Deposit deductions - several queries (long post)

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    Deposit deductions - several queries (long post)

    I left a 2 bedroom unfurnished flat I had been renting for 2 years in August last year and the deposit is still in dispute. They are asking for £550 of deductions which I think is unreasonable. It also took them 2 months to give us this estimate (originally over £650 but got some off) and it was 3 months before i recieved the undisputed amount.

    The inventory at check in stated that the carpets were in excellent condition (and marked as 1 on a scale of 1 - 7) . They had been professionally cleaned on entry. On exit they were marked as a good (condition 2) with no marks or stains.

    The curtains were marked as condition 2 (originally 1) with a comment "linings dusty/ landlords discretion"

    The overall condition of the flat was marked as good with a few "needs a light clean" comments eg on the doors and skirting. We had spent a long time cleaning it before we left.

    They had the flat professsionally cleaned, the carpets all cleaned and 3 sets of curtains dry cleaned for which we were charged £460.

    There was a professional cleaning clause in the original contract which we specifically asked them to remove before we would sign it which they did.

    There was also a small purple stain on the kitchen lino which was our fault - a cheap plastic bag moulded itself to the lino and wouldnt come off. The mark was about 1cm in diameter and not in an obvious place. The lino is in good condition but is clearly more than 5 years old. It is a small kitchen and the area is around 2 square meters if even that. They have asked for £140.

    The inventory detailed a shelf missing from the kitchen cupboard which i dont remember moving. They wanted £35 but I managed to convince them to take this off. They also tried to charge £20 for cleaning windows which were left cleaner than when we moved in. They also backed down on this eventually. They also tried to charge us for the check in report which we'd paid for 2 years earlier. They agreed this was incorrect. They are now claiming that they have made so many concessions that they wont make any more.

    They've now threatened to take this to arbitration which will cost £75 per hour + vat - costs to be shared between us. We wrote to them a while ago saying they could have £200 for cleaning + £100 for the lino if they would just drop this so were arent claiming alot so this cost seems to high to bear and we could end up losing more. They refused our offer.

    I'm sorry for the long post however i would appreciate thoughts on whether I am being unreasonable and should just give in or if I might have a chance if I take them to court.

    The landlord is a private company not an individual.

    Also - I'm not sure if this helps but throughout the tenancy the service provided by the landlord was appalling. It was 6 months to fix the light/extractor fan in the bathroom which was broken on entry and several calls and emails. In general, any query took a minimum of 3 calls and 3 emails to resolve.

    Query number 2:

    I've now had to move out of my new place early as the landlord has returned from abroad and wants the flat back. Its been 3 weeks and there is no sign of the deposit. He is still in America and the agency says he isnt replying to his emails although in the past he has always replied within 24 hours. He is due back next week and I suspect he might be stalling for time so he can view the property himself. Should I just wait or is there anything I can do to speed this up. The deposit is for £1600 and I could really do with the money.

    There is an issue with the laminate flooring. We were 2 girls sharing and didnt notice that our stilleto heals were causing dimples in the very cheap flooring until it was too late. The check out report marked this as fair wear and tear in the hall but mentioned it was in the living room too. There was also a large scratch in front of the sofa and this was marked as landlords discretion.

    I think this was referring to the scratch and not the dimpling however the scratch was there when we moved in. We noticed it wasnt on the check in report but forgot about it and failed to mention it. My flatmate took photos on the day we moved in and the scratch is clearly visible but we suspect that we'll end up having to pay for this because we didnt report it which is really frustrating. How much of the cost will we be required to pay for? The flooring runs through the lounge and hall. Will we have to pay the full cost of this? Or can we expect to pay for only a proportion as it isnt new?

    Will write a detailed reply in the morning(tired!) but from first glance you appear to be almost totally in the right, and I would think you would have a good chance should it go to court. I would not let them take you to "arbitration", I would just take them to court about it. If they wish to go to arbitration, let them, but they can pay! The timescales are frankly ridiculous.
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


      My experience of arbitration is that it is highly variable and not necessarily particularly sensible or logical (very much of the 'oh, that sounds about right, I can't be bothered to actually look at the details' variety). It is certainly not worth what they charge. I recommend court.



        Hi Sebb

        Do you go to arbitration or court?
        Did you get some of your money back?
        Would be helpful to know.


          We were 2 girls sharing and didnt notice that our stilleto heals were causing dimples in the very cheap flooring until it was too late.
          I think we need to see pictures of the 2 x girls dressed up for a night out and also a pic of the offending stilletos (purely so we can assist as much as possible)


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