Moving Tenant left house in a mess, how much should I deduct from her deposit

by Readers Question

9:40 AM, 19th May 2013
About 8 years ago

Moving Tenant left house in a mess, how much should I deduct from her deposit

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Moving Tenant left house in a mess, how much should I deduct from her deposit

Moving Tenant left house in a mess, how much should I deduct from her depositI rented out my house just over 5 months ago to a Tenant who actually begged me to rent to her since her family lives on same street. I agreed on compassionate grounds since she was a single mother with 3 children. Got her to pay deposit after she and her guarantor failed credit check.

I had actually finished refreshing the house, newly decorated, new carpets in all bedrooms, new fence, newly laid turf in the garden, new radiators, new boiler.

First, she called a month ago, she’s moving out wanting to end a 6 month AST at the 5 month.

I quickly sent someone over to the house just to check if all was OK with the property, then a got an initial shock. She had changed the laminate flooring but without the trims.

Then on move out day, house was not cleaned, carpets not washed, front door does not lock any more (broken door lock mechanism), garden not mowed at all, (very bushy), laminate flooring missing the trims, cigarette ash all over the carpets, cigarette stubs in the sinks and toilets, one radiator broken and no longer works, the garden gate bolt and latch has been removed leaving it exposed to anyone to walk through even though the padlock is still there (looks like someone broke it to open the door).

My question is from all the above what should she pay for from her deposit as I need to send a bill of the works?

Regards

Tim Ellis

Comments

Sam Cowen

9:23 AM, 21st May 2013
About 8 years ago

For any landlords not sure how to check out a potential tenant before accepting them - there are 3 main checks you can get done, and you don't need to hire a lettings agency to do them for you (and pay their astronomical fees).
1) ID verification. You need to know that the person moving in and signing your AST is who they say they are. You need something more thorough than just some photo ID and a couple of old bills.
2) Credit Report. You need to ensure that they have a sound financial history and are going to be able to pay their rent. You want to ensure that they've not been hiding any CCJs or other financial judgements against them from their application.
3) Employment and tenancy checks. Check they're in a full time job, with a decent salary and that they left their previous tenancy on good terms.
You can get any or all of these comprehensive and thorough checks done through SpareRoom, the leading flatshare website, with discounts for combined reports. For more information and to order: https://www.spareroom.co.uk/content/info-landlords/tenant-referencing/

9:47 AM, 21st May 2013
About 8 years ago

Obtain quotes for the repairs and advise the former tenant thjat the costs will be deducted from the deposit unless she/he makes good the damage out of their own pocket

Mark Alexander

9:50 AM, 21st May 2013
About 8 years ago

Hi Sam - not all Letting Agents charge a fortune. The agent I recommend has a package which includes advertising a property on all major portals (including yours where appropriate) as well as Rightmove and Zoopla of course, tenant referencing and 12 months of Rent Guarantee insurance as a package for a one off fee of just £97 +VAT. See >>> http://www.property118.com/?p=35243

Eleanor White

11:39 AM, 21st May 2013
About 8 years ago

Hi Tim. As Mark says, you can deduct monies from the deposit to cover the necessary repairs (save normal wear and tear). What does it say in your contract regarding leaving the property in a good condition? If you had the carpets professionally cleaned before the commencement, you can stipulate that your tenants has the carpet professionally cleaned before they leave. You can't ask a tenant to leave your property in a better condition than when they moved in, but most contracts state the property must be left in the same condition, save wear and tear. It sounds like you are well within your rights to withhold some or all of the deposit, but the DPS will want evidence (via inventory and photographs if poss) of the property before and after, so make sure you have this ready!

Ben Akhigbe

13:21 PM, 23rd May 2013
About 8 years ago

Thanks for everyone and for your comments.
I have done the checkin by an independent agency and have sent off the costs to the tenant.

I have done the cleaning since she didnt do any and added that to the costs.
I will update you as this progresses

Ben Akhigbe

13:42 PM, 24th May 2013
About 8 years ago

Hi guys, I just observed that the tenant moved to a property 3 doors away from mine. But I did remember when this property was on rightmove. This means the agency that was managing the property didn't do due diligence as I didn't provide any LL reference.

Have you ever found out that your moving tenant didn't give your name as a LL for referencing for a new property they are moving to?

I believe the Lettings Agency has failed the new LL as they didn't get proper referencing from the correct previous LL.

Mark Alexander

14:04 PM, 24th May 2013
About 8 years ago

Hi Tim

If I were you I would be paying a visit to the HM Land Registry website and doing a search on the tenants new address to find out who the owner is. I would then let the landlord know about this thread and ask him/her to comment here to seek advice on redress to his/her letting agent. It will cost you £4 to do the search but for me, that would be a good investment into feeling good about myself. If you do decide to do that please let me know 🙂

Piler

14:58 PM, 8th June 2013
About 8 years ago

I had same problem a few years ago before deposit scheme - I inherited a tenant when I bought a property and got an agreement signed etc but did not bother with a deposit - the tenant left after trashing the flat ( I think her boyfriend trashed it judging by the comments scrawled on the walls) £1500 later we were ready to re let.
I have another ex tenant who has left the flat a bit grubby, carpets ruined old beds and mattresses to remove etc. but he has been a tenant for over 4 years and paid all his rent and been no trouble - should I give him any deposit back?

Puzzler

9:05 AM, 18th June 2013
About 8 years ago

Going back to this thread...you did not do your homework, let this be a lesson. You can be compassionate and professional, but if the tenant tries to wriggle, give them a wide berth.

A landlord website for credit checks @ £10 - I use the rent guarantee insurance package. It's in their interest to get it done thoroughly.

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