Do I have to give housemate half the deposit back??

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    Do I have to give housemate half the deposit back??

    Hi
    New to this and really need this answering please.

    My deposit of £695 is held by the DPS and I am the lead tenant.
    I moved out 2 months before my housemate.
    I then visited the house 3 days before the tenancy ended to do the final clean of the place.

    My housemate had not moved out and the house was an absolute STATE. It was disgusting. I made sure my room was cleaned and the spare room but the other rooms were littered with my housemates cr*p! (as in food everywhere plates wine bottles etc etc)

    I then texted her saying that our deposit will be taken if she did not clean up after herself and I was not willing to pay for any cleaning services accrued.

    The Tenancy Agency have said they are taking £221 (!) for cleaning services. Which to be fair is probably about right judging by the state of the place when I last saw the house.
    But during my time there the house was always kept reasonably clean and tidy.

    Anyway, so my question is do I have to pay half the returned deposit back to my housemate or can I deduct the cleaning services from her half?

    #2
    This is not really and landlord and tenant question! Basically this is simple contract law. You have an agreement with your housemate albeit you may not have written it down. With no written agreement it is implied that they would leave the property in good condition at the end of the tenancy and pay their share of the costs if this was not the case. Therefore, providing you can prove you left your room clean and the agent confirms that cleaning was only required to your housemates room i think you are in a strong position to retain £221 from your housemates proportion of the deposit.

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      #3
      Was the property inspected prior to you moving out?

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        #4
        [QUOTE=LENWELL;232001Therefore, providing you can prove you left your room clean and the agent confirms that cleaning was only required to your housemates room i think you are in a strong position to retain £221 from your housemates proportion of the deposit.[/QUOTE]

        Although you can get pretty mucky bedrooms the main point of concerns are normally kitchen, bathrooms etc and doesnt really prove anything

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          #5
          I don't think the property was inspected before we moved out the problem was that I cleaned before I moved out but I moved out a month before my housemate.
          I then came back up to check and clean completely and nothing was done it would have been impossible for me to try and get the place in a fit state in one day but I did the spare rooms and my room and left the rest up to her.
          The landlord said it look as though no effort was made to clean at all.

          Comment


            #6
            So far as the landlord / deposit are concerned, you signed for joint and several liability - ie you are liable for your flatmates actions.

            If you do not return 50% of the deposit, your flatmate would have to sue you for the missing amount. I suspect you have no detailed proof of the condition of the property when you left. Without this, you will find it difficult to defend such a claim.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
              So far as the landlord / deposit are concerned, you signed for joint and several liability - ie you are liable for your flatmates actions.

              If you do not return 50% of the deposit, your flatmate would have to sue you for the missing amount. I suspect you have no detailed proof of the condition of the property when you left. Without this, you will find it difficult to defend such a claim.
              I agree with Snorkerz. The fact that you moved out early and left it pristine when you left is neither here nor there, legally, I'm afraid. You were both 'jointly and severally' responsible for handing the property back in the same condition it was in when you took possession of it. With hindsight, it would have been better to return just before the end of the tenancy and do your cleaning then.

              So, even if you did have proof that 'your' room, etc., was clean and you had slaved away for hours at the point when you left, it wouldn't cut much mustard in court since it was a joint tenancy which you chose to abandon. It's what the whole property was like at check-out/handover which matters, and I suspect the judge would order you to divide whatever was left of the deposit between you.

              How likely is your ex-housemate to sue you? And did she actually pay half the total deposit in the first place?
              '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


                #8
                Originally posted by LENWELL View Post
                This is not really and landlord and tenant question! Basically this is simple contract law. You have an agreement with your housemate albeit you may not have written it down. With no written agreement it is implied that they would leave the property in good condition at the end of the tenancy and pay their share of the costs if this was not the case. Therefore, providing you can prove you left your room clean and the agent confirms that cleaning was only required to your housemates room i think you are in a strong position to retain £221 from your housemates proportion of the deposit.
                No, I cannot think she is in a strong position at all, unfair as it may seem, for the reasons set out above. It is a landlord and tenant question and OP has every right to ask it here. Although it does indeed involve a contract, these contracts are also governed by legislation to do with deposit protection and statutory provisions for notice periods, etc. It can be raggier than straightforward breaches of contract.

                OP's contract was in any case between (her+ housemate jointly) and the LL, not between her and housemate as you imply. It makes a difference!
                '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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