Tenant leaves room uncleaned, heavily stained mattress etc-deposit deductions advice?

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  • Tenant leaves room uncleaned, heavily stained mattress etc-deposit deductions advice?

    T left in the weekend, the agent sent me a report with supporting photos.

    The worst:
    - heavily soiled mattress (£300-350). Brand new when T moved in
    - damp corner area due to T's lifestyle, poorly painted over. a hatchet job where the paint was slapped on, leaving paint to drip over the skirting board and carpet. section of the wallpaper in the lower corner is gone/torn leaving it in a tatty state
    - window area - left with dirt and grime and some mould around the sill
    - wall at the head of the bed badly marked and stained. Not just a slight smudge, but a dark grey stain soiled into the wall

    The rest of the room was generally left uncleaned. (eg. carpet soiled with stain patches, cupboards/wardrobes dirty, marks to walls with some paper rips/holes in wallpaper). The T just picked up their possessions and literally just walked out.


    Ongoing during tenancy:
    - T caused nuisance to neighbours and other T's. Causing 2 other T's to leave early.
    - Late rent payments
    - Rent not fully paid in full (after T's 12 months fixed period finished). T wanted rent reduced to same as other two T's. I said I would consider subject to several conditions met. Which were never met. Yet T unilaterally paid less than in original AST
    - Left mess throughout the flat and his room causing damp patch in corner

    In the end I had no option but to serve a S21 on him via my solicitor.

    My questions are am I within my rights to withhold from T's deposit:
    - for soiled mattress
    - making good of damp corner patch
    - stain blocking and repainting to soiled area by head of mattress wall section
    - pay for a cleaner to give his room a proper clean
    - unpaid rent
    - late rent payment interest as per AST

    T's deposit is registered with mydeposits from start of AST. I understand I have 10 days to notify T of amount I intend to withhold and reasons why.

    If T disputes, it will go the schemes arbitration service. From previous theads on LLF I understand the scheme tends to be biased towards the T's. Is this the case? Seems unfair if the LL has a genuine case/reasons to withhold back by supporting evidence?

    Just want to make sure I'm within my rights as a LL and would appreciate the advice from the forum as to steps in the right direction.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Do you evidence of the condition of the room when the tenant moved in such as an inventory report, receipts for the mattress etc.

    How long has the tenant been in the room?

    You would need reasonable proof to make a deduction and wear and tear would need to be a consideration

    It sounds like the tenant owns you money against the original contract, there is no doubt that that is deductable

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by matthew_henson View Post
      Do you evidence of the condition of the room when the tenant moved in such as an inventory report, receipts for the mattress etc.
      Yes. With photos
      The flat was newly refurbished throughout and furnished new also

      How long has the tenant been in the room?
      16-17 months total

      You would need reasonable proof to make a deduction and wear and tear would need to be a consideration
      Would photos and the inventory, check-in, check-out + agents inspection reports suffice?

      Comment


      • #4
        Just to let you know I had to go through the DPS arbitration and did win, but I had to prepare all the evidence correctly. I had written communication with the tenant till is was very evident they were not interested, this proved to the DPS I really had tried. I also provided photographic evidence and quotes. As long as you have shown you are unable to settle between you and T, then I found the DPS very helpful.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Diversity View Post
          My questions are am I within my rights to withhold from T's deposit:
          - for soiled mattress
          - making good of damp corner patch
          - stain blocking and repainting to soiled area by head of mattress wall section
          - pay for a cleaner to give his room a proper clean
          - unpaid rent
          - late rent payment interest as per AST
          Yes, assuming you have the necessary supporting evidence, i.e. evidence of previous good condition, of damage caused, and cost to remedy. But does the deposit cover the damage and rent arrears? If not, and if T disputes liability, pursue via the county court. (Obviously, mydeposits should be kept informed and you may have to lodge the deposit with them while the dispute is pending).

          If T disputes, it will go the schemes arbitration service. From previous theads on LLF I understand the scheme tends to be biased towards the T's. Is this the case? Seems unfair if the LL has a genuine case/reasons to withhold back by supporting evidence?
          The consensus is that the schemes' adjudication services are biased in favour of T. But many also think that this is likely to be due to LLs failing to provide sufficient evidence to support their deductions. Note that if you do proceed via adjudication and lose, you can still claim against T in county court.

          P.S. You don't need a solicitor to serve a s.21 notice. Nor to pursue a county court claim.

          Comment


          • #6
            Might also suggest that if your legitimate claims (i.e. backed up in detailwith receipts, photos etc.) are in excess of the tenant's deposit then go directly via the courts as the Deposit scheme arbitration can only adjudicate for the deposit and nothing more. Hence if your claim is say 100 pounds more than the deposit it can be settled in one go.

            Obviously, as a novice at the legalities, I am fully open to correction by the more reliable and dedicated members of the forum.
            If there are any mistakes in my posts - it was the computer's error, not my fault.

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh dear, not a happy L. But how much of this is entirely T's fault.

              After 16-17 months you would expect the walls to be stained - particularly as you presumably provided no headboard. I was shocked at how grubby my own walls had become in a similar period without a headboard.

              You won't get the full cost of a new mattress out of him - what's the life of a mattress, five years?

              Damp patch - sounds like you have damp problems in your flat.

              Comment


              • #8
                Looking at the behaviour and history of this T is it any wonder?

                I have had T's stay longer and not had stains described. At the v least the T should have wiped downed, or given a paint over

                If the mattress is as bad as it sounds then it sounds like negligence, causing damage, rather than normal wear and tear

                Damp patch - it could just as easily be attributable to T's lifestyle

                Comment

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