Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

What Can I Do To Ensure I Get My Deposit Back?


Recommended Posts

Hi

I've been renting a large but crumbling apartment in a large but crumbling house for the last ten years. Our landlady has decided to sell the property and we have been given notice to leave. We paid a deposit equivalent to 3 months rent and I'm keen to get it back but concerned the landlady will dream up some reason or other not to let us have it. The landlady has always used a managing agent who have always seemed to be entirely reasonable people.

The apartment has 3 bedrooms and 2 reception rooms. When we moved in, one of the reception rooms was used for storage and was utterly filthy and 2 of the bedrooms hadn't been used for a while. I mention this because we cleaned up the filthy reception room and used it as the main reception room and at our own expense we replaced the carpet there as the existing one was rotting and stank of cat urine. One of the unused bedrooms we turned into an office from which I am typing this now. The bedroom/office also had a carpet, one corner of which was rotting and also stank of cat urine. The corner was under a sink and not wanting to replace the whole carpet I just cut away the stinking rotting part under the sink. Five years ago or so, the bottom fell out of the water tank over the Christmas period and I paid for an emergency plumber out of my own expense. I think I still have the receipt and I never got around to asking the landlady for the money back - this may seem strange but I was flush with cash at the time and had other things on my mind.

We mentioned to the agents and the landlady last year that one of the sash windows in the main bedroom was rotting. The was a gap of about 5mm between the top of the window pane and the window frame on one of these windows, and on the other, the bottom part of the sash window frame was so rotten it had fallen off. I put it back and kept the window shut. They sent a tradesman to take a look at it and he said the entire frame will have to be replaced. They wouldn't use plastic because of the character of the building.

The excessive rain last year led to water gathering in the fireplace in the bedroom above the reception room with the new carpet. During heavy rain, water dripped through the reception room ceiling from above, and in heavy rain became quite a torrent. We put buckets there but it ruined the new carpet and its always damp in that spot. I wrote to the agent about these things months ago.

Nothing happened apart from hearing via the agent that the landlady has decided to sell up.

The property may sound awful but the rent has been cheap and this is quite a gorgeous quirky place. We have fields on 3 sides, the sea is 5 minutes walk away and the garden is better described as grounds - which a gardener maintains. 5 years ago, one of our neighbours moved out never to be replaced and we've practically had the place to ourselves. In the summer you feel like a member of the aristocracy. All for the price of a room in a shared house in the SE of England.

A complicating factor is that we acquired a dog 4 years ago. The tenancy agreement said no pets. However, our other 2 neighbours in the house both had dogs and cats.

Does anyone have any advice on how best to make sure we get our deposit back bearing in mind all of the above?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I generally just don't pay the last months rent and the landlord keeps the deposit (which is coincidentally nearly always one months rent). It's not the 'correct' way but has always worked out fine. How much notice have you been given? Is it in writing and all correct?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been renting a large but crumbling apartment in a large but crumbling house for the last ten years.

....

Does anyone have any advice on how best to make sure we get our deposit back bearing in mind all of the above?

After 10 years pretty much EVERYTHING is fair wear and tear.

Assuming you don't smash all the windows and set fire to the kitchen you'll be due all the deposit back.

That's not to say the landlord won't try it on. As the tenancy is old it's not covered by the Deposit Scheme which just means you'll need to go to the Small Claims Court if they do try it on...

PS Wouldn't try withoolding the rent. Especially as your deposit is 3 months!

PPS Lee T. I blame you personally for deposits now mostly being 6 weeks rather than 1 month.... :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't be naive about this. The nicest landlord I had utterly shafted us on the deposit front - while all of the previous ones coughed it up without any problems. People can turn real nasty where money is concerned - and a 3 month deposit is a large sum which the agent/landlord has likely now come to think of as their own.

When did you last sign a contract eg to renew? If it is since April 2007, your deposit should be in a tenancy deposit scheme.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't be naive about this. The nicest landlord I had utterly shafted us on the deposit front - while all of the previous ones coughed it up without any problems. People can turn real nasty where money is concerned - and a 3 month deposit is a large sum which the agent/landlord has likely now come to think of as their own.

When did you last sign a contract eg to renew? If it is since April 2007, your deposit should be in a tenancy deposit scheme.

Oops wrong reply!

I'm quite sure the last renewal was prior to 2007.

Tenancy deposit scheme? I don't know what that is. I guess that must be a recent innovation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not speak to the landlady or agent and see what they have to say? You're anticipating a problem that might not happen, although where money is concerned problems do tend to arise. How much is your rent?

Yeah, I'll ring the agent as he as always been a decent bloke.

Don't laugh, but the rent was £480 a month but they put it up to £550 a month a while back. Nevertheless, that's still a deposit of £1440 which is not to be sniffed at.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't laugh, but the rent was £480 a month but they put it up to £550 a month a while back.

Seeing that your rent has been raised a while back it is very important to look how this has been done as raising the rent might imply a "new" contract. This is relevant as since 2007 on a new contract the deposit should have been put in the deposit protection scheme. So if the landlord has indeed formed a new contract without protecting your deposit you would automatically be entitled to the full deposit + three months worth of rent as a penalty. Bottomline is that you should look into what the deposit protection scheme is just so that you know your facts if needed.

Note that it would anyway be unlikely that the landlord can win any case for retaining part of your deposit as fair waer and taer applies to almost everything over such a long tenancy as said already.

edit) fixed two obvious spelling mistakes. :blink:

Edited by moesasji
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.