Deposit deduction query

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    Deposit deduction query

    Hi,

    Long time reader, first time poster...

    I'm the landlord, my tenants moved out last week at the end of their 12 month AST, no problems there. Their deposit is protected (done by estate agent).

    I prepared a very comprehensive(well, I think so, its about 14 pages for a 1 bedroom flat) inventory and check in report myself, including photographs. The tenant signed to agree was accurate, she actually wrote a couple of comments on it where she thought things wern't as clean as I did, and I accepted this no problem.

    At check out (they were not present, were told when it was but made no effort to come)It was discovered that a power socket had been damaged, pulled away from wall, and requiring an electrician to repair. I have said that I will be deducing the cost of that from the deposit. (There are a couple of other minor things,but they have not mentioned any complaints about them)

    The tenants are saying that the socket was already damaged when they moved in, they noticed it a few days later, but didn't bother to mention it to me, just decided not to use it. They had contacted me a couple of times over the year for other things which I sorted, and never once mentioned this socket, so I am inclined not to believe them.

    I have photos of the damaged socket and its on the check out report, although they are not wanting to sign this, but I do not have a photo of this actual socket at check in, just stated on the inventory that it is ok.

    Sorry for the long winded post (no one has ever queried a deduction from me before), basically, I was just wanting to know, would just the invenory at check in be enough to fight this and make the deductions ,especially as I did it myself.

    Thanks for your help.

    #2
    With deposit scheme adjudicators there are no guarantees and rumour has it that they prefer 'professionally' produced inventories to home made ones. Having said that they accepted mine last year and awarded me everything I was claiming for except for the cost of a new sweeping brush (Ts had snapped the broomstick in half and I still don't understand why they didn't allow the claim!). However in your case, you sound to have been very thorough and you have evidence at both start and end of tenancy, which many LLs don't have. Go for it.

    Is there a shot of the socket in question on the check-in photos showing it its undamaged state?

    Either way all you can do is raise claim the cost of repair - Ts may well dispute it; the adjudicator will decide. It won't cost you anything (unlike going to court over it), so youmight as well submit your claim, supported by whatever photos you've got and the electrician's invoice. If you can get the electrician to make it clear on his invoice that the repair was necessitated by damage to socket beyond normal wear and tear, that might help your case, too.
    '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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      #3
      Thanks MTG for your feedback.

      Unfortunately I don't have a photo at check in of the actual socket in question (its behind the bed in the pictures). Ex-Tenants are now just trying to complain about everything saying the property was dirty when they moved in (I know 100% this is not true as my mum and me spent hours making sure it was perfect!) it was actually worse when they moved out, but I thought I'd be nice and not charge any more for that or for mop and a couple of bowls that were missing!. Also there was a building plumbing problem (its an ex-local autority block of flats), which didn't actualy effect them apart from a plumber needing access once to their flat and now their claiming it made their clothes damp! (again, no mention about this at the time)

      I'm thinking they're just trying to throw anything at me now so I give into them and give up wanting to claim as these old 'problems' are nothing to do with anything I'm climing from the deposit.

      Am I right in thinking at the moment I do not have to do anything further and its up to the tenants to raise a dispute with the deposit scheme and then I just respond to it? At the moment they're saying because of these other 'problems' they wont pay for the socket, but I'm guessing that an adjuicator won't be interested in any of that as its nothing to do with the deposit?

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