you last decorated I’d suggest you take his offer, because a deposit protection adjudicator is unlikely to award more than your tenant has offered and the process of adjudication will be stressful and eat into your time.

Mike

12:03 PM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

As per Mark's commnts, I would just take what he is offering (half of the deposit) as otherwise it may well end up with you losing a lot more. say Goodbye to him at least you will only have to repaint the walls and you already have a new carpet, which he may ruine if you make it any harder for him to go. And his deposit may not even cover the cost of your new carpet. You may then put it back on the market with a slightly higher rent.

John Grefe

12:08 PM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

Hi Helen,
It's a stressful time!
This depends on the contents of your tenancy agreement. It's importance to have a strong agreement that sets out everything. Even if it runs to several pages. Enough of smacking your hand, sorry. 1. A small moment crack is common and only sorted when redecorating.
2. Don't want conflict but be firm, politely.
3. Blue tack etc; should be covered in the agreement.
4. Mould; again, in the agreement stating that it's his responsibility.
3 & 4 in my opinion is a chargeable item. Inform your tenant that you are willing to go to arbitration. A service provided by the deposit holder company. Such as the DPS of Bristol. Good luck
John

Paul Maguire

12:15 PM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

Tenants don't stay forever so don't take his notice to leave so personally and appreciate that by and large he's been a good tenant. He's just reacting with like for like after your nitpicking [....imo].

Neilt View Profile

12:25 PM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

You have to realise that if the tenant has been in occupation for a 'long term' then this kind of nitpicking is what gives professional landlords a bad name.
Re-decorate, re-let and have a happy life.
I wish you and your outgoing tenant well.

Kate Mellor View Profile

12:36 PM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

Helen, half the cost of redecorating is a generous offer and I don’t believe you should be asking for more in any case.
There is a legal term “betterment” which refers to the complainant being put into a better position than they would otherwise be. This is what you would be achieving if you were to receive the full cost of redecorating.
A landlord must expect a degree of wear and tear during a tenancy. The length of the tenancy will inform the level of wear and tear considered to be expected and fair. You don’t state the length, (just that he is a long-term tenant), or when the property was last painted. You would in a claim on the tenant’s deposit be expected to reduce the renewal cost by the proportion of the “lifespan” of the item already expired. Eg with regard to the original cost and quality of a carpet an adjudicator may decide that it has a natural lifespan of 5 years, therefore after a 4 year tenancy you will only be owed one fifth of the like-for-like replacement cost if the tenant damages the carpet so that it needs to be replaced.
The new toilet seat and the mouldy silicone are just tiny jobs.
There will always be jobs to be done and money to spend between long term tenancies. It’s a good opportunity to keep your property fresh and the things that wear out renewed.

David Smith

13:15 PM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

It sounds like you have had a very successful tenancy and no doubt a needed new Carpet.

As for the Blue Tack marks possible you could get a matching test pot and Dab the marks.

Going forward you should put up as many Pictures Hooks up as possible to help avoid this situation.

With regards to the cleaning I get my cleaner to give the tenant a quote for End of Tenancy Clean I then deduct that from their deposit.
The tenants prefer this as they are not responsible for the cleaning. This system has worked well for me for many years.

a.murray18@ntlworld.com

13:21 PM, 9th August 2022, About 2 months ago

Take his offer of half and decorate/repair. Always know what type/make the paint is and it is easy just to get a roller set on it.

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