unfair deposit deductions?

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    unfair deposit deductions?

    Hi. Is there anyone here who might be able to help with the following issue...

    I left my previous tenancy in November of last year. The agency didn’t put in a repayment request for my deposit until January; too late for me to use the ADR. The landlord wants to deduct £160.00 from the original amount of £325.00. I immediately clicked “dispute”, of course this was ignored and the request for £160 was resubmitted.

    The following “reasons” for the deduction are as follows (quoted directly from an email sent by an agency representative):

    2 x Walls required re-painting, appeared you had attempted this and check out was done when paint was wet, on drying the quality was not in keeping with the condition of the walls when the room was let.* This is considered tenant damage/tenant repairable/chargeable.

    The mattress and bed base required replacement – this is considered a landlord expense, fair wear and tear.

    A hole was found in the wardrobe – this was not noted on the original inventory so considered tenant damage/chargeable.
    Room and windows required re-cleaning.

    Are these legitimate reasons to charge £160? The agency hasn’t provided any itemised invoices, reciepts or quotes, something I think they’re required to do?

    Are they essentially trying to charge me for redecoration? Also, can they assume that I was responsible for the hole in the wardrobe door?* I’m not, but I don’t think I have any evidence to dispute that, unfortunately, however the inventory at check-in made no mention of any damage to any part of the room.

    I think the only thing they can charge me for is cleaning costs, but I’m not sure.

    Incidentally, I think it’s worth noting that the deposit paid is actually for a different property. When I first moved to Nottingham I rented a property, through the same lettings agent, at {Mod - address removed}, under one landlord. A month later I moved to {Mod - address removed}, again with the same agency, but under a different landlord. Can the deposit be transferred between properties? The rent was different for both properties so should I have had part of the deposit returned? Not sure if that makes any difference.

    Any help/advice would be hugely appreciated. Thank you.

    #2
    It is unfortunate that you were prevented from using the ADR process but, if you chose to, you could reclaim your deposit through the courts via the moneyclaim online website.

    Easy ones first . . .

    Hole in wardrobe, if you didn't note the damage on the incoming inventory then you accepted it was in good order. It is no longer in good order. Can you clarify where in the wardrobe the hole is and describe the wardrobe - old/new, chipboard/oak - you get the idea.

    Cleanliness - your obligation is to return the property in the same state of cleanliness from when you moved in - usually detailed on the inventory. If the landlord has no proof of the state when you moved in then he has no proof that you left it any worse than it was.

    Painting - did you repaint? Why? Because of damage or 'old age' of the décor? How big were the walls and do you have any idea when they were last decorated. If the décor was more than 5 years old then it is fair wear and tear.

    The rent issue does not have any bearing on your deposit, When you moved into your Maples Street address, was you given new deposit paperwork specifying that address? It may be wise to ask the agent to provide you with a copy of the deposit protection information and then verify it with the protection company concerned.

    Comment


      #3
      Re damage to wardrobe - if move in Inventory mad no mention, and move out did, it is reasonable to assume damage caused by T or Ts 'guest'. esp as T should have had opportunity to inspecr & amend move in report within 7 days of receipt.
      LL does not have to provide ind estimates or invoices, just a reasonable estimate for prof renovation, less allowance for FW&T.
      Did you ask LLs permission before re-painting walls? DIY? I do not allow Ts to repaint without permission.

      Comment


        #4
        £160 does not seem excessive to me for the damage/work being claimed for. The question of redecoration is sometimes a grey area, but basically, a T is contracted to return to property in same condition. So if the walls are dirty or blutak-marked, or damaged by screws/nails having been knocked in, then T is liable for cost of remedying, unless as mariner says, walls haven't been decorated for 5 years.

        The fact that you had already applied paint would suggest you knew that you needed to imprrve the walls' appearance - just a pity you didn't either get the right paint, or paint the whole surface of each affected wall - part painting walls is rarely going to look OK.
        '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

        Comment


          #5
          Let's get pragmatic.

          £160.

          Now, that's not a lot of money to most people (although it will be to some). The pain and effort involved in trying to get 'justice' for this would be much more than £160 (and that's assuming some agreement in-between wasn't reached - £100, £80) is worth to anyone.

          At least I hope so.

          So... the choice is simple - accept and move on or fight and possibly get all the £160 back or portion of it... possibly half or £100 or whatever.

          Life is too short.

          I can assure you of this... in 5 years time you won't be bemoaning that £160 - you'll've forgotten it and you'll've moved on.

          Pick your battles.

          You have to ask yourself why you started painting some walls on the same day as you were leaving... it's not a good idea, you obviously thought it was required, but you didn't leave yourself time to correct anything if it didn't work out. Rookie error?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by rvj87 View Post
            Incidentally, I think it’s worth noting that the deposit paid is actually for a different property. When I first moved to Nottingham I rented a property, through the same lettings agent, at {Mod - address removed}, under one landlord. A month later I moved to {Mod - address removed}, again with the same agency, but under a different landlord. Can the deposit be transferred between properties? The rent was different for both properties so should I have had part of the deposit returned? Not sure if that makes any difference.
            The deposit is your money, and can only be transferred to a new tenancy agreement with your consent.
            If you didn't give it, the deposit should have been returned at the end of lease one and re-submitted at the start of lease 2 (adjusted accordingly if the amounts are different).

            Were you issued with the Prescribed Information on both occasions?

            If that transfer wasn't done incredibly carefully by the agent, the question of damage might be a bit of a can of worms.
            You might find that you can sue them for the whole of the amount, leaving them to counter claim for the damage in court.

            How much the money matters to you will probably determine your course of action more than the technical rights and wrongs.

            And, no the agent doesn't have to provide invoices or quotes. They're claiming compensation for a loss, they don't even have to make the repairs they say are required.
            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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