Damaged property and tenant unreachable

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    Damaged property and tenant unreachable

    Hi, I was hoping for some advice.
    I have let a property out for 3 years to same tenant with a letting agency. Tenant gave 2 months notice that she would be leaving mid August. Since the tenant gave notice she stopped paying rent.

    Letting agents tried to reach her and her dad (who is guarantor) regularly to chase up rent, organise going in to photograph property to readvertise it and to organise check out but were unable to contact them.

    On the day tenant should leave we heard nothing from her and again tried to contact her and her dad. A few days later dad left an answer phone message with letting agents saying that tenant had moved out and had posted keys to letting agents. They never received these.

    Eventually when myself and letting agents got into he property we found lots of damage had been done. Property needs cleaning, redecorating throughout, carpets, electric fire, fitted kitchen cupboards, bath panels and laminate flooring are missing. Taps are broken in kitchen and toilet is not flushing. 2 interior doors are missing and another one damaged etc etc
    The rental agency have quote 4000 for all the work to be completed. We are going to do this ourselves so sure this will bring the cost down however when I enquired about using the deposit money (700) towards this I was told that I couldn’t as they could not contact tenant and get her consent. I was then told that if they never heard from the tenant again (we have no new address just a phone number) that I will never get the bond back.

    I wondered if anyone knew of any way I can appeal against this and try to get some money back? I have photographs of all damage and have kept receipts for everything we have paid out for so far. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    #2
    Is the deposit lodged in a scheme? If so, apply to the scheme to make the deductions. Usually, if the tenant does not reply within a certain time, to contest the deductions, then the amount automatically reverts to you. If you are also owed rent, does your tenancy agreement allow you to use deposit for this too? If so, add this to the amount you claim.

    You would need a full inventory to prove your claim if the deposit scheme requested a start and end comparison of the property. Did you/your agent organise this at the start? Photos can go some way toward it, but a written check-in inventory is the bible and would remove any doubt.

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      #3
      The letting agency should have advised you that there is a way for you to claim the deposit money even if your tenant is uncontactable. Why are they being so feeble?

      And £4000 sounds very steep, even for the damage you describe. I would get quotes yourself if you are having any of it done by other people.
      '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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        #4
        Thank you for your replies.

        Lesley Anne - yes the money has been placed in a deposit scheme. Not sure if it allows me to claim rent to but to be honest I think the full deposit will be spent doing up the house. Will check with agents tomorrow but I am sure that as part of my full management agreement with them they do a full inventory at beginning of tenancy and a check out at end so I will request copies of these.

        Mind the Gap = I agree the price is very steep and when we have worked it out I think we could easily do it for half that amount. I dont know why the letting agents are being so feeble but they were very clear in the fact that if they did not get any response from the tenant or her father I would not get deposite back. They said the only think I could do would be to take legal action but that would be nothing to do with them. Will give them another call in the morning.

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          #5
          Sorry one more question. Do I need to give the tenant a certain amount of time to reply to the letting agents letters about the deposit or can I contact the deposit scheme immediately? Tenant left property on 18th and I did join check out with letting agents on 28th. Thank you for your replies. Really annoyed with letting agents for misleading me - I sometimes wonder why I pay them for full management!!Pleased that I should be able to get deposit back though. Will def help with the repairs?

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            #6
            LesleyAnne - Just been through paperwork and I don't have a copy of the inventory from the beginning of the tenancy but I have found invoice for it from my letting agents so they will have it.

            Comment


              #7
              The agents should have given you this info from the start of your dealings with them.

              The process for recovening your deposit varies (depending on the scheme) but the process used by DPS is pretty much as follows:

              1) You ask DPS for deposit with brief explanation)
              2) DPS attempt to contact tenant for authority to pay you deposit
              3a) If tenant says yes - you get your money
              3b) If tenant says no - see (4) below
              3c) If no contact from tenant - see (6) below

              4) Both parties will be offered the arbitration service.
              5a) If both parties agree - see (7) below
              5b) If either party declines then it is a court issue - see(7) below

              6) You can apply to the scheme to use their single claim process, whereby you complete a form with details of what you want, and after a short time, the deposit scheme should pay out.

              7) In both cases, the landlord will be expected to provide proof of any claim - in the case of damages, that will include a condition report from the start and end of the tenancy. Rent is easier to prove than damage.

              The mechanics vary from scheme to scheme, but the principles remain the same.

              If you need to action a court claim, you will need to locate your tenants - a service like www.findermonkey.co.uk may be of use.

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