Landlord withholding deposit with no end of tenancy inspection

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    Landlord withholding deposit with no end of tenancy inspection

    We moved out of our 4 bed flat recently, and the land lord was on holiday at the time. After about 3 weeks when we still hadn't been given our deposits back, I contacted the agent (she has proven her incompetence several times over the tenancy).

    A few days after this, we received a phone call from the land lord stating he was to withhold £120 from each of mine, and another tenant's deposits (£240 total). I should add the other two original tenants moved out a few months early as agreed with the landlord.

    The landlord's reasons for keeping back some of the deposit:
    - The oven needs to be professionally cleaned
    - Some lightbulbs have blown and need to be replaced
    - Scuff marks on the walls

    Our reaction to this:
    - We both cleaned the oven before leaving as we really aren't messy people. It was cleaned to the standard it was in when we moved in to the flat.
    - Some lightbulbs were missing when we moved in anyway, and in places where there were bars of 6 spotlights we didn't replace them as felt so many lights unnecessary
    - The walls were not painted prior to us moving in, so already had scuffs. I have photos of my bedroom where chipped paint and scuff marks are visible upon moving in

    We consider the above to be reasonable wear and tear for a flat of 4 people plus 1 dog.

    The most crucial point in our opinion is that due to him being on holiday at the end of the contract, no end of tenancy inspection was carried out. This means that by the time these issues were raised to us (after I contacted the agent re returning deposits), the new tenants had been in posession of keys and living in the property for almost a month.

    Surely this voids the landlords claims.

    Any help on this would be much appreciated as £250 (yes, the landlord changed the amount to £125 each when submitting a DPS dispute) is not something we feel like handing over without good reason.

    Apologies for innevitably posting this in the wrong place!

    #2
    Just await the outcome of the dispute. The process is underway. Nothing to do here.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by England2015 View Post
      - We both cleaned the oven before leaving as we really aren't messy people. It was cleaned to the standard it was in when we moved in to the flat.
      - Some lightbulbs were missing when we moved in anyway, and in places where there were bars of 6 spotlights we didn't replace them as felt so many lights unnecessary
      - The walls were not painted prior to us moving in, so already had scuffs. I have photos of my bedroom where chipped paint and scuff marks are visible upon moving in

      We consider the above to be reasonable wear and tear for a flat of 4 people plus 1 dog.

      The most crucial point in our opinion is that due to him being on holiday at the end of the contract, no end of tenancy inspection was carried out. This means that by the time these issues were raised to us (after I contacted the agent re returning deposits), the new tenants had been in posession of keys and living in the property for almost a month.

      Surely this voids the landlords claims.
      -Unless the tenancy agreement says something different, the oven should be returned in the same condition - less fair wear and tear - as when you took over occupancy.
      -"some" lightbulbs is not the same as "the" lightbulbs. Your views on the necessity of lights is not really relevant. You should have ensured that lightbulbs present and working when you moved in were working when moving out.
      -The walls are a matter of the landlord proving their case over your evidence.

      Reasonable wear and tear with a dog depends on how long you were there and if the landlord knew you had a dog, but fair enough.

      Your thought about the check out inspection is a good one. The landlord has to prove the decrease in value of their asset beyond fair wear and tear and it sounds like proving it won't be simple.
      However, the burden of proof is "on the balance of probability", so evidence from the new tenants about the state of the property when they moved in might be helpful (or not).

      Let the deposit protection company resolve the dispute.
      They're a third party who know this area of regulations better than most.
      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


        #4
        I have to say a similar thing happened to me with no check out as the Landlord did not have the time and had to go on to some sort of personal engagement after getting the keys from me at the front door. We then ended up rowing over the deposit (some nonsense about a small mirror disappearing mainly!!) and I wish I had taken it to dispute rather than let the LL pressure me into buying her a £90 mirror that she "liked" because the one I found on Amazon for £30 she "didn't like the look of" - all because I didn't properly understand what the DPS could do...

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for your help Jpkeates, and everyone else also. Much appreciated!

          The landlord knew about the dog in advance and agreed it was fine. I believe he issued a new contract to the couple who were bringing the puppy to reflect this.

          Our deposits are secured via the DPS so I am in the process of starting the dispute via them. However, when I select 'disagree' on the response to payment request page, the confirmation shows:
          Deposit Value £340.00
          Amount to be deducted by the agent/landlord £125.00
          Amount to be returned to the tenant(s) £215.00


          The 2nd page for tenant details shows:
          [MY NAME] - Payment Method

          This tenant is not due any money so no payment details are required.


          Yet when I continue through to the final page before submitting the response, it shows the following:
          Repayment Summary
          Deposit Value £340.00
          Amount to be deducted by the agent/landlord £0.00
          Amount to be returned to the tenant(s) £0.00
          Disputed Amount £340.00

          Repayment Summary
          [MY NAME]

          Amount Due £0.00



          There doesn't appear to be any field in this confirmation process which I can change, i.e. changing the 'amount due'.

          I was just concerned that by submitting this request as it stands I may be giving confirmation that I wish to receive the wrong amount of money back.

          Any suggestions? Sorry for pestering but we've never had any deposit issues in the past and want to ensure we do this properly first time.

          Thanks in advance for your help!
          Last edited by England2015; 07-09-2015, 09:48 AM. Reason: personal information deleted

          Comment


            #6
            I'd give the DPS helpline a call, I've never seen that "end" of the process, I only see the greedy money grabbing b*stard landlord pages!
            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

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