Lodger and damaged carpet

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  • Lodger and damaged carpet

    I may be barking up the wrong tree on this website, but being new to the letting game I'm not sure where else to go other than the expensive solicitors.

    I have been working away from home for the last 8 months- coming home occasionally - maybe once a fortnight, but only staying overnight twice in that time period. A colleague/friend rented a room in my house. There was no written agreement and I didn't take a deposit. There have been a long list of issues, the most significant being that she moved her boyfriend in after 3 months (without asking) and stained a brand new (ie less than 6 months old) carpet. Originally she said she would have it professionally cleaned, but then renegaded on that offer and 'walked' - left the house without cleaning any of it and leaving dirty dishes in the dishwasher. She forgot to cancel her standing order for rent (£350). I have refused to give it back as it will cover the cost of cleaning the carpet, having my house cleaned and non payment of rent requested for her boyfriend also staying in the house. She has now threatened me with a court order to reclaim the money. I have been advised that if a carpet is less than 12 months old I'm entitled to claim for the whole carpet (over £700). I'm not prepared to go to court over £350, but do feel that she has taken the michael and I am entitled to that money. All of this is detailed in emails. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  • #2
    I think the first thing to clarify is if this person was a lodger or tenant. As this property was not your primary residence during their occupation, I feel they were tenants. As such, their rights are different. Usually, tenants are in a safer possition than lodgers, but with rights come responsibilities and on this occassion I think that will help you.

    If they were tenants, they were oblighed to give you a minimum of 1 months notice, with that notice ending at the end of a rental month (eg if 1st month was 22/7/09 to 21/8/09 then last dy would be the 21st of any month).

    Maybe they didn't give correct notice? Maybe the £350 you received was in lieu of the rent for the notice period?

    I would wait to see what T does, but if they do go to court, I would launch a strong defence and counterclaim for the carpet in full if it is uncleanable.


    • #3
      Do you have a dated invoice/receipt for the carpet, evidence of the damage and cost of cleaning it?

      If the answer is yes, then wait for the tenant/lodger to issue a claim against you, then, as Snorkerz says, counterclaim for your losses. Whatever you claim must be supported by evidence of that loss (if the carpet had not been new, then you wouldn't have any evidence of its original good condition unless you'd had an inventory check-in carried out). It would also be advisable to buy a book on small claims procedure (look on amazon).

      Note that if you lose, if you pay the CCJ within 30 days and ask for a certificate of satisfaction, the CCJ will not be recorded on your credit rating.


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