How much can I deduct from the deposit?

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    How much can I deduct from the deposit?

    My Tenant's AST ended on Saturday, and they moved out with no problems. The Letting Agent was supposed to arrange for a check out to be done, but after speaking to them yesterday they 'forgot' and it couldn't be done now until Tuesday afternoon. The new tenants are moving in tomorrow morning, so I had no option but to do a 'check out report' myself today as it also needed to be cleaned quite a bit. This is my first time doing this so I'm not happy with LA, but thats another story!

    Anyway, I have 3 issues:
    1. The living room is white/grey tile effect laminate (its nicer than it sounds!) and in the middle of the room the tenant has made approx 6 quite large marks, they look like cigerette burns. I tried to clean, but to be able to remove, at least half the flooring would need to be taken up and a few boards replaced, I don't even know where to get this particular flooring from if i still can, so guessing the whole floor should be replaced - is it fair to charge for all of this? Infact its the same laminate throughout the whole property so I'm quite miffed about this!

    2. The sofa was less than a year old when the tenant moved in, and cost more than £1000 (I was living there hence why so expensive but my circumstances changed) It is an unusual colour and the shop do not stock it anymore. It is a corner sofa and on the large corner seating cushion, on one side about half of it is covered in cigerette burns - quite large and deep into the cushion, so that as well as the cover needs to be replaced. I'm waiting to hear back from the shop where it was bought if they are able to make a new cushion to match, but they think unlikely as its no longer stocked. Becuase of the colour I don't know if it would be able to get it repaired elsewhere to that it matches. I don't feel it fair to deduct the cost of a whole new sofa, but then I don't think its going to be very cheap to get it repaired? ANy thoughts?

    Lastly, a handle has come off the door for the hallway storage cupboard so it is effectively locked shut, I tried screwing it back on myself but that didnt work to open it, can I take the whole cost of getting a handy man in to fix it off the deposit?

    Believe it or not, apart from that she was quite a good tenant!

    Sorry for such a long post, but I always find this forum so helpful! Looking forward to any advice/comments from you all!

    Thanks

    #2
    Your starting point will have to be the move-IN inventory & poss photos for condition of laminate & sofa before T started. Hopefully one was carried out. Get LA to do move out inspection again on Tues, with photos,(combined move-out, move-in inspection for both sets of Ts.
    Cupboard door should take less than 5 mins to fix.

    Comment


      #3
      Regarding the laminate flooring, could you maybe take up the similar stuff in the hall and use as spares for the lounge, then replace the stuff in the hall with new?
      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

      Comment


        #4
        I was just going to post similar to Jamesknight. Can you possibly use one room (a smaller one if possible) as a donor to replace the pieces needed in the damaged room. Charge the deposit for the cost of labour to remove and replace the damage and re-lay, but you cannot charge for the whole room to be laid with new.

        As mariner states, a lot of validity in your claim will hang on the inventory. If the agent did the move in, it would be better to get them to verify the move out - this way they are a 3rd party in the deal, and have no vested interest in your deposit claim. Your check-out report may not have so much weight as you are the one claiming for the damage/repairs.

        Re the sofa, as the damage is cosmetic, and doesn't render the sofa ununsable, you cannot claim for a whole replacement. Wait to see what the suppliers say about repairs first, but although it would be nice to put it back to the original condition, if the sofa is still usable for future tenants, you may have to put up with an "as near match as possible" repair or replacement cushion.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by mariner View Post
          Your starting point will have to be the move-IN inventory & poss photos for condition of laminate & sofa before T started. Hopefully one was carried out. Get LA to do move out inspection again on Tues, with photos,(combined move-out, move-in inspection for both sets of Ts.
          Cupboard door should take less than 5 mins to fix.
          Yes, I had a very good check in report done with photos, so i'm not too worried about that as it clearly states that everything was in very good condition.
          I'm sure the door would only take 5 minutes to fix - if you know what your doing - I don't, so I'm assuming as I'll have to pay to have this fixed it can be deductable?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jamesknight0 View Post
            Regarding the laminate flooring, could you maybe take up the similar stuff in the hall and use as spares for the lounge, then replace the stuff in the hall with new?
            Good idea, but I really don't think that would work. It is a large hallway and that would just mess that up. The whole apartment is matching, kitchen/bathroom/hall/living/bedrooms so it really would look odd to have one bit different unfortunately

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
              I was just going to post similar to Jamesknight. Can you possibly use one room (a smaller one if possible) as a donor to replace the pieces needed in the damaged room. Charge the deposit for the cost of labour to remove and replace the damage and re-lay, but you cannot charge for the whole room to be laid with new.

              As mariner states, a lot of validity in your claim will hang on the inventory. If the agent did the move in, it would be better to get them to verify the move out - this way they are a 3rd party in the deal, and have no vested interest in your deposit claim. Your check-out report may not have so much weight as you are the one claiming for the damage/repairs.

              Re the sofa, as the damage is cosmetic, and doesn't render the sofa ununsable, you cannot claim for a whole replacement. Wait to see what the suppliers say about repairs first, but although it would be nice to put it back to the original condition, if the sofa is still usable for future tenants, you may have to put up with an "as near match as possible" repair or replacement cushion.
              Thanks for your reply, I know I can't claim for a whole new floor/sofa, that wasn't my intention, but they really have been messed up. Yes, the sofa is only cosmetic, it is usable, however it has been very badly damaged, and I think that it is fair to have it repaired as much as possible - so surely if it can be repaired then this can be deducatable? Isn't this the point of having a deposit?

              Comment


                #8
                I think there can be no excuse for cigarette burns on furniture, one could be an accident more than that is inexcusable. I would charge the tenant whatever it costs to put the matter right. Before anyone has a go at me, NO! I do not consider cigarette burns to be fair wear and tear.
                I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                Comment


                  #9
                  You have protected the deposit in one of the three approved schemes, right? Because if so (and you have little choice in the matter) the scheme administrators will ultimately decide how much to deduct in the event of a dispute. If not then you are in breach of the law and you need to do so immediately. Your ex-tenant can compel you to place the deposit in a scheme through the courts if you do not do so.
                  Disclaimer:

                  The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by bhaal View Post
                    You have protected the deposit in one of the three approved schemes, right? Because if so (and you have little choice in the matter) the scheme administrators will ultimately decide how much to deduct in the event of a dispute. If not then you are in breach of the law and you need to do so immediately. Your ex-tenant can compel you to place the deposit in a scheme through the courts if you do not do so.
                    I think (or at least I hope) that this tenant is one mentioned in a previous thread started by the OP, who has a tenancy dating back to before the deposit protection rules came in. If so, deposit protection would not be required. However, if the tenancy was renewed at any time since deposit rules started, then agree, protection is required.

                    OP, I agree that the sofa repair is chargeable. Incidentally, did you have a no smoking clause in your tenancy agreement? If so, and you need additional proof that the cig burns are a genuine claim, make sure you point this out, Whilst no smoking rules are very difficult to enforce, resulting damage is more relevant if it was specifically prohibited in the TA.

                    If your tenant was a smoker, I am surprised you have not included any cleaning/re-decoration costs in your deposit claim, as this is often more likely after a smoker vacates and is a valid claim.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jta View Post
                      I think there can be no excuse for cigarette burns on furniture, one could be an accident more than that is inexcusable. I would charge the tenant whatever it costs to put the matter right. Before anyone has a go at me, NO! I do not consider cigarette burns to be fair wear and tear.
                      Thank you, I don't know if its possible to post pictures on here, but I'm not talking about just a bit of ash being dropped, these are big deep - at least 1cm+ where the cigarettes have been deliberately pushed into the sofa, and i'm guessing we're on purpose too on the floor given by the size of them!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by bhaal View Post
                        You have protected the deposit in one of the three approved schemes, right? Because if so (and you have little choice in the matter) the scheme administrators will ultimately decide how much to deduct in the event of a dispute. If not then you are in breach of the law and you need to do so immediately. Your ex-tenant can compel you to place the deposit in a scheme through the courts if you do not do so.
                        Yes, it was deposited in the TDS as soon as it was received, before the tenant moved in! I have done everything right and to the law!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
                          I think (or at least I hope) that this tenant is one mentioned in a previous thread started by the OP, who has a tenancy dating back to before the deposit protection rules came in. If so, deposit protection would not be required. However, if the tenancy was renewed at any time since deposit rules started, then agree, protection is required. .
                          That is a different property, before protection was required, no renewals have been made, and tenant still happily in place.

                          .[/QUOTE]OP, I agree that the sofa repair is chargeable. Incidentally, did you have a no smoking clause in your tenancy agreement? If so, and you need additional proof that the cig burns are a genuine claim, make sure you point this out, Whilst no smoking rules are very difficult to enforce, resulting damage is more relevant if it was specifically prohibited in the TA.

                          If your tenant was a smoker, I am surprised you have not included any cleaning/re-decoration costs in your deposit claim, as this is often more likely after a smoker vacates and is a valid claim.[/QUOTE]

                          I thought I did have a clause as I asked the LA to find non smokers, but on closer inspection it seems I did not.
                          I do not think the tenant was a regular smoker - or it may have been a visitor of hers, there is not other evidence of smoking - ie no smell etc.

                          I did clean the property after she left, it was 'ok' the way she left it, I just like to make sure things are done properly, so wasn't planning on deducting anything extra for cleaning.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Happyoz, not rel to your current query, but in #23 you state deposit was protected in TDS and you have done everything right and to the Law. Did this include providing T with 'required info'? No s21 can be served until this has been done. (for the benefit of browsers)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by mariner View Post
                              Happyoz, not rel to your current query, but in #23 you state deposit was protected in TDS and you have done everything right and to the Law. Did this include providing T with 'required info'? No s21 can be served until this has been done. (for the benefit of browsers)
                              Hi Mariner, The tenant was informed all about what happens to the deposit by the LA when they found the property. The LA protected the deposit with Mydeposits.co.uk, who after receiving it wrote to me, and so am assuming the tenants also, confirming this and including a load of information about them and how it works. s21 was issued fine with no problems and the tenant moved out on the correct date with no problems - other than those which this post was about!

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