Normal Wear and Tear ?

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    Normal Wear and Tear ?

    Hi everyone

    I would be grateful for any advice on the following situation, having been a silent reader of these forums for quite a while.

    12 months ago I let my 1 year old property to a single mum, her two children (10 years old ish), a dog and a cat. She moved out a couple of weeks ago. We did our own detailed inventory before she moved in, which she amended and signed as agreed.

    After she moved out we went in to inspect the property. Basically, although the floors and appliances were all cleaned, she had left the walls (painted magnolia) heavily soiled. There were dirty trails of fingerprints where they had wiped their hands coming down the stairs, splashes up the walls, stains, grime around the switches, dirt smears, writing etched into the plaster (her girls names), ringmarks on our fireplace, marks made by furniture scraped along the walls. She also left two big boxes full of empty booze bottles, loads of catalogues, some old broken toys and discarded clothing, which we skipped.

    We personally wouldn't consider it to be normal wear and tear after 12 months living there, but it would be good to gauge other peoples opinions and experiences. She originally gave us a £1050 bond. By mutual agreement she took some items from the house to bring the deposit down to £545. We have had to get someone in to redecorate the rooms, which is costing us £400 and we have charged her for the cost of removing all her items and professionally cleaning the rest of the house (not personally cleaning it - light switches etc), and replacement of light shades (which was written into her inventory) so are not returning any bond to her.

    When she signed the inventory we listed the walls in "good" condition, as there were a few marks already there from the previous tenant but nowhere near as bad as they are now. We have since been in and taken lots of pictures of the marks, stains and writing on the walls.

    She has "texted" us and said that she has no alternative but to speak to a solicitor, and she has "witness statements and photographs". I really don't want a fight, but I think she has really not left the house as she found it at all.

    Thanks in advance )

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