Law on Inventory and Deposits

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    Law on Inventory and Deposits


    My sister has recently moved house and she left her old house cleaner than it was when she moved in! She had to move out due to severe subsidance!

    She went 2 weeks ago for the final inspection and the landlord tried to charge for some 'wear and tear' (His Quote!).
    She put her foot down about the 'wear and tear' and the landlord signed off her inventory 100% after a thorough (2 hours) inspection!

    Today (after two weeks)he has rang her stating that the carpets are dirty and they smell!!! He has admitted that he has had builders in and has been showing people around but insists that it is not them.

    My question is, as he signed the inventory off as satisfied and no defects in the house, can he after 2 weeks suddenly decide that the carpets need cleaning???

    Is the inventory a legal document??

    He said he knows someone who can do them and that he would provide a quote!



    Assuming the property is in England/Wales and the tenancy began after April 2007, was the deposit lodged in a scheme?

    If so, tell her to contact the scheme and request the full deposit amount back. LL has to prove the difference between the start and end condition of the property and this is where the inventory is key. If the LL signed it off - I assume your sister has a copy - this will prove he accepted the condition at the point of check out and the deposit scheme should find in your sister's favour.


      No, the inventory is not a legal document, but it will be used as the basis of any claim against the deposit. If the landlord or the inventory clerk inspected the property at the time of checkout and stated (in writing) that everything was 100% in order, they can't go back 2 weeks later after workmen have been in the property and try and claim for damages / cleaning. Your sister is no longer bound by the inventory once the property has been signed back to the landlord.

      Secondly, fair wear and tear is to be expected in any property and any decent inventory will state that. A claim for wear and tear would not stand up at arbitration.

      Your sister should have her deposit back already. If not, she does need to lodge a claim with whichever Deposit Scheme the LL used.
      I offer my advice freely, but I am not an expert, solicitor or judge. It is simply my experience of being a landlord and what I have learnt along the way. I make no warranty for my opinion.


        Thank you. Yes the house is in England and she moved in 2010. The LL didnt give her a copy of the inventory checkout, however she does have a witness who was there with her that day!

        If he was to say he didn't do an inventory when she moved in then i have told that he wouldn't have a leg to stand on as he has no evidence of what condition the house was in when she moved in! Her deposit is with the DPS.

        I personally think that he isn't able to let it due to the 2 inch wide cracks running up the walls (floor to ceiling) and 3 cracks in total!




          She must go to the DPS website and request a repayment today. Once she has lodged the request for the refund with them, the LL has a specific time to reply, and if there is a dispute over how much he wants, the DPS will have to mediate.

          Moral of this story is ALWAYS get a copy of the inventory!


            But if she had to move out due to severe subsidence after putting her foot down, perhaps she should tread more carefully.
            '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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