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Would any poster on this forum be willing to give me advice to guide me through the problems I am having with getting my deposit back and inventory issues?

Briefly I moved home 10 days ago from one rented house to another with the same letting/ managing agent both times. On Tuesday I got the check-in and check-out inventory reports. The difference between them is amazing: the check-out report for my old house was done with a magnifying glass whereas the check-in report misses almost everything - chips, paint splashes, stains on the carpets, food left in cupboards etc.

Worse still, the check-in report for my new home was not even an inventory, just a comparison with a previous inventory. I have not seen the original inventory , even though I have asked in writing three times.

Meanwhile the check-out report says that I should pay compensation for things like where the paint rubbed away because I washed my children's finger prints off the stair wall (and another sum for some finger prints that I missed). My old landlord has already confirmed that he will not release my deposit.

The old landlord agreed with the new tenants to put in a new oven and replace two carpets. The tenants told me this 6 weeks ago. Then during the check-out, the inventory clerk left a printout of an email in the kitchen. It was from the landlord to the agent and it said he'd been asked to replace carpets so he wanted us to pay for them. The agent had forwarded it to the inventory clerk with a note asking her to pay special attention t damage in these areas.

One of the carpets in question was the hall carpet and it had a huge stain on it by the front door. The landlord covered it up whenever there were viewings or inspections so it did not come up on the inventory taken when I moved in. He did however list it as a defect on a welcome note he sent to me when I moved in, but he seems to have forgotten that part when he said in writing that the (10 year old) hall carpet was "perfect" when I moved in.

I wrote about the inadequacy of the check-in to the managing agent: 4 pages listing as many defects in the new property as I can - but I find more every time I move a box or walk around the house.

This agency currently holds £5,000 of my money in deposits - yes, its in a scheme. I feel as if i am being scammed.

My letters and emails go unanswered to the agency, not even acknowledgements of receipt. All I have done since Sunday is write emails, photograph the defects at the current house and try to pull together evidence that the previous house was left as we found it (except for the damage caused by the landlord's failure to deal with the damp problem). Then yesterday, someone from the agency did phone me. She wants to reassure me that things will be put right and she has asked me to a meeting with her tomorrow afternoon because by then she will have the detail of what the new landlord is prepared to fix and for what the old landlord wants us to compensate him.

Will anyone advise me on how to play this meeting? I have evidence in writing and photos that a lot of the defects pre-existed my tenancy and that the landlord was repeatedly made aware of the damp problem but he only once made a half-hearted attempt to paint over it with anti-mould paint.

How do I prove far wear and tear for things like a cream carpet in a high-traffic area? It was brand new when I moved in and professionally cleaned when I moved out but it is less new looking in the areas where I didn't have my own rugs covering it. The report says that i should pay compensation for this.

Am I being scammed by the managing agents with this who check-in/ check-out inventory thing? Whoever typed up the check-in report for the new house signed it on my behalf, without my permission o me getting a chance to see it first. And the check-out clerk told me of the record at the end of seeing my old house that all was fine and there should be no problems but then she sent in a report that talked of fictitious cobwebs for which I should pay compensation to cover the cleaning costs. did she get her arm twisted by the agency to ensure the landlord would get something from my deposit??

e

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Would any poster on this forum be willing to give me advice to guide me through the problems I am having with getting my deposit back and inventory issues?

Briefly I moved home 10 days ago from one rented house to another with the same letting/ managing agent both times. On Tuesday I got the check-in and check-out inventory reports. The difference between them is amazing: the check-out report for my old house was done with a magnifying glass whereas the check-in report misses almost everything - chips, paint splashes, stains on the carpets, food left in cupboards etc.

Worse still, the check-in report for my new home was not even an inventory, just a comparison with a previous inventory. I have not seen the original inventory , even though I have asked in writing three times.

Meanwhile the check-out report says that I should pay compensation for things like where the paint rubbed away because I washed my children's finger prints off the stair wall (and another sum for some finger prints that I missed). My old landlord has already confirmed that he will not release my deposit.

The old landlord agreed with the new tenants to put in a new oven and replace two carpets. The tenants told me this 6 weeks ago. Then during the check-out, the inventory clerk left a printout of an email in the kitchen. It was from the landlord to the agent and it said he'd been asked to replace carpets so he wanted us to pay for them. The agent had forwarded it to the inventory clerk with a note asking her to pay special attention t damage in these areas.

One of the carpets in question was the hall carpet and it had a huge stain on it by the front door. The landlord covered it up whenever there were viewings or inspections so it did not come up on the inventory taken when I moved in. He did however list it as a defect on a welcome note he sent to me when I moved in, but he seems to have forgotten that part when he said in writing that the (10 year old) hall carpet was "perfect" when I moved in.

I wrote about the inadequacy of the check-in to the managing agent: 4 pages listing as many defects in the new property as I can - but I find more every time I move a box or walk around the house.

This agency currently holds £5,000 of my money in deposits - yes, its in a scheme. I feel as if i am being scammed.

My letters and emails go unanswered to the agency, not even acknowledgements of receipt. All I have done since Sunday is write emails, photograph the defects at the current house and try to pull together evidence that the previous house was left as we found it (except for the damage caused by the landlord's failure to deal with the damp problem). Then yesterday, someone from the agency did phone me. She wants to reassure me that things will be put right and she has asked me to a meeting with her tomorrow afternoon because by then she will have the detail of what the new landlord is prepared to fix and for what the old landlord wants us to compensate him.

Will anyone advise me on how to play this meeting? I have evidence in writing and photos that a lot of the defects pre-existed my tenancy and that the landlord was repeatedly made aware of the damp problem but he only once made a half-hearted attempt to paint over it with anti-mould paint.

How do I prove far wear and tear for things like a cream carpet in a high-traffic area? It was brand new when I moved in and professionally cleaned when I moved out but it is less new looking in the areas where I didn't have my own rugs covering it. The report says that i should pay compensation for this.

Am I being scammed by the managing agents with this who check-in/ check-out inventory thing? Whoever typed up the check-in report for the new house signed it on my behalf, without my permission o me getting a chance to see it first. And the check-out clerk told me of the record at the end of seeing my old house that all was fine and there should be no problems but then she sent in a report that talked of fictitious cobwebs for which I should pay compensation to cover the cleaning costs. did she get her arm twisted by the agency to ensure the landlord would get something from my deposit??

e

Christ thats a lot, first off think about what you can prove and then go from there, they can only deduct for damage exclusing fair wear and tear, how long did you live there, did you take high quality photos when you moved in? What do you have in writing, emails etc that you pointed out when you moved in? Do you have the copy of the email saying to scam you? He can't rplace new for old and must provide reciepts for deductions, if you really feel they are trying to obtain betterment threaten them with the courts if you can prove your case. Throw in the fact that someone signed on your behalf and point out that as it would be used at the end of the tenancy to assess condition and potential damages that you are more than happy to take the matter to the police as and attempted fraud (that oughta put the wind up them). You can also thow in the data protection act and make a request for all information and lay hands on any emails where they state they want to fleece you.

Always take high quality digital images upon arrival and departure and put everything in writing, when I started that I felt a bit awckward as it felt like I was accusing them because of the actions of others but if they are genuine then there should be no probs but if not they have nothing to argue with.

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I took some high quality photos when i moved in TWO years ago, mainly of the things that weren't right. Right now the photos are on a backup somewhere in one of the many unpacked boxes. I was not given the inventory for over a year and I didn't even realise it was missing at first because the package the landlord left out in the kitchen for me when I arrived was headed "inventory".

I got more savvy though as time passed, so I did take a digital photo (huge resolution) of that email. Luckily I'd brought along y camera to the check-out inventory in case anything was highlighted as being a problem, but nothing was, so I don't have photos of the specific things listed, except for the photos I took the day before when we finished cleaning and the carpet man left.

Also there were various emails over time that I sent to the landlord that refer to our conversations about damp etc. too so he can't say he didn't have a chance to act on it.

Does anyone know if there is a legal definition for wear and tear? Nothing got put down as that.. not general wear on the carpets nor even marks left by my children holding onto the wall as they walked down the stairs.

It is attempted fraud, isn't it?

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Also there were various emails over time that I sent to the landlord that refer to our conversations about damp etc. too so he can't say he didn't have a chance to act on it.

Does anyone know if there is a legal definition for wear and tear? Nothing got put down as that.. not general wear on the carpets nor even marks left by my children holding onto the wall as they walked down the stairs.

It is attempted fraud, isn't it?

In common parlance, probably, but I'd hesitate to use that term in the negotiations (except where your signature may have been forged) as it lays you open to accusations of slander / libel. You are going to end up with the scheme's arbitration I suspect - though I gather they find for the tenant a lot of the time and you seem to have ample evidence on your side.

Have you spoken to the CAB or Shelter? Sometimes when the other side knows you've taken advice from one of these they back off faster. It's a try-on; keep your head and you should get nearly all your deposit back (eventually!)

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I took some high quality photos when i moved in TWO years ago, mainly of the things that weren't right. Right now the photos are on a backup somewhere in one of the many unpacked boxes. I was not given the inventory for over a year and I didn't even realise it was missing at first because the package the landlord left out in the kitchen for me when I arrived was headed "inventory".

I got more savvy though as time passed, so I did take a digital photo (huge resolution) of that email. Luckily I'd brought along y camera to the check-out inventory in case anything was highlighted as being a problem, but nothing was, so I don't have photos of the specific things listed, except for the photos I took the day before when we finished cleaning and the carpet man left.

Also there were various emails over time that I sent to the landlord that refer to our conversations about damp etc. too so he can't say he didn't have a chance to act on it.

Does anyone know if there is a legal definition for wear and tear? Nothing got put down as that.. not general wear on the carpets nor even marks left by my children holding onto the wall as they walked down the stairs.

It is attempted fraud, isn't it?

They are two issues, the first house-as you are out of there now collate what you have that can prove the condition upon your arrival and departure, assess whether deductions are reasonable and if not see what evidence you have to back that up, I'd say that walking on a carpet leaving the pile collapsed is reasonable, the marks less so but the ones where the paint has rubbed off suggest that the paint was of poor quality and could not be expected to last and so would be reasonable. Do you have images of the stain on the carpet when you moved in? If it is 10 years old how much would be fair-I'd recon quite a lot (he cannot replace at your cost though only remediation for damage you have caused). Tell them at the meeting (depending on what you think is fair) what you accept to be fair and anything else you will pursue (if they are taking the piss you could accept non of it). If you are unhappy with what they say go through the claim procedure, if it's in scheme can you go straight to court, you could go to the police and say that you saw the email saying to find reasons to fleece you and that you think a fraud is being commited, they'll get any evidence from the person who did the inspection.

The new place, take photos of every inch in the condition it's in now, send them as an attachment to yourself to get a time stamp, they can't hold you to an inventory you have not seen, get it in writing that you have not seen the invented-ory and someone has signed your name who was not you. As such no deductions will be accepted at checkout. The photos are so good, when I look round I find things each time but with the photo it doesn't matter-it wont miss a thing.

Do you have the reciept from the carpet cleaning, if so then it would be hard to argue that it was more than fair wear and tear, the LL has to prove this and not vice versa.

Hope someone else has given a better answer.

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Iam not happy about what I will have to got through to (possibly) get my deposit on the first house back, but what bothers me more is the feeling that I am being set up to be ripped off when I leave this new house. I don't even think its the landlord: its the agent who is doing it through manipulation of the inventories.

They claim that the inventories are done by independent companies so that it is fair, but when i saw that email and then how the final report changed, I can only think that the agents are using their position as a big customer for the inventory clerks to influence what gets seen and written about. The difference in the level of detail is just astonishing but if you did not know, then you'd just think that the tenant must have really knocked the house about.

Shelter advised making my own detailed inventory, taking loads of photos and getting someone to walk round and confirm in writing that my report is accurate. Then sending the whole lot by registered post to the agency. I think its a good idea, but I am having trouble thinking of who to ask as its a big favour and it obviously can't be family. My lawyer friend would have been ideal but he's on holiday for another week.

Shelter also suggested reporting my concerns to ARLA but I suspect that that' s a non-starter as I'd be marked down as a troublemaker if I did that and might even get a S21 eviction thrown at me as soon as they could do it. In any case, I suspect ARLA would do nothing to help anyway.

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re: the carpet at my old house. There was two to replace.. an old one in the hall with a stain and another one. The tenants actually wanted a kids bedroom carpet replaced just because it was old and the pile was flat. However the landlord got the wrong end of the stick and said in the email that it was a two year old, cream, dining/ sitting room carpet that had to be replaced.

So the inventory clerk went out and tried to find evidence that the new cream sittingroom carpet needed to be replaced, but she couldn't find any stains, or tears or pulls or anything really except you could see where my rugs and sofas had been because it was still brand new under there whereas the other areas looked like a two year old carpet that had been walked on for two years and then been gone over with a carpet cleaning machine. They didn't look bad at all, just not as good as the unused areas. That's what the inventory clerk wrote I should pay compensation for - because there is shading. (She could find nothing wrong with the kids bedroom carpet at all.)

The carpets were still damp when the check-out inventory clerk visited the house last Friday and I showed her the receipt for the carpet cleaning at the time.

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re: the carpet at my old house. There was two to replace.. an old one in the hall with a stain and another one. The tenants actually wanted a kids bedroom carpet replaced just because it was old and the pile was flat. However the landlord got the wrong end of the stick and said in the email that it was a two year old, cream, dining/ sitting room carpet that had to be replaced.

So the inventory clerk went out and tried to find evidence that the new cream sittingroom carpet needed to be replaced, but she couldn't find any stains, or tears or pulls or anything really except you could see where my rugs and sofas had been because it was still brand new under there whereas the other areas looked like a two year old carpet that had been walked on for two years and then been gone over with a carpet cleaning machine. They didn't look bad at all, just not as good as the unused areas. That's what the inventory clerk wrote I should pay compensation for - because there is shading. (She could find nothing wrong with the kids bedroom carpet at all.)

The carpets were still damp when the check-out inventory clerk visited the house last Friday and I showed her the receipt for the carpet cleaning at the time.

They cant make any charges for fair wear and tear which what you describe would be.

You may want a look at this, although not directly applicable section 3.54 details what would be an unfair term where the LL seeks to disproportionately to the cost of repair make deductions.

http://www.oft.gov.uk/OFTwork/publications/publication-categories/guidance/unfair-terms-consumer/oft356

"In general, it is the duty of the party who claims damages for breach of contract to take reasonable steps to mitigate the loss arising." in relation to oth the carpet and the paint (if it is such poor quality that wiping it clean rubs it off then that his fault and not yours, he didn't take due care with the paint used, IMHO)

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Can I use the fact that no Corgi certificate was obtained during the two years I lived in the property to make the LL just want to give me my deposit it back and be rid of me, or is it too late to do anything about that?

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Can I use the fact that no Corgi certificate was obtained during the two years I lived in the property to make the LL just want to give me my deposit it back and be rid of me, or is it too late to do anything about that?

It will have no effect

tim

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I have faced similar ripoffs and got my money back in the small claims court. Is it F****s by any chance? We had a similar problem with them - no new inventory and just a report that compares the new to the old inventory, Once again they could not produce the original.

In my case I sent them a registered letter to the agent say that I was not prepared to accept this and that I would not be paying for any inventory when I left. I also pointed out that the report they did provide wasn't accurate. When I left they made the usual threats but the LL paid up eventually. The LL also took the property off their books and to another agent. He hated them as well by then.

What you seem to be describing is normal wear and tear. Some LL's think that they can use our deposits to redecorate when we leave. This is called betterment. The cases I've had at small claims court looked badly on this.

I've not had to fight a LL since the new deposit protection scheme came in so I can't advise on how good it is.

You could try and write a simple, short letter to the LL, explain that there was no damage and only normal wear and tear, ask for your deposit back. Send registered. Give them 7 days and make this clear in the letter.

Then write again to say that you are going through the deposit scheme or whatever you decide to do and take it from there.

By keeping this calm, appearing reasonable and having proof that you tried to resolve this the small claims or whatever will look on you more as the injured party here. I found the small claims process to be very good. I was listened to. Most of mine the LL has either paid up before we get there or doesn't bother to turn up.

Edited by Flopsy

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I had to cancel the meetign last Friday as one of the children was sick, but its just as well I did not go because my ex-Landlord hasn't formalised his claim yet. Apparently the LA has had to explain to him that he can't claim old for new on carpets or for chopping down any of his trees 30ft trees just because he is obliged to do that as per his agreement with the new tenant.

I had a long chat with one of the agents this morning. I asked again for details of the claim as and when she has them and I told her that I was unconcerned as the LL has a history of seeing the deposit as free money.

Its not Foxxxxx, but the local equivalent. the agent I spoke to this morning is leaving as she can't hack it. Shame as she's the only decent one there.

More worryingly, the new landlord has announced via the agent that the house is sold as seen/ caveat emptor (both phrases were used by the agent this morning). for the new LL this apparently translates as if anything breaks e.g. washing machine, fridge freezer etc, then he will neither repair nor replace it. He'll repair plumbing and heating installations but that's about it. I asked the agent to put that in writing and said that I'd have to take advice. However, its not looking good for an easy relationship with the new LL or a long stay here.

From what i can see, the agents just want an easy life - to passively earn their commission each month . They have come up against two stubborn landlords and so they are trying their luck with me to see if I'll pick up the slack. I don't want to help them with that but I don't want an eviction notice in a few month's time either. So, I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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I had to cancel the meetign last Friday as one of the children was sick, but its just as well I did not go because my ex-Landlord hasn't formalised his claim yet. Apparently the LA has had to explain to him that he can't claim old for new on carpets or for chopping down any of his trees 30ft trees just because he is obliged to do that as per his agreement with the new tenant.

I had a long chat with one of the agents this morning. I asked again for details of the claim as and when she has them and I told her that I was unconcerned as the LL has a history of seeing the deposit as free money.

Its not Foxxxxx, but the local equivalent. the agent I spoke to this morning is leaving as she can't hack it. Shame as she's the only decent one there.

More worryingly, the new landlord has announced via the agent that the house is sold as seen/ caveat emptor (both phrases were used by the agent this morning). for the new LL this apparently translates as if anything breaks e.g. washing machine, fridge freezer etc, then he will neither repair nor replace it. He'll repair plumbing and heating installations but that's about it. I asked the agent to put that in writing and said that I'd have to take advice. However, its not looking good for an easy relationship with the new LL or a long stay here.

From what i can see, the agents just want an easy life - to passively earn their commission each month . They have come up against two stubborn landlords and so they are trying their luck with me to see if I'll pick up the slack. I don't want to help them with that but I don't want an eviction notice in a few month's time either. So, I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The first LL sounds like a real cork, the second may be ok but if not and anything breaks that is part of the tenancy (installations, fridge etc) and nothing is being done (give them reasonable time to fix things) then instruct the agents in writing that you intend to have a workman carry out repairs/buy replacement items and will detuct the cost from rent. We had similar problems with out LA/LL and that threat funnily enough got it sorted within 2 days after 2 months of trying. They can't deduct cost from the deposit if you were to go ahead with that game as the soct would be set off by a court.

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I got details of my former landlord's claim: £950!!! That was after he gave up on trying to claim for the already damaged hall carpet when the agent showed him my evidence that it was there before I moved in. The agent also changed their story that the curtains had been professionally cleaned before I moved in when i asked for receipts. Now I am being asked for money for each and every spot stain caused by the damp.

Instead of going for big ticket stuff, its loads of small and not so small things, such as £200 for "shading" on a cream carpet caused when it had my furniture and rugs on some of it, whereas my family and I had walked on the other parts (and then had it all professionally cleaned twice). There is £30 for a 5mm spot stain on an old carpet that already had a stain elsewhere. £40 for replacing a roller blind that was mould marked (currently for sale for £16.99 in the shops).

I have written about 1000 words in my defence, whereas the landlord has spent just enough time to give me a scribbled, handwritten list.

I have asked for a damp inspection to be done (as recommended in the inventory report), but my request has been ignored and I am being charged for each and every bit of mould damage.

I wrote asking when I would receive the undisputed portion of my deposit but the agent did not answer. Instead the agent dealing with me wrote to say he's taking a two week holiday starting on Tuesday.

Aaagh!

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I got details of my former landlord's claim: £950!!! That was after he gave up on trying to claim for the already damaged hall carpet when the agent showed him my evidence that it was there before I moved in. The agent also changed their story that the curtains had been professionally cleaned before I moved in when i asked for receipts. Now I am being asked for money for each and every spot stain caused by the damp.

Instead of going for big ticket stuff, its loads of small and not so small things, such as £200 for "shading" on a cream carpet caused when it had my furniture and rugs on some of it, whereas my family and I had walked on the other parts (and then had it all professionally cleaned twice). There is £30 for a 5mm spot stain on an old carpet that already had a stain elsewhere. £40 for replacing a roller blind that was mould marked (currently for sale for £16.99 in the shops).

I have written about 1000 words in my defence, whereas the landlord has spent just enough time to give me a scribbled, handwritten list.

I have asked for a damp inspection to be done (as recommended in the inventory report), but my request has been ignored and I am being charged for each and every bit of mould damage.

I wrote asking when I would receive the undisputed portion of my deposit but the agent did not answer. Instead the agent dealing with me wrote to say he's taking a two week holiday starting on Tuesday.

Aaagh!

Don't bother with 1000 words.

Much of the above is just fair wear and tear, 10 words will cover it

tim

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Don't bother with 1000 words.

Much of the above is just fair wear and tear, 10 words will cover it

tim

+1

Send them a letter stating you regard the items claimed as fair wear and tear and as a result of the LL's neglect and expect return of your full deposit with 2 weeks after which point you will proceed with your claim via the TDS. Personally I'd like to go via the courts but others have said that if its in a scheme you have to go that route.

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Don't waste your time trying to refute the landlords deductions with him or his agent. They all seem to be nothing more than fair wear and tear. Simply make a claim under the deposit organisation's arbitration scheme. Most disputes are settled in the tenant's favour.

The burden of proof is on the landlord. He has to be able to prove that the tenant caused the damage. In the case of a ten year old carpet you've mentioned for example, a carpet is not usually expected to last more than 10 years so any claim for damage to that will be disregarded on the grounds that it had reached the end of its useful life.

Don't forget they impose strict timetables on both you and the landlord and you have to respond within specified time. If I recall correctly its 14 days for each stage. The arbitrator reaches a decision within a few weeks. The dispute will be settled quite speedily.

Good luck.

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I think this could turn into a pseudo-blog about getting a deposit back.

My ex-landlord asked for nearly £1000 on Friday from my deposit and the agent promised to send back the rest of my deposit. I've asked when I will get it back (twice) but my question is being ignored. I've asked for some detail on how the landlord came by his £1000 based on quotes/ receipts etc but I've been ignored. Instead the agent keeps writing to say that the ball is in my court to make a counter offer (and by the way he's off on holiday now). How can i make a counter offer when I think its all FWT and even if it wasn't they won't give me any info? I've explained each and everything linking it to the damp, or pre-existing stains but no one is bothering to read my emails.

meanwhile the LL has taken to calling my mobile. I don't want to talk to him because I don't have anything to say to him that I wouldn't rather be said via the agent and I don't trust him to tell the truth about what was said.

I phoned the TDS for advice. They said that the LL/ Agent has 10 working days to tell me about how much £ is being claimed (they took 11) and another 10 days to give me more detail and negotiate. Then it can be referred to them and they will take about 40 working days to resolve it. However If a dispute is referred to them, they will send it back if the parties haven't tried to resolve it themselves. But the agent's idea of how we resolve it is I say how much of my money I'll give to the LL when I think £0 is due! Aaagh!

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I think this could turn into a pseudo-blog about getting a deposit back.

My ex-landlord asked for nearly £1000 on Friday from my deposit and the agent promised to send back the rest of my deposit. I've asked when I will get it back (twice) but my question is being ignored. I've asked for some detail on how the landlord came by his £1000 based on quotes/ receipts etc but I've been ignored. Instead the agent keeps writing to say that the ball is in my court to make a counter offer (and by the way he's off on holiday now). How can i make a counter offer when I think its all FWT and even if it wasn't they won't give me any info? I've explained each and everything linking it to the damp, or pre-existing stains but no one is bothering to read my emails.

meanwhile the LL has taken to calling my mobile. I don't want to talk to him because I don't have anything to say to him that I wouldn't rather be said via the agent and I don't trust him to tell the truth about what was said.

I phoned the TDS for advice. They said that the LL/ Agent has 10 working days to tell me about how much £ is being claimed (they took 11) and another 10 days to give me more detail and negotiate. Then it can be referred to them and they will take about 40 working days to resolve it. However If a dispute is referred to them, they will send it back if the parties haven't tried to resolve it themselves. But the agent's idea of how we resolve it is I say how much of my money I'll give to the LL when I think £0 is due! Aaagh!

Put it in writing that you refute all claims as the damage is a result of ABC which is the LL liability and expect return of all monies outstanding. Also state the evidence you have the LL was made aware of the probs with damp and took no action to remedy (in relation to the damage it was doing to the property). Then you've made the effort to resolve and established that it's the LL who allowed the property to fall into disrepair. He has to foot the bill to put right the damage he allowed to build up. Then when times up put in the claim.

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I phoned the TDS for advice. They said that the LL/ Agent has 10 working days to tell me about how much £ is being claimed (they took 11) and another 10 days to give me more detail and negotiate. Then it can be referred to them and they will take about 40 working days to resolve it. However If a dispute is referred to them, they will send it back if the parties haven't tried to resolve it themselves. But the agent's idea of how we resolve it is I say how much of my money I'll give to the LL when I think £0 is due! Aaagh!

From reading your post is seems the reason you want to raise the dispute with The Dispute Service (formerly known as TDS) is because the landlord does not agree or will not respond to your assertion that the damage he claims you have caused existed when the tenancy commenced and other items he claims are nothing more than fair wear and tear.

All you need to have done is to have communicated, or attempted to have communicated, with your landlord or his letting agent giving reasons why you refute any item listed in the checkout report. This is all you can do to resolve the dispute. This will satisfy The Dispute Service that you have attempted to negotiate with the landlord. The emails you have already sent are sufficient.

Download the form from The Dispute Service's website and initiate the process.

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sleepwell'onights - yes, that's the reason (sort of). I want to raise a dispute because I want the matter settled.

I need a damp report to be done but the agent and LL are mute on the subject. It was recommended on the check-out inventory. Without it, we have a stalemate on the cause of the damp.

Also I need an answer to why I am being charged for old damage which was listed on a letter the LL wrote to me when I moved in. But no answer from either the LL or the agent.

Also, I need to discuss whether walking on carpets and young children holding onto a wall results in FWT or not. But again the LL/ Agent have nothing to say.

The LL is trying to call me (i.e. not put anything in writing) but I want the conversation to go through the agent or at least be in writing or recorded.

With regard to cleaning, I left the house very clean, apart from where there was damp damage that wouldn't wash off. My husband and I cleaned the house ourselves because I couldn't find a professional cleaner who was available after we moved out. We had a quote for £175 to do it though but we were too late to make the booking. (We had the windows and carpets professionally cleaned though). When we moved in, it had been domestically cleaned too, so it was like for like. However, one of the claims is for £400 to clean the house.

All the agent has to say is that I need to make a detailed counter-offer, even though I have already written to reject the claims.

Yesterday morning, I set the agent a deadline of last night (i.e. before he went on holiday) to at least acknowledge an email I sent to him asking for some justification to the LL's compensation claim and he just ignored that too.

So I want to go to the TDS/ small claims court because the sooner we go there, the sooner it will all get resolved as we have a stalemate right now.

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sleepwell'onights - yes, that's the reason (sort of). I want to raise a dispute because I want the matter settled.

I need a damp report to be done but the agent and LL are mute on the subject. It was recommended on the check-out inventory. Without it, we have a stalemate on the cause of the damp.

Also I need an answer to why I am being charged for old damage which was listed on a letter the LL wrote to me when I moved in. But no answer from either the LL or the agent.

Also, I need to discuss whether walking on carpets and young children holding onto a wall results in FWT or not. But again the LL/ Agent have nothing to say.

The LL is trying to call me (i.e. not put anything in writing) but I want the conversation to go through the agent or at least be in writing or recorded.

With regard to cleaning, I left the house very clean, apart from where there was damp damage that wouldn't wash off. My husband and I cleaned the house ourselves because I couldn't find a professional cleaner who was available after we moved out. We had a quote for £175 to do it though but we were too late to make the booking. (We had the windows and carpets professionally cleaned though). When we moved in, it had been domestically cleaned too, so it was like for like. However, one of the claims is for £400 to clean the house.

All the agent has to say is that I need to make a detailed counter-offer, even though I have already written to reject the claims.

Yesterday morning, I set the agent a deadline of last night (i.e. before he went on holiday) to at least acknowledge an email I sent to him asking for some justification to the LL's compensation claim and he just ignored that too.

So I want to go to the TDS/ small claims court because the sooner we go there, the sooner it will all get resolved as we have a stalemate right now.

A counter-offer of £0 is still a counter offer.

Recorded mail, to LL and agent:

"I regard all the claims for damages made as not my liability or covered under fair wear and tear. I intend to take this claim to the TDS if my full deposit is not returned in X days, and request all further communications be made in writing through the agent. For this reason i shall not be answering any phone calls from the LL, and shall regard any future calls as harassment".

Edited by rw42

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sleepwell'onights - yes, that's the reason (sort of). I want to raise a dispute because I want the matter settled.

I need a damp report to be done but the agent and LL are mute on the subject. It was recommended on the check-out inventory. Without it, we have a stalemate on the cause of the damp.

Also I need an answer to why I am being charged for old damage which was listed on a letter the LL wrote to me when I moved in. But no answer from either the LL or the agent.

Also, I need to discuss whether walking on carpets and young children holding onto a wall results in FWT or not. But again the LL/ Agent have nothing to say.

With regard to cleaning, I left the house very clean, apart from where there was damp damage that wouldn't wash off. My husband and I cleaned the house ourselves because I couldn't find a professional cleaner who was available after we moved out. We had a quote for £175 to do it though but we were too late to make the booking. (We had the windows and carpets professionally cleaned though). When we moved in, it had been domestically cleaned too, so it was like for like. However, one of the claims is for £400 to clean the house.

All the agent has to say is that I need to make a detailed counter-offer, even though I have already written to reject the claims.

Yesterday morning, I set the agent a deadline of last night (i.e. before he went on holiday) to at least acknowledge an email I sent to him asking for some justification to the LL's compensation claim and he just ignored that too.

So I want to go to the TDS/ small claims court because the sooner we go there, the sooner it will all get resolved as we have a stalemate right now.

You could do what Rw42 has suggested. Write a final letter or send an e-mail refuting all the allegations they have made to make deductions from your deposit. I feel that you already have sufficient evidence to show that you have tried to negotiate with them. Your standpoint is that you have not done any damage and there is no valid reason for any deductions to be made. There is no reason not to answer their telephone calls, simply tell them that unless they return your deposit in full you will or have raised a dispute with The Dispute Service.

My opinion on the detailed points you make above is:

Damp Report - why bother. It's likely to be a problem with the structure of the building. Unless the landlord can prove you damaged the structure or neglected to inform him of an obvious problem that became noticeable during your occupation and it was that damage or problem that caused the damp the landlord is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building.

Old Damage - you are not responsible for any defects listed on the inventory at the commencement of the tenancy

Walking on Carpets - Obviously fair wear and tear. If they were stained, torn or holed then the landlord may have a claim against you. Such a claim would be subject to the age of the carpet and their quality.

Cleaning - The landlord has to prove that you left the property in an unclean condition. This might be subjective but again its up to the landlord to prove that you left it in an unsatisfactory condition. Your receipt for cleaning the windows and carpets is likely to be regarded by the arbitrator as sufficient proof that they were in a satisfactorily clean condition when you vacated the property.

Bear in mind the burden of proof is on the landlord to show that the property was not in the same condition, fair wear and tear excepted, at the end of the tenancy as it was at the start. Most claims are adjudicated in the tenants favour.

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I sent the LL an email this morning asking for communication to be in writing or through the agent and I got an exceptionally vitriolic reply back tonight. He used phrases like "you can't afford my time (for the work he did cleaning up the damp damage and cutting down trees in the garden)". He said that it was as well for me that I didn't answer his calls. He also refused point blank to provide evidence to support his claims against our deposit.

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  • 336 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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