6 weeks to be informed of deductions

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  • 6 weeks to be informed of deductions

    Hi,

    I'm just after some advise re the deposit for my old rented house. I've had a read of quite a few other posts, but i think my issue is subtly different.

    Basically we moved out of the house on 10th Feb 2010. A check-out inspection was performed by a third party the LL sub-contracted that to and we received the results of the inspection about 1 week later via post.

    The inspection reported a few problems which the inspector felt were worse than fair wear and tear (a check-in inspection was also carried out) - greasy oven, broken toothbrush holder, broken toilet handle, broken fridge door and a chip in the kitchen work top.

    We phoned the LL to query these as the inspector never mentioned anything during the inspection. Basically,

    - the oven was in the same state as when we moved in (the check-in inspection also noted the oven was greasy)
    - broken toilet handle - it just needs re-gluing
    - broken fridge door - we reported this during the interim inspection. The inspector informed the agent that an "urgent" fix was required. Nothing was done
    - chip in the kitchen work top - only a few millimeters in size

    I accept that we broke the tooth brush holder. The check-out report also notes some of the improvements we made to the house - cleaned the washing machine, replace broken bulbs, etc.

    After querying these with the agents, they email us on 22nd February 2010 to say the LL, "may look to claim for the cup holder but would let us know after they visited the property at the weekend".

    The LL didn't visit the property until 19-20th March and we were informed today (24th March) that they were proposing to deduct £200 for the above items.

    Firstly, £200 seems an aweful lot for some fairly trivial items. Are we entitled to ask the LL for proof of the quotes for these costs?

    Secondly, our contract states, "the LL or agent shall inform the tenant within 10 working days of the end of the tenany if they propose to make any deductions". Clearly, informing me today that they are proposing to make deductions (6 weeks after the end of the tenancy) is in breach of the contract - except possibly for the toothbrush holder which was mentioned in the email on the 22nd Feb. Do I have a leg to stand on with this arguement if we go through the TDS?

    Thirdly, the LL has the house on the market. Would this have any bearing on them trying to claim our deposit?

    Finally, the agent never provided us with proof that our deposit was protected. When I first asked for the tenant UID code last week they said the TDS would provide this if i made a dispute. On clairifying this with the TDS, I informed the agent that they were legally required to provide the information within 14 days of the start of the tenancy. Upon sending this email, I miraculously received the TDS certificate within 30 mins!

    Best regards and thanks in advance (and sorry for the long post)

  • #2
    Raise a dispute with the TDS and let their arbitrator decide. The onus of proof will be on your LL and it sounds as though he will struggle to justify deductions on that scale.
    '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
      You don't say in your post that your deposit was indeed protected. If it was then, as suggested above insist on either arbitration by the deposit protection agency holding your deposit or let the landlord propose court action. Either way, I doubt he will have much of a chance. If you have not received documentary evidence that your deposit has been protected however, then I suggest you point out to your landlord that he is breaking the law and that unless he returns your deposit within 14 days in full, then you will be taking him to court to claim it and a fine of 3x the deposit as well! There is plenty written elsewhere on this board about this.

      P.P.
      Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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