Landlord taking me to court for spurious damage, deposit not protected

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    Landlord taking me to court for spurious damage, deposit not protected

    Hello. New here, and need some advice.
    I have recently moved out of a two bedroom flat I’ve lived in for the past 3+ years on the Wirral. Was a private rental direct from the landlord who’s a local property developer.
    I always got on with them (father and son). Son was the landlord, but mostly dealt with the father.
    i scrubbed and cleaned the property before handing it back. There was a few screws in the wall for pictures and clocks (5-6 screws max). A bit of BlueTac was used by my daughter and there are 5/6 small spots I forgot to remove.
    I also did some preventative maintenance in the bathroom as water was going down a crack between the bathtub and the plastic wall which would have caused water damage to the flat downstairs. I informed the landlord of this and was told they’d take a look at it, but nothing really happened.
    Anyway landlord says I extensively damaged his property and is demanding £4,500 in repairs which is crazy. The landlord never protected my deposit and I have no paperwork relating to an inventory check. I don’t recall any inventory check when I moved in.
    They’re taking me to court as I’m not paying this outrageous amount. Am worried about what a court will say, they may fake an inventory document, but my deposit was definately not protected, have checked all 3 schemes.
    They’re expecting me to fully refurbish this 2 bed flat, repaint, new carpets, etc, it’s crazy. A freezer drawer cracked and their repsonse was buy a new fridge freezer!
    Where do I start, I need to go to court prepared. All the photos they sent me of the damage I put down to wear and tear, I’ve rented many times so know what is damage and what is wear and tear. I can post photos if this forum lets me.
    Causing me a lot of stress, they have money, solicitors etc, I don’t!

    #2
    Some photos here as examples of damage they state. The tape around the bath was preventative as I informed them of water flowing down the gap and their response was uninterested and it would have damaged the flat downstairs.

    Comment


      #3
      2 more photos here. Again they say I damaged their properly and are demanding £4,500 in repairs which they have already carried out, I’m sure they’ll show invoices for the work carried out all highly inflated.
      They demanded a new fridge freezer for the cracked freezer drawer! Interest is being added daily and they are after £4,500++

      Comment


        #4
        I'm a tenant also, hopefully some more learned LL's will come along shortly and offer some more solid advice.

        However - 3 words here are very important: Deposit Not Protected

        Can you evidence that you paid one? Can you evidence that they received it?
        If so, focus all your attention on getting this evidence together. By not protecting it, the LL has broken the law and will face a penalty for 1 to 3 times the deposit amount, payable to you. Other forum threads will go into lots of detail for how you can do this, and likely amounts based on your circumstances etc. but you hold significant cards here.

        Are you 100% confident that there was no move in itinerary? That you didn't sign one but lose your copy? If they cant prove the status on move in with your signature/date stamped photos etc then they cant prove you have done anything.

        Like I said, Im not a lawyer, or a LL, and have no actual experience here so do wait for other responses, but based on reading 100s of posts on here, a lot of which have similar woes, you shouldn't stress about the money side, though its likely to be a thorn in your side as you navigate all the legalities, communications to/fro etc.

        Good luck!

        Comment


          #5
          A coupe of clauses in the tenancy agreement, I signed as I desperately needed a place at the time with my 2 kids.
          one clause states I should really redecorate every 3 years if the place needs it or not.
          the next clause states the property is only for people aged 55 or over (I was 41 when I moved in)
          surely that would negate the agreement. Again the deposit I paid was not put in any DPS scheme, they said it didn’t need to be as the property was sublet, but the tenancy says nothing about this. Clearly states who is the landlord and that’s who I paid was he month. Please help guys.

          Comment


            #6
            vandamme,

            The deposit definitely wasn’t protected. I have bank statements showing the deposit and first month’s rent being paid to the landlord. I clearly don’t remember any inventory check. I signed the lease, initialled each page and the landlord’s father left, he is the one who I mostly dealt with. Any repair issues took weeks to occur so I had to make some repairs myself.

            Comment


              #7
              Some more photos, trying to give a clear idea as to what I’m facing. I don’t have £4,500 knocking about and don’t want a CCJ.

              Comment


                #8
                OK. I'm not sure how frequently the regular posters are on here over the weekend, and I'm about to leave work myself.
                What I will say though is don't stress too much over the weekend, you will definitely get great advice on this forum, its definitely the right place you need to be asking these questions.

                The LL cannot simply repair a bunch of stuff and then present you a bill for everything. In a nutshell, they are bound by so many rules and regulations, with calculations based on wear and tear versus damage etc.

                If they had protected your deposit, as they should have done legally, there are standard arbitration processes you both would follow where a neutral 3rd party asks both sides for evidence, then makes a decision on how much (if any) of your deposit goes towards repairs. From what I have read, and most of the decent LL's on here would likely agree, that these arbitration cases usually favour the tenant over the LL (not that thats fair, but its the general consensus). So even had they protected the deposit properly, you would have a fair and just means of appeal.

                The fact they haven't protected your deposit means that you really do have the upper hand. Do not be bullied by LL and son/father into thinking you have to pay anything. They have done a couple of fundamental LL responsibility things wrong (or not at all) with the deposit and move in itinerary. If everything you say here is correct, its far more likely that it will be you walking away with a few grand in your pocket (depending on deposit amount) rather than them.

                Don't antagonise them (yet) with any communications until you get more advice (better to keep cards close to your chest, they clearly aren't very professional so don't give them a heads up to seek their own advice), but do make sure you can evidence what you have done/paid for when the time comes - and have a good weekend with your kids!

                Comment


                  #9
                  ^ meant to add. You haven't said much about 'court'? Have they served any papers? It really seems likely they are just trying to intimidate you into paying. If they have served papers, let everyone here know the details (as best you can).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I’ve tasked a no win no fee solicitor to act on my behalf for not protecting my deposit. This is probably why the landlord is taking this action as they will have received a notice from my solicitor for x amount and possible court proceedings. These people are property developers with solicitors of their own, they’re definitely taking me to court. As they didn’t use the DPS I had no one to use to arbitrate so they can demand whatever they like with interest added on top!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      vandamme,

                      Yep, papers have been served, we’ll be going to court in the coming months. Their lease looks copied of the internet, but am still worried. I’m not giving them £4,500!!!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        This is the sink, no splash guard, not even waterproof paint so water soaked into the plaster board leading to paint peeling off. Build quality is very poor and they basically want me to pay for the refurbishment work they’ve done. They’ll have highly inflated Invoices no doubt. I’ve shopped around and for £4,500 I could get a new kitchen, new bathroom suite, re-carpet and repaint the whole property and still have change. This is madness and driving me mad!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Andy_Wirral View Post
                          Some more photos, trying to give a clear idea as to what I’m facing. I don’t have £4,500 knocking about and don’t want a CCJ.
                          Just my 2 pence worth as I work as a bathroom salesman. The heated towel is a cheap nasty chinese one and they always rust on the outside its only the stainless steel ones that don't for about £400 the one in the picture probably cost £80 or less. The shower rail is about £10-20 and again they pit because of household cleaners used on them. But for the cost of them you just buy another one as there cheap and cheerful. The whole bathroom looks well cheap so he got what he paid for the cheeky so n so

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The whole property is/was filled with cheap fittings, boiler broke continuously and all the repairmen said it’s a crap boiler. Usually took 5/7 days for a repair man to come and fix it, so no hot water regardless of the time of year!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I just think the LL is taking the mick. That whole bathroom is just cheap rubbish and I bet cost £500 or less. I tell customers that buy cheap crap like that don't come crying to me when it falls apart in 12-18 months time. Would I stick any of that rubbish my rentals? No way I think in the 2 flats I own I have to replace one shower cubicle and 4 bog seats in 12 years

                              Comment

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