Lodger trashed his room

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  • Lodger trashed his room

    I recently asked my lodger to leave because I had spoken to him on a number of occasions about smoking in a non-smoking house. He sent me a threatening letter telling me to be there when he leaves and give him his deposit back in full in cash. Obviously I did not, as that was not part of the signed agreement. Anyway, he has left his room in a state and has caused quite a bit of damage- more than the deposit will cover. Is this just bad luck for me or am I able to ask him for the money for the damage the deposit won't cover?

  • #2
    You can certainly ask him for it - present him with an itemised bill rather than just a figure plucked out of the air. However, I can imagine what his response will be! Make sure you have someone you trust present (as your witness) when he leaves, then change the locks.

    If he refuses to pay the extra, then you could issue a money claim on line against him but it may prive stressful and be a case of throwing good money after bad.

    How much will the damage cost to rectify and how much is his deposit?
    '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
      Deposit was £200, owes about a week in rent payments. Handyman may be able to patch paper the ceiling where he flooded the bathroom and water came down, depends if we can find any matching paper and paint. Cleaning the curtains, duvet, pillows, bed linen and towels and I would like to get the carpet done too because it is a non-smoking house and the carpet in his room now smells of smoke. 1 mirror is broken, dressing table is very scratched and one set of drawers is broken. I've had the locks changed. Am yet to check the TV. He didn't even hoover and has left bits of food in the drawers. Fag ends in the front garden. Walls are marked. Pulled the curtains down in the bathroom (but I managed to put them back up myself) I'll keep all receipts. Furniture is a difficult one- how much do you charge for it being scratched- above and beyond normal wear and tear? It doesn't look good when I'm showing potential new lodgers round but there won't be enough money left to do anything about it.

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      • #4
        Please answer the question about how much - in total - your lodger owes you, including unpaid rent and your estimate of damage reparation and cleaning costs.
        '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
          £250 not taking into account furniture damage so long as the ceiling damage isn't worse than expected- he won't know 'till we've taken the paper off. So probably best to ask him politely for the money, after providing a breakdown with photocopies of receipts and leave it at that. I have learnt- references are not enough- do room checks occasionally.

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          • #6
            In that case you will need to decide whether you will chalk the loss up to experience, or pursue him though the courts - would only be worth it if he is employed (and could thus pay), I'd guess.
            '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
              Thanks, he hasn't been to work for the past three weeks and according to my other lodger, he has lost his job. So I guess that's it.

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