Help with end of tenancy and deposit return

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    Help with end of tenancy and deposit return

    hi all,
    I have been renting through agents for the last 3 and a half years. I was a joint tenant with my ex partner. Christmas time my ex and I split up and he moved out. The landlord/agent would not accept me as a sole tenant as I was bankrupt in 2018 so they served me a section 21 notice.
    Today was the handing the keys back day. 2 agents turned up and said they would go around the property and take pictures but the Landlady wants to view the house and then decide on if there are any deductions from the deposit. I thought this was a bit strange as surely the letting agent has authorization to discuss that with me at the time of sign out? The landlady lives in Italy so not too sure how it is that she is going to view the house?! Also i would have hoped if that was the case she could have come along today as otherwise it all seems pointless.

    Anyway, so it seemed they were going to be a little hostile from the get go and they brought up several things that they state will affect the return of my deposit.

    As far as I am concerned I left that property in a good condition allowing for 3+ years of wear and tear....
    I wondered if I can clarify my position on these possible deductions so that i know where I stand when I get the email from them.

    I was told that the walls will all have to be repainted as they are 'heavily marked' by heavily marked there are only grubby marks, spots here and there, patches where i took shelves down and filled the holes.. nothing major but are they right in expecting the whole house is repainted? there reason given was that it was freshly painted when we moved in however i feel they are not allowing for 3+ yrs of wear.. I would feel that after 3yrs it would be a standard thing to expect a fresh coat of paint before new tenants?!

    i was told the carpets MUST be professionally cleaned. I hired a rug doctor carpet cleaner last week and did the carpets myself, they have stated this is not good enough, it must be a professional. Now they are clearly assuming i am not a professional cleaner, but what constitutes a professional cleaner anyway?! There are no stains on the carpets, the odd black mark here and there, nothing big at all and I feel they again are not allowing for 3+yrs of fair wear and tear. They state its because they were new carpets when we moved in, but why would you rent a house to a family with 2 kids and 2 dogs and then assume they would be 'as new' after 3yrs!? seems unfair to me.

    They have told me the garden is not 'seasonally landscaped' now im no alan titchmarsh so i have no idea what that means... there are flowers in the garden, there are shrubs, we pressure washed the patio area but couldnt cut the grass as the ground is far too wet and it was literally ripping up chunks of garden... so again what is fair here?! They want me to pay for a gardener?!

    Lastly there was a small fridge in the property when we moved in. we called the letting agents at the time and asked if they can take it away as we have a large fridge freezer of our own. They told us no and can we store it in the shed. So this we did.. fast forward 3+yrs and that small fridge in the shed has no got rust in it. The letting agent are denying they told us to put it in the shed?! Where do we stand on this? Its been an inconvenience taking us space in the shed so we wouldnt have had it there for fun!

    Thanks for any input you can offer.

    What happens if we do not agree on the deductions from the deposit?


    #2
    Originally posted by Shelly24 View Post
    I was told that the walls will all have to be repainted as they are 'heavily marked' by heavily marked there are only grubby marks, spots here and there, patches where i took shelves down and filled the holes.. nothing major but are they right in expecting the whole house is repainted? there reason given was that it was freshly painted when we moved in however i feel they are not allowing for 3+ yrs of wear.. I would feel that after 3yrs it would be a standard thing to expect a fresh coat of paint before new tenants?!
    3 years is a little short for repainting, I plan for every 5 or 6 years.
    But if they do redecorate they would have to allow for the fair wear and tear that's an inevitable part of people living in a property.
    But removing shelves isn't normal wear and tear.


    i was told the carpets MUST be professionally cleaned. I hired a rug doctor carpet cleaner last week and did the carpets myself, they have stated this is not good enough, it must be a professional. Now they are clearly assuming i am not a professional cleaner, but what constitutes a professional cleaner anyway?! There are no stains on the carpets, the odd black mark here and there, nothing big at all and I feel they again are not allowing for 3+yrs of fair wear and tear. They state its because they were new carpets when we moved in, but why would you rent a house to a family with 2 kids and 2 dogs and then assume they would be 'as new' after 3yrs!? seems unfair to me.
    They do have to allow for wear and tear, and if they allowed dogs, that would include wear and tear from the dogs.
    There is no definition of a professional clean, but that might be something that's covered in the tenancy agreement.
    It's possible that it's defined there.

    They have told me the garden is not 'seasonally landscaped' now im no alan titchmarsh so i have no idea what that means... there are flowers in the garden, there are shrubs, we pressure washed the patio area but couldnt cut the grass as the ground is far too wet and it was literally ripping up chunks of garden... so again what is fair here?! They want me to pay for a gardener?!
    A gardener can't do anything with a garden at this time of year, and I'd decline their suggestion.
    Cosmetic issues are terribly hard to make claims against.

    The landlord is making a claim for a loss that has arisen beyond the reasonable wear and tear implicit in the contract.
    It's hard to show that the property is worth less because the garden doesn't meet someone's personal view of what a garden should be like.

    I like gardening and, at this time of year after 6 months of rain, mine's a mess (and you shouldn't mow the lawn when its wet).


    Lastly there was a small fridge in the property when we moved in. we called the letting agents at the time and asked if they can take it away as we have a large fridge freezer of our own. They told us no and can we store it in the shed. So this we did.. fast forward 3+yrs and that small fridge in the shed has no got rust in it. The letting agent are denying they told us to put it in the shed?! Where do we stand on this? Its been an inconvenience taking us space in the shed so we wouldnt have had it there for fun!
    If you are confident they told you that (which was a stupid idea), stand your ground and see if they're prepared to call you a liar to your face.
    You are responsible for that damage (in my view), but if they told you to do it, that might be a negotiating point.

    What happens if we do not agree on the deductions from the deposit?
    Your deposit will be protected and there will be a dispute resolution service available if you and the landlord just can't agree.
    But it can be slow, several months slow.

    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
      thank you for your response.
      im quite upset really as ive just received an email from the letting agent stating the kitchen surfaces need wiping down, there are cobwebs, the grout in the bathroom is discoloured, there is mould starting in the corner of the bedroom due to lack of ventilation (not true at all, we always had a problem with the old windows and have a dehumidifier on constantly) and is basically seems they want the house cleaned top to bottom, painted and new carpets all at my expense.. they knew i had 2 kids and 2 dogs so they are literally giving me no leeway for this at all

      Comment


        #4
        i should have just saved myself the stress of the last 2 weeks trying to tidy this house with 2 young children and just left it a tip, looks like they would want to keep the deposit either way!

        Comment


          #5
          hi everyone, me again, sorry!

          So i left a rental property on 12th of March and have had an email from the agent proposing some deductions from my deposit.
          This is the amounts they are asking for and my reply to them. (£745) They have then replied again in red..

          Could anyone please advise. I think they are being thoroughly unfair, there are no big stains on the carpets at all, and they are not understanding that we have been there 3 1/2 yrs with 2 kids and 2 dogs. If they expect it to be as we were rented it then we were fighting a losing battle from the start!


          General cleaning- £105.00 - We cleaned the house when we left, we lived in that house for over 3yrs and do not believe that house was left dirty at all. You have to allow for 3+ years of a family with 2 dogs and 2 kids living there. It surely most be common practice to have a clean and tidy between tenants?! It is not my job to ensure this house is ready to be re-rented.-
          The property must be left in the same condition as per your inventory when you checked in and in this case, cleaning below was required.



          Mould treatment-£200.00 - The mould in the house was nothing to do with us. We had 4 dehumidifiers in the girls bedroom on their windowsill, we also had a large dehumidifier plugged in 24hrs a day by the rear patio doors. The doors and windows were open daily. The mould in the bathroom was due to the fact the extractor fan broke and it was never fixed or replaced despite being reported to you. We treated the mould several times throughout our stay at the property and left the bottle out for you to see, there was a bottle of mould killer left under the sink when we moved in so the property seemed to already have issues with mould.
          The windows in the property do not seal efficiently and are causing the issues. I would urge you to get a window specialist in who im sure would confirm this. The windows are blown and very outdated.- We have noted your comments and this has been passed on to the landlord however the tenant still has a duty to adequatly ventilate the property and ensure that condensation is regularly wiped down on windows and around the frames. This can also be treated with damp and mould spray to keep on top of this. Unfortunately this had built up over time and now needs to be treated. This amount is the cost of the treatment and labour to do this.



          Carpet Cleaning- £150.00 - I do not accept this. I rented the Rug Doctor machine myself and spent and additional amount of money on a lot of official rug doctor cleaner. It took me 2 days to do the house and although the carpets are not in 'as new' condition as they were when we moved in, you need to allow 3 yrs of wear and tear. You also need to allow further wear as you agreeably rented to a family with 2 young children and 2 dogs. You cannot expect for the carpets to be in the same condition they were in when we took the place on but they HAVE been cleaned. -
          As discussed at the property which you did accept, the carpets were brand new when you moved in to the property and were heavilly stained as was pointed out whilst there. These do now require proffesional cleaning to rmeove these stains.



          Compensation towards re painting the walls as discussed -£200.00 - It does not cost £200 to paint some walls. I agree there are some patches where we have used polyfiller and therefore it will need painting but that is excessive.-
          Also discussed at the property you agreed that the walls in the second bedroom had been painted brown and had pictures left on them. The doors also had stickers all over which need to be removed. The landlord will need to pay someone to do this and the amount proposed is only a compensation payment towards this.

          (This was was brown when we moved in!!)

          is there anything i can reply which can help me out slightly. i do agree to a small deduction maybe for a touch up of paint but thats it, the house is honestly in a good condition!

          Comment


            #6
            You should have been supplied on move-in with information from your deposit protection company on how to dispute such claims - have you got this?

            A general observation, the landlord has to accept fair wear and tear so you should NOT have to pay the full costs of any redecoration or of most repairs as 3½ years of w&t has to be taken into account. This applies to wear and tear, not cleanliness - the fact you have dogs and children (which do increase w&t) is irrelevant and not the landlords problem.

            General Cleaning, it is your responsibility to ensure it is ready to re-let. It was clean when you moved in, it should be the same on move out.
            Mould - if you reported this to the landlord (and you can prove it) then I would expect the deposit scheme to be sympathetic to this

            You admit that stains are on the carpet on move-out - the landlord has to pay to have them removed. You may have paid for a rug-doctor, but it didn't get rid of the stains.

            Wall painting - sites like money saving expert can give you a guide to the cost of re-painting a wall. IIRC, an emulsion wall has a life expectancy of 5 years, so you would be liable for 1/3 of the cost + the cost of sticker removal.

            Comment


              #7
              Just tell them you looked after the property and don't agree with their amounts and that you have been advised to open a dispute with the Deposit Protection Scheme unless they substantially revise their figure.

              Comment


                #8
                I agree with Snorkerz. You should leave the property in the same condition you found it minus fair wear and tear. Dirt, stains and stickers on doors are not fair wear and tear so it is is your responsibility to either make good (too late for that now) or pay for someone else to do it.

                Comment


                  #9
                  i understand that it has to be clean, i did clean the place, it was clean and tidy, if they were trying to ask me for £200 to give it a deep clean i would understand but all this heavily stained business is rubbish... there are no stains. I did not agree with them at the property but i merely nodded and bit my tongue because i was seriously going to fall out with them otherwise.

                  i have asked them for pictures of the stains in question.

                  i just think the amount of money they are asking for is a lot!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Out of curiosity how about if at the beginning of tenancy the property wasn't cleaned and carpet were dirty having stains on them and the tenant has all photographs of it with date & time. In that case is the tenant legally bound to leave the property clean despite the agreement explicitly state that the property should be left in same condition in which was initially handed over to the tenant.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Manager View Post
                      Out of curiosity how about if at the beginning of tenancy the property wasn't cleaned and carpet were dirty having stains on them and the tenant has all photographs of it with date & time. In that case is the tenant legally bound to leave the property clean despite the agreement explicitly state that the property should be left in same condition in which was initially handed over to the tenant.
                      That would depend on the wording of the tenancy agreement.
                      Outside of the agreement itself, there is no requirement for the property to be in anything other than the condition at the start of the tenancy less fair wear and tear.

                      Pre tenant fees act, it used to be possible to require the tenant to clean the property (usually to a meaningless "professional" standard) or to pay for a professional clean.
                      It is no longer possible for a landlord to include such requirements in a tenancy agreement, although many landlord and agents don't realise this.
                      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
                        im just thinking, if the carpet was brand new, and described in inventory as new how on earth can i leave it in anything like new condition after 3 1/2 yrs?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Shelly24 View Post
                          im just thinking, if the carpet was brand new, and described in inventory as new how on earth can i leave it in anything like new condition after 3 1/2 yrs?
                          You don't have to, you leave it in the same state of cleanliness, but with 3½ years of average wear. It is a standard rule, used by all the deposit protection companies and ironed out over 000s of tenancies, you're not the first and you'll be treated just like anyone else. Heaven forbid, but if he had to replace the carpet, you would be liable for about 2/3 of the cost based on average 10 year carpet life.

                          Originally posted by Manager View Post
                          Out of curiosity how about if at the beginning of tenancy the property wasn't cleaned and carpet were dirty having stains on them and the tenant has all photographs of it with date & time. In that case is the tenant legally bound to leave the property clean despite the agreement explicitly state that the property should be left in same condition in which was initially handed over to the tenant.
                          In that case, it would be fine to leave it equally dirty. The deposit company would have to assess the validity of the evidence presented by both parties (and they tend to err on the side of caution to the tenants favour)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                            Pre tenant fees act, it used to be possible to require the tenant to clean the property (usually to a meaningless "professional" standard) or to pay for a professional clean.
                            It is no longer possible for a landlord to include such requirements in a tenancy agreement, although many landlord and agents don't realise this.
                            I don't believe that is correct.

                            The TFA does not ban requiring adequate cleaning, it bans requiring the T to pay a third party to carry out that cleaning.

                            Comment

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