What damages can a landlord claim for?

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    What damages can a landlord claim for?

    Hiya, i've been sent over by legalbeagles!

    My ex landlady is taking me to court to claim money for damages caused to the property. Below is list of what shes claiming for:

    Particulars of claim : Replacement of carpet to lounge and dining room
    Replacement of lino to bathroom and utility
    Cleaned remaining carpets
    Redecorated - painted
    Replacement - window - damage
    Replacement - window handle
    General cleaning products
    Replacement handles to outside gate that were missing

    Costs - Carpets 335.00
    carpets 32.00
    17.00 tools
    21.67 wilkinsons decorate
    16.38 Photos
    9.44 Cleaning products
    12.59 Wilkinsons
    285.00 Replace window and handles
    16.79 dulux paint
    130.00 Clean upstairs carpets
    10.20 Gate handles

    Break down of what shes claming and my response to them


    A)Replacement of carpets to Lounge & Dining room - Within the time of living at the property I took appropriate steps in trying to keep the carpets clean. These included having spare carpet and long doormat by the front door, cleaning the carpets myself regularly and removing shoes upon coming into the house, as they are a light cream colour it was hard to keep clean, especially with two young children.
    I do not feel I should take full responsibility for the carpets, my Auntie, who was good friends with Claimant, stated that Claimant had lived at the property a while before I moved in and had the living room carpet put in when she moved in. The dining room carpet was from a previous owner.
    Carpets were not damaged in anyway.


    B)Replacement of lino to Bathroom & Utility - Within my additional evidence I have included a section from the inventory which states the bathroom carpet had slight marks.

    C) Cleaned remaining carpets - This is a little unclear to me, on Claimant final costs page she states £130.00 to clean upstairs carpets. Upstairs carpets were fine, there were a very slight lightness on the carpets where beds had been but this is normal in any home.
    Then on the reciept from 'Home N Dry' it states 'that three of the carpets were heavily stained and were not able to be cleaned. These were the bathroom, lounge and dining room'

    D) Redecorate - Painted. Again this is unclear, there are reciepts for paint to coincide with this but Claimant hasn't stated where needed painting, why and evidence to support.

    E) Replacement - Window Damage - The back bedroom window lock didn't open for unknown reasons but after speaking to my current landlords window fitter he said that the whole window would not of needed to be refitted, only the lock which would cost £40.

    F) Replacement - Window Handle - The front bedroom window locks worked fine, I was able to open and close them with no problems.

    G) General cleaning products - I'll include lightbulbs etc within this also. There were lightbulbs left in the kitchen cupboard which i pointed out to Claimant. I'm also unsure as to why two 1 litre bottle of floor cleaner would be needed for a small kitchen and utility room.

    H) Replacement handles to outside gate -Burglars had broken the back gate lock whilst getting in, they also broke the locks to the garage door and smashed a security light. The locks on the garage door and the security lights were replaced by us and we also added 2 deadbolts to the back gate. (Police log number had been sent to claimant at the time)


    TIA

    #2
    It will be for LL to show that claimed costs are reasonable by ref to move in/out conditon reports. Carpet age and allowance for FW&T must be considered.
    There is no ref book, ony experience of adjudicators, and my crystal ball is on the blink. You will have opportunity to contest claim in writing.

    Comment


      #3
      You might find this useful http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/sites/de...%20v4_4645.pdf

      If the carpets were not damaged by you, ie they were in roughly the same condition as when you moved in bar fair wear and tear then you will owe nothing.

      If the carpets were in excess of 5 years old then there is a good chance an adjudicator would find you owe nothing. As the landlord can not prove age of dining carpet, it will be assumed to be old.

      Which deposit company is handling your deposit?

      Comment


        #4
        We didn't pay a deposit when moving in we paid one months advance rent. She tried withholding it when we left after 7 weeks of pointing out it cannot legally be used to cover damaged she paid the money back. But it wasn't kept in a deposit scheme I Dont know where she kept it

        Comment


          #5
          This is a court claim, not a claim before a deposit adjudicator.

          Basically, it will land before a Deputy District Judge who will try to make sense out of it one way or the other. Who knows which way it will go - small claims track cases are a bit like a lottery, if you have a judge who swings your way you win, if not you lose.

          Good luck and let us know how it went.

          Comment


            #6
            Lets talk more about that 'advance rent'. When you moved in, did you hand over ONE or TWO months worth of rent?

            Comment


              #7
              Two months. £900 in total. We should of got the last month free but wed just paid that months rent (we literally found a house for rent, viewed, wanted it and got it all on the same day!)

              Comment


                #8
                Landlords can claim compensation for the loss in value to their property/asset beyond fair wear and tear.
                It is pretty common for landlords to think that they can claim for the costs associated with restoring the property to how it was or a rentable condition.

                If the tenancy was a short one, there might be no reasonable wear and tear at all.
                If the landlord knew you had children or pets, wear and tear is likely to be greater than a single monk living alone and meditating,

                So the landlord can only claim for the reduction in value of the carpets (for example) that is more than the reduction attributable to normal wear and tear.
                You defence to each claim is to ask for the expected lifetime of the item and its original cost and then the amount that you contributed beyond normal wear and tear.
                You do this sensibly and reasonably.
                A decent carpet should last 10 years, one with less wool, say 5 years.
                So the cost of the carpet (the original not the replacement) is spread over the lifetime of the carpet - you can only be charged with the value that you have prevented to owner from enjoying.

                A good carpet costing £500 should last 10 years.
                If it was three years old when you ended your tenancy and had ruined it (burns and rips) you would have denied the landlord of seven years of use, and would need to compensate them for seven years loss of use, so £350.00.
                If the carpet is just worn by the normal amount associated with being walked on, there's no loss and nothing to compensate them for.

                Light bulbs are essentially expendable and any that were working when you moved in should be replaced at cost.
                Anything broken or taken by other people (including burglars) is your responsibility to replace (however the cost is loss in value of what was there, not a new one).

                If you paid two months rent in advance and started paying regular rent in the first month, you could argue that the other month's rent was a deposit (taken against a future possible non payment of rent) and should have been protected.
                Anything that indicates that the advance rental was taken against a future contingency will help your case - although it's worth mentioning just to keep the landlord on the back foot.

                To be honest, while I'm happy to help, I don't think the landlord is being that unreasonable, and you should definitely pay for a number of the items that you list.
                While a court might reduce the amount claimed, you might find that the costs are not awarded to you so you lose out by defending yourself and it might be better to seek a negotiated solution.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  We lived there 3 months short of 4 years. There were no holes or burns etc to carpets it's just become dirty over time nothing cleaned it believe me I tried!!

                  She hasn't put in sufficient evidence, failed to mention how old the carpets are, photos of after the carpets were cleaned, photos of what she had to paint, photos of upstairs carpets plus the photos are very unclear, the walls on the pictures are very bright and the floors look brown compared to the pictures I've used (also dated) that show the carpet is not brown at all.

                  The cleaning I understand I may have to pay for and for a partial payment for carpets but not full costs.
                  No redecorating was done whilst we were there it was all from when she moved in the property which by my understanding was a good couple years before I moved in

                  Also the £900 paid, £450 of that was the first months rent. So we paid £900 on the 1st December then the 1st January we paid another £450 and so on.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/...nt-claim/page2

                    Theres more information there on my case including my response etc which might give you more insight to the case

                    Comment


                      #11
                      11: I would respectfully like to ask the age of all items and how long they would roughly last for. Whilst I do not take responsibility for full costs of replacements I would be willing to come to an agreement for partial compensation which includes reduction of costs taking the above into account. To be more specific:
                      a) Carpets to the dining room, living room, bathroom & utility room.

                      12: ****.

                      13: It is denied the Claimant is entitled to the sums as claimed, or at all but as said above I will be willing to come an agreement if need be.


                      Updated it with this

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Ok, you have a strong bargaining tool, but you are going to have to do some work.

                        This case suggests a court would find the 2nd £450 was a deposit unless the landlord could prove he said it was for a specific period - something like "January 13th to February 12th 2009", not "your final month", which could literally be any time. Indeed if you were evicted, you would not know on rent day that it was your final month.

                        Now the case is not binding on the judge in your case (if it goes to court) but if you draw it to the judges attention, it is likely to influence him.
                        http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2009/0...eposit-honest/

                        Here is your homework. That lower court case was a good few years ago, there is a chance that a higher court (maybe the appeal court) has made a similar decision since then. If you can find such a case and show it to the judge, that IS binding on him.

                        Maybe, explaining to your landlord that she has broken the law and is facing a court claim of up to £1350 + return of your deposit + court fees may encourage her to be a little more flexible with you.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Sorry so what does that mean? If its not stated in the tenancy agreement when it used then it could be seen as a deposit? Even when i've called her out on it? (called it a deposit and she said it is not a deposit its one month advance rent)

                          Thanks! I will do some research tomorrow and see what i can dig up! I'll post what i find in case anyone else needs it too.

                          Does it matter that we got the £450 back from her? Bearing in mind it was 7 weeks after we moved out....

                          Comment


                            #14
                            http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/201...it-says-judge/

                            Comment


                              #15
                              http://burywalkers.com/rent-in-advan...or-no-deposit/

                              This makes a very good point! Rent in advance should be used as rent straight away, any request for further rent in that time limit (within my 2 months supposedly free rent) would therefore class the previous £450 advance rent as a deposit!

                              Comment

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