Surprise fees at end of tenancy

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  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by gabbi8856 View Post
    I reckon the ll is trying it on a bit and has taken this opportunity to do a deep clean partly at your expense, love the bit about dust on top of the curtains LOL. Perhaps the house was a bit grubbier at the end than when you received it though? I have never had a tenant move out and leave the house in the same condition! Probably both tenant and ll are a bit right.

    How about saying to agent/ll that cleaning costs are unreasonably high and dont take reasonable wear and tear into consideration. Say that you dont have an inventory so you could dispute and not pay anything but you would be willing to pay half as a goodwill gesture if ll gets it all sorted asap? Saves a lot of hassle for both parties. LL isnt taken for a mug and you can sleep with a clear consciece!
    With respect, this is completely unnecessary! The LL does not have any grounds for deducting ANYTHING from the deposit and the tenat is entitled to a full refund.

    The LL should see it a part of the steep learning curve he obviously needsto embark on if he is to succeed in the business of renting property. It was sloppy practice not to organise a move-in inventory and this is the price he will have to pay. Don't feel too sorry for him - he's trying it on with the deductions.

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  • gabbi8856
    replied
    I reckon the ll is trying it on a bit and has taken this opportunity to do a deep clean partly at your expense, love the bit about dust on top of the curtains LOL. Perhaps the house was a bit grubbier at the end than when you received it though? I have never had a tenant move out and leave the house in the same condition! Probably both tenant and ll are a bit right.

    How about saying to agent/ll that cleaning costs are unreasonably high and dont take reasonable wear and tear into consideration. Say that you dont have an inventory so you could dispute and not pay anything but you would be willing to pay half as a goodwill gesture if ll gets it all sorted asap? Saves a lot of hassle for both parties. LL isnt taken for a mug and you can sleep with a clear consciece!

    Leave a comment:


  • PhoenixPropertyShop
    replied
    Originally posted by squirrel007 View Post
    Do agents have to give you a chance to fix things they think are wrong? As when moving out we did supply phone numbers so they could contact us.
    Agents do not allow tenants access once a move-out inspection has taken place. The inspection should be seen as the be-all and end-all of the tenancy, but as indicated in the previous comments, with no signed inventory, your agents do not have a leg to stand on.

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  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by squirrel007 View Post
    Thanks for your help I have been in touch with the agents asking for the full deposit, and now they are saying:

    You are correct that our terms and conditions have changed and therefore you will not be charged the checkout fee.

    With regard to the cleaning, it states in your tenancy agreement at clause 2.60 "to clean (or to pay for the cleaning to) a good standard, the premises, its fixtures and fittings, including the cleaning of carpets, curtains (including net curtains), blankets, bedding, upholstery etc which have become soiled, stained and marked during the tenancy. To provide, upon request, receipts to the landlord or his agent to demonstrate compliance with this clause".

    Clause 2.61 "to remove all the tenant's refuse and rubbish from with in the premises and to ensure that it is stored outside in proper receptacles and, where appropriate, make arrangements with the local authority or others for its prompt removal at the expense of the tenants.

    The cleaning bill includes:

    Cleaning of Kitchen
    Cleaning of Bathroom
    Vacuum all floors
    Clean all woodwork
    De cobweb
    Clean and rehang all curtains
    remove rubbish from cupboard near back door
    clean and deodorise all carpets


    Now I know that the rubbish they are talking about near the back door was there when we moved in. And we definitely did the cleaning and vacuuming before we moved out.

    Do agents have to give you a chance to fix things they think are wrong? As when moving out we did supply phone numbers so they could contact us.
    What they have said on the tenancy agreement and on the invoice is irrelevant/academic if they do not have your signed statement/inventory from the start of the tenancy, agreeing that everything was pristine when you moved in. Their insistence that it was, is meaningless!

    Do what Justaboutsane advised - they haven't a leg to stand on. They're just trying it on. They might well have spent that money on cleaning, etc., but it's their own stupid fault for not managing the start of tenancy correctly. Chickens coming home to roost and all that!

    Good luck.

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  • squirrel007
    replied
    Thanks for your help I have been in touch with the agents asking for the full deposit, and now they are saying:

    You are correct that our terms and conditions have changed and therefore you will not be charged the checkout fee.

    With regard to the cleaning, it states in your tenancy agreement at clause 2.60 "to clean (or to pay for the cleaning to) a good standard, the premises, its fixtures and fittings, including the cleaning of carpets, curtains (including net curtains), blankets, bedding, upholstery etc which have become soiled, stained and marked during the tenancy. To provide, upon request, receipts to the landlord or his agent to demonstrate compliance with this clause".

    Clause 2.61 "to remove all the tenant's refuse and rubbish from with in the premises and to ensure that it is stored outside in proper receptacles and, where appropriate, make arrangements with the local authority or others for its prompt removal at the expense of the tenants.

    The cleaning bill includes:

    Cleaning of Kitchen
    Cleaning of Bathroom
    Vacuum all floors
    Clean all woodwork
    De cobweb
    Clean and rehang all curtains
    remove rubbish from cupboard near back door
    clean and deodorise all carpets


    Now I know that the rubbish they are talking about near the back door was there when we moved in. And we definitely did the cleaning and vacuuming before we moved out.

    Do agents have to give you a chance to fix things they think are wrong? As when moving out we did supply phone numbers so they could contact us.

    Leave a comment:


  • PhoenixPropertyShop
    replied
    As previously mentioned by justaboutsane, if there was no inventory when you moved in, you are in an excellent position to get all of your deposit back, as the agent will find it very, very difficult to prove what condition the house was in when you moved in. As indicated by justaboutsane, I would not take any prisoners with this, and request the return of your FULL deposit. Although the agency may want to do a full clean before each tenant moves in, they cannot take from your deposit any monies covering 'fair wear and tear', which it sounds like they are trying to do.

    Alos, with the move-out charge, check your tenancy agreement very carefully and make sure that the charge is not mentioned on there, if it's not - they cannot charge you for it.

    Hope this helps.

    Leave a comment:


  • squirrel007
    replied
    The letting agents have come back with the following:

    "The checkout fee is a standard fee charged to all tenants. The cleaning has to be done before the new tenants moved in as there were cobwebs and dust all over the house. The carpets were cleaned and so were the curtains as along the tops of the curtains there was a thick layer of dust."

    which makes it sound as though we left the place really dusty and full of cobwebs, but I'm sure we didn't! Our contract says that carpets etc should be cleaned to remove staining/soiling that occurred during the tenancy. So I'm still not sure whether they're being fair or not with regards to the cleaning. I think we'll definitely dispute the checkout fee though, as this is the first we've heard of it.

    Leave a comment:


  • justaboutsane
    replied
    If there was nothing in the contract re the check out fee then NO You do not owe it.

    Again if there was no inventory at the start of the AST then the LL will find it hard to make deductions.

    Write giving them 7 days to return ALL Monies to you or you will commence small claims action. Advise them of the above points! If no reply in 7 days then go to money claim online and start a case.

    Leave a comment:


  • squirrel007
    replied
    Thanks for that gabbi - it's good to have a landlord's perspective as I really don't know if £190 is reasonable. However, it definitely doesn't include the garden, and the house is not very large for a 3 bedroom property. Like I said, we did clean as well as we could before leaving, so I really don't believe there was that much to do. I am still waiting to hear back from the agency what exactly their £190 covers before I do anything else.

    ETA: as for the checkout fee - can they charge that even though it wasn't in the contract?

    Leave a comment:


  • gabbi8856
    replied
    An inventory should really be done on check-in and check-out to highlight any issues.

    With regard to £190 cleaning it is possible that it can cost this much to clean a 3+ bed house. It may include the garden which you may have been expected to maintain? Ive just charged my tenants £150 cleaning which was 5 hours getting the garden straight and 8 hours cleaning the house plus materials costs. That figure is 100% honest. The house wasnt even horrendously dirty but things like ovens, flooring and bathroom suites can take hours to clean to the standard they were in when the tenancy began eg hoovering carpets and then vax washing them is very time consuming. If they had got a company in to do cleaning then it could be even higher costs, its £50 just to get an oven cleaned these days!

    Ask the agent for a breakdown of cleaning costs, they should provide it and it will give you a clearer picture of where your money has gone. Cleaning is no longer the £3 per hour job done by some old lady for pin money im afraid!

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  • squirrel007
    replied
    Thanks for your reply! I agree that the deposit isn't protected, and to my knowledge there was no inventory done at the beginning of the tenancy.

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  • Impartial Advice
    replied
    Deposit is unlikely to need to be protected as the TDS scheme did not come into effect until 6th April 2007...

    Reasonable is a question of personal judgement... was an inventory not done at the beginning and end of the tenancy?

    Other suggestions welcome but correspondance in writing challenging deductions and asking for deposit to be returned... potentially small claims or amicably negotiation??

    Leave a comment:


  • squirrel007
    started a topic Surprise fees at end of tenancy

    Surprise fees at end of tenancy

    Hi This is my first post here - I did search but couldn't find anything helpful.

    Two weeks ago, my housemates and I moved out of a house we'd been renting through an agency. We'd been living there 3 years, so the deposit isn't protected. Yesterday, I chased up the agency about the deposit, who emailed me and said that they wanted to take £250 in fees (£190 cleaning fee and £60 checkout fee). Now, there's nothing in our contract about a checkout fee. With regards to cleaning, the contract said that we should clean it to a "good standard", which we feel we did. I certainly don't think the place is in any worse state than when we moved in. We are not against paying any cleaning fees (we did try our best to clean, but obviously may have missed something), but I feel £190 is excessive.

    So, my question is whether these charges are reasonable? And if not, what should we do next?

    I emailed the agency back yesterday, asking for clarification of what the fees were for, and emphasising that we'd not been informed of them before. I am still waiting for their reply.

    Thanks in advance!

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