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Landlord Proposing To Keep £400 Of My Deposit....

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Hi all,

We moved out or our rented flat just over a week ago- my wife and I have moved in with my mum for a couple of years so that we can save up a deposit. Anyway, we didn't have room for or need a number of items of furniture, including two large wardrobes, a large side cabinet, two of those small Ikea sofas with the interchangeable covers, a few side tables, a washing machine etc. etc. The house was let originally unfurnished although there were a few pictures and a side table left when we moved in.

When the letting agents arrived to take the keys off us they commented that the new tenants may or may not want the furniture. I said that if they did not they should let me know and that I would turn up with a hammer, break it all up, and take it to the tip. They replied that that shouldn't be necessary, as a house clearance firm would most likely be willing to turn up and take the stuff away for free.

So fast forward to today, when I got a call from the letting agent about my deposit. They want £171 to replace carpets which were damaged by my cats- this is, if anything, less than I was expecting. Then they want £100 to have the house professionally cleaned, which I'm not delighted with since it was pretty clean when we left, but I'm prepared to let it go because of the lower than expected carpet bill.

However, he then went on to say that the new tenants didn't want any of the furniture, and that they wanted £200 to hire a skip, and a further £200 to pay two men a day's wages to fill it up. Now these things always take a bit longer than one expects, but I reckon there's 8 hours labour at the outside in getting everything skip-worthy and outside the house. There's nothing that won't fit in the back of my old Mondeo, at least not once a 180lb man has jumped on it. And taking stuff to the tip is free for private citizens in my borough. So having objected at the time, I phoned back half an hour later to say that if they let me have the keys, I would return them on Monday with the house empty. Their only objection to this at the time was that since I'm no longer the tenant, they might be liable if I hurt myself while I'm breaking up the furniture or whatever. I immediately offered to sign a disclaimer.

So currently I'm waiting to hear back from them, but I thought I'd get the query up on here in the meantime. Hopefully they'll agree to my request and I can have £820 of my original £1090 deposit back. If they do not agree, where do I stand? Essentially they're proposing to spend £400 of my money to do a job which I can complete myself, and complete within a reasonable timescale.

I don't think that's reasonable, and I think I'd have a reasonable chance in the small claims court?

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Hi all,

We moved out or our rented flat just over a week ago- my wife and I have moved in with my mum for a couple of years so that we can save up a deposit. Anyway, we didn't have room for or need a number of items of furniture, including two large wardrobes, a large side cabinet, two of those small Ikea sofas with the interchangeable covers, a few side tables, a washing machine etc. etc. The house was let originally unfurnished although there were a few pictures and a side table left when we moved in.

When the letting agents arrived to take the keys off us they commented that the new tenants may or may not want the furniture. I said that if they did not they should let me know and that I would turn up with a hammer, break it all up, and take it to the tip. They replied that that shouldn't be necessary, as a house clearance firm would most likely be willing to turn up and take the stuff away for free.

So fast forward to today, when I got a call from the letting agent about my deposit. They want £171 to replace carpets which were damaged by my cats- this is, if anything, less than I was expecting. Then they want £100 to have the house professionally cleaned, which I'm not delighted with since it was pretty clean when we left, but I'm prepared to let it go because of the lower than expected carpet bill.

However, he then went on to say that the new tenants didn't want any of the furniture, and that they wanted £200 to hire a skip, and a further £200 to pay two men a day's wages to fill it up. Now these things always take a bit longer than one expects, but I reckon there's 8 hours labour at the outside in getting everything skip-worthy and outside the house. There's nothing that won't fit in the back of my old Mondeo, at least not once a 180lb man has jumped on it. And taking stuff to the tip is free for private citizens in my borough. So having objected at the time, I phoned back half an hour later to say that if they let me have the keys, I would return them on Monday with the house empty. Their only objection to this at the time was that since I'm no longer the tenant, they might be liable if I hurt myself while I'm breaking up the furniture or whatever. I immediately offered to sign a disclaimer.

I understand that you have a legal right to go back to the property and rectify any deficiencies found on check out.

The fact that the contract has ended is irrelevent

tim

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Thanks for your reply Tim. I'm still waiting to hear back from them, I was hoping to do it this weekend but I daresay they've forgotten about me. I will have to ring them tomorrow morning.

Anyone else got further advice?

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I understand that you have a legal right to go back to the property and rectify any deficiencies found on check out.

The fact that the contract has ended is irrelevent

tim

Don't really know about that TBH. It's always the test of what is reasonable in the circumstances. As in time-frame in this case. It would be "unreasonable" if you didn't come for the furniture for a few months for instance. I am sure there is case law somewhere.

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Presumably the deposit was held in the Tenant Deposit Scheme or similar? If so, they should be able to tell you how to action a dispute about the amount to be returned.

If the deposit isnt held in the scheme or similar, you are entitled to recover the full deposit plus 3x the deposit from the landlord.

see link http://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk/

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Presumably the deposit was held in the Tenant Deposit Scheme or similar? If so, they should be able to tell you how to action a dispute about the amount to be returned.

If the deposit isnt held in the scheme or similar, you are entitled to recover the full deposit plus 3x the deposit from the landlord.

see link http://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk/

No matter what you do, raise a dispute anyway. Even if you were planning on letting them keep some of the money, let them justify it to the dispute service first. If we all do this, they'll be less likely to take the piss.

Also, the dispute is between you and the landlord, so the letting agent will probably not want it to go that far as it means they are making more work for their client (the landlord) and may offer a discount to settle it without raising a dispute.

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We moved in in October 2006, which IIRC was about six months before the tenant deposit scheme was enacted. AFAIK it wasn't retroactive?

After the first year we never signed and returned the renewed contracts they sent us, so we were on a basic AST for three years and a month before we moved out. Never heard anything back from them, we were basically model tenants, always paid on time by standing order, fixed minor issues like leaky taps ourselves, just put up with the porch and conservatory leaking after we had informed the letting agent.

That's why I'm so incensed by what I see as a blatant £400 cash grab now TBH :angry:

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We moved in in October 2006, which IIRC was about six months before the tenant deposit scheme was enacted. AFAIK it wasn't retroactive?

After the first year we never signed and returned the renewed contracts they sent us, so we were on a basic AST for three years and a month before we moved out. Never heard anything back from them, we were basically model tenants, always paid on time by standing order, fixed minor issues like leaky taps ourselves, just put up with the porch and conservatory leaking after we had informed the letting agent.

That's why I'm so incensed by what I see as a blatant £400 cash grab now TBH :angry:

I was in the same boat last year, send letters (get proof of posting) to landlord (not agent) demanding full return of the deposit in X days. Threaten small claims action to get it back, remeber they will still have to prove any deductions they make to a court.

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Hi all,

Anyway, we didn't have room for or need a number of items of furniture, including two large wardrobes, a large side cabinet, two of those small Ikea sofas with the interchangeable covers, a few side tables, a washing machine etc. etc. The house was let originally unfurnished although there were a few pictures and a side table left when we moved in.

I don't think that's reasonable, and I think I'd have a reasonable chance in the small claims court?

Too late to complain now, the place should be left as found. You make out emptying a house is simple but you would have a problem getting a washing machine in a Mondeo, along with two large wardrobes even if broken down, plus two sofas. its not as easy as you make out..and what were the items you described as "etc etc" Maybe crocks, contents of cupboards......?? it all needs boxing up and carrying out...

Traders cannot take waste to council tips, so if the agent hires someone it has to be a skip. Have you seen the prices of these nowadays. It would take you a fair old time to transport what you left behind to the tip.

I move furniture for a living and I come across time and again situations where someone says, I left perfectly good furniture behind for the new people. Where really what they mean is the stuff was a damn liability and its easier just to leave it behind for it to be someone elses liability....well it just came back to you.

Edited by GinAndPlatonic

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I got rid of some excess furniture by putting it all on Freecycle and Gumtree. Someone came along with a truck and collected the whole lot.

Good luck with this. When the situation was reversed and my LL left a lot of furniture in a flat, the advice was received was that our response had to be "reasonable" and that he be allowed to clear it. We wrote and asked him to remove it. It's a been something that has happened repeatedly to us and I've heard different things from lawyers and tenants advice people over time. Obviously it's the other way around.

Edited by Flopsy

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Too late to complain now, the place should be left as found. You make out emptying a house is simple but you would have a problem getting a washing machine in a Mondeo, along with two large wardrobes even if broken down, plus two sofas. its not as easy as you make out..and what were the items you described as "etc etc" Maybe crocks, contents of cupboards......?? it all needs boxing up and carrying out...

Traders cannot take waste to council tips, so if the agent hires someone it has to be a skip. Have you seen the prices of these nowadays. It would take you a fair old time to transport what you left behind to the tip.

I move furniture for a living and I come across time and again situations where someone says, I left perfectly good furniture behind for the new people. Where really what they mean is the stuff was a damn liability and its easier just to leave it behind for it to be someone elses liability....well it just came back to you.

A tenant vacated a property and received his full deposit back but had left a large wardrobe, which he said he would remove if unwanted. It was unwanted and when he removed it he damaged a stud and plaster wall. The landlord was left with a £150 repair bill.

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Too late to complain now, the place should be left as found. You make out emptying a house is simple but you would have a problem getting a washing machine in a Mondeo, along with two large wardrobes even if broken down,

True, but I live a quarter of a mile away. I was proposing to do two or three trips.

Maybe crocks, contents of cu plus two sofas. its not as easy as you make out..and what were the items you described as "etc etc"pboards......?? it all needs boxing up and carrying out...

It needs throwing in a bin bag. Who gives a monkeys if it gets broken if it's going to the tip anyway?

Traders cannot take waste to council tips, so if the agent hires someone it has to be a skip. Have you seen the prices of these nowadays. It would take you a fair old time to transport what you left behind to the tip.

Yes it would, but it would take very little time to hurl it all in my mum's garden. Possibly with a note attached saying 'help yourself'. Then I can take what remains to the tip at my leisure.

I move furniture for a living and I come across time and again situations where someone says, I left perfectly good furniture behind for the new people. Where really what they mean is the stuff was a damn liability and its easier just to leave it behind for it to be someone elses liability....well it just came back to you.

I moved far more than I left, and my brother is an ex-removal man so I'm well aware of what's involved. None of what we left was unusable; in fairness some of the chests of drawers etc. were not brilliant but they weren't junk. We would have been glad to have them when we moved in. But that's not the point- I can accept that the new tenants do not want the stuff, but I specifically told the letting agents that I would take the stuff away if required, and they said that it was unlikely to be necessary. Then 9 days later, they turn around and tell me they'll be charging me £400 to dispose of stuff that I can dispose of myself. To me, that's not acceptable.

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A tenant vacated a property and received his full deposit back but had left a large wardrobe, which he said he would remove if unwanted. It was unwanted and when he removed it he damaged a stud and plaster wall. The landlord was left with a £150 repair bill.

Well I haven't got my deposit back yet, that's the point :). If I damage the house in the process of removing the stuff- which I will obviously be careful not to- then they can knock that off my deposit. I can't see myself doing anything like £400's worth of damage.

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If I damage the house in the process of removing the stuff- which I will obviously be careful not to- then they can knock that off my deposit. I can't see myself doing anything like £400's worth of damage.

Well obviously ? we have to take your word for it.

Why should the landlord place himself at risk. You have to get with the programme and take responsibility for vacating the house of everything, before your tenancy expires.

Its too late now saying coulda woulda shoulda..

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Well obviously ? we have to take your word for it.

Why should the landlord place himself at risk. You have to get with the programme and take responsibility for vacating the house of everything, before your tenancy expires.

Well my tenancy presumably expired at midnight on the day we moved out. We handed the keys back to the letting agent at 5.30pm. Had they said anything about clearing the house at that point I would have had a long and unpleasant evening, but I would have got it done, and posted they keys in at their office.

The letting agent said nothing of the sort. They said that if the furniture needed removing that it would be easy to get a house clearance geezer in at no (or minimal) cost to me. I also specifically told them that I would clear the house if necessary. I therefore had a verbal agreement with the letting agent, which they are now attempting to go back on.

Its too late now saying coulda woulda shoulda..

I disagree. I guess if it comes down to it we'll see what the small claims court has to say on the matter <_< .

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Well obviously ? we have to take your word for it.

Why should the landlord place himself at risk. You have to get with the programme and take responsibility for vacating the house of everything, before your tenancy expires.

Its too late now saying coulda woulda shoulda..

Well well, just look at the registration date, digressing a bit aren't we, distressed landlord per chance.

As for the OP, if it comes down to it the courts can decide, all the LL can do is put the stuff in storage (it's still your property) at your expense until you inform them what you intend to do with it, which as it sounds is take away. If thats into a tip thats nowt to do with them. Indeed if they do skip it without you having the opertunity see them in court for the loss.

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Well well, just look at the registration date, digressing a bit aren't we, distressed landlord per chance.

No :D a realist. Its so easy to say things like see you in court blah blah.

This will never end up in court. Time and life is far too precious to fanny around playing a victim.

Its hot air on a forum board. :rolleyes: The OP should have emptied the place, paid for the cleaning and moved on. He did not and so will end up forfeiting some more of his deposit for emptying the place. Maybe £400 is steep, but it solved the problem of what to do with the rest his furniture didnt it.He had nowhere to put it. Storage is expensive

ps I hate the whole idea of BTL and the fact a tenant can never relax for mre than 12 months at a time before worrying about being moved on. Its an utter disgrace. Like I said in an earlier post I move furniture for my living. I see the sh itty end of the process. I have seen houses left like tips after tenants have hired me to move them out, but I have also seen people being moved out for no fault of their own, after a place has been reposessed and worried sick about their future.

I just like to see fair play and not mealy mouthed words and actions when dealing with people who can seriously affect peoples lives in situations like this.

The whole process of private letting is shocking and I do not envy anyone renting from a landlord who is only interested in profit.

On the other hand it pays to be fair with landlords/agents.

Edited by GinAndPlatonic

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Once your tenancy is over, you have no 'right' to enter the property to put things right. However, if you feel the landlord is threatening to withold too much, you can always sue for the deposit at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk and get him to prove in court that his deductions are reasonable. Can he prove what condition everything was in when you arrived?

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