damage deposits

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    damage deposits

    I have just vacated a property, that was shared with 4 other people during my time at university. On return of the damaged deposit the landlord scribbled on a bit of paper stating he had deducted £99 from each of us for cleaning purposes, which means the cleaning of the property would equal £495 which seems excessive, concidering the property was clean to a decent standard albeit non-professionally. An inventory was prepared by an independent company working on behalf of the landlord, but was never signed by any of the tenants on the check in or check in stages or though we was present on the check out stage. Does the inventory have to be signed for it to be concidered valid and also is landlord under any obligaton to provide invoices for any deductions made from the damage deposit?
    any help would be very much appreciated...

    #2
    £495 may sound a lot, but if it included professional cleaning of carpets, washing of curtains, cleaning of windows, unblocking drains of hair, etc, etc, it may well be that much for a 5 bedroomed house. Your cleaning of the house to 'a decent standard' would not have been sufficient, if it was spotless/gleaming when you took possession and he would be justified in having a deep clean done.

    If you think he's ripping you off, ask him for a detailed breakdown of charges so you can see what was actually done and whether those charges are reasonable.

    He would need to tradesmen's provide invoices for any work which he claims has been 'professsonally done'. However, at this time of year professional cleaners are in very short supply (they are all cleaning student accommodation!) and if he has done the work himself, he should be charging about £10-12 per hour. If he hired a carpet cleaner and did the carpets himself, as a rough estimate, depending on how dirty they were, you're talking machine hire, 2 bottle shampoo, up to 10 hours labour. £100-200?

    However all this may be academic if the inventory is unsigned or if it makes no reference to the state of cleanliness of the property when you moved into it. Was the deposit protected or not under the TDS?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      #3
      hey thankyou for your reply as far as am I aware speaking to the other tenants the money was paid to a 3rd party which I presume would be some sort of TDS scheme. It just annoys me that there seems to be some sort of automatic cleaning cost as a route for a LL to withhold monies when renting a property when it is not justified.

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        #4
        Originally posted by studenttenant View Post
        hey thankyou for your reply as far as am I aware speaking to the other tenants the money was paid to a 3rd party which I presume would be some sort of TDS scheme. It just annoys me that there seems to be some sort of automatic cleaning cost as a route for a LL to withhold monies when renting a property when it is not justified.
        1 When exactly did you pay the deposit?
        2 If it IS in a TDS, then your landlord cannot have deducted anything yet, because you have to apply to the scheme to get your money back. If the landlord contests your claim to it, he has to provide evidence that you cost him x pounds to restore the property to its pre-tenancy state of cleanliness, etc.
        Only then might the TDS people decide to allow him to keep some of it - or they may not. It depends on how compelling a case you - and he - can present. I guess he would need a signed inventory and photos from the end of the tenancy. Get your TDS reference number and claim your depsoit back in full!

        But to be honest, unless you are exceptionally good cleaners, (or the property was grubby to start with), the chances are that you have not returned it in its original state - don't take this personally but I'd say, from experience of renting to students, only about 20% of students in shared houses do a deep clean properly. If you did, then I take it back.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          #5
          you have the right to request a copy of the invoice for cleaning the property

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            #6
            Originally posted by miss_elle View Post
            you have the right to request a copy of the invoice for cleaning the property
            But that invoice does not have to be from a cleaning company as such. If the cleaning was carried out by a competent private cleaner, he or she can produce an invoice detailing hours worked and work done.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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