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Deposit Mess At End Of Tenancy


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#1 slowjoe

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:28 PM

We moved out of a house at the end of January, where the tenancy was semi-managed. We had lived there since 2005. The landlord had not viewed the property in the intervening period. There was not a formal inventory taken at the start of the tenancy. We did not have the property professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy. We also had not had the windows cleaned, although the contract required this, and we had paid the rent late on occasion. The contract allows her to charge 30 per overdue rent letter.

When we moved in, there was a significant amount of junk, and most of this we retained at the end of the tenancy. The landlord did not arrange for a professional inventory at the end of the tenancy. However, she claims that we did not have authority to keep pets (we ok-ed this verbally with the letting agent at the start of the tenancy) and says that it took 3 skips to remove composted rabbit dropping and other junk from the house.

There is damage to the carpet from a cat we kept. The contract specifically allows her to charge for damage caused by pets.

She also says that we did not inform here of problems with the fabric of the house in a timely manner, and therefore are liable for additional costs.

There was an existing sky dish on the house when we moved in, although the contract prohibited us installing one. She wishes to charge for the removal, cleaning of the wall, and replacement of a drainpipe due to bird droppings from birds resting on the dish.

She also says that the house was not habitable at the end of the tenancy, and she had to pay for a hotel for a month.

She wishes to retain the deposit, and threatens to seek legal advice for damages

My partner feels that we should contest the deposit, because without an inventory, the references on the net suggest we should be successful.

In contract, I am concerned that due to costs of cleaning, we are not likely to be get much of the money, and are reasonably likely to end up in jeopardy of significant further loss if she goes to court, and the cost-benefit ratio simply doesn't reward contesting. What does the collective wisdom of HPC think?

#2 Son of Taeper

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:06 PM

We moved out of a house at the end of January, where the tenancy was semi-managed. We had lived there since 2005. The landlord had not viewed the property in the intervening period. There was not a formal inventory taken at the start of the tenancy. We did not have the property professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy. We also had not had the windows cleaned, although the contract required this, and we had paid the rent late on occasion. The contract allows her to charge 30 per overdue rent letter.

When we moved in, there was a significant amount of junk, and most of this we retained at the end of the tenancy. The landlord did not arrange for a professional inventory at the end of the tenancy. However, she claims that we did not have authority to keep pets (we ok-ed this verbally with the letting agent at the start of the tenancy) and says that it took 3 skips to remove composted rabbit dropping and other junk from the house.

There is damage to the carpet from a cat we kept. The contract specifically allows her to charge for damage caused by pets.

She also says that we did not inform here of problems with the fabric of the house in a timely manner, and therefore are liable for additional costs.

There was an existing sky dish on the house when we moved in, although the contract prohibited us installing one. She wishes to charge for the removal, cleaning of the wall, and replacement of a drainpipe due to bird droppings from birds resting on the dish.

She also says that the house was not habitable at the end of the tenancy, and she had to pay for a hotel for a month.

She wishes to retain the deposit, and threatens to seek legal advice for damages

My partner feels that we should contest the deposit, because without an inventory, the references on the net suggest we should be successful.

In contract, I am concerned that due to costs of cleaning, we are not likely to be get much of the money, and are reasonably likely to end up in jeopardy of significant further loss if she goes to court, and the cost-benefit ratio simply doesn't reward contesting. What does the collective wisdom of HPC think?

I'm unsure.
You need to post a copy of your contract imo as it appears you admit to breaking the terms of it on more than one occasion.
The views expressed in my posts are my own based upon what I read on other information supplied by other HPC members.
These should not be used a a definitive answer to any posts I attempt to answer.

#3 zebbedee

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:26 PM

I'm unsure.
You need to post a copy of your contract imo as it appears you admit to breaking the terms of it on more than one occasion.

This is irrelevent as long as you don't admit that in any recordable way to the LL. I there was no inventory then there is no damage.
I'm not sure about the window cleaning as if they weren't cleaned the minute before you got the keys then you cleaning them would surely be betterment.

The LL must prove deductions and as there was no inventory it is just thier word against yours now.

Whether she paid for a hotel for a month is not your concern, you returned the house in the condition you found it, fair wear and tear excepted ;) didn't you, so is she saying that the house wasn't fit for your habitation when she let it to you?

At a guess, as it sounds like she's mived back in she is an accidental LL and thinks you have to make her lot better, dig heals in, is the deposit protected? if not issue her a letter before action and then proceed to court, if it is seek the return of the deposit from the scheme.


EDIT Just to make it clear, whether you kept pets is irrelevent, she must first prove the damage and without an inventory at either the commencement or termination there is no way she can do that. Only after she has proved damage can costs be considered.

Edit again, if you moved out end jan and the deposit is in a scheme get you claim in quick as I think there is a 3 month limit and you then HAVE to go the court route?

Edit again again, just for info as no damage can be proved.
http://www.oft.gov.u...erms/oft356.pdf if the agreement forbid any and all pets and that was it it is an unfair term and she would have difficulty enforcing it, page 68,
also the fixed charge for each overdue rent letter would likely be unfair, page 27

Like I said the windows would be IMHO an unfair term as it would result in removal of you statutory rights and give the LL betterment

Now as for the skips to remove junk, you could be a b@stard, as she has a duty to keep your belongings in storage (at your cost) as it is still your property, so you could say that you require her to return to you your property. As she has had skips remove the 'junk'/your property you could seek compensatory damages for the loss ;)

As for habitablility, is she an expert in that field or is she just making it up as she goes along B)

Edited by zebbedee, 12 April 2012 - 05:10 PM.

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"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad." - James Madison

"Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
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#4 Son of Taeper

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:46 PM

This is irrelevent as long as you don't admit that in any recordable way to the LL. I there was no inventory then there is no damage.
I'm not sure about the window cleaning as if they weren't cleaned the minute before you got the keys then you cleaning them would surely be betterment.

I do hate snipping bits of a post out.
Anyway, I get what you're saying, but the contract is the key issue here imo.
The views expressed in my posts are my own based upon what I read on other information supplied by other HPC members.
These should not be used a a definitive answer to any posts I attempt to answer.

#5 slowjoe

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:18 AM

I do hate snipping bits of a post out.
Anyway, I get what you're saying, but the contract is the key issue here imo.


Sorry for the delay in responding.

How much of the contract should I post?

My partner claims that it is impossible for the landlord to be awarded more than the deposit. Is she correct? I would especially appreciate a link to a case where damages were awarded against the tenant.

#6 zebbedee

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:54 AM

Sorry for the delay in responding.

How much of the contract should I post?

My partner claims that it is impossible for the landlord to be awarded more than the deposit. Is she correct? I would especially appreciate a link to a case where damages were awarded against the tenant.

Can't find any links to damages awarded to LL but think of it this way, imagine you had demolished the house through negligence do you really believe that all the LLl could sue for would be the deposit amount.

But no inventory, no damage. How hard is that.

Edited by zebbedee, 22 April 2012 - 11:55 AM.

As I wandered in the darkness a voice came unto me, it said "smile, be happy, things could get worse". So I smiled and was happy and behold, things did get worse.

"Credit is indeed vital to an economy, but it does not constitute an economy within itself. ... When businesses borrow to fund capital investments, the extra cash flows that result are used to repay the loans. When individuals borrow to spend, loans can only be repaid out of reduced future consumption."-Peter Schiff, Jan 19 2009; <a href="http://www.321gold.c...iff011909.html" My link

"The bold effort the present bank had made to control the government... are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it."-Andrew Jackson on the Second Bank of the United States

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."-Margaret Thatcher

"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad." - James Madison

"Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
John Kenneth Galbraith

#7 MrPin

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:46 PM

I deposited a mess at the end of my last tenancy! No not that sort, but I had broken a few things and spilled stuff on the carpet!

I agreed with the letting agency to a deduction of 250 from my deposit, which I considered reasonable!
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#8 Ascii

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:14 PM

My partner claims that it is impossible for the landlord to be awarded more than the deposit. Is she correct? I would especially appreciate a link to a case where damages were awarded against the tenant.


No that's wrong. Damages for breach of contract are potentially limitless though in practice there will be a ceiling; houses tend not to be priceless and even courts will put a finite value on a life when it comes to the crunch.

The main thing here though is the absence/presence of check in/check out inventory. If there isn't a comprehensive inventory covering both ends of the contract, the landlord will be in a difficult position. In most cases using deposit schemes as far as I can see the scheme adjudicator sides with the tenant in the absence of inventory (which of course is how it should be).

Edited by Ascii, 23 April 2012 - 09:15 PM.





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