Landlord claiming unreasonable damage costs

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    Landlord claiming unreasonable damage costs

    I have recently left a rented property having been a tenant for just over 3 years. I have received an email from the letting agents today with a breakdown of damage costs to the tune of nearly £5k. Obviously I dispute this massively but need to understand what next steps I need to take. The tenancy ended after I gave the required one months notice I left the property as the landlord was turning up at 9 am on a weekend without notice and ringing up to 10pm of a night towards the end of the tenancy so things did sour towards the end. The property was left clean and to a good standard. There has been checks from the landlord themselves every 6 months and no issues raised or documented. Please help!

    #2
    What items are they saying are damaged, and how much are they assigning to those items?

    Is there a deposit that is being held in one of the appropriate deposit schemes?

    Comment


      #3
      There is a deposit of £675 that is with DPS. There is a long list of items however the main one is £2500 for lawns to be replaced as they claim the grass has not been maintained. It was left in the same condition as we moved in plus a claim for 2 months rent as the property was not in a condition to be let out again

      Comment


        #4
        Well, unless you dug it up and concreted it they won't win that one.

        Tenants are not generally expected to keep anything living alive. No plants etc.

        First things first:
        Did you have a full inventory when you move in?
        Who did it? Landlord, Agent or an independent Clerk?

        Comment


          #5
          Yes an inventory was taken which was provided the week I moved out. the photographs are timed stamped with the date of the day before the tenancy started, however the upload to the inventory date is stated as 2 weeks later and my signature is the day the tenancy started. not sure if that makes any difference.

          Comment


            #6
            The first thing to do would be to raise a dispute with DPS. If they decide the landlord's real loss is less than £625, I don't think he will have a leg to stand on if he goes to court.

            Did you leave with proper notice given? If so they cannot go after consequential loss of rent.

            Comment


              #7
              Yes 1 months rent was given the only thing that was left was 1 weeks rent which the agent agreed to deduct from the deposit. not sure why they would offer this if the property was in such a state when I left?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Unbelieveable View Post
                Yes an inventory was taken which was provided the week I moved out. the photographs are timed stamped with the date of the day before the tenancy started, however the upload to the inventory date is stated as 2 weeks later and my signature is the day the tenancy started. not sure if that makes any difference.
                Sounds convoluted. How/why did you sign it before it was completed?

                If I were you I'd just let the deposit scheme deal with it. It sounds ludicrous from here!

                Comment


                  #9
                  everything was done on a tablet and I hadn't actually realised an inventory was taken or I had signed for it as It wasn't provided until I requested a copy of the tenancy agreement just before I put notice in on the property. will the deposit scheme not just look at the weeks rent they have requested and the remaining amount down the agent/landlords to chase for? There was also a guarantor named in the tenancy so I don't want any of this falling back them either!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Done on a tablet by whom?

                    I am a clerk by the way, I get annoyed by shoddy inventory practices

                    The only proper answer to 'what will the deposit scheme do' is go look at their website. They may have an FAQ that helps you feel reassured, or a case study. In short they will look at whatever evidence is provided and make a decision. If all is exactly as you say your landlord is clutching at straws and the agent should have told him so!

                    Oh! If you didn't get a copy of the inventory did you get the proper paperwork, including the deposit protection certificate within 30 days of moving in?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Simply dispute everything you don't agree with, first with the landlord and then with the DPS if they persist.

                      The claim for the lawn won't succeed and the claim for the lost rent isn't the slightest bit viable.
                      In theory, they might have some claim if the lawn was completely ruined, but even then it would have to be adjusted to allow for all of the fair wear and tear and existing use of the lawn.
                      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


                        #12
                        Sorry it was the letting agent who had the tablet and asked me to sign for the keys which I assumed I had, I don't recall being shown pictures etc but the inventory has my signature or something that resembles my signature. I've had a quick look at the FAQ's for DPS and it doesn't really say too much about amounts above the deposit amount. From a little bit of research I've also found that my tenancy states that a limited company is the landlord, however companies house has this company dissolved in 2017. no changes have every been made to the original tenancy I signed so not sure if I need to go into detail regarding damage with DPS as the landlord is apparently dissolved?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Are you SURE the deposit was protected properly? This sounds like the sort of crazy claims landlords make when they receive the "deposit not protected" paperwork and start panicking about 1-3x penalty per tenancy.
                          Worth checking...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yes I’ve double checked and it is 100% with DPS although I never received the information I found it through their search function. It was registered by the letting agent

                            Comment


                              #15
                              There's a reasonable chance the landlord is seeing this.

                              Did anyone serve formal notice that the landlord had changed at any point?

                              Who protected and administers the deposit?

                              I don't think that it matters who the landlord is for the purposes of the deposit claim, because it's possible for an agent of the landlord to act on their behalf (even if they don't exist anymore).
                              But I think it will be difficult if they try and take you to court (and it's too late for them to serve the notices now)
                              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

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