Seven years' res. let ended- dispute with L re wear/tear

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  • Seven years' res. let ended- dispute with L re wear/tear

    I have been a tenant for about 7 years and recently left. For many reasons, they are keeping my entire deposit. For example, my landlords are saying that all floor areas require replacement, except for the bathroom which is vinyl. They state various reasons, mostly dirt, stains or burns.

    The carpets were not brand new when I first moved in, although they were mostly in good condition.

    Is 7 years long enough for them to be deemed beyond their normal life? I am a sole tenant who worked from home.

    Also, they are claiming the hallway and kitchen laminate flooring were left in a filthy, engrained state. I have tried cleaning them but whatever you use, you just cannot get the engrained dirt out no matter how hard you try. They are 7 years old. Is this considered fair wear and tear?

    The property has not been painted in 7 years. There is two parts of a wall with stains from where smoke from a candle has been. Is this fair wear and tear?

    Thanks,

    Dave

  • #2
    Landlord claims

    Having vacated my property recently, my landlord is keeping my deposit. One claim is that there is water damage to the roof of part of the property, where there has been a dripping overflow pipe.

    I was completely unaware of the dripping or the roof damage.

    Am I responsible for this and can they keep money from my deposit to make good?

    Thanks,

    Dave

    Comment


    • #3
      I think they are being extremely unreasonable by the sound of it. Unless the carpets were brand new Axminsters I would expect them to be worth no more than 20% of their original value by the end of a 7 year tenancy.

      Same goes for laminate.

      Plus, unless LL has a detailed check-in inventory and/or receipts to prove how old all items are whcih he is claiming deductions for, then he will struggle to prove you owe him anything at all.

      It sounds from what you say as though you could have a strong case for claiming your deposit back through the courts. How much is the deposit?

      Candle smoke stains : not fair wear and tear, but easily remedied with damp-proof paint applied to area then over-emulsioned. Otherwise, if property has not been redecorated for 7 years he cannot claim the cost of that from you - it's fair wear and tear.
      '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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DaveSmith2020 View Post
        Having vacated my property recently, my landlord is keeping my deposit. One claim is that there is water damage to the roof of part of the property, where there has been a dripping overflow pipe.

        I was completely unaware of the dripping or the roof damage.

        Am I responsible for this and can they keep money from my deposit to make good?

        Thanks,

        Dave

        It is reasonable for the T to inform the LL of any problems such as a permanently dripping overflow, so that he can effect repairs. However the LL is supposed to carry out inspections himself periodically (usually every three or six months) - did he do that?

        Was the dripping overflow clearly visible from the outside of the house?

        Whether it is deemed reasonable or not for LL to take money from your deposit for repairs will depend on how reasonable (or otherwise) a judge (assuming this ends up in court), thinks your LL's claim (that you did not inform him of the problem), is.
        '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

        Comment


        • #5
          The landlord never made an official inspection in 7 years, although they may have been around plenty of times to fix other things.

          There is a pipe visible above the affected roof but I have not seen water dripping from it before. I suspect it might be a gutter that gets cleared out from time to time, but I cannot be sure. If I don't see a problem while there, am I still responsible?

          Comment


          • #6
            The deposit is for £1,000, but they are claiming all sorts of things. That is just a sample!

            Also, the carpets were not new when I moved in. They were from the previous owners.

            Comment


            • #7
              LL claims appear to be unjustified. Write to LL demanding return of the deposit, give a deadline to pay (2 weeks is plenty), and say that if you do not receive payment you will issue a claim in the county court. Keep copy letter and get a free certificate of posting to prove delivery.

              After two weeks, issue a claim using Money Claim Online.

              Comment


              • #8
                You guys are just great - giving me hope! I was so depressed when I read their nasty letter the other day. I just thought I have lost everything. There were multiple pages of bulleted points for all sorts of things. I've only stated a couple of things here. The awful thing is I got on really well with them too. All that goodwill down the drain.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Another thought, assuming you had an assured shorthold tenancy, in England/Wales, with rent less than £2,083.33 pcm, and a non-resident landlord, did you ever renew the tenancy (i.e. a new fixed term agreement) after 6th April 2007? If so, did the landlord protect the deposit?

                  Because, if the above situation applies, and the deposit is protected, then you could instead raise a dispute with the deposit scheme.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It went into a periodic tenancy around 2003 I believe.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Okay, so you'd have to use the court to settle the dispute. Court fees are added to the claim, BTW.

                      Also remember that the onus is on the landlord to prove he is entitled to make deductions from your money. As MTG says above, LL would firstly need evidence of the original condition of the property, usually in the form of a check-in inventory signed by you.

                      It is a very straightforward claim from your POV, but you may find it helpful to buy a book on the small claims procedure. Look on Amazon. I have one by Patricia Pearl, but no doubt there are others just as useful.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There is an inventory which I signed, which just lists the items. It does not state the condition of them.

                        The claim is made more complex because of the numerous other things they are claiming for. Should I list them here? Or start another thread due to them not necessarily being fair wear and tear?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The claim isn't complex from your POV. You would just be claiming for return of the deposit. It's the landlord who would have to explain and provide proof of the numerous deductions.

                          And no, don't start another thread. If you want to know whether any of the other deductions might be fair/reasonable, post in this thread.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by westminster View Post
                            Another thought, assuming you had an assured shorthold tenancy, in England/Wales, with rent less than £2,083.33 pcm, and a non-resident landlord, did you ever renew the tenancy (i.e. a new fixed term agreement) after 6th April 2007? If so, did the landlord protect the deposit?

                            Because, if the above situation applies, and the deposit is protected, then you could instead raise a dispute with the deposit scheme.
                            Originally posted by DaveSmith2020 View Post
                            It went into a periodic tenancy around 2003 I believe.
                            So deposit protection is not applicable.
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                            • #15
                              Ok, here are a few more items!

                              1. Mains socket was left broken and needs replacing with electrician - I have no knowledge of this and dispute it.

                              2. Cost of dry cleaning of two long curtains

                              3. Burnt in food on ovens which is impossible to remove. I had a cleaner attempt to remove the stubborn stuff but it just wouldn't come off. Oven is probably 2 or 3 years old.

                              4. Rear gate lock would not open. Key left broken in the lock. We tried hard to turn it but the key must have been fatigued and broke off. We needed the gate open to get the large sofa out during removal time. The gate door has been a problem that was repair twice by the landlord. I rarely used the door and had no idea the lock would not work.

                              5. The hallway light had to be removed in an attempt to get the sofa out the front door, but it would not fit. I could not reconnect since I am colour blind. This problem was caused by the stuck back gate, that would not unlock.

                              6. Water leaking from shower room into hallway ceiling has caused water damage. I was not aware of this until a few days before I moved. I noticed some swelling and pushed the plaster and some came away.

                              7. They claim I have failed to maintain the shower cubicle. The tray was not level and water used to settle, leading to lime-scale build up. My cleaner spent ages trying to remove it. They are claiming they will consequently need to replace the shower tray.

                              8. They claim the carpet in the en-suite is stained and unfit for use and so needs replacing.

                              9. They state I left the garage full of rubbish and in a filthy state. Can't have been full of my rubbish since my car was in there taking up nearly all the room!

                              And other things.

                              They are claiming that there is extensive damage and associated costs. And there was me thinking I left the place in good condition! :S

                              Comment

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