Urgent- students facing unfair charges!

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    Urgent- students facing unfair charges!


    I moved from a property with 5 of my friends last week and we feel the landlord who is the manager of the estate agency whom we had a one year contract with is trying to rip us off. We had an inventory at the start and the end of tenancy but some of the charges are just unreal. please can I have some opinions and advice...These are direct quotes from the inventory report done by an 'independent' company:

    'there is extremely heavy spicy odour throughout the whole kitchen'

    'Both the fridge and the freezers have been left with food debris
    noted and the fridge has heavy odour within, this will need

    'thick dust build up to the skirting boards, switches and sockets'

    'Thick dust noted to the skirting boards and upper surfaces, thick
    cobwebs into the corners behind the door frames and the ceiling
    and upper wall section seems to be showing extremely heavy

    MY ROOM:
    'Dust build up to the skirting boards, switches, sockets and upper
    surfaces, light dust and debris into the wardrobe.'

    'Carpet also requires a vacuum and the window frame is dusty'

    We cleaned our hearts out yet they are trying to charge us for odors, skirting board dust and light switch dust! Please tell me we can fight this?????


    If the kitchen and fridge didn't smell when you moved in and it smells now, you should have cleaned it so it didn't smell, or pay someone else to do this.

    Dust is dust, it can be cleaned away with baby wipes!

    If you cleaned your hearts out, the place would be clean not dusty.

    No, you can't fight this; you should either have cleaned it properly or be prepared to pay someone else to do this.

    The only item that does appear questional is the "heavy darkening" to he upper walls. This is a rather unhelpful description. "Upper part of wall is a different colour to lower part of wall" would alert the landlord/agent to damage or redecoration that has taken place. A cost to rectify this could then be worked out - split betwen five of you it shouldn't be too much. On the other hand, if you believe the discolouration is due to damp (or some other problem that would be the landlord's responsiblity) you will have to pay to have this investigated by a professional.


      If the property was very clean when you moved in your LL can expect it to be returned to him in the same condition. The independent inventory clerk has no axe to grind, really - the clue is in the name. If they said the fridge had old food in it and the kitchen stank of spices, presumably it did.

      I think the problem seems to be that you do not accept that dust is a form of dirt. (Its is). I too would claim from my student tenants' deposit for dusty skirting boards and picture rails, as when tenants move in, these, along with every other surface, are always spotless). Although you 'cleaned your hearts out', sadly that does not mean you did it as thoroughly as was needed to bring it up to a high standard. Just to give you an idea of how long it should take to get a 6 bed student house squeaky clean (especially if minimal cleaning has been done all year), we advise our tenants to spend 2-3 hours each cleaning their rooms and 3-4 hours each cleaning the communal areas and all furniture, putting the garden to rights, removing rubbish, cleaning all windows, etc. If the carpets were cleaned before you moved in, you should have them cleaned when you move out.

      How long did you all spend 'cleaning your hearts out', out of interest?
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


        Did the 5 of you have a joint contract, or did you each have your own contract?

        Why do YOU think the independant company reportd heavy dust when you think there was none?

        I note you stress the 'independant' bit - do you have evidence of something being amiss?


          Thanks for your feedback.

          Firstly we were clean lads from the start. When the LL came to visit during mid-tenancy he remarked the house has the most tidy place he had seen. The cleanest the house had ever since he visited was when we left.

          I personally wiped down my windows with bleach water and soap, yet it was noted as dusty! Thats when it came to me they might be lying in this inventory. We did the same to the fridge- bleach water and soap. How can you charge for strong spicy odor :S?

          Can we actually be charged for general dust???? Surely even after we have swept the house there will still be dust in some places?


            We were a very clean bunch and kept the property tidy for most of the year! 3-5 hours was spent cleaning.This is why I don't understand the overnight dust build up! Furthermore, I purposely cleaned my window with bleach and water, yet I still got charged for dust on window.

            I am not convinced the inventory company was working without influence. He arrived and began 20mins before He was supposed to start the appointment, then spent another 40mins viewing the house (with the landlord arriving and spending 10mins inside with the him before calling us back inside-not very independent!)


              To quote you quoting the Inventory company regarding your room:

              'Dust build up to the skirting boards, switches, sockets and upper
              surfaces, light dust and debris into the wardrobe.'

              'Carpet also requires a vacuum and the window frame is dusty'

              The company seem to accept that the window frame has been dusted recently as it is not listed in the areas with dust build-up. Is it possible that your moving out of your room stirred up some of the dust that had built up elsewhere in the room? I agree it does seem suprising that sufficient dust had built overnight to be noticable, but moving a lot of stuff around (to clean or vacate a room) can stir up the other dust in the room if it is there...

              I do feel that you have obviously made some effort to clean up, which is commendable, but as mind the gap says it does take a lot of effort to clean a whole house properly. A six bed-room property with communal ares should have been clean if all six of you worked for three to five hours, but it's not about effort, it's about results. Either the place is clean, or its not.


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