Have deposit scheme rules changed about tenants doing cleaning?

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  • Have deposit scheme rules changed about tenants doing cleaning?

    Hi all

    Tenancy ended a few days ago. Tenants have moved out. House needs a clean and some other damage putting right.

    All this has been noted by the letting agent we use.

    I assumed the letting agent would be able to make a reasonable deduction from the deposit and if disputed would have the appropriate inventory and check out reports etc as evidence.

    However the agent has let the tenants keep the keys - which I thought was an absolute no-no, so they can go back in at some point to to do repairs/clean. No day arranged and not escorted.

    When we questioned this they said the deposit scheme rules had changed and you now have to give tenants the chance to do this - even after the end of the tenancy.

    Anyone know if this is correct? My understanding was that if things had not been put right by the end of the tenancy then fair money is deducted and that you must retain the keys or the tenants sill have possession of the property and all the complications that can cause.

    Anyone know if deposit scheme rules now say tenants must have chance to go back in?

    Thanks for reading

  • #2
    I've not heard of any change to the rules.

    I had a similar thing with a previous agent. The reason they wished to let the tenant do the cleaning, was because they did not wish to make any deposit deductions. The reason they did not wish to make deductions was because they had let a new place to the tenant, and allowed the full amount of 'my' deposit as a credit against the new deposit.

    I bet it's a similar story with your agent.

    (If they had to submit the full amount to the new deposit scheme, but give you money for repairs, they will be short of cash to send to the new landlord.)

    Comment


    • #3
      This is nonsense. The rules have not changed. The tenants had the opportunity to do the cleaning and remedy any damage - before the end of their tenancy. Preferably the very last few days of it, so they didn't have the chance to mess it up again. If they thought it was clean and undamaged but it wasn't (compared with check-in), tough. They obviously need to spend some time learning what 'clean' means, but it is not your job to educate them in that process. You are not a charity.

      In my experience, if they are willing and able to clean a property properly, they will do it before they move out. Offering them the chance to do it again/more thoroughly after they've moved out is a waste of everyone's time, unless they hire a cleaner, which they never do, because if they were happy to part with a couple of hundred quid they would just let you deduct it from the deposit.

      If agents/LLs have nothing better to do, they could usefully go round a week before the end of the tenancy (assuming Ts agree) and point out anything obvious to Ts that needs 'sorting', but the deadline for returning the house as it was originally is the last day of the tenancy, not after.

      If you do let them back in to do it, are you going to charge them for the extra days of lost rent which you could otherwise have had?

      Don't go there!
      '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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      • #4
        What do agents like this actually think they're playing at? I swear they forget who pays their fees sometimes. I would be furious about this, they should be getting money from the DPS and then resolving any issues then finding a new tenant for you. Instead they've let T retain keys, do nothing, and leave you having to declare the property abandoned or requiring a PO.

        Seriously, when you speak to the LA you really need to give them a serious telling off!
        [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies.

          It is a relative's house which I am going to help them manage after this tenancy is sorted as I currently manage my own properties.

          I don't profess to be an expert though I have done the NFOPP and APIP courses - but I was wondering if I was going mad when the conversation with the LA was relayed to me.

          I thought is was one of the absolute basics not to let teanants retain keys in this way and I thought it was so obvious that i wondered if I'd missed something.

          I think our priority is getting the keys back or I can forsee something of an even worse pickle if the tenants decide to get awkward. I suspect we may end up being out of pocket in which case I assume we try to get costs covered by LA and if that fails try the ombudsman.

          I'd never dream of letting this situation arise in one of my properties and gobsmacked that a paid 'expert' can.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ians View Post
            Thanks for the replies.

            It is a relative's house which I am going to help them manage after this tenancy is sorted as I currently manage my own properties.

            I don't profess to be an expert though I have done the NFOPP and APIP courses - but I was wondering if I was going mad when the conversation with the LA was relayed to me.

            I thought is was one of the absolute basics not to let teanants retain keys in this way and I thought it was so obvious that i wondered if I'd missed something.

            I think our priority is getting the keys back or I can forsee something of an even worse pickle if the tenants decide to get awkward. I suspect we may end up being out of pocket in which case I assume we try to get costs covered by LA and if that fails try the ombudsman.

            I'd never dream of letting this situation arise in one of my properties and gobsmacked that a paid 'expert' can.
            Letting Agents always shock me really. They'll contact landlords over the stupidest things, but then take it upon themselves to do something like this without any consultation and then have the balls to attempt to mislead their client about the situation, with such a stupid lie that would be so easy to find out.
            [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
              Letting Agents always shock me really. They'll contact landlords over the stupidest things, but then take it upon themselves to do something like this without any consultation and then have the balls to attempt to mislead their client about the situation, with such a stupid lie that would be so easy to find out.
              Yep! I agree with this entirely.
              The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ians View Post
                Anyone know if deposit scheme rules now say tenants must have chance to go back in?
                I have not heard of any such change to the deposit schemes' rules and think it's far more likely that the agent is either misinformed, confused, (or deliberately lying for reasons unknown).

                Anecdotal evidence suggests that the deposit schemes' adjudication service (ADR) tends to favour the tenant's side, and adjudicators are not necessarily noted for their expert grasp of landlord and tenant law, so it's conceivable the agent has heard of a LL who lost a dispute because he'd failed to allow access after the tenancy ended or a garbled version.

                Whatever a scheme's rules say, they cannot override the legal position, which is that after the tenancy ends, the tenant has no legal right of entry, even if T retains the keys. Assuming the tenancy *has* ended, if the T wilfully refuses to return the keys, you would be entitled to change the locks and charge T for this.

                Note that ADR is not compulsory; you can choose to opt out and settle any dispute in the county court instead.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ians View Post
                  ...they said the deposit scheme rules had changed and you now have to give tenants the chance to do this - even after the end of the tenancy.
                  Ask the agent this question: Where does it say that then?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ians View Post
                    I think our priority is getting the keys back
                    If this was me, my priority would be getting the locks changed.
                    Natural selection is a wonderful thing
                    You shall know them by their fruit
                    Saying "Never say never", says it

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
                      Letting Agents always shock me really. They'll contact landlords over the stupidest things, but then take it upon themselves to do something like this without any consultation and then have the balls to attempt to mislead their client about the situation, with such a stupid lie that would be so easy to find out.
                      But this extremes of response is in keeping with many letting agent's MO, which is a misunderstanding or an "interpreted" version, of the appropriate laws.
                      Natural selection is a wonderful thing
                      You shall know them by their fruit
                      Saying "Never say never", says it

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scrungy View Post
                        If this was me, my priority would be getting the locks changed.
                        Actually I had already asked this question of a 'landlord adviser' - I won't name names - in case it was an option.

                        I was told not to change the locks as the T could be considered to still be in possession of the house as they still have the keys and in turn my relative could be accused of harassment/illegal eviction.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In connection with this thread point 4 in post 12 of this thread will be of interest: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...gainst-deposit

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks that's interesting.

                            tenant not being given opportunity to put right was a reason why the landlord lost the case.

                            seems to open a can of worms into how that is interpreted.

                            For example how long does a T get to put right and can T be entrusted to put right a specialist job, and if T was given a pre-move out letter or even if there was a pre-move out check as I do with my own properties a week before to help T identify pos problems does that count as T having been given the opportunity so you can say you can act from the last day of the tenancy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ians View Post
                              Thanks that's interesting.

                              tenant not being given opportunity to put right was a reason why the landlord lost the case.

                              seems to open a can of worms into how that is interpreted.

                              For example how long does a T get to put right and can T be entrusted to put right a specialist job, and if T was given a pre-move out letter or even if there was a pre-move out check as I do with my own properties a week before to help T identify pos problems does that count as T having been given the opportunity so you can say you can act from the last day of the tenancy.
                              I cannot think a judge would expect a LL routinely to give the T opportunity to remedy damage or do cleaning after the tenancy ends. Is this was a deposit scheme arbitrator, it would support the view that it is better for a LL to sue a T through the courts rather than accept the scheme's arbitration service if this is the sort of nonsense they come up with.
                              '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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