Tenant damage, depreciation allowances and Arbitration?

Tenant damage, depreciation allowances and Arbitration?

10:02 AM, 8th February 2017, About 7 years ago 21

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I apologise now for the length of this article but its a bit complex:Arbitration

I have a dispute with a tenant who has just left my property after 3.5 years. There are two bright pink tennis ball sized stains in the centre of the living room carpet (quality wool mix 6 years old). Professional cleaning hasn’t removed the stains (child’s paint I believe). The cushion flooring in the kitchen (3.5 years old) was torn (16″ tear) when he removed the washing machine and they left a 6″ permanent indentation in the flooring when entering the kitchen.

I used arla.co.uk calculator to assess depreciation and what he should fairly pay towards replacement, he refuses to accept it needs replacing and says ARLA only counts if the damage is so severe it affects the rentability of the property. He only offers to pay for repair on kitchen flooring (sticking tear £54), but the indentation cannot be erased and the washing machine tear is so significant it will tear further when the next tenant installs an appliance.

Two years ago the garden wooden retaining wall collapsed and the wooden steps rotted out (substandard Wainholmes materials), he didn’t claim a rent reduction when the garden was out of action during replacement. Was winter and he said he wasn’t using it and was ok with it. We had new flight of garden steps built and a new block retaining wall built to replace the wooden one costing almost £1k.

He is now saying he can claim loss of use of garden against the deductions I wish to make and so he wants his full deposit back.

In 3.5 years his rent was raised by £30 only and we were always personally on hand to address any issues in this 9 year old house.

On check out he left black mould on ceilings around perimeters of the bedrooms/bathrooms unaddressed (lack of ventilation and not reported to us) he said he didn’t have time to clean/paint them but would pay for the paint. He gave notice when moved out and so had a whole month when the house was empty at end of his tenancy to correct this issue. We have had to spend many evenings after work cleaning and painting to eradicate this.

Anyone have ideas as to how to otherwise calculate depreciation on carpets, am I within my rights to ask him to pay a proportion to replace flooring due to their damage and can they claim rent reduction for lack of garden use after two years have passed?

Should/how can/to claim man hours for time spent eradicating the mould he caused and also 5 hours cleaning chrome/glass light fittings throughout the house which were covered in 3.5 years of dust.

The deposit is held with DPS and he wishes to go through Arbitration as I won’t return his whole deposit.
Look forward to anyone’s feedback.

Janet


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Comments

Jay

14:04 PM, 9th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Thanks everyone, no one has mentioned the linoleum (3.5 years old) with a 16" tear from the washer and a weird deep indentation near the kitchen door? Can I ask for replacement as it cant be repaired really with sensible depreciation?
Tenant thinks I cant ask for replacement of carpet if it doesn't affect the rentability.? I think the two tennis ball sized pink stains in the centre of an oatmeal living room carpet and the damaged lino in kitchen is not presenting the house to its best as it was previously and if tenants cause damage that wasn't there before why shouldn't they rectify it?
This isn't your average wear and tear whether accidental or not.
I am needing to get quotes do I have a time limit to deal within which the tenancy ends and I need to address a deduction with DPS online?

Charles Orlebar

14:44 PM, 9th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "J lied03" at "09/02/2017 - 14:04":

Compensation will contribute to the loss of life value - so assuming a £500 replacement cost. If kitchen and product life value represent 10 years. After 3.5 years you have 6.5 years life remaining. Compensation value would in this instance be £325. Suggest you show your working on your claim. If the area in question is only a section rather than impacting on the full room, the replacement will only apply to the section and the numbers will be smaller. There will most likely be colour (age) differences between old and new. Or even the damaged section is discontinued. These common frustrations will not justify a higher claim or a different means of calculation. Hope this helps.

Jay

0:00 AM, 10th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Thanks all for your comments. I am really only looking for a contribution towards replacing the lounge carpet and replacement or repair to lino (which actually can't be repaired as such). I don't know who the manufacturer is anymore and I don't have a receipt for original purchases.

Jay

0:06 AM, 10th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Charles Orlebar" at "09/02/2017 - 14:44":

Well you can't replace damage with a patch of carpet or lino the whole room has to be replaced.

Michael Barnes

23:43 PM, 11th February 2017, About 7 years ago

I work on the basis of expecting to replace floor coverings every 5 years in my rental properties (but only on change of tenant). At home I would expect them to last much longer (but it is my dirt and damage that I choose to live with). You will have to make your own judgement on how long you would expect the items to last in a let property

You have to replace all the carpet/lino within the room, so claim on that basis.
Don't forget the costs of underlay, grippers etc and the fitters costs.

Put in your claim, with reasoning, and see how it goes.

I would also expect to redecorate on change of tenant after 3 years (scuff marks etc need addressing and are fair wear and tear in my opinion).

What does your tenancy agreement say about the expected state of the property when it is returned to you? You cannot claim for more.

Regarding mould, my approach (anywhere in the property)is
1. wash off with water (no soap/detergent).
2.use Detol Bathroom Mould and Mildew remover (others are available).
- Leave it on longer than it says on the pack.
- For grout and silicone and similar narrow items squirt some into a jar and apply with an Artist's brush (you use much less and no spray in the air).

I don't think he has a claim for the garden.

Jay

0:24 AM, 13th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "11/02/2017 - 23:43":

Thanks Michael most useful. I guess it depends on the property, quality of flooring and the tenants - students and sharers will cause more wear and tear than long lets with couples/families that make it their home. I have had a professional family with one child in the house for 3 half years so apart from the stated damage the flooring is fine and would expect my quality flooring to last 10 years. Thanks for your opinion on the loss of use of the garden.

Jay

1:39 AM, 23rd June 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gunga Din" at "08/02/2017 - 12:59":

Well finally got a result and a pathetic one at that, should not have even wasted my time with DPS arbitration. The tenant is allowed to permanently stain a perfectly good clean quality carpet, Tear a 16" gash in the quality cushion flooring, Allow the bedroom/bathroom ceilings to go mouldy in a modern home (not ventilating) without informing me and lose a loft pole and I was awarded £156 from tenants deposit. Just a complete joke I am disgusted and the tenant a GP at that (not like he's on the breadline). Yet another case of lets screw the landlords - all the more reason to get out of this game I'd say. Lets all sell up and leave the tenants to the mercy of the Councils and the Government and their hardly existant social housing and see how they like that !!! Rant over 🙁

Jay

1:41 AM, 23rd June 2017, About 7 years ago

Dont suppose I can appeal the DPS's Arbitration decision on a deposit can I? - another waste of time I suppose?

Puzzler

16:08 PM, 24th June 2017, About 7 years ago

You did well to get £156. I know it's annoying but would be considered wear and tear - you could claim on your contents insurance for accidental damage?

Jay

12:10 PM, 26th June 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Puzzler " at "24/06/2017 - 16:08":

Thanks Puzzler but then I pay an excess and my premiums go up for any other home insurance as I have made a claim. Damned if you do Damned if you don't. How can bright pink tennis ball sized dye stains be wear and tear? I was awarded £60 for those which are in the centre of the living room on a beige carpet, it's very weighted on the side of the poor tenant always.

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