Is lost rent recoverable from deposit?

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    Is lost rent recoverable from deposit?

    Hi Guys,

    Have any fellow landlords successfully claimed lost rent from Deposit Protection Service?

    My tenant moved out this week. He has only lived there 6 months, but the place is covered with mould. I have to redecorate, which will take at least a couple of weeks. My tenant refuses to reimburse me anything even for repairs.

    Is it reasonable for me to ask the DPS for say two weeks lost rent, or would this look greedy and make them look badly at the rest of my claim?

    #2
    Hi James,

    You certainly wouldn't be the first person to claim compensation for the lost opportunity to rent out the property. It is, as you have identified, a tricky one to prove.

    If you can show that you had a tenant ready and waiting to move in, who went elsewhere because of the condition of the property, that would go a long way. In the absence of solid evidence, you might be better to stick to a claim for the cost of repair.

    Just a note, as I am sure you have this in hand. Proving that mould is due to the tenant (condensation?) and not deficiencies with the building (damp?) is notoriously difficult, so make sure you get some solid evidence on this point also.
    Last edited by T_D; 05-02-2011, 10:39 AM. Reason: Foolish misreading of the question

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      #3
      You are up against section 18 (1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 which limits damages for breach of repairing covenant to the amount by which the value of the property is diminished by the breach.

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        #4
        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
        You are up against section 18 (1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 which limits damages for breach of repairing covenant to the amount by which the value of the property is diminished by the breach.
        I wish I shared your confidence that the deposit protection schemes have the same grasp of black letter law as you!

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          #5
          Thanks for your replies guys.

          I can't really see how section 18 of the 1927 act is relevant. A flat covered in mould must be worth at least £10k less than one not covered in mould mustn't it? The deposit is only around £1000.

          Has anyone any view on what is a reasonable deduction to ask for a scorched worktop? I can see a carpenter charging me several hundred to replace it all, but I don't wish to go to that hassle.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jamesknight0 View Post
            I can't really see how section 18 of the 1927 act is relevant. A flat covered in mould must be worth at least £10k less than one not covered in mould mustn't it? The deposit is only around £1000.
            The point is that you cannot claim damages for consequential loss.

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              #7
              Originally posted by jamesknight0 View Post
              I can't really see how section 18 of the 1927 act is relevant. A flat covered in mould must be worth at least £10k less than one not covered in mould mustn't it? The deposit is only around £1000.

              Has anyone any view on what is a reasonable deduction to ask for a scorched worktop? I can see a carpenter charging me several hundred to replace it all, but I don't wish to go to that hassle.

              Surely, if you have an inventory describing the condition of the property at move in, you can compare the condition at move out and deduct accordingly?

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                #8
                Well the worktop was perfect at check in and scorched at check out. How do I assign monetary values to those two states?

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                  The point is that you cannot claim damages for consequential loss.
                  Where is that provision then? I can't see anything about consequential loss in section 18.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by jamesknight0 View Post
                    Where is that provision then? I can't see anything about consequential loss in section 18.
                    It does not need to be there. What you have to do is to look at the disrepair and calculate the diminution in value. Once you have a figure that is the most you can claim in damages.

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                      #11
                      You have to construct an argument based on factors such as where the scorch is, how extensive the damage is, the value and condition of the worktop etc.

                      I am happy to help you if you like.

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                        #12
                        Thanks T_D. I will get some photos on Monday.

                        James

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jamesknight0 View Post
                          Well the worktop was perfect at check in and scorched at check out. How do I assign monetary values to those two states?
                          If you had a check out done, the clerk should indicate what is the responsibility of the tenant.
                          Obtain quotes for rectification work which aren't easy to cost or which represent a large expenditure.

                          For the worktop, the loss in value is likely to be nothing near replacement value, so you will have to decide the actual amount, which the clerk will not do, although they can give you general idea..
                          It depends on the degree but photos and descriptions by the clerk will aid your claim to deduct the appropriate amounts for all that is considered the tenant's responsibility.

                          The tenant may challenge the amount if they feel the amount is not justified so be ready for that.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The original question was "Is lost rent recoverable from deposit?"

                            I took that to mean unpaid rent arrears, in which case Yes

                            You cannot claim for lost rent due to void time for renovations, unless you rehouse the tenant temp in equiv accomodation and they return afterwards.

                            Lawcrunchers point is valid, you shouldn't claiim more for damage other than cost of prof repair or replacement (less allowance for previous fair wear & tear)

                            A scorched worktop would not allow you to claim for a replacement fitted kitchen but prob for a complete length of co-ordinated work top if the scorch could not be considered fair wear & tear.

                            In 1928, I believe, they did not have fitted colour co-ordinated kitchens or carpets in most rented properties, so replacement was easier & the consequential loss easier to assess(?)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I would suggest that a scorched worktop almost comes within fair wear and tear. How bad is the scorching? Does it prevent the worktop from being used? Would seeing it put off a reasonable prospective tenant?

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