claim on deposit

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    claim on deposit

    Tenant moved into brand new property 31/03/2007.They have always paid the rent,so they have been good tenants,but (there's always a but),the place is filthy! the carpets are really dirty and the oven has never been cleaned at all, the shelves are discusting.they have two small children so the walls are all marked and drawn on.they haven't spoken about moving yet but it is only a matter of time as they have a boy and a girl and the house only has two bedrooms.I have a set of photographs from before they moved in and showed them too the tenants at the time,I took a £450 deposit and because it was prior to the law change about protecting deposits,and because I have never given them a new tenancy ,the deposit is not proptected.The carpets will have to be replaced, which I suppose is no big deal after 3 yrs but the whole house will have to be cleaned and decorated and the oven will have to be professionally cleaned. would it be reasonable to cover some of this cost by witholding the deposit?

    #2
    Originally posted by teeps View Post
    Tenant moved into brand new property 31/03/2007.They have always paid the rent,so they have been good tenants,but (there's always a but),the place is filthy! the carpets are really dirty and the oven has never been cleaned at all, the shelves are discusting.they have two small children so the walls are all marked and drawn on.they haven't spoken about moving yet but it is only a matter of time as they have a boy and a girl and the house only has two bedrooms.I have a set of photographs from before they moved in and showed them too the tenants at the time,I took a £450 deposit and because it was prior to the law change about protecting deposits,and because I have never given them a new tenancy ,the deposit is not proptected.The carpets will have to be replaced, which I suppose is no big deal after 3 yrs but the whole house will have to be cleaned and decorated and the oven will have to be professionally cleaned. would it be reasonable to cover some of this cost by witholding the deposit?
    Yes, but if the T disputes it and issues a claim against you for return of the deposit, you'd have to provide evidence T caused the damage and your consequent losses; this generally means providing a check-in inventory signed by T as well as check-out inventory/photos of the damage (not necessarily signed by T), receipts, etc.

    The photos you took at the start may not be enough to prove original condition unless you also have something signed by T to the effect that they agree the photos are a fair representation etc. Alternatively, if it really was a 'brand new' new build property, and you'd completed the purchase, say, a few weeks before, and have agent's details, this could be good enough evidence.

    As far as deductions go, remember that T is not liable for fair wear and tear, and you'd expect this to be fairly significant after 3 years with a family living there. So minor scrapes/scuffs to decor don't count as damage - drawing on the walls does. You also cannot claim the full cost of replacing the carpets, only a portion; the claimable portion can be roughly worked out by estimating the expected life span of the carpet (for example, let's say 5 years) and deducting the years used by the tenant (3 years) - so you've 'lost' 2 years worth of use, i.e. 40%, and you can claim 40% of the replacement cost.

    You can claim full cost of cleaning if the property is not left clean to a reasonable domestic standard.

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      #3
      thank you westminster for your fair reply.hopefully the tenants will stay for another couple of years,as long as the damage remains cosmetic,and they continue to pay the rent,I would then be prepared to spend money on the house reafy for new tenants. I have kept all the paperwork and solicitors docs from when I purchased the property and yes it was brand new when they moved in so they could hardly dispute the condition of the house at that time. thanks again

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