How to resolve a dispute?

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    How to resolve a dispute?

    Hello and thanks in anticipation for any advice as to how I can get this resolved.
    My last tenant moved out two months ago, and the property is now occupied by new tenants (no problems with them).

    Point One
    The previous tenant did some painting work in three rooms, without asking permission through my agents in the UK (I am abroad).
    The kitchen is a different colour but still fairly neutral so I let that go.
    The dado rail in an otherwise pale yellow/rust living room is now duck egg blue.
    He also painted a feature diamond on my pristine white bathroom wall in this same duck egg blue.

    At end of tenancy I required him to pay for the dado and feature to be redone in white (the duck egg blue was also vinyl paint, by the way).

    Point Two
    On returning to the flat with my key at 9pm for the first time (from abroad) I was unable to gain entry, and had to call out a locksmith to break in for me and change the lock cylinder: the tenants had changed the front door lock without telling anyone, agents included. This cost me £120. I later found that the agents had had the keys returned but were unaware of the change of cylinder.
    I asked for this to be deduted from the deposit.

    Point Three
    The flat is fully furnished. This includes a small new digital TV, which I asked them to store in its box if they decided to use their own TV etc. I also specifically told the agents to inform them that they were not to tamper with the existing aerial.
    I presume they had their own TV and SKy or whatever, as my own aerial had been cut and another 'plug' put on it, which now doesn't fit my TV. Due to this I was unable to watch TV while there for two days. I called out a technician and he wanted £85 to set the aerial straight again.
    I asked for this money to be deducted from the deposit.

    Point Four
    They left the flat quite dirty, and I did a lot of cleaning myself, charging well under the norm for about 4 hours total.
    I asked for £35 from the deposit.

    The ex-tenants decided to dispute this and I told the agents that I maintain my claims. So we entered a sort of three-way discussion. I agreed to klet the ex-tenant go in and do the repaintng and take care of the aerial to my satisfaction. That was sceduled for a week ago, and it wasn't done.

    My agents (IMHO) are not pushing this enough, and I am not in the country to go in and make a fuss. I feel I am well within my rights to ask for the expenses for the above points to be deducted from the deposit, and wish to take it further myself.
    How do I go about getting things resolved through the Tenant Deposit people? It's gone on long enough at two months, I have been more than reasonable and now feel they are taking the Mickey.

    Thanks for getting this far.

    #2
    Did you have an inventory/condition report carried out when the tenant first moved in, signed by the tenant?

    Comment


      #3
      Yes, there's always an inventory, and I have photos of the flat as I left it and as I found it.
      Same with state of cleanliness and walls.

      The aerial is a sticky point in that the TV was on the inventory but not the aerial as it was, and I don't think the inventory person will have checked the aerial working with TV iyswim. However there are emails from me to agent telling them quite clearly that the aerial is not to be tampered with.

      OH I also forgot the letterbox came away in my hands when I first went back and am claiming for that to be re-fixed: it's a relatively new door and was ok when I left it.

      Where did that angry smiley come from?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Moriarty View Post
        The aerial is a sticky point in that the TV was on the inventory but not the aerial as it was, and I don't think the inventory person will have checked the aerial working with TV iyswim.
        What's the issue with the aerial - do you simply need to fit a new standard coax plug (about 50p from B&Q?)

        Comment


          #5
          Ok am woman so not au fait
          The part of the aerial that inserts into the TV no longer fits, it has been changed.
          They were told not to do this.

          Anyway, I asked my local trusted electrics shop (not a multinational) to send a chap out to have a look and he said they would have to get on roof and rewire completely, I asked why they could not just put the thing on the end again and he said was impossible had to set up new aerial as my old aerial wire had been wired tio SKY (I am not into relectrics but this was what I was told and that it would cost £85 to set right).

          Point is that they were told not to mess with existing aerial. Other tenants have been in and used SKY and had own aerials inserted - there are still incoming tubes/wires from this but the Sky guy this time must have taken easy option (?) (I always give permission for tenants to have whatever servers etc they want, I am reasonable as long as I find place as I leave it).

          Comment


            #6
            Might add that the aerial comes straight out from wall socket, is not an unpluggable thing.
            Are you saying that they can just cut it an dput new coax plug on? The electrician said this was impossible. me, not being electrician and not knowing how to change a plug, not much I can say.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Moriarty View Post
              How do I go about getting things resolved through the Tenant Deposit people? It's gone on long enough at two months
              Contact the deposit scheme in question and ask how to raise a dispute; do it now because there are time limits.

              See also this link for an idea of how adjudicators decide disputes and the sort of evidence they look for:
              http://www.propertyhawk.co.uk/index....agazine&id=411

              If the T refuses to use the deposit scheme adjudication service, then you're a bit stuck unless you hire a solicitor to act for you, as a layperson can't represent you in court.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Moriarty View Post

                Point is that they were told not to mess with existing aerial.
                Meaningless unless you can prove they messed with the existing aerial, which means having evidence of what was there before.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Well there was this TV (on the inventory), which worked, as the aerial fitted when I left the flat. Now it doesn't. It's not rocket science is it?

                  What about the front door lock they changed without asking or (afterwards) informing about?
                  They claim the door 'stuck' one evening and they had to get someone out and change the lock aftre gaining entrance. This strikes me as a blatant lie, because had it been me (tenant) I'd have claimed the landord (me) for that expense, wouldn't I?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It is pointless debating whether T is lying or not. All that is relevant is whether you have sufficient evidence; if you do, you will win a claim for deductions, and if you don't you won't.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The tenants agreed to repaint and to correct the TV aerial, was this put in writing to the agent or verbally confirmed. I agree that the aerial would be very hard to prove (I'm not entirely sure why the electrician would have to rewire to the roof - never heard of this before), however if they have already admitted reponsibility it would be a case of informing the deposit scheme of their intentions (backed by a copy of their email if any), they have failed to correct the issues and now you would like them to pay.

                      Was a check-out report carried out by the agent?

                      What explanation was given for the lock change?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Good point, I suppose not being able to entre the property is as good proof as any (the locksmith can verify that the lock was changed by someone prior to my arrival, and it wasn't the agent).

                        What I am asking is, given the apparent ineptness of the agent at sorting this, what is my next port of call? Lawyer? Go direct to the Deposit scheme and start my own dispute?
                        Really fed up of this, and presumably the tenant would like his deposit back, or the part remaining after reasonable deductions.
                        I am not trying to make money on the ex-tenant, I am an honest and fair landlord, but he did stuff without permission when it clearly states on the signed contract that permission must be sought, and coming back to a locked flat that I couldn't access without having it broken into (and by the way they hadn't locked the door, just pulled it shut, but that is the agent's fault I would imagine, having done the checkout).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Springfields View Post
                          What explanation was given for the lock change?
                          Yes, as I said above:

                          They claim the door 'stuck' one evening and they had to get someone out and change the lock aftre gaining entrance. This strikes me as a blatant lie, because had it been me (tenant) I'd have claimed the landord (me) for that expense, wouldn't I?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Springfields View Post
                            The tenants agreed to repaint and to correct the TV aerial, was this put in writing to the agent or verbally confirmed. I agree that the aerial would be very hard to prove (I'm not entirely sure why the electrician would have to rewire to the roof - never heard of this before)
                            I would guess that's what happened is that some cowboy* erected a Sky satellite dish and rather than running a fresh cable from the dish to the TV point, he's chopped off the existing one he found running up the side of the house to the aerial, and pirated that; after which he would have fitted a Sky-type plug to the old aerial cable. Then when the tenants quit, they unbolted their dish leaving the cable dangling. If that's the case, the rewire job would certainly be necessary!

                            *Cowboy because (a) he shouldn't have disabled the roof aerial because Sky users will want the use of that anyway as a reserve, in case the satellite goes down and (b) there's a pretty good chance that the old 'standard' aerial wouldn't have been appropriate quality anyway for satellite TV!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                              I would guess that's what happened is that some cowboy* erected a Sky satellite dish and rather than running a fresh cable from the dish to the TV point, he's chopped off the existing one he found running up the side of the house to the aerial, and pirated that; after which he would have fitted a Sky-type plug to the old aerial cable. Then when the tenants quit, they unbolted their dish leaving the cable dangling. If that's the case, the rewire job would certainly be necessary!

                              *Cowboy because (a) he shouldn't have disabled the roof aerial because Sky users will want the use of that anyway as a reserve, in case the satellite goes down and (b) there's a pretty good chance that the old 'standard' aerial wouldn't have been appropriate quality anyway for satellite TV!
                              You seem to know an awful lot about this sort of sharp practice, Eric!
                              '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

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