Deposit in dispute for erroneous jobs

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  • Deposit in dispute for erroneous jobs

    Hi all.

    I won’t bore you with too much detail unless requested but i strongly feel that i should have been refunded 100% of my deposit due to the immaculate condition I left the flat in (far cleaner than when i moved in). Rent and bills all paid fully and on time.

    My deposit is being withheld and the landlord wants about £300 for several erroneous jobs. Cleaning is one of them, some of them are detailed as faults on the inventory such as filthy carpets and broken sofa so i won’t have too much problem contesting them. The other problems are faults that where repeatedly reported in person to the letting agent and where never fixed within the duration of the tenancy (I even spent 4 months showering in the dark because he wouldnt fix the bathroom lighting!). The letting agent manager informed my via email that she repeatedly asked the LL to tend to one of these problems (broken chairs) but he refused. The letting agency was fairly unprofessional so it’s no surprise that they claim they have no log any of these requests. Despite a recorded written request, no invoices have been provided for these jobs, neither has any photographic evidence - it’s not hard to email a pic these days.

    We were not provided with details of the DPS within 14 days of paying the deposit, instead it took a week of phone calls, letters and emails after we moved out to get this information.

    I have requested my deposit online using the DPS but it has been refused, having just requested it a second time i am now unsure what the next step is.

    I’m not sure if i should use the ADR or go via small claims court. If i disagree with the outcome of the ADR can i then go to court? Who should i be looking to take to court (and send my letters to), the LL or the LA?

    I would REALLY appreciate any advice! The money is no longer the issue here, its the principle of the matter.

  • #2
    Unprofessional letting agencies - where have I heard that before???
    You should have had written confirmation within 14 days of where the deposit was protected. Either the landlord or letting agency was responsible for this. Check your tenancy contract first and see if that states where the deposit is being kept. If not, and you can prove without doubt that you did not get written advice you are entitled to 3 months rent as a penalty

    I've had a problem with a letting agency - they basically f**ked everything up, did not serve Section 21 notice. Luckily I got free legal advice through work and knew I had a case. Go for the Small Claims Court. It's cheap and you get your fees back if you win. Make sure, however, that you have a good case. Tell the letting agency this is what you are doing. You have to serve the papers in person. I reckon the agency will drag its feet, try to pressure you into dropping the case. Don't give in, I got all my money back eventually and the letting agents settled out of court.

    Finally the landlord has a contract with the agent who acts on his behalf. You signed up to the letting agency, I think they are responsible. They should have fixed the problems etc.


    • #3
      Your claim is against the landlord, for that is whom you have a contract with.

      In your shoes, I would go down the ADR route as it is free and quicker than the courts. ADR will require pretty stringent proof from the landlord for any deductions he wants to make.

      Perhaps you could prvide details of the broken chairs as that would not usually be a landlord liability.

      Landlord/agent has no obligation to provide photographs or invoices. He doesn't even have to have the work done - if there is a genuine cause to claim you would be paying for the damage you had done, NOT the cost of repairing it (subtle difference).

      On this site the anecdotal evidence is that ADR is in favour of tenants (but of course, we get to hear more stories of landlords losing out because it is landlordzone)


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