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Making Rent Deductions For Cleaning/inverntory?

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Hello,

I recently moved into a new flat - the letting agent had claimed the flat would be cleaned before occupancy, and confirmed that prior via email.

The flat wasn't cleaned, and also the inventory was inaccurate or inadequate in places. I spent 3 hours at least, correcting the inventory, and adding important details, and taking more photographs. I also spent time, probably 6 hours, cleaning the flat.

I complained about the situation verbally, 4 days after moving in. I had done some of the cleaning at that point, but not all. Upon raising my complaint, there was no offer to remedy the situation, and in fact, they did not suggest I was lying either, and accepted my word. They had every opportunity to check my claim if necessary, but chose not to. I said I would expect some money of the next months rent, as compensation, and to cover my time, as I didn't receive what I paid for - I paid for a clean flat, with a viable inventory. I was told they would speak to the boss.

Now, 3 weeks later, I still have had no contact from the LA. I did raise the matter briefly over the phone a couple of days ago, and immediately told I was lying by the Boss. Not great.

Anyway, I plan to deduct £150 from the next rental payment. I plan to write to the LA informing them of my intention, by registered post, with at least 7 days notice.

I am not sure if I can do this legally, or if I should take another approach, or drop the matter?

Any advise much appreciated!

Thanks

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Hello,

I recently moved into a new flat - the letting agent had claimed the flat would be cleaned before occupancy, and confirmed that prior via email.

The flat wasn't cleaned, and also the inventory was inaccurate or inadequate in places. I spent 3 hours at least, correcting the inventory, and adding important details, and taking more photographs. I also spent time, probably 6 hours, cleaning the flat.

Checking and correcting inventory is par for the course and in your best interest too!

I suggest that you put the corrected inventory in writing to the agent (and copy landlord) and keep a signed and dated copy yourself.

I complained about the situation verbally, 4 days after moving in. I had done some of the cleaning at that point, but not all. Upon raising my complaint, there was no offer to remedy the situation, and in fact, they did not suggest I was lying either, and accepted my word. They had every opportunity to check my claim if necessary, but chose not to. I said I would expect some money of the next months rent, as compensation, and to cover my time, as I didn't receive what I paid for - I paid for a clean flat, with a viable inventory. I was told they would speak to the boss.

You had an offer to remedy the situation... perhaps it would have been best if you had said yes, or even say yes now and get them to send in cleaners at the landlords expense! The flip side to this is that you might be held to a higher standard of cleanliness when you move out yourself!

Did you keep receipts for any cleaning products you bought on the day you moved in (or the next day)?

Now, 3 weeks later, I still have had no contact from the LA. I did raise the matter briefly over the phone a couple of days ago, and immediately told I was lying by the Boss. Not great.

Anyway, I plan to deduct £150 from the next rental payment. I plan to write to the LA informing them of my intention, by registered post, with at least 7 days notice.

I am not sure if I can do this legally, or if I should take another approach, or drop the matter?

Any advise much appreciated!

Thanks

Hmm... withholding rent is going a bit nuclear!

If you have receipts for cleaning products you could perhaps withhold rent to cover those and post the receipts to the letting agent (copy landlord and keep a copy yourself)...

perhaps in that covering letter gibe notice that you intend to withhold the receipted expenditure from the second months rent so that if you get no reply they have tacitly agreed!

I'd say that checking the inventory is what you should be doing anyway... Just life!

If I moved into somewhere a little bit dusty I'd be happy that I could easily leave the place in an acceptable state when I left and count my blessings.

If it was actually grubby then I would put it in writing that that was the case... and if i was pushing my luck I'd claim for the cleaning products. From reading other posts about legal stuff on here I'm pretty sure you could not claim for you time.... and if you did what is 6 hours cleaning at minimum wage anyway? Dam sight less than 150 quid I'd wager!

( 6 x 6.19 = 37.14 )

The maximum you could really reasonably claim is 37.14+cost of cleaning products...

The more I think about it I'd just send 1 letter with the corrected inventory and stating that you were not happy with the state that the property was found in and detailing any particularly nasty things you had to clean. Then you have a record to show that you leave the place in a better state of cleanliness when you undoubtedly clean the place well as you move out.

Best of luck whatever you decide to do!

Alex

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This happens to me whenever I move into a new flat. Although we get a verbal agreement that the flat will be clean when we move in it never is.

There just aren't many avenues open to us to remedy this situation that I am aware of. It creates all sorts of problems if you deduct money from the rent.

My advice would be to consider these options (and I hope other people have better idea!)

1. Send the agent a registered letter to say that the flat was not in a reasonable state when you arrived so you will not be responsible for the cleaning when you move out. Verbal conversations are very hard to prove if it comes to court.

2. Put a monetary value on the cleaning that you did and send them a bill. Then use the small claims court to try and recoup this if they will not pay. Our legal system and the small claims court is going to look at monetary loss. Also what proof you have. That's why I put into writing any claims agents make as in person they will lie as they breathe.

With the inventory have a look in your lease and see who pays for it and when. What some agents do is that they keep using the same one tenant after tenant but still charge at some point. The agent just pockets the money. If they claim that someone prepared the inventory just for you and you have paid for it ask to see any invoice. If you are required to pay for the inventory when you leave make it clear that you are not doing this as one was not prepared for you at the start.

Good luck.

Edited by Flopsy

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Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated!

One plus point for the situation: you can only be made to return the flat in as good as state as when you arrived (not better) So you really don't have to worry about cleaning when you leave....

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Thanks to the OP and to all that have contributed to this thread.

I'm in a similar situation at the moment, so thought I'd share my experiences in this thread.

We (myself and my girlfriend) moved into our current flat around 9 months ago. When we moved in our new landlady showed us around and how to use the heating, etc.

Within walking into the corridor and having a look at the first room, it became clear that the lightest of cleaning jobs had been done. I had already had a long day with moving boxes and furniture around and was not in the best mood. So, I explained to her firmly that the flat was not clean, and that I was not happy about it being handed to us in its current state.

This is where she really got on my nerves - she explained that the previous tenants had only moved out the previous day, and that she lived 40 miles away and had just had a baby, so didn't have the time to get into the flat and have a look at it. They did however replace the light bulbs. Lucky us, eh. She then said that she didn't think the flat was too dirty.

I explained to her that there is no way that we would be cleaning the flat when we moved out and that she should have organised herself a bit better. She said that the previous tenants had cleaned a little, and would expect the flat back in a "presentable" state. I then started opening things (oven, cupboards, fridge, etc) only to reveal more uncleaned areas in an attempt to convey to her in the simplest way possible that the flat was absolutely filthy.

It begun to get awkward as I wouldn't back down. The Landlady then apologised after seeing the deep layer of burnt pizza crust in the base of the oven, the odd multicoloured stains in the fridge and getting a whif of the smelly kitchen cupboards. She said that she would make a note of it in the inventory.

So 9 months down the line and we haven't received an inventory from her. We're looking at moving out and I'd really like to cause her some hassle and grief because of the moving day dirt, and because she never answers her phone (emails me a few days later asking what I wanted). Previous threads on here seem to indicate that a lack of inventory is an advantage to the tenant.

When we know that we will be moving out, I'll at least send her a recorded letter confirming that we will not be doing any cleaning, and will attach pictures of the day one dirt that I took.

Anyone got any other ideas on how I can wind her up?

I now know that her and her husband are have a go landlords - they have one or two small business that turn over small amounts of money, and owning a flat is one of them. I also suspected that she was a bit thick. I had this confirmed by a plumber and painter that I befriended when they were performing some maintenance on the flat (She's from a wealthy family and got into btl because her mum told her to, and presumably gave her the dosh).

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Anyone got any other ideas on how I can wind her up?

Why???

If you do get into protracted debate about stuff and have to resort to the courts I can't believe the court will look favourably on you trying to wind her up!

I suggest that you today put into writing your best recollection of the inventory at move in and send it to the LL saying that as you never received an inventory from her that you have taken it upon yourself to write one.

At least then there is AN inventory in 3 months time when you move out and more importantly you wrote it.

Then just clean to the same standard that you found the flat in.

What tangible outcome do you want from the situation? Winding her up is dropping to her level. Take the high road!

Best of luck

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  • 239 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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