possible deposit argument coming up?

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    possible deposit argument coming up?

    Moved out of a property a few weeks back and after saying how well we had cleaned the place, then landlord is now concerned about a couple of stains on the carpet.
    Now I'm pretty sure I cleaned these areas although they were drying when I left. The likelihood is that because I used baking soda, these areas are actually cleaner than the rest of the carpet.
    We had no exit inventory done. However, the check in inventory said the carpet was dirty at the edges so it's obvious it was a bit on the grubby side before.
    Anyone know where I might stand on this? I don't want to go to arbitration really but equally I'm not going to pay anything out of the deposit as I don't see any need to. Enough people don't argue their case against landlords in the UK as it is and most settle for the inevitable "professional cleaning" con on exit.

    The landlord has provided no evidence to date and I've had the usual cleaning con tried before.

    Should I get receipts?
    No check out was done so doesn't this mean the ADR will find in my favour as the landlord has no check out evidence?

    Even if I get evidence, I don't believe the full £50 is justified as it was a bit grubby as noted on the check in inventory. The landlord has also said they would put the money towards a new carpet, which I don't find justified either.

    #2
    It should be noted that there is no legal requirement for you, the tenant, to be present during the exit inventory. Indeed, I know a number of landlords prefer to do this without the tenant hanging over them and distracting them.

    How long were you a tenant in the property? This may have a bearing on the level of wear and tear that is acceptable.

    It does seem a little odd that you've only cleaned some areas of the carpet, which does imply that the rest is left dirty. Wouldn't it have been a better idea to clean all of the carpet in the room to the same level?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by p_cas View Post
      It should be noted that there is no legal requirement for you, the tenant, to be present during the exit inventory. Indeed, I know a number of landlords prefer to do this without the tenant hanging over them and distracting them.

      How long were you a tenant in the property? This may have a bearing on the level of wear and tear that is acceptable.

      It does seem a little odd that you've only cleaned some areas of the carpet, which does imply that the rest is left dirty. Wouldn't it have been a better idea to clean all of the carpet in the room to the same level?
      I was a tenant for about 7 months.
      As far as I understood it, the exit inventory has no legal bearing unless it is signed by both parties? Same as that pictures cannot be used as evidence unless signed by both parties?
      Does the fact that the carpet was a bit grubby on the edge as moving in count for anything? I can't clean a carpet cleaner than when I received it?

      The carpet was cleaned in the areas where there was a bit of mud. Cleaning the whole carpet would have needed a full shampooing.

      What should I ask for before paying the £50 out?
      Pictures, receipts of the cleaning?
      My argument half stems from the fact that the landlord has said they would take the £50 and instead of cleaning the carpet, they would put it towards a new carpet. Now in all the cases I've checked on arbitration on the net, the abitrators said that wasn't justified and the age of the carpet would be taken into account, the arbitrators said the landlord would only get a small percentage of a new carpet.

      If I see pictures and it's stained then £50 for cleaning seems fine but I don;t think £50 contribution to get a new carpet is the same...not legally anyway.

      Comment


        #4
        An example of something I found about TDS.
        Example: A tenant renting a property and the inventory from the Check in inspection notes that the carpet in the living room had not been freshly cleaned and had a few spot marks. At the end of the tenancy, the Check out report notes the carpet as soiled. In this scenario the landlord should not be entitled to full compensation for the carpet cleaning costs. A fair solution would be for the tenant to pay a percentage of the cleaning costs which would be calculated by a professional Inventory Clerk

        http://www.jml-property-insurance.co..._in_the_uk.htm

        It is important to realise that the Law does not allow for betterment. This means that a landlord can not expect to have old replaced with new at a tenant's expense. A Fair Wear and Tear allowance must be considered. A tenant has a duty of care to return the property at the end of a tenancy in the same condition, Fair Wear and Tear excepted, as that recorded on the Inventory at the start of their tenancy.
        Decorations have an accepted life expectancy. However, there may be circumstances where excessive wear and tear require a tenant to pay compensation or charges to make good, e.g. numerous nail or picture pin holes, torn wallpaper, gouges in walls/woodwork etc. Charges for cleaning, making good etc are often apportioned to account for Fair Wear and Tear.

        Comment


          #5
          you admit causing damage and yet you say ""the arbitrators said the landlord would only get a small percentage of a new carpet."

          £50 IS only a small percentage of a new carpet

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by susanne View Post
            you admit causing damage and yet you say ""the arbitrators said the landlord would only get a small percentage of a new carpet."

            £50 IS only a small percentage of a new carpet
            No, I haven';t seen any damage. I admit I put some mud on the carpet and then cleaned it.
            It's a rug rather than a carpet - they are worth about £65-£100 in Ikea (new). But it could be debateable whether it's cleaning it needs or a new carpet.
            The landlord cannot decide to charge for a new carpet if cleaning would do the job, surely? They'd have to prove one or the other.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by GordonFreeman View Post
              As far as I understood it, the exit inventory has no legal bearing unless it is signed by both parties? Same as that pictures cannot be used as evidence unless signed by both parties?
              The check-out report does not have to be signed by both parties to have validity as evidence. Photos can be valid if there is proof of the date they were taken (and even if there isn't - I've successfully claimed against a T for damage and as I was a novice landlord at the time, I didn't have any evidence of the date the photos were taken, but the court didn't query it).

              My argument half stems from the fact that the landlord has said they would take the £50 and instead of cleaning the carpet, they would put it towards a new carpet. Now in all the cases I've checked on arbitration on the net, the abitrators said that wasn't justified and the age of the carpet would be taken into account, the arbitrators said the landlord would only get a small percentage of a new carpet.
              Your argument is flawed, because it doesn't matter what the landlord spends the £50 on, whether it's cleaning, buying a new carpet, or a nice bottle of wine, he just has to prove he has suffered a £50 loss and that you're liable for the loss.

              If you damaged the rug and the rug would cost £50 to clean, then that's the landlord's loss.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by westminster View Post
                The check-out report does not have to be signed by both parties to have validity as evidence. Photos can be valid if there is proof of the date they were taken (and even if there isn't - I've successfully claimed against a T for damage and as I was a novice landlord at the time, I didn't have any evidence of the date the photos were taken, but the court didn't query it).


                Your argument is flawed, because it doesn't matter what the landlord spends the £50 on, whether it's cleaning, buying a new carpet, or a nice bottle of wine, he just has to prove he has suffered a £50 loss and that you're liable for the loss.

                If you damaged the rug and the rug would cost £50 to clean, then that's the landlord's loss.
                Are receipts needed to prove the cost?
                I looked up a few example cases and in all of them where no receipt was provided all of the deposit was given back to the tenant. This stops those cases where a random amount of money is charged for and then used for something else (like a bottle of wine )

                Case Study Thirty-eight:
                The Landlord was seeking to retain the sum of £290.41 out of a total deposit of £877.50 for
                damage caused by a pet to a lounge carpet. The Tenant argued that she should not have to pay
                anything.
                Dismissing the claim, the Adjudicator noted that merely stating that something had happened was not sufficient to prove a claim. No photos or evidence of cost had been provided. Furthermore, the Tenant had provided information that substantiated her arguments
                It seems where photos are produced the argument is a bit more grey as the adjudicator will then check how much a cleaning could cost and award that.
                It seems that a £50 clean can be charged for if a quote is provided from a cleaner and photo evidence given if the photo evidence can be proved not to be fake, which was an update to the law in 2007.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by GordonFreeman View Post
                  Are receipts needed to prove the cost?
                  Receipt, quote or estimate.

                  In some cases, where T has caused minor damage which does not merit replacement of the damaged item, and where repair may be impossible (for example, scratches to a granite worktop), the LL can claim a reasonable sum to compensate for the damage, and this wouldn't require a quote or estimate to support the claim, just evidence of the damage.

                  I looked up a few example cases and in all of them where no receipt was provided all of the deposit was given back to the tenant. This stops those cases where a random amount of money is charged for and then used for something else (like a bottle of wine )
                  Again, you miss the point. If the landlord can prove he has suffered a loss to the value of £50, and is awarded £50 from the deposit, then he is free to do whatever he likes with the money.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by westminster View Post


                    Again, you miss the point. If the landlord can prove he has suffered a loss to the value of £50, and is awarded £50 from the deposit, then he is free to do whatever he likes with the money.
                    That's why I said random as in no receipt, no evidence. Of course, if they are awarded £50 then AFTER they can do whatever they want with it.

                    Out of interest, what would happen in the case where no checkout was done and the tenant claimed the carpet was fine and that the landlord stained the carpet. This is not my particular case as I have already stated I cleaned the carpet to the landlord but am interested over the check out.
                    Legally, the adjudicator couldn't prove this as no-one was at the check out. You say, the T doesn't need to be but isn't that a loophole for landlords?
                    Many of the cases I read about said even photos weren't proof unless signed by both parties.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by GordonFreeman View Post
                      Many of the cases I read about said even photos weren't proof unless signed by both parties.
                      The trouble is, you're only reading adjudication cases, not cases decided in the county court. In a proper legal context, evidence is assessed on its own merits; there's no 'rule' which says a photo unsigned by both parties cannot be evidence. It's stronger evidence if the photo is signed and dated, but the absence of a signature doesn't invalidate the photo as evidence.

                      The difference between court and ADR is that adjudicators tend to be biased in favour of the tenant and place a greater burden of proof on the landlord than you'd find in the county court, where cases are decided on the basis of a 'balance of probabilities'.

                      Also, adjudication is paper-based, so adjudicators don't get to question each party about their evidence, whereas in court there is a face-to-face hearing and it's therefore much easier to judge who is lying or misrepresenting the truth.

                      As I said before, I've won a county court claim where my only check-out evidence was my own undated photos and my own unwitnessed report of the damage. Evidently, the judge considered my evidence to be more likely to be true, on a balance of probabilities, based perhaps on my credibility as a witness, compared to the credibility of the tenant when questioned. The alternative explanation would have been to conclude that I had completely invented the whole claim, and forged every receipt for the repairs, which would have been much more of an improbability - so, on a balance of probabilities, I won.

                      This is why we advise LLs on the forum to opt out of deposit scheme adjudication, because they are more likely to get a fair decision in the county court.

                      Comment

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