Validity of check-out when there was no check-in?

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  • Validity of check-out when there was no check-in?

    Apologies if this is a really dumb question, but can anyone advise me of the legal situation with check-in and check-outs?

    When we let out our property for the first time in July, the agent who found and referenced the tenant were also supposed to handle the inventory and check-in (we are on a full managed service). Our tenants have now moved out. The agency conducted a check-out with them on their last day, but it turns out this was just a cursory inspection of the cleanliness of the house, and that they had no inventory or check-in report to work from.

    The agency have now said that we should go into the house and check it ourselves to make sure we're happy before they will authorise the tenant to reclaim the deposit from the DPS. We're happy to do this, but am I right in thinking that if there is no inventory or check-in report in the first place, then we wouldn't have a leg to stand on even if there was any damage? (fortunately, they assure us that all is good).

    Plus, if the tenant believes they have already done a check-out with the agent, would our own inspection (a second check-out?!) be valid, have any authority or carry any weight?

    Any answers gratefully received! (and yes, I know we need to have a chat with our agent!!)

  • #2
    Originally posted by hannahh View Post
    Apologies if this is a really dumb question, but can anyone advise me of the legal situation with check-in and check-outs?

    When we let out our property for the first time in July, the agent who found and referenced the tenant were also supposed to handle the inventory and check-in (we are on a full managed service). Our tenants have now moved out. The agency conducted a check-out with them on their last day, but it turns out this was just a cursory inspection of the cleanliness of the house, and that they had no inventory or check-in report to work from.

    The agency have now said that we should go into the house and check it ourselves to make sure we're happy before they will authorise the tenant to reclaim the deposit from the DPS. We're happy to do this, but am I right in thinking that if there is no inventory or check-in report in the first place, then we wouldn't have a leg to stand on even if there was any damage? (fortunately, they assure us that all is good).

    Plus, if the tenant believes they have already done a check-out with the agent, would our own inspection (a second check-out?!) be valid, have any authority or carry any weight?

    Any answers gratefully received! (and yes, I know we need to have a chat with our agent!!)
    Unfortunately (for yourselves) you are correct in all your assumptions and a second check-out inventory would be a waste of time since you do not have a check-in inventory against which to compare it.

    Your best hope is that the tenant knows even less about it than your agent appears to, or tha T has a moral conscience and will agree to any fair deductions.

    If not, and T refuses to play ball, then you will have to refund entire deposit and sue agent (if it's worth it), for any financial loss their incompetence has caused you. You'll be sacking your agent, I take it?

    Good luck.
    '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
      You may not have any claim on the bond/dep as such BUT if damage has been done then you are entitled to sue for damages through small claims court outside remitt of deposit ! just the same as if someone throws a brick thru your window or keys' your car ?

      The
      A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
      W.Churchill

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
        You may not have any claim on the bond/dep as such BUT if damage has been done then you are entitled to sue for damages through small claims court outside remitt of deposit ! just the same as if someone throws a brick thru your window or keys' your car ?

        The
        With no check-in inventory how could LL prove damage was caused by T?

        T could say that it was there to start with.
        '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
          Thanks for your really quick replies! Yes, clearly there are some agent issues to resolve.

          However, we do believe that the tenants won't have done any damage (at least not anything worth arguing over) - the agency said their check-out (although cursory) was fine, there haven't been any problems during the tenancy and when we've driven past the place it has always looked well kept etc. I'm just surprised that springing a second check-out on them, when the agent has already done one with them, is deemed appropriate. Sounds like it will be a waste of time if there's no inventory or check-in, and as far as the tenants are concerned they have already successfully checked out!

          Hopefully this will be a lucky escape and lesson learned, rather than pockets emptied!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by hannahh View Post
            Thanks for your really quick replies! Yes, clearly there are some agent issues to resolve.

            However, we do believe that the tenants won't have done any damage (at least not anything worth arguing over) - the agency said their check-out (although cursory) was fine, there haven't been any problems during the tenancy and when we've driven past the place it has always looked well kept etc. I'm just surprised that springing a second check-out on them, when the agent has already done one with them, is deemed appropriate. Sounds like it will be a waste of time if there's no inventory or check-in, and as far as the tenants are concerned they have already successfully checked out!

            Hopefully this will be a lucky escape and lesson learned, rather than pockets emptied!

            In suggesting a repeat check-out by you, your agent is presumably trying to cover his back in case a) he didn't check it properly himself and/or b) you discover something horrendous which he missed... which you might want to try to claim from the deposit before it is released to T (futile as I think that would be!)

            Your agent isn't called Kevin, is he, by any chance?
            '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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            • #7
              No he's not... Although I have a few choice names for him myself right now...

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              • #8
                Use of witnesses, dated photgraphs, invoices for goods, trade receipts(ie decorators, carpets etc) previous departing T statements which may dated same day as T moved, in etc ...

                The Rodent
                A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                W.Churchill

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                  Use of witnesses, dated photgraphs, invoices for goods, trade receipts(ie decorators, carpets etc) previous departing T statements which may dated same day as T moved, in etc ...

                  The Rodent
                  I agree that if disputed damages were significant, this kind of evidence would be better than nothing. Fortunately, it doesn't seem that it will be needed in this case.
                  '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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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                    I agree that if disputed damages were significant, this kind of evidence would be better than nothing. Fortunately, it doesn't seem that it will be needed in this case.

                    Will reserve comment on this until OP has visited prop

                    The Rodent
                    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                    W.Churchill

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                      Will reserve comment on this until OP has visited prop

                      The Rodent
                      As I already have, by my choice of the word 'seems'

                      Notwithstanding, if LL/agent were organised enough to keep photos of, and receipts, for the items, they would probably have done a proper inventory in the first place.
                      '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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                        As I already have, by my choice of the word 'seems'
                        Poor wriggle, but "better than nothing"


                        The Rodent
                        A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                        W.Churchill

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                          Poor wriggle, but "better than nothing"


                          The Rodent
                          You are the expert on wriggling...worms... maggots...muck...and life below the floorboards!
                          '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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