Deposit Issue

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    Deposit Issue

    Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)? England

    Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only? Multiple Tenant

    Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy? July 2017

    Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)? 12

    Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)? 6th of each month

    Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)? No

    Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy). N/A

    Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant? No



    Hi Folks,

    I'm trying to help a friend out. He recently moved on from a property in London. The deposit was £2,000, and the monthly rent was £1,650.

    They were your standard tenants (by that I mean always paying rent on time etc). Just now the Landlord has come back and is trying to take £1,700 from the deposit. They left the place very clean and dispute the damage stated but I just wanted to get your opinion on some of the charges that he has stipulated.

    Flooring Damage - Labour - £310
    Flooring - Material - £54
    Broken Bed - New Slates - £30
    New Mattresses - £278
    New Carpet - £385
    Ensuite Door - Fixing - £154
    Deep Clean - £195
    Check Out Inventory - £105
    Worktop Damage - £140
    Missing Key - £10
    Fridge Freezer Drawer - £15
    Shower Handle £5
    Rubbish Collection - (chest of drawers) £20


    With regards to the floor, he has no idea what damage the LL is referring to. Is there any rule that more than one quote needs to be received?

    The bed was old and very cheap. The LL here is replacing old and cheap slats with new stuff, that isn't like for like is it? This is the same issue as the mattresses.

    The carpet had a bit of candlewax on it, which my friend has said is true. Again, the carpet was old, and it sounds like the LL is charging for brand new carpet.

    The ensuite door was wear and tear, it needed a new hinge. This was reported to the LL 6 months ago.

    The worktop had been stained from the microwave.

    Is it still legal to charge check out fees? I'm not sure whether they have been discontinued for only new tenancies.

    So all in all, he's definitely not arguing that no money is due (stains, candlewax and all the issues that were caused by him and not wear and tear). But I don't think the charging has been correct here. Any advice on how to proceed would be great,

    Cheers



    #2
    Originally posted by tenantputney View Post
    Is it still legal to charge check out fees? I'm not sure whether they have been discontinued for only new tenancies.
    Not since 1 June 2020 for existing tenancies. 2019 for new tenancies.

    Originally posted by tenantputney View Post
    So all in all, he's definitely not arguing that no money is due (stains, candlewax and all the issues that were caused by him and not wear and tear). But I don't think the charging has been correct here. Any advice on how to proceed would be great,
    Dispute it through the deposit protection scheme the deposit is protected with.
    I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

    I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

    Comment


      #3
      Well he cant charge for a new carpet and he cant charge for the checkout inventory as thats a banned fee. However, assuming that the deposit is protected in a scheme, the tenant should just dispute all relevant deductions. The landlord will have no chance of getting the money unless he can prove that the tenant was responsible for the damage and that means strong evidence of the condition of those areas at the beginning and the end of the tenancy.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by tenantputney View Post
        So all in all, he's definitely not arguing that no money is due (stains, candlewax and all the issues that were caused by him and not wear and tear). But I don't think the charging has been correct here. Any advice on how to proceed would be great,
        I agree that the charging isn't correct.
        The landlord is entitled to compensation for any loss in value of their asset(s) beyond fair wear and tear that occurred during the lease.

        The formula that they should use, and a court (and the protecting company ADR process) will use is:
        (Cost of the original item and any installation/fitting [not the cost of a replacement] / expected lifetime) * (expected lifetime - actual lifetime).
        That is, compensation for the lost value (life of use) of the item.

        That presumes that the item is entirely ruined and the landlord can show that it happened during the lease.
        The landlord is required to keep their losses to a minimum (to "mitigate" them).

        If a repair is a more cost-effective solution than a replacement (or vice versa), the cheaper option has to be taken.

        Alternatively, an actual repair cost might be claimed, but again, this should be adjusted to reflect the tenant's share of the lifetime (but sometimes this is just meaningless).

        Fair wear and tear is “reasonable use of the premises by the tenant and the ordinary operation of natural forces”.

        A landlord is not entitled to charge his tenants the full cost for having any part of his property, or any fixture or fitting, “.....put back to the condition it was at the start of the tenancy.” It's not "new for old".

        So, as a simple example, the deduction for the mattress should be based on the mattress that was damaged, not its replacement. And it was, presumably, at least three years old.

        It would be reasonable to ask how those amounts of money had been arrived at.

        The costs for the missing key, fridge freezer drawer, shower handle, rubbish collection don't look too bad.
        If the tenancy agreement contained any specific things that the tenant should do (typically clean the property or, perhaps the carpets) and that wasn't done, that would also be a breach of the agreement and the landlord would be entitled to compensation.

        For any tenancy that ended after 1st June 2020, any other fees in the tenancy agreement are unlikely to be legal. Which includes the check out fee (unless the tenancy ended before 1st June.)
        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 should also inform the LL, they took more than the legal requirement of deposit from you.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ash72 View Post
            You should also inform the LL, they took more than the legal requirement of deposit from you.
            Tenancy start, and so I assume the taking of the deposit, predates the Tenant Fees Act.
            I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

            I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by KTC View Post

              Not since 1 June 2020 for existing tenancies. 2019 for new tenancies.



              Dispute it through the deposit protection scheme the deposit is protected with.
              I believe the tenancy ended on 31/05. So that fee would legitimately stand?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by tenantputney View Post
                I believe the tenancy ended on 31/05. So that fee would legitimately stand?
                If it's in the tenancy agreement, the tenant has agreed to it and the tenancy ended before the fee was prohibited.
                By one day!
                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


                  #9
                  jpkeates,

                  Great advice.

                  Agree with the reasonable costs, but will ensure he goes back to get a fuller picture and breakdown of how the figures have been arrived at.

                  Thanks

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by ash72 View Post
                    You should also inform the LL, they took more than the legal requirement of deposit from you.
                    Is this something that affects them?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      When did he actually move out? if it was before 31 May 2020, then the LL can still charge the existing fees. If it was after then the LL wont be able to.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        31.05 - so still stands.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)? 6th of each month

                          Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)? No

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The initial deposit was £1650 pcm so £2000 appears to be within the max allowed?

                            Comment

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