Deposit Deductions

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    Deposit Deductions

    Tenant moved out after a Section 8 was served. Moving out date was specified as 15th May (Sat) but keys only returned to agent 17th May (Mon). Tenant was one and a half months in arrears. In covering letter (with keys) tenant enclosed one months rent in cash & said keep the deposit for rest of arrears and damages. The flat has been left like a tip. Questions :

    - Is rent payable up to the 15th or 17th ?
    - It needs to be totally redecorated (holes, rawplugs, nails, screws in wall. Grubby, dirty marks all over, door frame damage - dog ?). What percentage of the redecorating cost can I charge to the tenant ? The flat was fully redecorated four years ago. Current tenant has been in for 14 months. Per inventory which they signed on commencement, flat was in good decorative order but not pristine ie skirting chipped in places, light marks on some walls etc. Obviously they cannot be liable for full cost, but what percentage would be fair ?
    - Same question re the bedroom carpet. Also four years old. Was a good quality. Had one small light stain. Now heavily stained but dog damage to the door area which isn't repairable (so no point cleaning it). What percentage of new replacement carpet would be fair ?

    Reason for asking, I'm inclined toward small claims court on this. The deposit won't cover the repairs much less the arrears balance. There are additional costs such as full cleaning of everything (oven etc disgusting), cracked/holed cistern, smashed electrical sockets. These I can ascribe directly to the tenant - it's really the % number for the redec & carpet. I don't want to proceed to small claims with a % that seems unreasonable or unacceptable.

    #2
    Originally posted by weststreet View Post
    It's really the % number for the redec & carpet. I don't want to proceed to small claims with a % that seems unreasonable or unacceptable.
    You have to decide when the carpet would have needed replacing anyway, and how much of its 'life' the tenant has deprived you of. Eg, if it would have lasted 5 years, you've lost 20% of its life so 20% of the replacement cost (assuming like-for-like quality) would be chargeable to the tenant. Same principle for the decorating.

    Obviously the next questions are "what is a fair lifespan for the carpet" and "how often should I be expected to have to redecorate" - I have to say that for a rented property, and for the purposes of convincing a judge, I doubt the answers would be massively more than the 4 years you've already had.

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      #3
      In regards to the rent, as the tenant was to be moving out on the 15th, I think that he had no oppurtunity to return the keys until the 17th.

      Unless you provided him with the means to give you the keys first thing Sunday morning, you are being rather unfair.
      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
        You have to decide when the carpet would have needed replacing anyway, and how much of its 'life' the tenant has deprived you of. Eg, if it would have lasted 5 years, you've lost 20% of its life so 20% of the replacement cost (assuming like-for-like quality) would be chargeable to the tenant. Same principle for the decorating.

        Obviously the next questions are "what is a fair lifespan for the carpet" and "how often should I be expected to have to redecorate" - I have to say that for a rented property, and for the purposes of convincing a judge, I doubt the answers would be massively more than the 4 years you've already had.
        On the carpet, I could go back to the retailer and ask for (in writing) what the average life-span should be. Hadn't thought of that. It's not the new stains that bother me (wear & tear) it's the unravelling by the door where possibly a dog has 'dug' at the carpet to get out. It's unrepairable and simply has to be replaced.

        On the redecorating, I'm loathe to accept the 4 years. Not because I'm tight or refusing to accept advice purely because of the damage. It was in relatively good nick when they went in, as I said not pristine but good. We've now got 'holes' punched in plasterboard, nails screws rawplugs literally everywhere, unidentified splattering in some area's, heavy marking everywhere. There's also a huge rip in wallpaper ( 6 ft by 4 ft ) in the communal area immediately outside the flat entrance which I'll have to cover.

        It's the degree of damage/deterioration that's occured in the 14ish months they've been in. Maybe I will write it off - it's just a bit fresh in my mind.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by thesaint View Post
          In regards to the rent, as the tenant was to be moving out on the 15th, I think that he had no oppurtunity to return the keys until the 17th.

          Unless you provided him with the means to give you the keys first thing Sunday morning, you are being rather unfair.
          Ok, accepted.

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