Landlord demanding obscene amounts from deposit - please advise.

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  • bobthebuilder2
    replied
    glad you kept most of it, but having to pay £1200 id say you still got hammered.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Thanks for taking the time to update us.
    Good outcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • curiousbeaver
    replied
    Hi, I just want to say thank you to all of you. The landlord only received about 15% of our £8K deposit. We were pleased with that outcome.
    You were spot on about how they calculate things and that providing evidence is key. We tried to provide all emails exchanged, examples of what certain things cost which were claimed by the landlord (above and beyond the actual cost of a new item today). He was either given nothing or a small amount towards his claim.
    He didn't provide any evidence whatsoever, just a long list of figures which the TDS said they found questionable. Thank you very much for responding. This was super helpful!

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by curiousbeaver View Post
    What about things like marks on the wall for example 3 inch mark £100 repaint. Some are £250. It seems he wants money to repaint the entire house. Is the same formula used to calculate what we would have to pay?
    Yes.
    Cosmetic work is hard to calculate, particularly marks on a wall.
    But, you'd expect the paint on a wall to last 8 years (unless it was somewhere with a lot of traffic). So the whole wall cost would be sensible - say £100-£150 for a wall being done as part of a room - assuming a normal size wall.
    So half of £150 might mean £75 if the whole wall was redone - no one paints just a bit of a wall to cover up one mark.

    If it was painted a couple of years before you moved in, the figures would adjust.

    And assuming the landlord can show that you made the marks.
    I've also seen the inventory report shows "Landlord's attention, Potential contribution charge, Potential small contribution charge, Potential small charge, Wear and Tear, Tenant Contribution, Tenant Charge, Potential Tenant Charge, Additional Cleaning "

    What does this mean? The LL has placed an amount on on everything except Landlord's attention and Wear and Tear.
    The report is simply pointing out things that are less than perfect and that may result in a claim - assuming they're comparing them to the original condition report. If they're not doing that, they're simply bringing them to the landlord's attention so that they can be compared to the move in report.

    Am I right in thinking where it says "potential"doesn't necessarily mean the tenant has to pay? A contribution is part payment rather than full payment.
    Because the claim is for a loss and you lived there for four years, it is almost impossible for the landlord to claim all the cost of a repair or replacement - there has to be an allowance for the four years you lived there (unless the item was bought new very recently during the tenancy).
    And the claim can never exceed the actual loss (particularly if that's being calculated and is not actual expenditure).

    The landlord is obliged to mitigate the loss being claimed, and is showing no evidence at all of even attempting to do so.

    You seem to accept that there is some damage that you are prepared to pay compensation for, so I'd offer the landlord that amount (and explain how you've arrived at your figures and why you're not paying anything for the items that you assert are not yours to pay for.)

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  • curiousbeaver
    replied
    Thank you. This is very helpful!
    What about things like marks on the wall for example 3 inch mark £100 repaint. Some are £250. It seems he wants money to repaint the entire house. Is the same formula used to calculate what we would have to pay?

    I've also seen the inventory report shows "Landlord's attention, Potential contribution charge, Potential small contribution charge, Potential small charge, Wear and Tear, Tenant Contribution, Tenant Charge, Potential Tenant Charge, Additional Cleaning "

    What does this mean? The LL has placed an amount on on everything except Landlord's attention and Wear and Tear.
    Am I right in thinking where it says "potential"doesn't necessarily mean the tenant has to pay? A contribution is part payment rather than full payment. Window handle appears broken - potential contribution charge £75. Surely a contribution would mean part of the cost and the entire cost or even 5 times the cost?

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Hooper I don't know what else to say, the TDS pages contradict themselves.

    And the legislation is pretty clear (for legal text anyway!)

    Leave a comment:


  • Hooper
    replied
    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
    The text is both wrong and contradicted by the rest of the article(s) on those pages.
    Unless a new tenancy begins, other than a Statutory Periodic tenancy arising automatically, there's no need to adjust the deposit to the new limit.
    Mydeposits says the same thing
    https://www.mydeposits.co.uk/content...rules-england/

    Where the tenancy becomes ‘periodic’

    The rules on periodic tenancies, which applied during the transition, now need to be updated. The following applies to both insurance and custodial deposits.

    Where a tenancy started before 1 June 2019 and:

    Scenario 1: Rolled into a statutory periodic tenancy during the transition period, you are NOT required to refund any deposit amount in excess of the five/six week cap. The deposit remains unchanged until it is renewed, or ends.

    Scenario 2: Rolled into a statutory periodic tenancy after 1 June 2020, then the deposit cap DOES apply and any excess deposit MUST be refunded.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by Hooper View Post
    It is cut and pasted from the page which I provided the link for - under timeline.
    The text is both wrong and contradicted by the rest of the article(s) on those pages.
    Unless a new tenancy begins, other than a Statutory Periodic tenancy arising automatically, there's no need to adjust the deposit to the new limit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hooper
    replied
    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
    Where do you get that information from - it's not in the linked pages which say the opposite (and which I think is correct)?
    It is cut and pasted from the page which I provided the link for - under timeline.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpucng62
    replied
    I understood that if a deposit of over 5 weeks as held it needed to be returned when the limit came in.

    Insisting on a professional clean is an illegal fee under the Tenant Fees Act.

    LL can only claim for damage not fair wear and tear - he can only charge for losses and is not entitled to betterment. eg. If carpets last for 10 years and they were 2 years old when you moved in 4 years ago, if they need to be replaced he can only charge you for the 4 years lost, so 4/10 of the original cost (not the replacement). Use this principle against each claim.

    He is clearly trying it on here. I would go through the charges one by one and where you believe there is a reasonable charge to be made offer that. Make a complete list of that you think you should pay & dispute other charges with your reasoning. Calculate a total charge & offer that in full & final payment. If the LL doesn't accept then go to dispute resolution and ensure you have evidence against his claim.

    By clearly laying out what you are accepting as your responsibility and offering to pay these & showing other charges to be unfair I believe you have a good chance of walking away from this with a much smaller bill.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by curiousbeaver View Post
    Initially the LL claimed we caused £16000 worth of damage to the property - which is rubbish. Within the same email proceeded to say that he'll take £4000 to make it easy for everyone and we must pay him asap.
    Keep that email as it is evidence of the landlord not dealing in good faith.

    Don't do anything in a hurry, you have a lot of rights on your side.
    And the landlord seems to be taking the proverbial.

    We then asked for a breakdown of costs etc. He immediately responded threatening to sue us if we didn't pay £4000 and mentioned that if he takes us to court it will be for the full amount of £16K.
    Again, keep that. It's quite legal to offer a discount to something owed for early settlement, its quite another thing to threaten a higher charge for not agreeing to an early settlement.

    Should he not have actual quotes of what it would cost rather than made up figures?
    What the landlord is entitled to is compensation for any loss arising from a breach of the contract, which would include any loss from damage beyond the fair wear and tear to the property implicit in the agreement.
    That loss has to be kept to a minimum (technically "mitigated")
    And that's all they're entitled to.

    But that doesn't mean that they have to get the work done or even quoted for.
    But, what they do have to do is get you to agree to it, or go to arbitration or court to agree that the loss is fair.
    Without quotes or an explanation of what they're charging, that's practically impossible.


    Our deposit is £8000 (within the TDS), I have now discovered that it shouldn't be more than 5 weeks but our tenancy started before the law changed.
    The TDS will have an arbitration process that would make a decision on any claims up to the maximum they hold.
    The landlord doesn't have to agree to arbitration and, if they don't, and you don't agree with their proposed deductions, you may have to sue to recover your money (which isn't a big issue, see below).

    1. Missing items in the property - demands close to £2000 but the items are in the property. We called the inventory clerk who said it wasn't his job to look for the things as he doesn't live there he doesn't know where there would be. I was there on the day and he did not ask me anything. The landlord has ignored us on this. The rental agent wants very little involvement as the property was not managed but they have the keys. They said they will get the inventory clerk to go back and confirm where things are. Are we allowed by law to be present for this? The rental agent said the LL would not allow us into the property to identify the missing items. I am a bit concerned that they want us to pay £2000 for several things which are in the property.
    The landlord has to show the items were there before and that they're missing now.
    If they can do that, they'd be entitled to compensation for their loss, which would be based on the value of the original items, less an adjustment for the existing use they'd had.

    2. Removal of furniture and personal belongings in the shed. The landlord slapped fees on this on his list however this is his own furniture. The inventory does not specify what the furniture is but when I called to ask I informed him it belongs to the LL. His response was that it wasn't there at check in. Clearly the check in report is basic and not thorough enough but the pictures from the advert before we moved in show this furniture in the property - a quick search online shows this. Again the LL has also ignored this and didn't bother to ask. He wants money for removal of his own furniture.
    That sounds pretty black and white - although there's the possibility that the stuff in the shed might have become damaged as a result of the storage outside.

    3. What are the rules for any damage? Given we were there for a long time - 4 years, he did not request any property inspections and did not have any decorating done to the property, there has to be an element of wear and tear. How much allowance is given for that? For example carpets which were not new when we moved in he wants us to pay £400 a room (6 rooms) + more for landing and stairs. Both landing and stairs had marks as per check in. Is it reasonable to ask for £400 per room for rooms of about 4 x 4 m as there are marks on the carpet? I am guessing even if he got brand new carpets it's not the underlay but the carpets only? What's the norm?
    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.

    So, lets assume a good carpet should last ten years (depending on the quality of it - have a look on the manufacturers web site, because they'll normally give x years warranty, which is a good guide).
    Say it cost £800 and was 6 years old, you have cost the landlord four years of expected life, which is worth 40% of £800 which is £320.

    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".

    4. Cleaning - several areas mentioned require additional cleaning. The LL and agent insisted on a professional clean as per contract. We got this and they offered a re-clean if needed. The landlord now refuses to let the cleaners in to attend to the areas mentioned at checkout. Do we then have to pay the LL for cleaning even though they asked for a professional company to clean who are still waiting to be informed when to return? The LL has asked for £450 for additional cleaning.
    The landlord can't require a "professional cleaning", that's not legal.
    They can require cleaning to a professional standard (although that's pretty meaningless) and, basically, that the property is returned as clean as when it was let.
    Again, they'd have to prove that it wasn't and adjust the cost to reflect normal wear and tear.

    5. Light bulbs £300 requested. There are 9 light bulbs to be replaced in and outside the house each costs about £2 and 2 of them £5. Is this a reasonable request? The rental agent said the LL is abroad so has to factor the cost of getting someone to the property to do it. it still seems obscene to me.
    The costs have to be kept to a minimum, so the actual cost of someone fitting them would be reasonable, but not several hundred pounds.

    Basically, if the landlord is abroad, there's very little that they can do if you decline to agree to their claims.
    They can use the deposit company adjudication process, which will limit the claims to something realistic - based on the formula above.

    If they decline to use arbitration, you can simply make a claim against them for the deposit.
    You'd use the last UK address you have for them, and they'd either have to come to the UK to contest the case, or pay a solicitor to do it (and any solicitor is going to tell them the realistic chances of them winning anything more than what they're entitled to, which is close to zero).
    You can do this online, and it's simple, if a bit stressful the first time that you do it.
    Courts are more than used to dealing with stupid landlord claims.

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  • jpkeates
    replied
    Originally posted by Hooper View Post
    Where a tenancy which was signed prior to 1 June 2019 becomes a statutory periodic tenancy on or after the 1 June 2020 then any amount of the deposit held that exceeds the applicable five- or six-week limit must be refunded.
    Where do you get that information from - it's not in the linked pages which say the opposite (and which I think is correct)?

    Leave a comment:


  • Hooper
    replied
    https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com...es/depositcap/

    Where a tenancy which was signed prior to 1 June 2019 becomes a statutory periodic tenancy on or after the 1 June 2020 then any amount of the deposit held that exceeds the applicable five- or six-week limit must be refunded. The Act states that security deposits must be capped at five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000 and six weeks’ rent where the annual rent is £50,000 or more.
    What was the start date, term and monthly rent?

    Leave a comment:


  • Landlord demanding obscene amounts from deposit - please advise.

    I recently rented a property for a period of 4 years.
    The Landlord lives abroad and during the tenancy did not take care of issues - sometimes would take 6 months to resolve things or just never got back to us.
    In any case, he now insists that we pay him large amounts of money from our deposit. Our relationship broke down when we complained about them to the rental agent.

    Initially the LL claimed we caused £16000 worth of damage to the property - which is rubbish. Within the same email proceeded to say that he'll take £4000 to make it easy for everyone and we must pay him asap. We then asked for a breakdown of costs etc. He immediately responded threatening to sue us if we didn't pay £4000 and mentioned that if he takes us to court it will be for the full amount of £16K. Despite several emails from us explaining the inventory report is incorrect he wouldn't budge - this was all in one day. Eventually he sent a list the next day - this was based on the inventory - asking for £7500! Should he not have actual quotes of what it would cost rather than made up figures?

    Our deposit is £8000 (within the TDS), I have now discovered that it shouldn't be more than 5 weeks but our tenancy started before the law changed. The inventory we received has a lot of inconsistencies which we have emailed both the landlord and the agent about however they both ignore this.

    1. Missing items in the property - demands close to £2000 but the items are in the property. We called the inventory clerk who said it wasn't his job to look for the things as he doesn't live there he doesn't know where there would be. I was there on the day and he did not ask me anything. The landlord has ignored us on this. The rental agent wants very little involvement as the property was not managed but they have the keys. They said they will get the inventory clerk to go back and confirm where things are. Are we allowed by law to be present for this? The rental agent said the LL would not allow us into the property to identify the missing items. I am a bit concerned that they want us to pay £2000 for several things which are in the property.

    2. Removal of furniture and personal belongings in the shed. The landlord slapped fees on this on his list however this is his own furniture. The inventory does not specify what the furniture is but when I called to ask I informed him it belongs to the LL. His response was that it wasn't there at check in. Clearly the check in report is basic and not thorough enough but the pictures from the advert before we moved in show this furniture in the property - a quick search online shows this. Again the LL has also ignored this and didn't bother to ask. He wants money for removal of his own furniture.

    3. What are the rules for any damage? Given we were there for a long time - 4 years, he did not request any property inspections and did not have any decorating done to the property, there has to be an element of wear and tear. How much allowance is given for that? For example carpets which were not new when we moved in he wants us to pay £400 a room (6 rooms) + more for landing and stairs. Both landing and stairs had marks as per check in. Is it reasonable to ask for £400 per room for rooms of about 4 x 4 m as there are marks on the carpet? I am guessing even if he got brand new carpets it's not the underlay but the carpets only? What's the norm?

    4. Cleaning - several areas mentioned require additional cleaning. The LL and agent insisted on a professional clean as per contract. We got this and they offered a re-clean if needed. The landlord now refuses to let the cleaners in to attend to the areas mentioned at checkout. Do we then have to pay the LL for cleaning even though they asked for a professional company to clean who are still waiting to be informed when to return? The LL has asked for £450 for additional cleaning.

    5. Light bulbs £300 requested. There are 9 light bulbs to be replaced in and outside the house each costs about £2 and 2 of them £5. Is this a reasonable request? The rental agent said the LL is abroad so has to factor the cost of getting someone to the property to do it. it still seems obscene to me.

    6. Other questionable charges - wooden garden gate to the back of the house which we barely use. It has to be about 20 years old and obviously swells due to the weather. The inventory mentions this and that it's difficult to open with some chipped paint. LL wants money for it. Blinds - which at check in were difficult to operate or not functional are now either still the same or not working - he wants us to pay for replacement when he never fixed them in the first place. One of the outdoor rubbish bins - lid damaged and bin full (the bin has garden waste which the council isn't collecting at the moment and the same bill was full at check in as per their report) - he wants money for this.

    7. Ceiling, there's small mark - 3 inches needs painting. I have no idea if it's related to the staining left behind from a roof leak he didn't fix for 6 months - there is additional staining from that but he wants us to pay £200 for a repaint.
    8. There are small marks on some walls he's asked for £200 for any mark mentioned for re-paint!

    Please advise given we stayed there for 4 years. What's normal and fair? Is the landlord also expected to have done some work to the property? He is now selling the house and the pictures used are current. There is no difference between them and the old listing. I know he wants to refurb his house to get better offers since it's overpriced. I am just conscious that for anything not deemed wear and tear he is charging us what he wants rather than the cost of replacement + labour. It's more like 3-5 x that. Obviously this will probably end up with the TDS. Should I get several professional quotes for all these overpriced items. Even if he is abroad, a decorator / handyman etc still costs the same. It's not like he's sending someone from abroad to do it.

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