Deposit dispute

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    Deposit dispute

    Over a month ago me and my partner vacated a property we were renting.
    We made sure we cleaned the flat very well (I am confident to say it was in better condition than at the time we moved in). Despite that we received an e-mail from the agency claiming that 120 pounds will be deducted from our deposit.
    "Clean all skirting’s boards, switches, radiators, sockets and freezer - £50.
    Paint kitchen walls due to stains and marks - £70."

    I was literally shocked when I saw this. I demanded photo material and explanation. I have to say that the agency was not very responsive (they ignored our e-mails; after approaching the manager, he was very unprofessional, despite the fact that we just approached him to solve the situation asap).
    After weeks, we finally got the photo material last week - it is very clear that they wanted by any chance find something to claim money. The photos focus on little pieces of dust, e.g. above the door, behind the radiator, there is also a picture of crumbs on the freezer door which I do not know where was it taken as I completely cleaned the freezer with soap... They also took pictures of places where there was no possible way to clean it (e.g. on the outer side of the french balcony, on the 7th floor!; which was not much cleaner when we moved in). There was no single overall picture that would show how clean the overall flat was. To add, their regular checks of the flat always reported our flat was "immaculate throughout" and the lady on few occasions even thanked us to keep such good care of it. You can imagine my disappointment after receiving the e-mail about deductions.
    We agreed that there were some stains on the kitchen wall above the sink, although that wall was stained already when we moved in (it was our mistake not to report that and take any pictures!!! but that was our first renting and we were not expecting all that...). However, we felt it is absolutely too much to pay 70 pounds to paint 3m2 of wall.

    We suggested to pay the total of 70 GBP, which in our opinion seems really generous, however, there is no reply from the agency fro almost a week. I am fed up chasing them, as their behaviour and communication is very unprofessional.

    I do not know what to do. Shall I open a deposit dispute at the deposit protection service? But will the situation turn in our favour? What are the chances to get at least part of this money (120 pounds) back?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Open a dispute with the deposit company (offering the £70, which you think is reasonable).
    The deposit company will take an independent view of the issue, which is what is needed in this case.

    I'd expect you'd end up paying pretty much what you offer.
    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).


      It would be interesting to ask them if they can evidence that the 'damaged/dirty' things were in a better condition when you moved in.

      Did you mark your £70 'without prejudice'? If not, then I'd agree with jpkeates, that's what you're likely to pay. If you marked it 'without prejudice', then I think you'd have a chance of defending it all, depending on the aforementioned evidence.


        The onus is on the LL to prove that skirtings etc were dirtier that when you moved in and it sounds as though you have since admitted to the stained kitchen walls so in all probability they will have proof for the other part so may well be worth coughing up for the sake of £50.

        Long suffering Landlord.


          Thank you all for your comments.

          The agency replied that they are willing to lower the initial price for 20 pounds max as that (120 pounds) was the price they needed to pay.
          They described how certain things were cleaned and I was even more shocked, as I did clean all that....

          Do I have the right to demand proof - bills and exact pictures?



            Yes you have the right to ask and it should be easy enough to supply you the information.

            Long suffering Landlord.


              You dont need bills, you just need to tell them it was dirty when you moved in and cleaner when you left and you dont agree to more than 70 deduction. They have to be able to prove the contrary and probably cant so will probably agree in the end


                Thanks for all the comments.

                The situation is as follows:

                They agreed to 100 GBP deduction and no more.
                They sent a scan of a bill, which looks like a normal print on the paper (with no signature or stamp), when I searched that maintenance company online I could not find it. They did not provide any pictures after the cleaning/painting.

                We gave up dealing with them and made a dispute with the company that was holding our deposit.
                Neither of us will be richer or poorer for 30 pounds... and I cannot believe how come such companies with this kind of attitude even exist.


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