Letting agent cannot produce signed inventory

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    Letting agent cannot produce signed inventory

    Hi all, thank you in advance for taking the time to read my post.

    I have recently vacated a property, of which it was professionally cleaned, with a receipt/invoice of the clean. The check-out was completed by an independent clerk on 1st March, of which they produced the report, which was sent onto me from the letting agents.

    The check-in inventory (when we moved into the property) was signed by us, after going through the property and outlining any marks, stains, etc. We went to the letting agent's office and sat down with the property manager to go through some of the items, and signed the check-in inventory (January 2017). Since this time, we have requested a copy of the check-in inventory that we have signed, but to date, the letting agents are only able to provide the inventory from the check-in clerk which is signed by 'XX' (literally XX).

    The landlord is now trying to claim £120 for carpet cleaning, even though an invoice/receipt has been provided, because there are a few stains on the carpet. Before moving into the property, as well as it being reported on the check-in inventory, even after the landlord had a professional clean/carpet clean (with receipts that have still not been provided to us upon request), there were still stains on the carpet. Our argument here is that evidently, even a professional carpet clean cannot lift all stains on a cream carpet. After 14 months of living in a property, a professional carpet clean is unable to remove all stains (still), yet we have managed to lift some of the previous stains that the landlord left. Of course, this aspect was ignored.

    If the letting agents cannot provide a signed copy of the check-in inventory, which we signed in their office, do they have any leg to stand on to make a claim? I am not trying to wriggle my way out of this, and will dispute the claim, but I have checked MyDeposits and it would appear to me that if no signed check-in inventory is present, the landlord can't claim.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    #2
    Whilst the inability to prove you agreed the check-in inventory goes against the landlord, they don't have to actually clean the carpet, as long as they don't pass it off as clean to the next tenant.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
      Whilst the inability to prove you agreed the check-in inventory goes against the landlord, they don't have to actually clean the carpet, as long as they don't pass it off as clean to the next tenant.
      Thank you for your response. So, to confirm, the lack of signed check-in inventory will go against the landlord? What makes it even more infuriating is that the only reason we moved out of the property is because the landlord served notice as he's selling the property.

      I understand that it is part of the tenancy agreement to leave the property in [x] condition, in this case, professionally cleaned. However, they cannot expect that after 14 months of a family living in a property, even with a professional clean, that they're going to have newly looking carpets.

      I will definitely dispute this with MyDeposits, even if it is £120, because I don't think it's right that people can get away with this - especially given the fact they're selling, and not renting out to another tenant.

      Comment


        #4
        If the contract has a term that says the property has to be professionally cleaned and you have paid to have it cleaned, you've satisfied the term.
        There's no standard for "professional cleaning", the term is pretty meaningless.

        Other than what's in the tenancy agreement, the landlord is entitled to claim for compensation for the loss in value of their property during the lease that is beyond fair wear and tear.
        Most landlords (not on this forum) don't understand that - or the basis on which they can claim.

        It doesn't really matter whether you signed the inventory or not.
        If it was produced by a third party, it's probably an accurate reflection of the property at the time - it's why 3rd parties are used.

        What matters is whether the marks that required cleaning are fair wear and tear or not.

        And you might want to take up with your cleaners why they weren't able to clean the marks when the landlord's cleaners seem to have been able to.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          You admit to signing move in condition report in Jan17, provided by LA at time, for you to compare with stated condition and note anything you disagreed with..
          If you wanted a copy, you had opportunity to make your own copy at time.
          You have no Right to see any LL Invoices/estimates for any restitution work.
          Your only hope for an assessment of FW&T after 1 year is to contest LL estimate/bill in SCC.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            If the contract has a term that says the property has to be professionally cleaned and you have paid to have it cleaned, you've satisfied the term.
            There's no standard for "professional cleaning", the term is pretty meaningless.
            Agreed.

            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            Other than what's in the tenancy agreement, the landlord is entitled to claim for compensation for the loss in value of their property during the lease that is beyond fair wear and tear.
            Most landlords (not on this forum) don't understand that - or the basis on which they can claim.
            They are claiming £120.00, and have said "The carpets throughout have not been professionally cleaned, pet hair remains in the carpet throughout the house along with dust around the edges of all carpets and skirting boards". Firstly, the carpet was professionally cleaned; prior to the professional clean it was hoovered several times using an allergy vacuum, with a brush bar, to pick up the pet hair. All edges were fully dusted, and as per the check-in inventory, dust was already present in the deep gaps between the wall and the carpet, because it's impossible to get to these areas (by the landlord, us, a cleaner, etc.)

            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            It doesn't really matter whether you signed the inventory or not.
            If it was produced by a third party, it's probably an accurate reflection of the property at the time - it's why 3rd parties are used.
            I think it does matter because we went into the Letting Agents office after we moved in, and after we had gone round the property ourselves to note extra markings on the carpets, walls, etc. as well as missing items from the inventory like certain sets of curtains. When we presented this to the Property Manager at the Letting Agents shortly after we moved in, we went through the items with her, and she updated them on the electronic copy she had, and asked us to sign to confirm we were happy with the notes. We did that, and the copy has never been seen again with our signatures.

            They have confirmed in writing that they don't have a copy of this, so I believe it does matter if we have made amendments to it, trusted the Letting Agent (god forbid) at the time, and have now found out they didn't actually keep a record of it.

            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            What matters is whether the marks that required cleaning are fair wear and tear or not. And you might want to take up with your cleaners why they weren't able to clean the marks when the landlord's cleaners seem to have been able to.
            To be honest, they cannot confirm what is actually wrong; one day it's that there's a few stains, the next day it's pet hair, the next day it's something else. I have been renting for 10 years, and admittedly in some of those tenancies I've left the property and thought "I can't be bothered to clean or hire a cleaner, never mind about the deposit". But 90% of houses I have rented have been professionally cleaned, or cleaned to a very high standard by me, and been commented that they have been left in a better condition than when I moved in.

            It wasn't my cleaners that weren't able to remove the marks; sorry if it was badly worded, what I was trying to say is that my cleaners were able to remove stains that were left on the carpet by the Landlord (and noted on the check-in inventory by the Inventory Clerk). So what you've said, but in reverse - which is what makes this whole situation even more frustrating.

            There is now even more information coming to light:

            1. Our tenancy end date was 28th February 2018; and the check-out inspection was confirmed and booked by the Letting Agents for 1st March 2018. On 1st March 2018 at around 10am we received a telephone call from a member of staff at the Letting Agents; she confirmed that the Inspection Clerk was in the property and asked us if she could speak to our cleaner - I asked why and she said that the Clerk doesn't believe the carpets have been cleaned. As I was at work, I asked the Letting Agent to email me what we had discussed on the telephone so I could respond during my working hours.

            2. The Letting Agent emailed confirming that she would like to speak to the cleaner regarding some questions about the carpets in the property.

            3. When we received the check-out report, the Letting Agent confirmed the inspection was carried out on 3rd March (different to what we were told in writing, and on the telephone on 1st March). When I queried this with the Property Manager, she asked me to provide evidence that we were told an Inventory Clerk was present on 1st March, not 3rd March. I provided the telephone call log, and the email from the Letting Agent on 1st March requesting to speak to the cleaner.

            4. This morning the Property Manager responded saying "Unfortunately all this shows me is that a call was made to you from the Quedgeley office. It does not tell me who called you or what was discussed". The person who telephoned us has been copied into all of the emails between us and the Letting Agents, I'm just dumbfounded as to how the Letting Agents think it's okay to say this. Who in their right mind would conveniently contact you on the date of your agreed check-out, as well as email you asking about the cleaner, but then say the check-out was done 2 days later?!

            5. The check-out report shows that the garden was covered in snow; on the date of the check-out report, there was heavy snow, and 2 days later, the snow had melted (obviously I can't prove this, but I know in my mind that I'm not going crazy). I also have confirmation emails showing the date of the check-out report scheduled, the call log, and the email from the Letting Agent.

            6. MyDeposits have requested a copy of the signed check-in and check-out reports, as well as other supporting evidence from us to dispute the claim. Of course, I have a lot of evidence against the Letting Agent. I am just so flummoxed as to how they get away with this?

            I know this may appear as though I'm just an angry tenant, but this really isn't the case. I am shocked by how much the Letting Agents have lied; I have emails from them confirming a tenancy end date, in writing, and a letter signed by the landlord, then instead of sticking to their agreement, the Landlord gave us his 'required 2 months notice'. Now, I know that's part of the tenancy agreement, but I think it's disgusting of the Letting Agent and the Landlord to go back on signed letters and essentially ignore them (there was only 3 weeks difference, but it's the principal).

            I am simply frustrated that people can get away with treating others like this. Regardless of who they are; tenant, landlord, or letting agent, I would expect a mutual level of respect by all parties.

            Comment


              #7
              If the agreement says that the carpets have to be professionally cleaned and you have paid someone who does cleaning for a living to clean them, you have met the requirement.

              There is no such thing as a "professional standard" for carpet cleaning. If you want proof of this, simply ask the agent/landlord for the industry standard definition of "professional cleaning", so they can point out where the cleaning doesn't match it.

              If the person doing the inventory called from the property on the day they were checking it to query whether the carpets have been cleaned, I'd suggest that there may be something in it. That's not something I've ever encountered before.

              Just dispute the deduction and stick to your guns.
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                Thank you, that is the plan. MyDeposits have come back to me requesting some documentation from the Letting Agent (signed inventories, tenancy agreement, confirmation that the Landlord wants to pursue the claim, etc.) So I have requested this from the Letting Agents - I've kept everything in writing so I can evidence absolutely every communication.

                Comment

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