Landlord trying to charge for repairs 6 weeks after we left

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  • Landlord trying to charge for repairs 6 weeks after we left

    Hi there,

    We moved out of our rented property into another one 6 weeks ago and at the time the landlord was not happy with the clean so we arranged for a professional company to come in and clean and get the oven professionally cleaned also.

    At the time they also said there were some stains on the carpet which we had pointed out to the letting agent at the time, so we said that we would not be paying for a clean.

    Today, we received a list of things that the now want us to pay for that come to over £2,000 pounds, including replacement carpets and re-decorating of the house! (this was not mentioned when we moved out).

    The letting agent released our deposit 3 weeks ago, as we are renting our new property through them, and they are now discussing these costs with the landlord, but they are now threatening us with legal proceedings!

    Can anyone advise us on what steps we should take to make sure we are protected?

    Any help would be much appreciated

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by RichJ73 View Post
    Can anyone advise us on what steps we should take to make sure we are protected?
    Did you sign an inventory when you moved in, and if so, what did it say about the condition of the items that the landlord is now trying to charge you for?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
      Did you sign an inventory when you moved in, and if so, what did it say about the condition of the items that the landlord is now trying to charge you for?
      In addition, did you actualy do the damage the landlord is claiming?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
        Did you sign an inventory when you moved in, and if so, what did it say about the condition of the items that the landlord is now trying to charge you for?
        We signed and retuned the inventory and included an addendum with further issues on which the letting agent accepted, this included the items we are trying to be charged for.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
          In addition, did you actualy do the damage the landlord is claiming?
          No, we didn't damage anything beyond what was replaced, and we have subsequently found out that they have now re-decorated the whole house

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RichJ73 View Post
            We signed and retuned the inventory and included an addendum with further issues on which the letting agent accepted, this included the items we are trying to be charged for.
            This may be a problem then.

            Ultimately, you have to return the place in the same condition (less fair wear and tear) as it was in when you moved in. There is an inventory, signed by you, that states (say) that the carpet is in perfect condition. There is also an addendum that says the carpet has a 30cm burn in the centre. If the addandum has been 'lost' then the letting agent are left with a document in which you agree the carpet is perfect. Had amendments been made to the document, they couldn't have been lost. Can you absolutely prove (maybe a letter or email confirming the receipt of the addendum) that an addendum was attached to the inventory and isn't something you have typed up in this last week? (I know you haven't, but a judge/adjudictor will need proof).

            In the case of a damaged carpet that was (say) 4 years old when you left, you can not be charged for a new replacement carpet. The landlord can replace it with whatever he wants (or not replace it) but you would owe the value of a 4 year old carpet (typically 20 - 60% of the cost of a new one of = standard).

            Your deposit should be protected in a govenment approved scheme (probably TDS) and you will have been given details of how to dispute the landlords proposed deductions via an independent arbitrator. You will find full details on the relevant schemes website.

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            • #7
              Thanks Snorkez, that gives me much more comfort as we do indeed have confirmation from the letting agent that they have our addendum and tell us it was forwarded to the landlord.

              The carpet is 6 years old and they originally said that the carpet in the lounge and the stairs/hallway had marks on them and needed cleaning (which we got done with their preferred contractor)and they are now saying that the carpet through the whole house needs to be replaced.

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              • #8
                If it was 'carpetright' cheap carpet then it is probably at it's natural end of life, in which case it is entirely the landlords issue.

                Other than that, anything that needs replacing (and presuming the carpet was not excessively worn at the start of the tenany) would be chargeable at whatever percentage of the lifespan should be left - so a 6 year old carpet that should last 12 years would cost 50% of the cost of replacement.

                Definately dispute with the scheme, the onus of proof will be on the landlord.

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                • #9
                  The fact that the LL has already decorated throughout is neither here nor there, really. (He presumably wants to get it re-let sooner rather than later, which is fair enough). However, to charge you for the cost of re-decorating (or even part of it), he must demonstrate objectively that the decor was in mint condition when you moved in and that it had deteriorated beyond fair wear and tear by the time you'd moved out. (Had it?)
                  '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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