Inventory not signed and landlord wants to deduct money

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    Inventory not signed and landlord wants to deduct money

    Hi to you all. I have read a few threads to try and find answers to my questions, but have not been 100% succesfull.

    I rent a 4 bedroom house from my landlord since 10 Dec 2005 and we signed a STA with a 6 month break clause. An inventory was handed to us, but we never signed it (not on purpose!) and no one (landlord nor agency) chased it up again. Our contract was renewed on the 10th Dec 2006 (with me staying but 3 other tenants moving in). No inventory was exchanged again. I advertise for new people to share the house with me as I love the place and didn't want to give it up when the others moved out, so i see to all the bills, I furnished the place further with extra fridge/freezer, 46" Plasma TV, dvd, computer, sky and broadband, some kitchen appliances like coffee machine, griller, 4 slice toaster, etc,. I also see to the cleaning of the house, purchase all cleaning goods, and generally see to the smooth running of it all. The landlords were aware of this as I notified them of new tenants moving in or out all the time. I handed over a £2640 deposit to the landlords of my money in Dec 2005 when we moved in. As tenants came and went, they would pay me deposits and I would return the deposits to them on their departure - not bothering the landlord with it each time. It has been going smooth all along and there have been no problems.

    I eventually on 13 May 2008 decided that it is too much stress on me as others don't share my view of what it means to keep a house clean and after 7 years of "running" share houses I eventually decided to give this house up and just find myself a room where I can just pay monthly rent and bills to someone else.

    I have always had a very good relationship with the landlord and there have never been disputes, they (two sisters) always got their rent on time and I have seen to it that there is a cleaner to clean the property once a week since Dec 2005. The house has been kept in tip top shape with no (major) damages at all.

    Instead of accepting my notice they have now decided to serve us with a section 21. As our fixed term had ended, I am only liable to give one months notice. Now they have given us all 2 months, although they have agreed to remove me from the tenancy as of 31 May 2008.

    The problem now is:

    1. The inventory has never been signed. Do they have the right to deduct any money from me according to the inventory? There is one thing that broke in the house and that was a small mirror (that they claim comes from John Lewis) hanging in the passage that fell off and broke when wind slammed the one bedroom door closed (and the doors have springs on too!!) and it obviously caused the mirror to fall off.

    2. Secondly they are claiming for a floral print that we have never seen in the house, but they say "we have a photo of it!"

    Small things like missing teaspoons, bed valances, mattress covers, glasses, plates, blown bulbs, etc - I replaced for them (on my own as the other tenants that originally signed the contract in 2006 have left some time ago)REGARDLESS of the inventory not being signed!! It has come to my attention that the inventory was never signed and I am now refusing to pay for things that I don't see as my fault (mirror & print). I even spent £280 for professional cleaning of the carpets (which looked like crap when we moved in!) and curtains as well as £120 for gardening services - although we used to see to the lawn anyway!

    Can they charge me for the print/mirror or anything for that matter with regards to the inventory?

    3. I have been told by the remaining tenants (as I have moved out on the 2 May 2008) that the landlords AND the agency said the landlords are serving the section 21 'cause they want to renovate the property. How does this affect any deductions for anything from my deposit if they are "ripping the house apart" anyway?

    Thank you so much in advance for the advice! Much appreciated.

    #2
    Could someone PLEASE be so kind as to answer this for me???

    Comment


      #3
      It's a but of a fragmented question and they are similar to other posts. If you didn't sign an inventory than the onus is on the landlord to prove that something was or wasn't there and was or wasn't damaged. It often states on an inventory you have X number of days to sign and return it otherwise it is deemed to be accurate, but an agent or landlord would need to chase it up to show due diligence. You might have to take your landlord to court to recover any deductions but looks to be well worth it if necessary.
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

      Comment


        #4
        Many thanks for that Paul. Another question please - we have been served a section 21 notice because they want to renovate the property. How does this affect us moving out and are we still liable for the rent for the two months left 'till August - as she has £2640 deposit of mine. Can I just not pay my rent for the next two months and rather let it be on her to get money off me rather than me battle to get money off her? The previous tenants battled for nearly two months to get their deposits back from her and she deducted a ridiculous amount of money from them for light covers not being clean and bottom ends of doors not being washed etc.

        Thank you in advance

        Comment


          #5
          I don't recommend it as you will be in breach of contract but understand your feelings and it's up to you after all. The landlord can do little about it. £2640 seems an awful lot! How much does it represent as far as the monthly rent is concerned? The L can only take two months rent as a deposit maximum otherwise it can be considered a premium lease.

          On the other hand you can move as soon as you want to - you don't have to stay for the two months and you don't have top pay anymore rent once you do move. It's a myth that tenants think they have to stay in situ during the two months Notice period.
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

          Comment


            #6
            I moved out on the 3rd May already - giving two months notice as required per our contract - which has now become a periodic one as we have not yet drawn up and signed a new contract which was supposed to be done on the 10th December 2007. So the last contract signed was 10 December 2006. The deposit is 6 weeks deposit as per the rent amount when i originally moved in in December 2005. (Think £440 a week).

            She then said no - she will serve a section 21 notice. Due to them being the way they are - I have refused to sign any documents - all I said to her was that I am out of the house - the house is left in tip top condition - I want my deposit returned and we get on with more important things. Now she served another section 21 notice pretending it's via "a lawyer" - but it's not even on their headed paper! So I said i await the original in the post and I will then pass it on to my lawyer to deal with. It is just so ridiculous and time consuming. It is making it difficult for me to find another place, as I need my money for a deposit at a new place. So...what now?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Paul_f View Post

              On the other hand you can move as soon as you want to - you don't have to stay for the two months and you don't have top pay anymore rent once you do move. It's a myth that tenants think they have to stay in situ during the two months Notice period.
              Sorry you are wrong.

              Worse still, exactly as you have done in another thread, you appear to be clinging on to an unarguable position that you have been unable to support when challenged. This, in my view, more or less amounts to knowingly giving out incorrect advice, which in this case could get the recipient into a great deal of financial trouble.

              If a LL serves a s.21 notice, the tenants cannot lawfully give up possession until the expiration of the notice (unless they serve their own NTQ*). See HA 1988 s.5(2)

              Have a look at this thread here (you may remember it) for a full explanation:

              http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ad.php?t=10959




              *Which the tenant may have done in this case
              Health Warning


              I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

              All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Confused72 View Post
                I moved out on the 3rd May already - giving two months notice as required per our contract - which has now become a periodic one as we have not yet drawn up and signed a new contract which was supposed to be done on the 10th December 2007. So the last contract signed was 10 December 2006. The deposit is 6 weeks deposit as per the rent amount when i originally moved in in December 2005. (Think £440 a week).
                Be precise re rent. £440 per week is £22 880 per year, nudging the £25 000 figure above which the 1988 Act does not apply at all.
                Is rent definitely less than £480.76 per week (or £2083.33 per calendar month)?
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Confused72 View Post
                  3. I have been told by the remaining tenants (as I have moved out on the 2 May 2008) that the landlords AND the agency said the landlords are serving the section 21 'cause they want to renovate the property. How does this affect any deductions for anything from my deposit if they are "ripping the house apart" anyway?
                  The deposit is there to protect the LL against financial losses caused by the tenants' breach of tenancy. If the LL is going to tear the house apart anyway, then they may well have suffered no loss, so even if the tenants are in breach of the terms relating to damage, then subject to the next paragraph, the LL cannot claim part or all of the deposit in relation to that damage.

                  These situations are very fact-dependent - if, for example, you have damaged a carpet which the LL planned to use in the refurbished flat, then obviously he would be entitled to be compensated for it out of the deposit. If it was going to end up in a skip regardless, then the opposite is true.


                  As regards Paul F's claim that once a s.21 notice has been served, tenants can just up sticks at a time of their choosing without any continuing rent liability, that advice is wrong.

                  However, you do mention that you gave the LL notice of your own and they have not accepted it. Please could you elaborate.
                  Health Warning


                  I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                  All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks Agent46. The rent was £440 a week when I signed in December 2005. The rent went up to £465 a week when we renewed the contract December 2006. It again went up to £500 a week (£2166.66 a month) on 10 December 2007 - although we never signed a contract again, so the 2006 contract was the last. Did I have to pay the higher rent of £500 (now that I think of it?!) or could I have continued paying the £465 I signed for?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Confused72 View Post
                      Thanks Agent46. The rent was £440 a week when I signed in December 2005. The rent went up to £465 a week when we renewed the contract December 2006. It again went up to £500 a week (£2166.66 a month) on 10 December 2007 - although we never signed a contract again, so the 2006 contract was the last. Did I have to pay the higher rent of £500 (now that I think of it?!) or could I have continued paying the £465 I signed for?
                      WARNING: as mooted in my post #8, the rent now exceeds £25 000 p.a. so the Housing Act 1988 no longer applies.
                      Result: nor does s.21!
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        What is the housing act 1988 and how does this affect our notice given by S21? I'm really dumb with this, sorry..

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Confused72 View Post
                          What is the housing act 1988 and how does this affect our notice given by S21? I'm really dumb with this, sorry..
                          1. Seriously? 1988 Act is basis for most- not all- lettings in the private sector.

                          2. Use MacroSearch facility (see thingy at top of screen). There are gazillions of threads about the Act!

                          3. Either way, s.21 does not appply- and entire Act does not apply- because rent > £25 000: paragraph 2(1)(b) in Act's Schedule 1.
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Lol! Yeah - seriously. I have no idea about it, but will go and read the threads once I get a chance (at work and supposed to be busy working).

                            Does this mean I can move back into the property for a few months 'till I find somewhere else to live? How would the LL then have to go about to get me out?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Confused72 View Post
                              Lol! Yeah - seriously. I have no idea about it, but will go and read the threads once I get a chance (at work and supposed to be busy working).

                              Does this mean I can move back into the property for a few months 'till I find somewhere else to live? How would the LL then have to go about to get me out?
                              L has contractual rights (Tenancy Agreement) which apply literally- no 1988 Act restrictions- subject to Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
                              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                              Comment

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