Withholding some of the tenants bond

by Readers Question

8:11 AM, 19th August 2014
About 4 years ago

Withholding some of the tenants bond

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Withholding some of the tenants bond

I would like some advice on withholding some of the tenants bond. Withholding some of the tenants bond

This is the first tenant that we have had in the property and they have just come out of their 6month agreement. The tenant has had some sort of large paddling pool covering the lawn and has clearly had it up for quite sometime so it has killed the entire grass underneath and has ruined a perfect lawn which will now need completely reseeding etc.

They have removed ivy plants that were along the fence to protect from intruding weeds and consequently the garden along the fence sides is over run with weeds.

They have left a large amount of rubbish and unwanted items in the playhouse and behind the playhouse.

They have put those wall stickers up in 3 rooms that they didn’t have permission for and assured us that there was no other changes apart from the change of colour paint in the living room from magnolia to beige. We need to remove the stickers and have the walls repainted.

They have also caused damage to he bedroom wall with a hole around 10cm square and have badly filled it so it will need refilling, sanding, the sticker removing as it is in the middle of the design and then the entire room reprinting as it is a lilac shade so we can’t just repaint the one wall with magnolia.

I don’t know what to do in this situation as she has generally left the house clean but has caused some damage that will cost us money to repair, paint and have a gardener in etc.

We have a tenant due in the property in 5days.

What would you all suggest?

Is this a case where part of the bond can be kept in order to pay for returns or is that an acceptable amount of damage?

This is the first time letting and I know it could get much worse but unsure what to do next?

Help!

Thank you.

Amy



Comments

Mark Alexander

8:23 AM, 19th August 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Amy

The best thing to do in this situation is to have a friendly discussion with your former tenant in the hope that an deduction from their deposit can be agreed amicably.

If you are unable to reach an agreement then it is up to you to prove that the damage has been caused. You will need to provide an inventory of what the property was like when they moved in and also what it was like when they moved out. Time dated pictures and video's all help.

The burden of proof is on you. So far as the damages are concerned, your ex tenant is innocent until proven guilty. You are holding the tenants money and they are entitled to have it back unless an agreement is reach or an independent arbitrator makes a ruling.

Presumably you protected the clients deposit within 30 days? This is the law. If you didn't they you are on dodgy ground and the tenant can claim the full deposit plus up to three times the deposit as compensation.

It is always better to come to an amicable agreement. If you can't, then you will need to look at the rules of your deposit protection provider and commence Alternative Dispute Resolution or a Small Claims Court hearing, neither of which are much fun apparently.

Good luck and next time, do consider paying for professional help. Letting is a minefield for newcomers and regardless of what the outcome is in this case, you have had a close escape compared to some people - see >>> http://www.property118.com/find-me-a-tenant/
.

John MacAlevey

9:20 AM, 19th August 2014
About 4 years ago

Hello Amy,

After the tenancy agreement, I believe a thoroughly accurate inventory is the most important document. It is vital to protect everybody's interest to prevent unjustified claims & counter-claims at the end of a tenancy. It may even be better to employ an independent inventory clerk as this should then be seen as unbiased.

A Jenkins

17:37 PM, 20th August 2014
About 4 years ago

I had a bond deposit thru the council which they held. When the tenant moved in, the council walked through the property and I provided them with a detailed, pictured inventory and condition. This was signed and dated by the tenant and I on every pictured page and worded document of condition by room. Massive 30 pages.
When the tenant checked out, we scheduled an inventory checkout with the council and tenant and ourselves and agreed to the deductions based on "damages". We agreed to have a carpet cleaner attempt to remove a stain-which they could not. The council agreed to replace the entire room's carpeting and pay for all the chimney sweeps as it was a condition of the rental. I provided certificates of cleaning before the tenancy and she had to provide certificates of cleaning which she failed to do. Council paid up and I received full funds 6 weeks later.
Lesson I learned was that despite my laborious attention to detail on check in/check out inventories, it protected me from unnecessary expenses that were rightly the responsibility of the tenant. Only thing I didn't do was check the pipes, but luckily no intentional damages or blockages there.

All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

8:17 AM, 23rd August 2014
About 4 years ago

if you have lodged the deposit with MyDeposits and actually have the cash in your account - when you go and see the tenant to discuss deductions take cash with you.... the sight of it will focus their mind on a quick solution.... a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush and all that.... also take a statement for them to sign agreeming the deductions and include the phrase "full and final settlement to the tenancy" on the statement.

good luck


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