Deposit - What amount is reasonable to deduct?

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    Deposit - What amount is reasonable to deduct?

    Dear everybody,

    I'm a tenant in a private self-contained studio room that is managed by the landlord who lives in the same house, and his agency.

    Here's my problem: my partner accidentally dropped her mug/bottle of something on the bathroom sink, creating a small chip. It's about 5mm x 2mm, and on the side of the sink. We informed the landlord directly after it happened and he has covered the problem with some silicon. The chip does not stop the sink from functioning at all and is not dangerous due to the silicon covering. The chip is barely noticeable and there is no risk of further damage due to the chip. In other words, the sink is perfectly fine asides from a slight imperfection.

    We're moving out soon and the landlord says he wants to deduct a rather large sum of money from our deposit. He also says he might want more as he'll have to change the sink entirely, but also change the bath, bidet, shower and toilet, as they are all the same color and he 'must have' a bathroom "set". I also know the bathroom is several decades old, and he's been wanting to change it for a while.

    I've also found out that the deposit is not protected under a Deposit Protection Scheme.

    So the question is: what should I do? Should I allow him to take the money from the deposit to change the sink (and probably the whole bathroom at the same time)? Should I argue it should be covered by his insurance? Should I mention the lack of DPS for the deposit? Should I argue it was reasonable wear and tear or that since the bathroom/sink was needing change anyway so we shouldn't pay? Should I have an independent 3rd party assess the damage/cost of repairs and go with that? Should I only pay the cost of repairs to the sink that are reasonable depending on the age and average life of a sink?

    I appreciate all feedback you may have on my situation, even the "you are responsible, pay for it all" answers. I just want to know my options, even if it means I'll probably have to pay for it all!

    Many thanks!

    #2
    Sounds like fair wear and tear to me. To claim an entire bathroom for it is taking the mickey!

    Comment


      #3
      Good guidance on Shelter's website on disputing deductions and also actions you can take to get up to 3x deposit due to landlord flouting the deposit protection laws.

      Stupid (in two ways) landlord
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


        #4
        Ok, thanks for your feedback! I appreciate it!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Hillsy101 View Post
          Sounds like fair wear and tear to me. To claim an entire bathroom for it is taking the mickey!
          Clearly this landlord is in trouble, and replacing the whole bathroom is a joke. But whatever the case and whatever recompense might be due (I would have thought replacing the basin - which will not be an improvement) dropping something on a basin and breaking it is hardly "fair wear and tear".

          If I was the landlord I would just keep very quiet if the OP is not in fact a lodger (which they might be). But "wear and tear"...... hardly.

          Comment


            #6
            I had a tenant put the hot iron on the carpet burning a nice big brown hole in it. I charged them to replace the carpet in that room but I couldn't charge them to re-carpet the whole flat the same style and colour - I'm sure you get the idea.

            However, the above is irrelevant because the Landlord didn't protect the deposit. Personally, I wouldn't sue someone for the 3x amount but I sure as hell would make sure I got all my deposit back and was allowed to leave when it was convenient to me (he can't use Section 21 either)

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by BJHutchison View Post
              Dear everybody,

              We're moving out soon and the landlord says he wants to deduct a rather large sum of money from our deposit. He also says he might want more as he'll have to change the sink entirely, but also change the bath, bidet, shower and toilet, as they are all the same color and he 'must have' a bathroom "set". I also know the bathroom is several decades old, and he's been wanting to change it for a while.

              I've also found out that the deposit is not protected under a Deposit Protection Scheme.
              Landlord is taking the P***

              Whilst i agree it is certainly not fair wear and tear i would personally use the fact he didnt protect the deposit to my advantage.

              Probably going to get slaughtered by the regulars round here for this next bit but nevermind....

              Tell him you'll agree to not sue him for 3x deposit for failing to protect deposit in exchange for getting your deposit back in full and if he wants to change the bath, sink and toilet he does so at his expense.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Usernametaken View Post

                Probably going to get slaughtered by the regulars round here for this next bit but nevermind....

                Tell him you'll agree to not sue him for 3x deposit for failing to protect deposit in exchange for getting your deposit back in full and if he wants to change the bath, sink and toilet he does so at his expense.
                No, it's completely fair. I'm a Landlord but I don't exploit tenants.

                Comment


                  #9
                  There is a reason new posters are asked to supply this information

                  1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?

                  Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only?

                  Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy?

                  Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)?

                  Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)?

                  Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)?

                  Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy).

                  Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant?


                  Your landlord may claim you are a lodger. Doesnt affect what is reasonable, does affect whether you may have to sue to get a deposit back.

                  What colour is the suite and what material (plastic, ceramic?)? I'd be inclined to call his bluff by sourcing a sink, if i hadnt already mended the chip myself. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cramer-Cera.../dp/B001RQ5TMK

                  He cant legitmately take money for changing everything and even if the sink needed replacing totally he would have to make a deduction for wear and tear based on the life of the sink. He could charge for fitting the sink, that might cost more than the sink.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    He says he is a tenant. We have to assume he knows whether he is on a tenancy agreement or a licence.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I disagree. A lot of people are poorly informed.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Usernametaken View Post

                        Probably going to get slaughtered by the regulars round here for this next bit but nevermind....
                        I doubt it.

                        Regular posters on here are scrupulously fair to tenants.

                        Have a read through some past posts.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Icike View Post
                          I'm a Landlord but I don't exploit tenants.
                          Join the club dear, there's no need to brag about it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by boletus View Post

                            I doubt it.

                            Regular posters on here are scrupulously fair to tenants.

                            Read through some past posts.
                            I have for the past 3 years.
                            Maybe i worded it slightly wrong.
                            Agreed some are really fair to tenants. Some however i get the impression dont agree with the deposit penalty side of it.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              T can only sue for deposit non-protection, it is Judge who decides extent of Penalty (1-3x deposit).
                              LL can serve a valid s21 if he first returns full deposit paid.
                              A chipped hand basin here is T damage, not FW&T. LL can change whole of bathroom suite if he wishes, but can only claim for replacement hand basin + fitting, less FW&T allowance for original hand basin. The remaining new suite may be considered to be a capital expenditure 'improvement' for tax purposes.

                              Comment

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