is this 'standard practice' ???...

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  • is this 'standard practice' ???...

    hello! my former tenants left 3 weeks ago without cleaning the house, and having done some redecoration badly & without permission. The managing agent seems friendly with the ex tenants, & has told me I should let them return to my house to clean it, rather than charge them the cost of cleaning. I am dead set against this, as I am angry that they left it in a dirty state in the first place. But the agent tells me it is standard practice to give former tenants the opportunity to return & "put things right". Is this correct, or is he telling porkies?
    Any advice gratefully received!

  • #2
    Porkies - the tenants obligation is to return the property to you in the correct state at the end of the tenancy - not 3 weeks later. Once the tenancy is over they have no right to re-enter the property.

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    • #3
      Only standard practise with cowboy agents. One tried this with me. I surmise the reason was that the tenant had taken a new tenancy from the agent, and the agent had allowed him the amount of 'my' deposit as a credit against the amount the tenant would have to pay for the new place.

      Thus the agent (who actually was the new landlord) did not wish to be out of pocket by the amount of deposit I claimed.

      Even if you do not suspect the above shenanigans, it is not good practise to let vacated tenants back in the property, as you may find they decide to resume residence again and not pay you any rent.

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      • #4
        Is there no end to the hogwash spouted by some letting agents?

        Yes, of course they must have a chance to put things right - but that chance is while they are tenants, not after the tenancy ends. Apart from anything else, that would assume you must suffer a void period just so they can faff about coming back to clean. Not that they would clean, however long you gave them - if they serious about cleaning it properly, they would have done it before they left or paid someone else to.
        '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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        • #5
          thanks all for your answers, they confirm my suspicions. As a novice Landlord, it's great to have access to your experience! I have also discovered that the managing agent didn't register the ex- tenants deposit until after the tenancy had ended - due to an administrative error! I am not sure if this is influencing the agents sympathetic attitude towards the former tenants?

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          • #6
            managing agent incompetent

            hello everyone. turns out the agent who manages the house on my behalf didn't register the former tenants deposit until after they left (3 weeks ago).Is this a problem? The former tenants left it in a mess, and won't agree to my retaining the deposit. The agents seem desperate to avoid it going to dispute. It seems the big loser here is going to be me.....any advice gratefully received!

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            • #7
              bricking it a bit...

              evening all! turns out that the managing agent of my BTL property paid the deposit to me (the landlord) by mistake, having charged me a fee to register it with TDS, but didn't register it. Tenants have recently moved out, leaving a mess, & are disputing non-return of deposit. Agent actually registered deposit 1 week after tenancy ended! Is this a problem, & if so is it my problem or the agents? Any advice gratefully received!

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              • #8
                Well, it is against the 2004 Housing Act - but now the tenants have left the property there isn't much they can do about it (that situation will change soon - but too late for them).

                If the tenant sues you for return of the deposit, you will have to countercalim for the provable damages (allowing for fair wear and tear). I suspect the judge will look dimly on your failure to protect the deposit so you will have to make sure there are no holes in your evidence.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by millstone View Post
                  hello everyone. turns out the agent who manages the
                  house on my behalf didn't register the former tenants deposit until after they left
                  (3 weeks ago).Is this a problem? any advice gratefully received!
                  The question is.
                  Is the tenants deposit protected, and you have stated that it is, therefore I
                  can see no problem, at the moment.

                  YOU decide if you will return the deposit, not the agent, in this instance.
                  The agents are employed by you on your behalf.
                  You tell them the place was left in a mess, and will cost you to rectify,
                  and that is what the deposit was for.

                  You tel the agent that, and the must inform the deposit agent that £ x will
                  be retained for rectifying "the mess", and your reasons and costs for rectifying.

                  It is then a matter for the tenant to deny the "mess", and you to prove
                  ( photos ).

                  If agent retuns deposit after they knew the deposit had to be used to clear
                  a mess, then sue them for theft.
                  You are the custodian of the tenants deposit, but the agent was acting on your
                  behalf to deposit the money, but you are still rsponsible for it, not the agent.

                  Note :-If the agent steals deposit, or goes bust, it's still the landlord who has to
                  pay back the money.
                  If you put deposit in your own bank, and the bank goes bust, and you lose your
                  money in the bank, you still have to pay the tenant back his deposit,
                  less deductions ) you cant hold the bank responsible.

                  R.a.M.

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                  • #10
                    thanks, Snorkerz! do you think I have any come back against the (useless!) managing agent for putting me in a potentially tricky position?

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                    • #11
                      If their actions result in any financial loss to you, then yes you have a claim. Your chances of succes via the courts would depend on your ability to convince the judge that the agents actions caused the loss.

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                      • #12
                        Agreed with the above comment, its really the incompetence of the managing agent registering the deposit late on..id use that as an arguement..just make sure you have the evidence to back you up!

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                        • #13
                          thanks, GTEC. The TDS scheme the agents use will have date they registered it, so I should be able to prove that. The agent has been trying to minimise the quote for cleaning/ remedial work, stressing what nice people the ex-tenants are. I suspect the agent is desperate to avoid the ex-tenants continuing to dispute - when it will be obvious that the deposit was never protected during the tenancy. So the agent is acting in their own interest, rather than mine....?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by millstone View Post
                            thanks, GTEC. The TDS scheme the agents use will have date they registered it, so I should be able to prove that. The agent has been trying to minimise the quote for cleaning/ remedial work, stressing what nice people the ex-tenants are. I suspect the agent is desperate to avoid the ex-tenants continuing to dispute - when it will be obvious that the deposit was never protected during the tenancy. So the agent is acting in their own interest, rather than mine....?
                            Yes, sometimes it is hard to believe that the agent is working for the LL and not the tenant, isn't 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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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                              Yes, sometimes it is hard to believe that the agent is working for the LL and not the tenant, isn't it?
                              *cough* they don't work for the T either! (in my experience). Only themselves.
                              I'm a good tenant with great landlords
                              I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

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