Attempt reclamation of damages or rent arrears from departed tenant's deposit

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    Attempt reclamation of damages or rent arrears from departed tenant's deposit

    Hi

    My tenants have left the property they were in for 5 years. There is considerable damage to walls, floors etc. and piles of rubbish. They are also have rent arrears for £1500.

    There is a guarantor in place so I am reasonably confident that I will get my costs and the rent back in due course.

    My main question is when trying to get the DPS to give me the £1500 deposit rather than give it to the tenant, should I be citing the outstanding rent figure or the making good costs?

    Secondly, I'd assumed that the guarantor covers the tenants' liability to make good the property in addition to covering any rent arrears, but actually is that likely to be true?

    Is there anything else I should be thinking about?

    Thanks in anticipation

    #2
    What the guarantor is liable for will be contained in the agreement between you and the guarantor.
    There's no one size fits all answer.

    I would focus on the rent with the DPS as it's not really open to dispute.
    Either the tenant paid the rent that they owed or they didn't.

    With damages, you have to make adjustments for fair wear and tear and prove that the tenant caused the damage.
    You might find it easier to get a guarantor to pay a claim for repairs and damage than to get the claim past the DPS adjudication process.

    Many claims against guarantors don't get resolved in the landlord's favour.
    Remain pessimistic and hope to be pleasantly surprised, rather than being confident and then disappointed.
    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


      #3
      Thanks for your useful thoughts.

      Looking at the Guarantor's agreement, it includes that:

      "If the tenant is in breach of any provisions of the Letting Terms, the Guarantor will remedy that breach on demand and will pay to the Landlord reasonable compensation for all losses suffered by the Landlord as a result of that breach."

      Does anyone have any thoughts on the rate of interest that might reasonably be charged on rent arrears?


      Comment


        #4
        Be aware it's likely that the guarantor agreement will be found unenforceable, especially after 5 year.

        Was there only one AST then perioidic? Was there only on guarantor agreement? Was it enacted as a deed please?
        https://england.shelter.org.uk/legal...ion/guarantors

        Certainly start deposit scheme dispute as 1st step.
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by Sydaton View Post
          Looking at the Guarantor's agreement, it includes that:
          "If the tenant is in breach of any provisions of the Letting Terms, the Guarantor will remedy that breach on demand and will pay to the Landlord reasonable compensation for all losses suffered by the Landlord as a result of that breach."
          I doubt that that's enforceable if the guarantor declines to be bound by it.
          It's not usually possible to agree to something that has no limit and is not in the control of the person agreeing it.
          Does anyone have any thoughts on the rate of interest that might reasonably be charged on rent arrears?
          What does the tenancy agreement say about interest being charged?
          The usual rate for interest on a debt is an annual rate of 8%
          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


            #6
            Thanks to both of you.

            I think I am answering all your queries when I say:

            It was a 12 month AST and then it just ran on from there.

            There was only one Guarantor agreement (as there was only 1 tenancy agreement) and it was signed at the same time as a Deed.

            There is no rate of interest referred to, the only reference to interest being, "Interest may be payable on any late interest payments"


            The Guarantor made contact and paid off £6k of rent arrears about 6 months ago when the arrears were brought to her attention linked to a Section 8 notice.

            Comment


              #7

              The Guarantor made contact and paid off £6k of rent arrears about 6 months ago when the arrears were brought to her attention linked to a Section 8 notice.[/QUOTE]

              Sounds like you may have a guarantor who will pay up - the threat of a CCJ can be quite a motivator to someone with a good credit history! I would try that route first with a fully itemised and reasonable list of charges. Remember you are not entitled to improve the property and you must allow for wear and tear. After 5 years you would expect to repaint & possibly replace carpets that were not new at the beginning of the tenancy.

              Good luck

              Comment


                #8
                Yes, it's positive from that point of view.

                Reverting to the question of raising a dispute with DPS. The rent arrears are about £100 below the £1500 deposit held so do you think it would be a good idea to include the clearing of the rubbish cost of £350 in the dispute claim? That's the only cost I know at the moment as currently the decorator can't get in to view what decorations need doing.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Can I just add something. My landlord wants to make us pay for things that are wrong with the property. It's not my damage. The eves have dropped. The toilet bowl is leaking around the floor. Causing damp. I've reported it many times with promising to come do it. Now he says it our fault. He's planning on keeping our deposit to cover this. We have only ever been late 1 time with rent due to job change and have been here almost 5 years

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Juliep101 View Post
                    Can I just add something. My landlord wants to make us pay for things that are wrong with the property
                    Dispute the deductions with the organisation with whom your deposit is protected.

                    The landlord can't deduct anything from your deposit or retain it all without your consent.

                    If they persist, suggest that the take legal advice or speak to one of the landlord associations.
                    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


                      #11
                      I've photographed everything in dispute. Where do I write a new thread?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        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


                          #13
                          Just for the record, juliep101 isn't my tenant and I wish her well in sorting this out with her landlord.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks for your input on the above.

                            As the guarantor came up with the c.£6k cash a few months back, I thought I would approach the tenants first and also their guarantor. I understand that the DPS will hold the deposit and notify me if they want to release it and I can then appeal at that time?

                            I've therefore drafted the following and if anyone has any thoughts on this, I'd be pleased to hear them. The rent owed is about £1500 and about £5500 costs to me of which I reckon the tenants are liable for £2500.

                            Draft email to Guarantor:

                            Mrs Smith (name changed)

                            I am sorry to trouble you with this but I need to put you on notice about rent arrears and extra costs following John & Jane's departure from the flat that I own at yyyy.

                            Please see my email to them below.

                            Thank you incidentally, for settling their rent arrears a few months back. As their guarantor you are also responsible for this debt.

                            I have not yet instructed solicitors on this matter so as to keep costs down but if the debt is not settled within the next 7 days I will need to do so. I have also ignored interest and other costs such as loss of rent for the extra time involved in sorting out the flat.

                            I look forward to hearing from you.

                            Kind Regards

                            Syd


                            Draft email to ex tenants:


                            John & Jane (names changed)

                            I have now had the rubbish cleared from the flat and am able to see the damage left following your occupation.

                            I have provisionally summarised my damages here (link disabled)

                            Additionally, the rent arrears are shown here (link disabled)

                            The original survey from when you moved in is here (link disabled)

                            The outgoing survey is here (link disabled)

                            So as to keep costs down I am yet to instruct solicitors but will do so within the next 7 days if payment is not received.

                            You will note that some of the lines are marked as provisional - this is because I am yet to receives quotes for the work. Those costs are subject to change if quotes vary from what I have allowed. I am happy to freeze them as soon as you have paid of course.

                            I therefore look forward to settlement of this please.


                            Kind Regards

                            Syd

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Make it 14 days to pay, then if they don't pay give a further 7 days.

                              As part of your initial offer say that if the payment is made in full within 14 days no additional fees, charges, interest or other expenses will apply. After the 14 days these will apply.

                              Comment

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