Deposit witheld

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    Deposit witheld

    Hi. I am new to this site but would appreciate some advice as I do not know what to do.
    I have recently left a rented property as the landlord decided to sell it. Which was disappointing as I was told initially they were looking for someone to rent it for a number of years.. anyway, towards the end of the tenancy I was very amenable and complete many viewing for potential buyers on behalf of the owner.
    I have now moved out and today had a phone call from the letting agent stating that the landlord wants to keep half of my deposit due to damage to one plank of laminate flooring which, I can only assume my settee has done in the time I lived there (approx 18 months) but cannot remember if it was there when I first moved in as the flooring is in poor condition. This damage is a scrape on one plank of the flooring. I have been told today that the flooring is over 10 years old.
    During my 18 month tenancy I made various improvements to the house to make it my home, these were all agreed with the landlord via the letting agent.
    I replaced the carpets with new on the stairs and landing and in one of the 3 bedrooms as they smelt of human excrement and urine (this was exactly what the smell was as I have been explained to why). I painted the house throughout in neutral colours (which it was originally but was very dirty) I also layed a lino floor in the bathroom and replaced a rotten wooden bath panel with a new white plastic one.
    when i moved in the house was filthy. The oven was thick with grease and hadn't been cleaned. I have left this house clean and tidy the oven has been professionally cleaned prior to me leaving and all lawns cut and boarders maintained.
    The total deposit they want to withold is half (total of £340). I feel this is unfair as she has just sold the house in the condition it is now but I genuinely feel that my maintenence and work in that property has resulted in that sale, as the house was in very poor condition, was very dirty and smelt of human excrement. Can anyone offer some advice as I really do not know how to fight this, or am i being unreasonable?
    I will also add that she asked the letting agent if i had a dog as she thinks it looks like dog damage. I do have a shi-tzu... which she met 2/3times during the tenancy and was on the tenancy agreement. The damage location would be under the sofa so my dog couldn't even get there. It is clearly where the sofa leg has scratched it if not there prior to the start of my tenancy.

    #2
    Unfortunately all the improvements you made count for nothing in this situation and you were perhaps unwise to make them.

    If you accept you have damaged the plank you are responsible for the cost of the repair. Given it is an old floor (although laminate can last much longer then 10 yrs) and it is one plank £340 sounds excessive. Perhaps suggest to the agent you think the amount is excessive and offer was you believe is appropriate (bearing in mind someone would need to fit the plank).

    I would've thought the LL would not particularly want to fight about this as she has sold the property so hopefully she will accept your lower offer rather than do to a deposit dispute that she might lose.

    I would suggest £75 a more reasonable figure. Good luck

    Comment


      #3
      Start deposit dispute process with the scheme it's protected with. It's what the law was changed to give, after years of landlords exploiting tenants.

      See Shelter website for details of how and with whom
      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


        #4
        My money is on the landlord knowing nothing of this, and the letting agent seeking one final 'pay day' as the house is being sold and they'll earn no more income from it. I do wonder how many of these deductions made from deposits for 'damage' actually end up getting passed on to the landlord ...

        Go through the dispute process but argue that, unless the landlord can show a receipt for the repair work done, or can show evidence of the sale price being reduced because of this damaged floorboard, they have not suffered financially because of it.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Beswick View Post

          Go through the dispute process but argue that, unless the landlord can show a receipt for the repair work done, or can show evidence of the sale price being reduced because of this damaged floorboard, they have not suffered financially because of it.
          The landlord does not need to show a financial loss, deposit deductions are to compensate for damage.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Beswick View Post
            Go through the dispute process but argue that, unless the landlord can show a receipt for the repair work done, or can show evidence of the sale price being reduced because of this damaged floorboard, they have not suffered financially because of it.
            The landlord doesn't have to prove either.

            Edit: cross posted with Jon66

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Jon66 View Post

              The landlord does not need to show a financial loss, deposit deductions are to compensate for damage.
              I disagree, and so does the Shelter website:
              Your landlord should only keep money from your deposit if you have caused them financial loss.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Beswick View Post

                I disagree, and so does the Shelter website:
                Your landlord should only keep money from your deposit if you have caused them financial loss.
                And Shelter is unbiased and never takes sides? Yeah right.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Beswick View Post

                  I disagree, and so does the Shelter website:
                  Your landlord should only keep money from your deposit if you have caused them financial loss.
                  That's just a simple way to explain it to make it easily understandable.

                  The landlord needs to be placed in the position they were in if it weren't for the breach (less fair W&T).
                  They don't have to have the work done nor show evidence of a reduced sale price.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I think everyone's saying the same thing.

                    The landlord is usually claiming compensation for a loss in the value of their asset.
                    The loss in value is financial, but there doesn't have to be any actual transaction or cost associated with it.

                    If someone makes a dent in a cupboard they've reduced the cupboard in value, which is a financial loss that the landlord can seek compensation for.
                    There may not be any actual money leaving the landlord's hands, but they've still suffered a financial loss.
                    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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